content: Links to Resources, Job Tree
some point, just about every kid who reads comics dreams
about making one of his own. Even if he can't draw, he takes
a shot with stick figures, carefully dividing up panels
and wondering "how do they do that?"
course, these days it's not so many kids reading comics,
but there are still plenty of people who dream of making
it into the industry. But according to noted comics writer
Mark Waid, it's like "…breaking into a government facility.
After you're in, they make sure nobody can get in that way
and others offer such wisdom and tips in a new DVD, Countdown
To Wednesday, from a company called Spacedoghouse. Clearly
made in conjunction and cooperation with Top Cow Studios,
the video still provides a balanced look at just how much
hard work it takes to get into comics, no matter what level.
If you dream of a career in the biz, or know someone who
does, it's a useful tool, as encouraging as it is discouraging
(that's a good thing).
To Wednesday (the title referring to the day new comics
come out each week) breaks down every element of production.
Its brightest stars tend to be in the writing category,
as Waid, Top Cow editor Jim McLauchlin, Paul Dini, and others
discuss just what makes a good story and how writing relates
to the art.
perhaps not a casting coup, per se, Marvel Comics giant
Stan Lee speaks seriously but good-humoredly about the business.
No matter what you think of his recent work, the man knows
what he's talking about, and this video provides a rare
forum for him to talk without shilling for some specific
project. (Okay, so there's a giant Spider-Man statue behind
him the whole time; I'll presume that Stan's sequences were
shot in his own offices.)
only shilling Stan The Man does is for a good cause: ACTOR,
an industry non-profit organization that helps out comic
book creators that have fallen on hard times. For all his
hard work, Stan Lee is still one of the rare ones to still
be doing well financially. And his PSA for the organization
serves as a good reminder that this isn't a career without
the art side of things, Marc Silvestri, founder of Top Cow
Studios and co-founder of Image Comics, leads the charge
for explaining just how it all works. But he's ably supported
by artists both in his stable, such as Francis Manalpul,
and free-lancing. They all, too, make a case for the long
hours, the hard work, and most importantly, the passion
that is necessary for a comic book to exist. Along the way,
they make some good recommendations on materials and supplies.
A canny wannabe artist might just pick up a few tips.
you're not extremely careful, too, you just might pick up
an appreciation for the undersung arts of coloring and lettering.
it all out, both editors and post-production people fill
us in on how it all really comes together. Certainly, Top
Cow managing editor Renae Greerlings' gripes on excuses
people give her ought to snap everybody into shape (certainly
gave me pause). Guys and gals, they don't care about your
problems with your significant others; they've got comics
to produce. Well, they might care, but only after the comics
have hit the stands. How has Top Cow been about keeping
to their schedules, anyway?
any rate, this disc provides a great resource. If it doesn't
have the answers to questions you're specifically asking,
the DVD extras likely will tell you where to go to find
them. And if you simply need a fire lit under your butt,
Countdown To Wednesday does a pretty good job of
getting out the tinder.