I wrote a quick little article on my quiet little blog, not expecting, or desiring much attention. I write mostly for myself to check in with my own thoughts, for my own reasons. In the 10 years that I’ve been writing my blog, I’ve never had more than a couple dozen hits on a single article. I like it that way because writing for a mass audience fucks with my sense of being honest with myself, when so many people are watching.
Then yesterday happened. 973 hits from 735 unique visitors fed by Facebook and Twitter from 17 different countries. As of 9am this morning, I’m already looking at 94 hits from 65 unique visitors.
I did post my article on the wall of InkCanada, a writers’ group on Facebook. A handful of people there have very generously given me brutally honest feedback on my work, so that I may make it better. It’s a nurturing group, as much as it is a tough love group. We all want each other to succeed.
Most of us already have careers in the film & television industry, and so when I make a statement like, “I’ve been doing a lot of research over the past few days into Graphic Novels because I keep hearing how they can be a great way to prove a concept…” we understand that implicit in that statement is a shit ton of work, tears, collaboration, rejection, rewriting, learning, and maybe some measure of success after many, many months.
And then my article found its way into the comic book universe.
I was hoping that “drown in hobo piss” might be how they invite you to a coffee meeting at Starbucks in Portland, but it very quickly became clear that I accidentally angered a whole community of dedicated, passionate artists and fans who live and breathe comics.
This community is fighting a stigma that comic books are somehow a lesser form of literature than other mediums. Screen writers come up against this stigma as well because some people erroneously equate a lot of white space on the page with ‘simple’ and ‘easy’.
When I wrote in my article, “It turns out that TV scripts convert easily into Graphic Novel format (you push a button in Final Draft). From there, you hire an artist to draw the novel – a process not much different from creating story boards for a feature film,” I can see how this community would erroneously attribute me with having a flippant attitude towards their art, but I stand by that statement because there’s a deeper implication to it.
If I were to rewrite that same statement for an artist from the comic book crowd, it might go something like this;
“Here artist creature person, this is my script. I’ve been living with this story inside of me for two years. I care deeply about these characters. I desperately want an audience to follow their journey. I don’t trust TV execs because these are the same idiots who cancelled Firefly after 12 episodes. I am passionate about bringing this story to the world.
To this end, I pressed a button in Final Draft. This script has now been formatted into something you can work with. I understand there will be more rewrites from here, as we work together to adapt this story from a television realm, to a comic universe. I understand that, and after looking at your portfolio and talking to people who know you, and spending time in Starbucks drowning in hobo piss together, that we share in a creative vision for how to make this story great.
I am placing my baby into your arms. I don’t know much about what you do, but I do understand that as we go through the process of wrapping your art around my words, in film terms, you are equal parts production designer, director, cinematographer, and editor.
I also understand that there will be many conversations through the prep phase of this project and that we are looking at several months to complete this. I also know that I’m looking at spending $6,000-$10,000 dollars to reach a finished product.
Do we have a deal?”
To anyone out there in the comic book world whom I offended, I humbly apologize. You are exactly the sort of people whom I want to work with, and write for. Your knowlege and passion for the work is beyond measure. I know that if I can work with you to create something great, our journey together will take us to amazing places.
To those who posted thoughtful responses on my blog, I thank you. To the rest, please stop saying mean things about me.