Then, a front-porch chat with Charles Brownstein, Executive Director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. What is the organization’s mission and how did it come to be based in Portland? What have been its biggest victories and defeats? What’s the difference between censorship by the government or by private companies? The difference between comics that show drawings of kids in sexual situations, versus actual child pornography? Also, the rise and fall of the Comics Code. Were comics EVER really “just for kids”?
Then we bring on the main course: a conversation about establishing a new comics collaboration. Shawn recently wrapped work on a new Thundergirl story featuring a collaboration with Harold Cupec. He enjoyed the experience and now he’s hungry for more artistic collaborators. But he’s almost always drawn his own stories, so it’s a challenge for him to find other artists who’d like to tell stories with him.
Nick and Shawn talk about how they met and began collaborating on Time Log, which resulted in a great experience and fantastic friendship. That sends Nick on a rant about why new comics writers should focus on making artistic friends and drawing their own comics before trying to find unpaid collaborators to draw their stories.
First up this week, an interview with Brandon Easton, creator of Shadowlaw and also writer of an episode of the new Thundercats series. Shadowlaw took well over a decade to come to fruition due to the nearly endless difficulties Easton had with finding a reliable artist. He shares his advice for finding a collaborator for your own project.
Our own Mulele had some problems as the hired artist for a couple of comics projects when he tried his luck in Los Angeles six years ago. The experience was a harrowing one — more so than we realized at the time. Mulele tells all, and also talks about his next career steps — including a trip to a convention!
A recent Comics Reporter article by Ng Suat Tong on “Writing, Collaboration, and Superheroes” (and a rebuttal to it from Chris Allen Online) got us to thinking: Do modern writers give sufficient instruction to artists? How much of what you see on the page came from the writer, and how much from the artist? Are some artists not carrying out the writer’s suggestions, and is that because the artist had a better idea, because the writer’s instructions were impractical, or because the artist is simply, um, not that good?
To explore these questions, Kumar, Mulele, and Tim chose four scripts from the Comicbook Script Archive site, and read them alongside the finished comics that resulted from them: Punisher Max #39, by Garth Ennis and Leandro Fernandez; Y: the Last Man #18, by Brian K. Vaughn and Pia Guerra; Daredevil 28, by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev; and (the ringer of the lot) Batman: the Killing Joke, by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland. Here’s the resulting discussion!