Sunday, December 17, 2006

When is a monthly comic not a monthly comic?

When it's published by Marvel, apparently.

Newsarama's regular "suck up to Marvel" segment Joe Fridays gives us a memorable quote from editor in chief Axel Alonso. He says:

The problem is simple: Comics ship monthly and very few artists can draw 22 pages in a month, or 12 issues a year. That’s just facts.

Firstly, I have to call bullshit on these "facts". How many pages a month did Jack Kirby used to produce when he was at Marvel? There are plenty of artists that can turn out 22 pages a month, 12 months a year. Maybe not the ones you like to cover feature or who bring in the most fans, but then those are the ones who know they will still get plenty of work no matter how unprofessional they are.

Secondly, just in case you've forgotten, Axel it's your job to get a monthly comic out 12 times a year. That's what editors do. If you are so sure that the people you have hired to produce 12 issues a year are incapable of fulfilling that task whatever possessed you to contract them to do so in the first place? And if you know that you can't put a comic out monthly, why are you selling it as a monthly comic?


Anonymous said...

...the hell? Um, no. That's stupid. x,x

SallyP said...

Gosh, what a concept. Having a writer and artist do what they've been doing for the past 50 or 60 years...which is get a monthly comic out on time. Heck, newspapers have to do it DAILY. Some magazines are WEEKLY.

I can understand occasional slip-ups, nobody is perfect and sometimes circumstances are beyond our control. But when a monthly comic is consistently late, something is wrong. If the creators can't do the job, get somebody who can. And if the editors and publishers can't do it either, then something is seriously wrong.

Anonymous said...

Alonso is talking through his hat.

"The problem is simple: Comics ship monthly and very few artists can draw 22 pages in a month, or 12 issues a year. That’s just facts."

That's what guest artists and fill-in issues are for, genius.

Marionette said...

But see he doesn't want to dilute the quality of the good (=popular) artists by having fill-in issues. He'd rather deliver a comic late and by the same team than fulfil his commitment to deliver a product on time.

Translation: he'd rather screw over the printers, distributors, and comic shop owners than risk alienating the prima donna talent by expecting them to deliver on time.

Anonymous said...

"Editors are supposed to ensure a quality product comes out on time and I, an editor-in-chief, cannot handle even this basic task!"

S Bates said...

"Can you regularly produce 22 pages a month?"

Surely, when looking for an artist on a regular monthly book, that should be one of the first questions an editor (or whoever hires these people) asks. If the answer is no, then don't use that artist in the book. Let them do covers or special projects but not regular monthly books.

Only use artists who can do the job they're hired to do. That's just facts.

Anonymous said...

Seriously on the money rebuttal there. Alonso's statement is like selling someone a talking dog and then, when asked why it doesn't talk, responding that it's a simple fact that dogs don't talk.

why are so many people whose business is writing or editing or communicating so very stupid?

Anonymous said...

I remember a the days when Sal Buscema drew 22 COMICS every month. Plus 12 annuals.