“Today, in our field, there is so much talent and recognition that we are reaching a saturation point. An artist should no longer strive only for breathtaking craftsmanship; he should, instead, try to help us live better, either by dressing the wounds that are constantly being opened by society, or by offering solutions to get us out of the mess we’re in…But it’s going to be difficult and we have a lot of work to do.” - Jean 'Moebius' Giraud
Saturday, March 14, 2009
THE END LEAGUE & THE MUPPETS_update
So, I'm all done with THE END LEAGUE. And yes, I know - it's late.
Before I get to the body of this post I'd like to address something up front. I have heard that there have been some who have bombed on the series' writer RICK REMENDER and pointed their collective, accusatory fingers in saying he was the cause of the lateness. It's absolutely unwarranted and borders on the ridiculous when people say this. Let me make it absolutely clear: I AM THE REASON WHY THE BOOK IS LATE.
Get off of his back and on his jock, you turds. He's a great writer, a forward thinking creator and he is my friend. You would do yourself a better service if you stopped complaining, and started buying and reading his work.
I cannot begin to explain the reasons why I fell behind, nor do I believe it's worth the time and effort to do so. But I wanted to make sure to dispute any and all theories that Rick was somehow responsible for the book shipping late. He was NOT. The guy has been nothing but professional, he has delivered everything that he's ever promised to me and more, and has been the biggest bullet-proof vest when it comes to dealing with the consistent and constant headaches of a creator-owned project. It is to say, that Rick has bent over backwards in order to keep me on the book, he has held his breath when it came time for me to turn in pages, and he is one of my biggest cheerleaders when it comes to the artwork I am producing. I owe the guy more than I can ever get him back for and I am humbled by the fact that he wanted to work with me in the first place. He has my thanks and my allegiance. Thank you, Rick.
I've worked with two colorists during my small run on End League. The first of the two is the ridiculously young and incomparably talented NAOMI BAKER. I really believe that she was slumming it art-wise when she was working with me because she's skilled beyond explanation and you have to figure it was out of pity that she agreed to help me color the book. So talented is she in fact, that in mid-production she was offered work as a video game concept artist and 3D modeler (her dream) at a little company called Activision. Obviously, it was an offer she could not refuse. Congrats to her and to her new professional venture. I am grateful for having her on board for as long as I did. Thank you, Naomi.
Without missing a beat, MATTHEW WILSON came in to pinch hit with colors and he's done no less than a phenomenal job. Matt has been "Johnny-On-The-Spot" when it comes to coloring my work and has an incredible enthusiasm for his job. He has seemingly endless amounts of patience in waiting for B&W pages only to have 2 days to color a half dozen images. And after meeting him in NYCC I cursed myself for not pouring more praise onto him for a job well done. He has been a dependable rock and his work has added the flourish that this book deserves. Thank you, Matt.
DAVE LAND is a ghost -and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. I don't know if it's his preference or if he understands how I work, but the guy has been the perfect example of the kind of editor that I'd like to work with again in the future. He would check in to make sure I had all necessary information in order to my job, and from there - shock of all shocks - he stepped aside and let me do my job. He didn't micro-manage, he didn't wield a faux stick of discipline, and he didn't do anything except give me the perfect environment in which to work. He could have jumped up and down on my head for being as behind as I was, put me through guilt trips and pulled rank or whatever - but he didn't. To me, it was as simple as this: Turn in the pages and we'll print them. Such a simple concept. Thank you, Dave.
And I understand the book is small. Smaller than IM:ETM. And that's why it was a natural fit for me. As much as I appreciated the coverage and attention that IM got, books like the End League - smaller, under the radar projects - are really what I look forward to doing because, to a certain degree, it just becomes about the body of work. Did it tell a good story? Does it have fun, consumable, whole characters? Did it give you a good ride and make you feel? Did you read and look at it and say, "Jeezus! WTF is going to happen next? Neat-o!" If I came anywhere close to that then I've done my job and I'm pretty happy. The hype, the coverage, the interviews and the spotlight...well, I'll leave that to the young guys.
And as before, and as it will be in anything I do in this kooky business - to the guys who have been buying my work and picking up the books and issues; I am forever grateful and wholly appreciative of your patronage. I'm constantly surprised by the range of audience that I have met and who have been kind enough to give an encouraging word either here on my blog or in person. It is cliche`d to say that I wouldn't be shit without you guys, but it doesn't make it any less true. And for this, I owe you generous folks my deep and heart-felt thanks. Thank you, ALL.
Okay, that's it. I'm taking off for a couple of months, but I hope to have an announcement about what's next. Oh, and I may sleep some more and dream of The Muppets. Because I like sleep. And I like The Muppets. I think I will visit friends and just recalibrate for a little bit and I will return to the business of drawing comic books for you guys very, very soon.
at 10:29 AM