CB Cebulski: The Great American Twitterer

Posted by July 7, 2009 Comment

540296-meandkoala0_largeMarvel’s talent scout and Image comic creator CB Cebulski has a certain way with Twitter. A frankness, a directness, yet no one can’t hate the bugger. Here’s what he had to say late last night, reposted with permission.

In our quest for the “next big comic creator”, I think we elevate some artists too quickly, sometimes before they even learn the basics.

And this is one of those cases where I’m pointing the finger back at myself as I’m talking about Marvel.

Read a comic over the weekend that rather disappointed me art wise & thought “Wow, we bumped him up too soon, before he was ready”.

The artist made rookie mistakes in page composition and storytelling choices & the overall read, and my enjoyment, suffered for it, I felt.

Sometimes we get so caught up in our desire to turn an artist into a sales machine we look past the pencils & into the piggy bank too soon.

And to head off any questions or concerns, 1.) I never name names, and 2.) this artist is not on Twitter so you can all relax.

The other thing I think this industry has a problem with right now is not giving artists honest editorial feedback.

We are so focused on on-time shipping & keeping an artist working that many editors tend to let a lot slide so as not to upset the talent.

“We don’t want to upset them. They might slow down.” “We want to keep their head in the game.” “We don’t want to ruffle any feathers.”

I hear it all the time. And yes, they’re valid concerns. But if we don’t open up & give our honest opinions, how are artists going to learn?

And having worked with artists for over a decade, I know from personal experience that artists WANT to hear what their editor has to say.

The artist may not agree and may get upset, yes, but you’ve given them another opinion, another perspective, to look at their own artwork.

But editors get so concerned about protecting egos and keeping the art train rolling & on-time that they keep their mouths shut.

“Looks great!! Nice job! Keep ’em coming! Perfect, send it in! Move on to the next page! Keep up the pace!” I’ve heard, and used, them all.

But I think the editors who are most respected in this biz by the artists are the straight-shooters who tell it like it is, good or bad.

In this case, I’m not really talking about Marvel. We have an EIC who’s also an artist, so editors are taught the value of honesty early.

And if you look at the level of talent that has worked, and stayed, at Marvel for years, writers & artists, I think it’s pretty evident.

(We’ll pause now for the replies from the crackpots who need to complain about late books and point out the talent who have left Marvel.)

What brought this topic to mind was another “hot” comic I read recently, from across town, by a “top tier” talent that was just piss poor.

This artist, who rose to “fame” too quickly IMO, cheated EVERY PANEL on EVERY PAGE. When he wasn’t drawing a splash page, that is.

Zoomed in too close, cropped every figure, lopsided character positioning, didn’t draw backgrounds… Any and every shortcut was taken!

Ans then, going back to one of Bendis’ peeves, the poor colorist had to come in & do his best to clean it up and mask all the lazy artwork.

I heard the writer wasn’t happy with the end result, but what pissed me off was when I learned the editor recognized it and didn’t care.

“What was I supposed to do? I take what I can get from him and consider myself lucky. It came out & sold well, what more could I ask for?!”

How about a little more respect for a.) the readers, b.) your artist, c.) the rest of the creative team, and d.) your duties as an editor?!

@thatpetewoods: @david_hahn Nah, I wasn’t talking about either of you. Guys I had in mind aren’t on Twitter. At least I don’t think so. :)

So… who was the unfortunate artist? Any guesses?

(Last Updated July 14, 2009 1:55 am )

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