Yesterday, Mark Waid wrote a clarion call for comic book creators, warning of the dangers of being too submissive in the face of editorial dictat. It had quite the reaction. Here’s a few, some sent to Bleeding Cool directly, others tweeted;
Marks’ article was beautiful, apt, and hit the target dead center. There’s not much for me to add. – JG Jones
As always, Mark Waid’s editorials are passionate, smart and to the point. I can’t add or detract from what Mark has said other then that some of the points that he has brought up ring very true- especially the quality of one’s work is paramount since it will always be remembered in the end. – Frank Cho
I thought it was fair and level-headed. As Joss Whedon put it, “Never sit at a table you can’t afford to walk away from.” – Andy Diggle
I’ve often been accused of having no respect for DC’s editors. That’s not true. I’ve the utmost respect for both of them. – Anonymous DC Creator
I only wish someone would bludgeon me over the head with a non-disclosure agreement! I could use more work.
Seriously though, Mr. Waid is my favorite writer in comics and his career is a model of quality and longevity. What always shines through to me, whether one agrees with him or not, is how much he cares. Both sides of the equation could learn a bit from his open letter. I wish he’d adopt me. – Keith Champagne
I’ve been in the business since 2003, but really started concentrating on comic writing in 2010. It’s been a wild ride so far.
Finding that balance between your needs and the client’s needs can be incredibly difficult, especially when you’re hungry to make your mark.
Have empathy, be a good communicator, keep your word, and work hard. If that isn’t enough for a client, have integrity and walk away.
2013 started off incredibly low for me and it felt like I couldn’t pull out of the confidence nosedive that came from it, but I stuck it out, didn’t give up and the year is wrapping up in a far better place than I could have imagined.
Freelance creative is a hell of a business to navigate. There are absolutely no guarantees. Find good people to work with and hold on. – Jim Zub
Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Mark brings up some salient points… even if he doesn’t go far enough.
The truth is for the most part the ‘big companies’ pay more than a living wage, while some of the smaller companies turn comic writing into little more than a hobby. Part of the reason we agree to get paid by the conglomerates is because we want to get our work out in front of the masses, as imperfect as that work may be sometimes. Or as grueling as the editorial/creative process might be.
In most cases, even the worst selling issue of Avengers Academy is going to sell better that the best release of a Thrillbent vanity project.
While it is great that Mark, like a growing number of comic creators new and old, can take corporate money in one hand and spend it creating more personal and gratifying creator owned material with the other hand, this is a luxury not afforded to most of the younger freelancers he is oh so very interested in looking out for.Vince Gilligan, the genius behind ‘Breaking Bad’ will be the first to tell you that the commercial/creative process can be difficult. One has to deal with the writers of checks at both the producing and network levels, the varying quality of the actors, the budgets, the availability or actors and locations, the dynamics of the writers room and a multitude of other factors completely beyond the creator’s control. Yet from all of this conflict can come a masterpiece.
Also, while I have his ear, I would suggest he tone down his tough guy talk. “I would be just getting out of prison…” We read enough threats against us creators on the message boards, and there was even a recent incident where one freelancer assaulted a blogger at NYCON a few years ago which mercifully resulted in him becoming persona non grata at the Big Two. Maybe the last thing we need is Mark Waid intimating it is okay to beat or harass or kill people who don’t agree with him on the best way to put together a monthly comic book.
If you’re not part of the solution, Mr. Waid…” – Anonymous DC Creator.
Mark Waid’s complete Open Letter to young freelancers. And actually, it works pretty well for old freelancers, too. http://t.co/kn6VGMEJ3s
— Walter Simonson (@WalterSimonson) October 3, 2013
— Scott Allie (@ScottAllie) October 3, 2013
— Ed Brubaker (@brubaker) October 2, 2013
— Ed Brubaker (@brubaker) October 2, 2013
— J.H. Williams III (@JHWilliamsIII) October 3, 2013
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