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Thread: TPG: Its Fate--Your Hands

  1. StevenForbes Guest

    TPG: Its Fate--Your Hands

    Hello, folks.

    As I said earlier this week, the time is coming when this column would be shut down. The more I get into this one project, the bigger it looks like it's going to be, which is great for me on a personal level, but it leaves me in a lurch when it comes to all of you.

    I consider TPG to be a success. It's something that I didn't think would take off the way it has. I was really only expecting to run it for a couple of months, and then it would just waft away. However, that hasn't happened. It hasn't happened because of each and every one of YOU, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

    And that's what makes this a hard decision. I feel like I'm abandoning you for dirty, filthy, (sexy) money. You've all shown that you want this, that you're learning from it, and that you're willing to put up with getting your collective asses stung over and over again with my pull-no-punches technique. This, above anything else, is why you are all Brave Ones.

    By the end of next month--definitely before the end of the year--I'm going to have to step away from The Proving Grounds as an editor. I'm not going to have the time. (Hell, if things go the way I believe they will with this editing job, I'm going to have to step away from my regular job, because I'm going to be too busy!) So, what does this mean to you, and to this column?

    To this column, possibly nothing. Our own Calvin Camp contacted me, saying he believes this column is too valuable, with too many lessons to be learned, to let it die. There are a core of you who have taken the lessons to heart, and who can begin to do this job.

    This would turn TPG into something of a peer-style review squad, with the benefit of having only a single script to focus on, instead of having many scripts to get posted and mostly ignored, such as what happens at Digital Webbing.

    As for the lack of an editorial view--there isn't much I can do about that. I understand that PFB is a small but growing corner of the internet, and with the views that B&N has gotten, there has to have been editors who have come through TPG as well, if only to see what was going on. I don't think most working editors have the time to really commit to something like this on a weekly basis, and if they're not working, they're probably looking for work.

    So, my question is simply this: would you be interested in having Calvin spearhead TPG when the time comes? The benefits are manifold: you know your work will be seen and commented on IN DEPTH, which is not something that can be said about the DW forum. Others will also be able to comment about the script, as we do here, and with the single script to look at per week, you know you'll get a decent look with a decent amount of comments from posters. If you look at the DW boards right this second, you'll see scripts that have been posted that haven't had a single comment, but a decent amount of looks. You won't get that here. Here, you have the rigidity of the schedule, you know that at least one person is going to take a look at your script, and you know that that look is going to be in depth, unlike the general overviews most scripts get at DW. You also know that punches will not be pulled here. This isn't about stroking your ego and telling you how great you are. If everyone has noticed, I say when I like something a lot LESS than I give a person a hard time about what they've obviously done wrong. Why? Because we learn from our mistakes more than we learn from our successes. However, because of my approach, I think all of you believe me when I say I like something, or can see the progress made, and when I pat you on the back for upping your game and doing a good job. That is something I'd like to see continue here, if it goes on without me.

    The only drawback is that this changes the reason this column was suggested in the first place: having scripts edited by an editor. You can all thank or blame Sebastian for that one, but I personally think it has turned out very well.

    The fate of this column, as always, is in your hands. No matter what happens to it, that has always remained true. It cannot happen without you. I would like to see it continue, but what I like has no bearing on the matter. The only thing that matters is what you do with it from the time I step down.

    I ask that you reply here, giving your thoughts on the matter, and then I'll talk to Calvin privately about it.

    Thanks for everything, folks. When you hear about what I'm doing next, the evolution its taken and the places it's going, then you'll understand why I've had to step down from something. I also hope you'll be excited for me about the job and where it can lead. There is an exciting, busy time ahead of me, and I hope to come back here to pluck one or two of you up to do some work down the road. I think this is a great, safe place to learn, and when we're both ready (me to come and pluck you, and you ready to be plucked), you'll have a leg up on a lot of people, because you already know how I work and what I'm looking for.

    Thanks again, everyone, and let us know your thoughts on this.

  2. Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Post Thanks / Like

    Sounds good to me. Calvin MORE than proved himself when guest-edited your script for the one installment. And, he's gone toe-to-toe with you in just about every column since he found PFB.

    I say thee, "Yay".
    "Living Robert Venditti's Plan B!"

    CAT. 5

  3. tiggerpete Guest

    I hate it when columns go away, it makes me sad on a level that comics can't fix, but I hope something can take your place like a hydra head, or a starfish arm.

  4. JohnLees Guest

    This makes me sad.

    I cannot emphasize enough how much The Proving Grounds (and through it, my discovery of Bolts & Nuts) has had a positive impact on my writing. And I think Steve's selling himself short a bit here, as he acknowledges that the big plus of The Proving Grounds is that it's our scripts being edited by an editor. More than that, the BIG plus of The Proving Grounds is that it's our scripts being edited by Steve Forbes.

    After all the invaluable lessons I've taken from Bolts & Nuts, after seeing first-hand where scripts go right and wrong in The Proving Grounds, after all the guidance he's personally given me in all aspects of comic book writing, I must say there are few, if any, people who's opinion on comic writing I trust and respect more than Steve's. So his departure will be a devastating blow to The Proving Grounds.

    That said, we can't be selfish and view this as a negative. It's a positive, because Steve's moving on to bigger and better things, and I for one am excited to learn more about the project he's applying his talents to. I only hope, Steve, that should this column continue without you, we'll at least see you stop by every once and a while, even if it's only to offer some general remarks on the script of the week. Your opinion and input will always be valued, whether it's a lot or a little.

    As for the potential of a Proving Grounds without Steve, the awesomely-named Calvin Camp has proven himself to be a skilled editor in his own right, and that along with his constant presence in each week's TPG makes him more qualified than anyone to spearhead Proving Grounds v2.0. If, on top of Calvin's leadership, the rest of us try and contribute some of our own thoughts and feedback each week, I believe The Proving Grounds could continue to build on the foundations Steve has laid, and continue to be an invaluable learning tool for all us aspiring comic writers.

  5. jamesfairlie Guest

    I always read TPG, but never comment because after Steven and Calvin are done there's not a whole lot for me to say, but I would be more than happy to be a more active member if it could keep this fantastic resource going.

  6. BarriLang Guest

    Calvin gets a Chuck Norris thumbs up from me. Someone's gonna have to give him shit every week or TPG just won't feel right

  7. AdamH Guest

    I actually shot Calvin over an email similar to this a few days ago. Basically asking him if he was interested in continuing on TPG (with another name probably) if and when Steven has to step down.

    I feel like I'm able to shoulder the responsibilities of running the new column with Calvin if he, Steven, and any of the Project Fanboy powers that be so see fit. I know I haven't guest edited anything here but I do throw in my edits on here in the comments section, and I have thrown in edits over on Digital Webbing in the writer's forum as well.

    Basically echoing Steven's statements, TPG is too valuable a resource for the writing community not to have. I'd like to see it keep going and put in effort to keep it going above and beyond just submitting scripts or commenting regularly.


  8. BarriLang Guest

    Well in the short while I've been hanging around here I've gone from writing lines that made Steve "vomit into his own mouth" to writing pages of script that he didn't hate!! This is an incredibly valuable resource and though it won't be the same without Steve hopefully the veterans can give something back as a thanks.

  9. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by BarriLang View Post
    Someone's gonna have to give him shit every week or TPG just won't feel right
    If this works out, I'm really hoping everyone will.

    I appreciate the kind words regarding my editing ability, but the fact remains that I'm not an experienced editor. I'm not an experienced writer either. I may have a useful viewpoint as an artist, but, again, I'm not experienced in sequentials. I'm really nothing more than an amateur in the medium of comics. Just a student who paid attention in class - no more qualified to be a voice of authority than anyone here (and in some cases, I'm sure, a good deal less).

    When Adam contacted me, shortly after I had emailed Steven with this idea, I was pleased. I had hoped I wasn't alone in wanting something of TPG to continue on, and if this is going to be the best value it can be, a partnership is what we'll need. Not just a partnership with Adam and me, though, but a partnership with all of us. That's what I'd like to see.

    I think there should, just for simplicity's sake, be one person to collect and post scripts. I volunteered for that (though if folks want to nominate someone else, that's great too), but I'd prefer the reviews to come from all of us, as equals. We all have our strengths, and our weaknesses. By each of us playing to our strengths, and keeping each other on our toes when it comes to the weaknesses... I think we could do good things here.

    We all know it won't be the same without Steven. But I think, if we pull together, it could still be something special.

    So that's my two cents. The rest is up to all of you.

  10. Dungbeetle Guest

    I'd be happy to still have somewhere to bounce ideas about, to be honest, and if Calvin is up for being the head then I'll definately stick around. It's just nice to have a small community where everyone takes the time to actually look at eachothers stuff and from a critical angle rather than most forums I've come across where it's either nothing, or someone going "lol thats seux kool". I'm still down, editor or not. Hell, if we really need it we can send out 5 pages off with our pocket money once it's been through the ringer in here and get it edited proper, can't we?

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