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Thread: A discussion about a sense of personal empowerment

  1. LeeNordling Guest

    A discussion about a sense of personal empowerment

    Last week, we began a series of discussions that we need to return to.

    We need to return to them, put the spotlight on them, and get to a subject we'll be exploring later, hopefully next week: the different cultures of comics.

    I'm front-loading this information because I want you to see where this is headed, even though we are not yet prepared to discuss it.

    So far, we have discussed at some (but not great) length how writers might approach panel/page/script writing, as well as how their approach to this might be affected by the nature of the relationship they might or might not have with the artist.

    We probed into your personal beliefs and rationale.

    The conversation then flipped, a little prematurely, yet still in a good way.

    The discussion of why writers approach panel/page/script writing flipped to an incomplete discussion about why artists might choose to ignore the panel/page/script writing.

    We were collecting potential motives/rationale, not beliefs whether it was "right" or "wrong" to do so, and we are also not yet discussing what artists might do to be respectful of the writer's contribution.

    I wish to call your attention again to the two articles on comics adapted to film.

    We are discussing a tangential topic, adapting a script to art, and working to suss out the potential motivations an artist might have for feeling empowered to make changes.

    So artists here don't feel unfairly maligned, we will next be flipping the perspective to areas where writers feel a sense of personal empowerment to tackle aspects of the comic that might be more within an artist's purview.

    This is delicate stuff, thus the need to put yourself in the empowered person's position and trying to look for the cause, not at the behavior.

    So, pulling some elements from last week's thread, we pick up where we left off.

    What do you think are the variables involved in an artist exercising the empowerment (to do what they wish to)?

    Since most of us here seem to agree that good communication would be best in a collaboration, let's not include this as something that could make the following alright; we're just trying to find the core reasons for a sense of personal empowerment.

    These are the things that seem to be at its core, and many could be variations on the others, but finding the different nuances lead to different tones, I'll include what I can think of:

    It's my job.
    I need to make it mine.
    I didn't get paid, so I should be able to do what I want to.
    I didn't get paid enough to do what somebody else tells me to do.
    You hired me for what I do, and this is what I do.
    I get a vote.
    I thought I could do it, because I'm the artist and this is the art.
    Because I can.
    I thought it was better this way.
    I LIKE it better this way.
    My version will sell better (is more commercial).

    Roberts's contribution from last week brought us this one:

    "My name is on the book as the artist, and I need to make sure the work lives up to my reputation/my standard of quality."

    Again, we're trying to suss out any potential variables.

    Without writing paragraphs--try writing short lines as I've done.

    Do you have other additions, or believe any of mine should be removed?

    Remember, this isn't about right or wrong, this is about noting core concepts/beliefs that might lead to an empowerment by the artist to do what they wish to a comic script.

    Let's skip the idea that somebody changing something because of a perception that they are empowered to do so might have positive motivations to make the work better.

    Something will be "right" or "wrong" only in unique and specific circumstances; for now, we're looking at the core underpinnings for a sense of empowerment.

    Yes, I've repeated myself quite a bit about that, but this necessary redundancy is to stress that we stay laser-locked on target with this question.

    It's not complicated, but we are searching for the deepest parts of the root, and they are rarely easy to pull out.

    I look forward to your thoughts.

    --Lee



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  3. RonaldMontgomery Guest

    "Because I can" needs to be removed. If anyone says this to you, in any situation, what they're really saying is, "I don't care what anyone else thinks -- and no one else has a say."

    This is death to any collaboration, even work for hire.



  4. LeeNordling Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by RonaldMontgomery View Post
    "Because I can" needs to be removed. If anyone says this to you, in any situation, what they're really saying is, "I don't care what anyone else thinks -- and no one else has a say."

    This is death to any collaboration, even work for hire.
    Hey, Ronald. As much as I tried to avoid this, you're entering the discussion of "right" and "wrong."

    The only reason it should be removed is because you don't believe ANYBODY would ever say or think this, regardless of whether it's "right" or "wrong."

    As I've previously noted, for now we should only discuss motive.

    Do you think nobody would adopt this point of view, reasonable or not?

    --Lee



  5. RonaldMontgomery Guest

    In my defense, I was thinking about the end product. If one person takes all the power for their input with impunity, you're optimizing one input at the expense of others.

    I think someone would definitely adopt this viewpoint, and in some situations it would seem the best thing to do. But do means justify the ends...probably sometimes, to be realistic.

    (But then...what's the editor for?)



  6. MattDocMartin Guest

    I have no issue with an artist taking liberties if:

    1) They are not changing the story
    2) They are using their strengths
    3) They can improve on an idea

    I am a neophyte writer and struggled through 4 scripts that, thankfully, are all getting published. On one story, I went through 3 artists. The first took too many liberties without consulting me. He had great layouts, but his art did not strike the right tone, and the story fell flat. A second artist MAY have gotten it, but he flaked on me. The third NAILED it. He had few comments for me while doing it, but one was mentioning how there would be a kick rather than a punch in a scene, as I had a lot of punching already. He also changed perspective a bit on some panels. I feel that I am (barely) a writer, NOT an artist. A writer HAS to trust his artists to give the story life.

    I am all for being flexible with artist(s).


    (Did this fit this conversation at all?)



  7. LeeNordling Guest

    Guys, I find it fascinating that some of you are completely unable to have a discussion that separates motive from behavior.

    Let me try it this way for the writers among you.

    When you create a "bad guy," the better ones THINK they're actually good guys. Only the cartoon-ish ones are bad or evil for evil's sake.

    As writers, when working through the motivations of the "bad" guys, you've got to look at the story from THEIR point of views.

    I don't want a discussion about bad guy motivation; I bring this up to try to get you to realize that "good" or "bad" is subjective, and we'll get to it later; I don't think there are artists out there saying, "I'm really going to screw with this guy's script because I'm evil." He will probably have HIS version of a good reason...and to add this complexity now makes it impossible to discern the objective reasons somebody might have.

    In this case, "objective" means THEIR reasons, not your opinions about them.

    "I want to change the script because I can" is a motivation. It may be realistic; it might not be. THAT is all we are discussing.

    So, again, before putting fingers to keypads, please just focus on THEIR potential motivations...and if you think "because I'm evil" is one of them, let's discuss that. It's a valid answer...if one I don't find realistic, but I'm willing to discuss it.

    --Lee

    PS. Roberts is the first person to get his post deleted...for intentionally straying from the topic. Please keep your eye on the ball, Roberts. Thanks.
    Last edited by LeeNordling; Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 10:45 PM.



  8. LeeNordling Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDocMartin View Post
    I have no issue with an artist taking liberties if:

    1) They are not changing the story
    2) They are using their strengths
    3) They can improve on an idea

    I am a neophyte writer and struggled through 4 scripts that, thankfully, are all getting published. On one story, I went through 3 artists. The first took too many liberties without consulting me. He had great layouts, but his art did not strike the right tone, and the story fell flat. A second artist MAY have gotten it, but he flaked on me. The third NAILED it. He had few comments for me while doing it, but one was mentioning how there would be a kick rather than a punch in a scene, as I had a lot of punching already. He also changed perspective a bit on some panels. I feel that I am (barely) a writer, NOT an artist. A writer HAS to trust his artists to give the story life.

    I am all for being flexible with artist(s).


    (Did this fit this conversation at all?)
    Nope.

    Whether you take issue with it doesn't matter one whit for THIS conversation.

    Why THEY choose to do it is what we're discussing.

    Period.

    Try again, guys.

    I feel that if you CAN do this, you'll each be making a huge leap toward understanding somebody's point of view other than your own.

    Oh...Sebastian got it IMMEDIATELY.

    He gets a gold star for the day.

    --Lee



  9. harryd Guest

    These may be a bit more situational about why things could get changed, but maybe some valid reasons.

    Laziness. (This panel is too complicated, but I think I can get away with just doing...)

    Too Busy/Deadlines. (Crap! This is due tomorrow, and I need to bust out another 5 pages!)

    Irrational Reasons. (My hamster told me to do it this way! ... ok that was more for humor. But, also could include things like, I've decided I dislike the person I'm working with so I'm going to do it badly, rather than quit.)

    Well, that's all that I can come up with that weren't covered by the original listing. Everything else that comes to mind is just a variations on something listed.



  10. Bret Guest

    How about these three?

    *I will impress others. (editors, fans, girlfriends.)
    *The original artwork will sell better.
    *Exhaustion. (I'll have to take a shortcut.)

    -----Bret



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