INTERVIEW: Gail Simone Guides 'Blockbuster Update' of Red Sonja, Vampirella and Dejah Thoris
Random Thought! Online sales? Poor credit card… It’s Random Thoughts time! Get excited!
Link Thought! GraphiContent for comics. butterbeatleblog for popculture. 411mania for wrestling reviews and the occasional CD review. My Twitter account for random thoughts as they happen in real time.
Random Thought! Alec Berry and I managed to put together Direct Message 04 on The Manhattan Projects fairly quickly. Hopefully, we’ll keep it up.
Random Thought! I’ve… got nothing. So, I present something from the archives: The Time Rags Morales Didn’t Like My Review of First Wave #5:
From Rags Morales. Saturday December 18, 2010 at 2:24 PM. Subject: Presumptions
On the contrary, I worked very hard on issue 5.
From Chad Nevett. Saturday Dec 18, 2010 at 3:59 PM
If you think I said anything about your work ethic, I tried incredibly hard to make sure I discussed my problems with the art without saying anything of the sort since I would never suggest that someone didn’t work hard. I had some major criticisms of the art and said so. Frankly, I don’t care how hard anyone does or doesn’t work, I only care about what I see on the page and try my best to limit my discussion to that area. If you feel I crossed that line, it was not my intent and I apologise for any offence you may have taken.
From Rags Morales. Sunday December 19, 2010 at 12:57 AM
It’s difficult to retain enthusiasm for a comic that’s plagued by schedule difficulties and has that lateness also show in the final product. As this series has progressed, Rags Morales’ art has progressively, inch by inch, little by little, become rougher and less what it looked like at the beginning of the series. So far, the drop in quality hasn’t hurt the comic too much, but, in this issue, it’s very noticeable and, coupled with the weakest script of the series thus far, “First Wave” #5 is the low point in what was meant to be the center of the launch of this pulp-oriented line for DC.
Part of the incoherence in the issue is Morales’ messy, unfinished art. Normally, his line work is more precise, but, here, it’s just a mess of lines that make pages look cluttered and difficult to read. Instead of losing lines, the art here seems to have even more than usual, done in a fainter style that looks like inker Rick Bryant wasn’t streamlining the art as much, leaving some pencil work for colorist Nei Ruffino. The colors don’t help, offering shiny computer work for the rough style leads to a flat, muddled page instead of the added depth that that style of coloring supposedly brings to the art.
Personally I know my artwork isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. And for the record I don’t have a problem with anyone who doesn’t enjoy my work. But to make a point about the lateness of a product due to, in your opinion, a lack of effort, is insulting.
My work is very VERY finished. And I demand much of my inkers, but never something I couldn’t do myself.
Perhaps the fact that I inked the first 2 issues is your real problem with the current work, but in the future, I don’t find it advisable to let just an opinion of something be the sole basis for your critique.
Terms like “in my opinion”, “perhaps it’s because of..”, and “it could be from…” are probably better suited for something you’d like to say while you “tried incredibly hard to make sure I discussed my problems with the art without saying anything of the sort since I would never suggest that someone didn’t work hard.” Especially since you didn’t take the time to ask someone in the know.
I’d also like to invite you to my facebook where I often publish the originals of my work for public consumption. I don’t expect people to kiss my fanny for anything I do, but I do try my best to be pleasing to the eye and tell a good story. Any suggestion that I don’t, grates on my nerves.
If you’re interested, look up Ralph Anthony Rags Morales.
All the best,
P.S. I actually enjoyed your reviews. It’s just a pet peeve to be misunderstood.
From Chad Nevett. Tuesday December 21, 2010 at 12:19 AM
A review is by definition an opinion piece, so using phrases like ‘in my opinion’ would be redundant. I use the term ‘unfinished’ because when I once used the term ‘rushed,’ another artist e-mailed me and was put out that I implied something about his work ethic. I asked what term would be better in criticising his art and he suggested ‘unfinished’ — not to mean ‘incomplete’ but more that there isn’t a slick finish on it, that it’s rougher than otherwise. The standard I held the art up to in First Wave #5 was against the previous four issues and it was definitely inferior by comparison. You may disagree, but I stand by that. If you have a suggestion for how I may better have phrased my criticism, I’m always open to improving my vernacular in discussing art.
From Rags Morales. Tuesday December 21, 2010 at 4:22:13 AM
Now it’s hair splitting. UNFINISHED is INCOMPLETE. I’m sure you can find it in a thesaurus.
As I suggested, you need to remember that you put yourself in a lofty position as a critic. It’s often presented as a piece of informed opinion, but you lack information. It’s to your benefit to remind the reader (and yourself) that you are not a professional and you can’t fathom what it takes to produce a book. Your job is important to fans and pros alike who rely on insightful feedback and opinion needs to be weighed thoroughly.
To put it simply, you don’t blast someone based on what you think is going on. You can’t assume.
To work with other artists, printers, editors, writers, publishers….believe me when I say it’s not as cut and dry as you’d like to think. I’ve been doing it for 21 years now, and even I get surprised as to what can happen from time to time.
Your whole piece was trying to justify a late book, and with that hammer in your hand, you decided the artwork was your nail. After all, it’s ALWAYS the lazy artists fault, right?
Fact is, and artistically speaking from all who witness it, issue five was stronger than four and three. Only issue 2 was as good or better. I know issue five is better because I busted my tail on it.
You may not agree, but don’t let your distaste for a style, in this case a linear illustrator’s approach more analogous to novella illustrations from the old pulp days, with respect to the comicbook language we all understand, sway you into thinking it’s because the artist rushed through an unfinished product to make a deadline.
Until you go out of your way to thoroughly to expound on your opinion with information, you’re just wasting your time for all involved.
I leave it up to you. I’ve invited you to my facebook. Decline if you like.
From Chad Nevett. Tuesday December 21, 2010 at 8:19:05 AM
Ultimately, my review was based on the content of the comic. If it was simple lateness that did it, my reviews of previous issues would have had a similar negative tone — as would reviews of MANY other comics. It’s not my job or wish to ‘justify’ the lateness of a book.
You also act like my only problem with the comic was the art when I clearly said that the writing was weaker in this issue than the first four as well. It was a negative review of the entire comic, not just one aspect.
My criticism of the art was not a criticism of style, but execution. Maybe I’m mistaken in confusing the two in this case and the looser, rougher line work was a conscious choice. Even if it was, it looks worse than previous issues.
I don’t use Facebook. That’s not an excuse for ducking you or your page. I don’t use the site.
And that was the end of that back-and-forth. Hopefully, I’ll have something of actual substance next week.
Random Joe Casey Question! Do you think you’re more suited to shorter stories than long runs? You’ve only had a few runs on titles that went beyond a year and only one creator-owned work that’s been an extensive run. Is that simply the reality of your place in the industry, or is that simply where your talent (and, perhaps, desire) lies?
Random Joe Casey Answer! That’s an interesting question. Honestly, I never think about whether or not I’m more suited to one over the other. I can do both and I’ve done both. I put years of my life into runs on Cable or Adventures of Superman or Wildcats or, on the creator-owned side, GØDLAND. So, yeah, I’ve been there. And SEX is certainly designed to be long-form storytelling. Granted, I have no idea how long that one’ll go (a good long while, I hope). I do think, as you get older, time becomes much more precious, and you realize you can accomplish more things if you’re willing to do them for shorter periods of time. That’s definitely become more of an issue for me, personally.
Another factor is that the nature of the industry isn’t as hospitable to long runs anymore. And I know that’s not 100% true across the board, but I think the rarity of the exceptions end up proving the rule. So, on that level, it’s not about my place in the industry… it’s about the industry in general. Attention spans are a lot shorter these days — and I’m not just talking about the readers here — so folks tend to want those creative team turnovers to happen quicker and with more frequency. And, certainly, the publishers themselves have turned those turnovers into major marketing initiatives (which, I guess, proves that their attentions spans are shorter, too). I guess it’s something to hang their hat on when most of the content itself can be so… fucking… boring…
Overall, I tend to be more philosophical about these things… if we were in a climate where longer runs were more the norm, I suppose that’s what I’d be doing. If writing is a talent (and the jury’s still out on that one, right?), then it’s the talent for telling stories. And at this point in my career, I do that in many different mediums, in many different formats, so the “long runs vs. short runs”-question is merely one of opportunity.
That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading. Later.
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