I decided to go to a meeting for aspiring comic book creators in NYC. I agreed to it and then forced myself not to think about it. Meeting new people is difficult. Throw in the fact you’re opening up about something close to you, something you’ve placed a lot of work into and it can be a bit nerve-racking. If I pulled anything away from my art school critique experiences its that the usual annoying personalities will be there-but hoped a few good eggs show up too.
I was not disappointed to see both groups well represented.
One guy, a screenwriter and not an artist, (maybe he misread the description of the group) was putting together “high concept” storylines (his words) that would instantly sell. He just needed to find financing for the projects. For example basketball players abducted by aliens to fight an intergalactic war- totally high concept right (not sure what that phrase means)? After looking at my work he attempted to recruit me to draw storyboards and when I told him my graphic novel (not a screenplay) involved a school shooting he informed me it wasn’t high concept enough. Hollywood would never pick it up. I wanted to ask him if I needed more aliens (I’ve drawn several basketball players in “Sacco” already- so I had that base covered).
I also met two guys that were in the beginning stages of their graphic novels. One was a writer and had a friend who was handling the artwork. The story-line was dark and the art matched it perfectly. The other person didn’t bring any material but could articulate his plot with great clarity and made his idea sound intriguing and not a simple one line blurb.
The screenwriter panned their ideas as low concept also.
Nervous Wreak City. I’m planning on visiting it this weekend. I heard the weather sucks there but after the week I had at my day job I might as well get hyper-critical about my drawings and buy a one-way ticket to NWC.
From my recent frolic in Central Park with my old friend Blair, I was reminded of an interview with Shane Carruth, the creator of the films Primer and Upstream Color. His first film, Primer, he made for under $7,000- but during the process of putting it together he had nervous breakdowns almost every three weeks. So much so, he came to the point of possibly scrapping what film he already had finished due to the stress.
Being an artist and working alone is hard. You are your own motivator. And unfortunately you are the last person you want to trust to keep you motivated.
My remedy for this?
It’s much easier to be like those fitness gurus who place motivational signs in front of their treadmills like “Run Fatty Run!” or “One last mile!” And that’s what I largely attempt to do.
Instead of tossing everything out I recall what Craig Thompson said at a book reading. Things become clearer perspective-wise once you finish the work- but you must finish the work first. Just imagine if Shane didn’t finish Primer, the world would have lost such a great film. So even though I don’t feel like drawing at all right now I need to look to the post-it on my computer that say: “Run Fatty Run!”