"Why am I here?"
That's how it always starts for me. The whole point of a story, for me, is asking why the characters are there. Why they do what they do. Every script I've ever written deals with this topic, whether explicitly or implicitly. I am currently collaborating on TWO comic books, but find myself still able to do more writing. Today I am here to look for someone(s) with whom to tell a story.
What does storytelling with me entail?
1) A Goal.
The goal of this collaboration is publishing. I am looking to make a 22-page comic book series ; either a straight mini-series with a full conclusion in approximately five issues, or an initial run that serves as a pilot for an ongoing.
The topic of our story is OUR topic. It will NOT be dictated to you. While I am the writer and "producer", the artist is cinematographer, actor, and editor all-in-one. Our tone and topic will be dependent upon your skill set and desires.
3) Maximization of Efforts.
It takes more time for an artist to bring an image to satisfaction than it takes me to write the outline for that image. In this area of my career to be where I'm pitching ideas, there is the risk of not everything being able to "make it". Rejection lurking around the corner. I want us to be able to figure out QUICKLY whether our work is viable. Most publishers ask for at least a half dozen pages. We'll figure out what works to pitch visually out of a full script--meaning we leave as much of artistic work as possible for AFTER the publishing green light.
I think SCRIPTING is the most important element of comic book writing. My most recent collaborator originally stated she was fairly surprised to get script pages so early in the process. A handful of decisions had been made, and here I was pushing out scenes. Writers write. Most the guys out there in my situation (unpublished, looking for artists, "writers") are people afflicted by the disease of IDEA. They have a cool idea they want to see realized, but they don't understand the structure and work involved in what it takes to realize that. So they send you character back stories. Spend a lot of time telling you what their story is like. Giving you ideas of things that might happen. It's like those kids on deviant art that you see have dozens of character designs and poster pages and they go on and on about wanting to work in comics but they don't have a SINGLE page of sequential storytelling. No panels. No composition.
When I write, I try to get to the actual writing part early. Part of what this would mean for you as my co-creator is a willingness to allow this process. I'm going to write things that don't make it to the final product. A LOT of things. For the two books I've been working on, I probably have a ratio of three-to-one "stuff I wrote" to "stuff that made it into the final script". Scenes don't work, the wrong characters say the wrong thing, and so on. That's part of writing. It's got to look invisible in the end, and it's a secret how twisted things start out. The BENEFIT of this, though, is that there's always a lesson in the writing. Instead of saying in the beginning "our comic book is like X-Men" and have a variety of things that could mean that neither of us understand, we instead have scenes with banter, hidden emotions that a reader can pick up on, elements of character-building. It also means we can pull a trigger at any point. Say we spend two weeks discussing a story. We argue over whether the main character Timmy is 12 or 14 years old, we try to figure out what year its set in, blah, blah, blah. Then we finally get to an agreement on everything. But we don't HAVE anything. We have a collection of IDEAS, with no form that's usable. Whereas if we spend two weeks of me writing scripts, even if we chuck loads of it out the window, we have something that it IS and something that it ISN'T. We get a script that we both feel good about, which allows us to start putting out pages of finished work.
I can't pay you up front. On principle, though--and maybe I'm a nutjob here--I don't think I SHOULD pay an artist up front. My agreement with my two artists so far is this--fairness. We're both going to "see the books", meaning you'll have access to all the financial information. We're both going to recognize what the other puts in. One of the books my artists and I are working on I'm lettering, and someone else is coloring. I have a script editor on the books. There are people with vested interests. I know that as a writer, I can WRITE more than one book a month. It takes a lot of work, a lot of craft, a lot of mental anguish to get words into script form. But at my best, I can pump out a lot of good stuff. At an artist's best, it's difficult for them to make a book a month. Time is money. It is my full intention to pay a lead artist more per issue than I make. You and I are both taking risks in working with each other. That's one of the reasons I prefer a percentage method afterwards. I WANT co-creators. I want someone to push me forward, to keep me focused. That's one of the reasons I find the pre-payment method to be somewhat ridiculous and offensive. It's one thing if I have shit story that I develop all by my lonesome, and I go out and pay a wage to some guy to make it. But I can cut that guy out at any point. I don't desire that. I want to tell a full story with a familiar group of people working on it who have a vested interest in the project succeeding.
If you've gotten this far, you probably know why YOU are here. You're interested! E-mail me at [email protected] for more information and check http://stridex.deviantart.com/ for writing samples, influences, and additional musings.
Thank you for your consideration, and allowing me to join you here at conceptart.org!