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Thursday, 3 September 2015

I Skip. I Sing. I Draw. (and I may fart a bit too much)

 Above: 2013 and one of these Old Farts is a lot older than the other...Mr Brown? ahem.


Back in October, 2014, I wrote an incredible post.  It should have won an award.  It DID. It won the Hooper Pillitser.  Remember "I'm Too Radical For The Kids"?  If not -here: http://hoopercomicart.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/im-too-radical-for-kids-bczf.html

Why am I mentioning this now?  Simple.  If you watched Howlermouse and his DC 52  rant video (just go down this page a post or two) I think it was one of his best video blogs.  Firstly, he lives in the United States, has been a life long DC comics fan and collector and, more importantly, I don't know him and he does not know me.

Again, why is that important?  Firstly, because he has underscored literally everything I have written about Marvel and DC and, to an extent, the current "new fans" and how the companies are treating their fans as morons who are told what they want in comics because it is the latest "cash cow" plan. I think "Enough is enough!" has been screamed out by so many long time comic fans that if Marvel and DC really did have that open-ness to fans and creativity of the 1960s/1970s they would have taken notice long ago.

Instead, we all know that DC and Marvel are run by "suits" who get a great deal of sexual gratification when they see that $ sign....the higher the number the better it gets (though some require sedating when it gets too intense).

Another point was that George Perez is "one of the old guys" but the companies don't pull them into conventions because they want, what they see as young, hip and cool creators so that their companies look young, hip and cool.  Some of the "old guys" do get to comic book conventions like Perez or Neal Adams but usually independent of Marvel or DC.  You know, the "young, hip and cool" are not that good and people like Sal Buscema have to tidy up and make their comic work presentable.  Do these old guys get credit?  HELL NO!!  Is DC or Marvel going to tell their purchasers (I won't say "fans") that "old guys" have to finish off the latest 'star's' work because he is not capable?

WHY do you need six pencillers and some times even more inkers on one feckin comic???  You work it out.  In the old days when quality was the key word and artists pencilled and inked without a computer it was one penciller and one inker unless a deadline had been moved up and so a book had to be rushed through.

My conversations with youngsters (I'm old and "rad" enough to be able to write that) on putting comics together usually goes like this.

Me: "I pencil straight onto the page then ink it"
Anon: "What computer program?"
Me: "Don't use one for anything but lettering"
Anon:"So HOW do you draw -?"
Me: "I use a pencil -different types- and then various pens for inking or brush and ink for solid black areas"
Anon:"On the computer?"

At this point I usually pull out pencils and a pen and demonstrate.  Usually to dumbfounded expressions.

Me: "Like that"
Anon: "You...pencil...AND you...ink??"
Me: "You got it! "

A silence usually falls as the person stares at what I've drawn.  It's almost like them trying to push their brains through thick molasses!

Anon: "Every page?"
Anon: "You don't do any drawing on the computer?"
Me: "No. Not one page. Only lettering because I simply cannot letter to any publishable standard -that I use the computer for"

Oh lords!  They see a colour illo and when I explain I used colour inks, water colours or a mix of tools a few have to be taken away in an ambulance.

Come on, I am not the only one out there does this and it surely cannot be beyond the little minds to understand that I use a pencil for what pencils were designed for and pens and inks for what they were designed for?

I almost feel like I've been thawed from a block of ice having been frozen in 1950!

Jim Lee does drawing demoes at events using a Wacom. Big feckin deal.  I've seen one after another "computer artists" have near nervous breakdowns when their computers fail because everything -everything- is stored on it.  "Art studio", comic work -everything.  I just have to go to my folders and pull pages out.  Word.

"Old school" they say to me.  "Artist" is how I normally respond to the non-pain-in-the-ass ones.

In the United States and UK "it's all about age", as Bollo once said.  Howlermouse nailed that.  And I pointed it out in my "Too Radical" post.  I mentioned how I got the strange looks and even the rudeness of other creators there -and it really did seem to be because of my age.  Drawing, writing and publishing comics at my age?  My response is this: how dare YOU fucking demand that I conform to your inane and grotesquely stupid idea of what someone of my age should be doing.

In Europe you have musical performers who started in the 1960s and still continue today because it is the talent and music NOT their age that is taken into account.  If you do not know that or understand it then get back inside your tin can.

Hansrudi Wascher...well, I could make a very long list of comic creators from Europe who are well past 60 years of age and still going strong.  In the UK many comic creators and cartoonists are kicked out into retirement on reaching 65. There is no reason WHY any publication cannot use them as freelance or, in more recent years, continue to employ them.  Let's not get started on British comics because that is dead unless someone with money comes along.

You see, following my response to a comment on CBO as to WHY I am unable to get a table at event after event in the UK (excluding the little minded conspirators) I hear from two comic people that when they mentioned to certain event organisers my post on the subject the response was also a whince and (that ***** expression again) "Well, he's really old school and we want to attract younger people".  So Howlermouse REALLY nailed it. 

I mentioned someone into maths had worked out the odds of my being "unlucky" enough not to get a table for five straight years for every event I contacted. Doug responded in an email: "Actually, easiest way of putting it when it gets broken down, is that the odds against this happening over that period come out as 99.8% against it"  I think the term is "screwed".

I get far more views of my Maakika Art from Europe -mainly France.  UK hardly ever registers.

This is why, and I was only just sitting down to catch up on videos yesterday, I shared the video. I had not intended to but I thought "See? Ain't just me!  I'll show everyone" and that was it.

No one told Jack Kirby "You iz too old, man!" (but then he had 99% more talent than me!)


5 comments:

  1. " Time magazine, today, released a list of the twenty five most influential teenagers. When they'd heard that they had made it onto Time Magazine's list, every teenager had the same response. " What's a magazine? ". Craig Ferguson: The Late, Late Show: 17th October 2014.

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  2. Sadly the world is changing in ways we may not like. The PC is an amazing tool but for me its influence is too strong and I was stunned to read what you said re artists being amazed you used pencils and ink I had no idea most used the PC . To be honest apart from some strips that look great most modern comics look (imho) like the work of less than talented artists (ie crap) and to read they probably used a PC with all the "work arounds that can gives them is the really stunning thing here (I prefer hand lettered art as well). Age discrimination is rife in the UK (everywhere) its all mostly done on the sly but I would have though despite comics by its very nature being a young persons interest that on the artistic side of things age would have been a plus yo know the romantic view of the grey bearded artistic eccentric. This new generation are in for a shock they'll be on the sideline when they are 30 if thats the way things are going. As an old git this is very depressing to read. As for DC and Marvel , they still have some good strip and creative teams but not many and this attitude should see them out of business in 10 years unless they change their ways (DC are simply awful now )

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  3. Hi, Paul -sorry for the delay in replying. The thing is that a lot of people in the Small Press draw which is WHY I can never believe it when I get those "Hand drawn??" remarks. Even some -some- of those working in mainstream comics draw roughs but then draw everything on their..Wacom or whatever. We're dinosaurs, Mate!!!

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    1. Well I've had a tablet for a couple of months and have declined it's use so far. I feel it's more important to get back to hand colouring, which is what I may use the tablet for, should the brief require it. I have computer coloured with a mouse with reasonable success so that I am not a complete novice with it, but I prefer the way I was brought up with. I still remember your nice comments years ago about myself and Bib's colouring. You may not know how much it was appreciated at the time.

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  4. I hasten to add, I do not call computer colouring, ' hand colouring'. I meant to say for colouring as opposed to hand colouring. Only noticed after read back, post-posting. ( sigh ).

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