Saturday, May 9, 2009

Graphic Novels Creator Panel

The Creator Panel offered an open look into the inspirations and histories of five great comics creators:
Dave Roman, Stan Sakai, Chris Schweizer, Gail Simone, and Raina Telgemeier. Here are some industry-related points that were covered in the discussion:
What is the difference between working freelance and working with a large publisher?
It's easier to acquire an audience when you're writing for a publisher using a title or characters which have already been established, but you're stuck without the creative control you'd have on your own. Most creators seem to be happier with a project in which they retain the bulk of the creative control or create totally on their own. When collaborating, it's best when the writer and the artist know each others' styles a bit before starting so that they can work with each others' strengths.
What audience do you write for?
Stan Sakai started writing Usago Yojimbo for a readership of one: himself. But he gets letters from five year olds to grandparents. Chris Schweizer said he writes for all ages, but is conscious that kids read his work. He said, “there needs to be enough to show that the villain is actually villainous and the protagonist is in peril. I try to make it appropriate for all ages, but I don't feel it's necessary to shy away from those things.” Gail Simone finds that approaching difficult topics in work aimed at kids is a benefit of the medium, “I don't believe in talking down to kids. I think this is one reason why kids went over to manga, because they don't do that.”
Dave Roman talked about the difficulty of appealing to kids when creating a kids magazine, like Nickelodeon Magazine. “When I self-publish I can do whatever I want and write for myself, but the more you meet readers, the more conscious you become of the readers.”
Raina Telgemeier started writing about her own experiences aimed at younger readers but quickly found that some topics, like her having her teeth knocked out when she was eleven, have a universal appeal that a lot of readers can relate to.
How does one get into the system if you can't draw?
The most important part is to write a lot and get yourself noticed. Gail Simone began with a weekly column which developed into a greater project, which led to her being asked to write Simpsons comics.
The process is hard work, but the important thing is to persevere.
Have you ever read a novel and thought “this would make a kick-ass comic book?”
The consensus was that the transition from comic book to a different art form can be good, but the same doesn't really go for moving towards a comic book medium.

Rebecca Krznarich, Reference and Adult Services Librarian, Whitman Public Library

1 comment:

Carol said...

The creators are happy with the project that's fine!!
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