12 January 2006

LINK: Making Comics Better

Jason Rodriguez is a man on a mission. Realizing talking about comics doesn't make them better, he's taking action on two different fronts.

1) The Hive: A collaborative brainstorming project to create new markets for comics.

Yeah, in a way, it's "talking" about comics, but instead of the usual message board whining and gnashing of teeth, Jason's challenging people to come up with actionable ideas to make comics better. And he's leading by example, tossing up an idea every two weeks for discussion and debate, with an eye towards creating a viable template for indie publishers to follow to break free of the constraints of the direct market. This week, for the initial installment, he's starting at the beginning: "Building a better comic book."

2) Editing Assistance: Parlaying his work on the critically acclaimed Elk's Run, he's also offering direct assistance to aspiring comics writers.

His offer:

The idea is, 40 word pitches for a story, if I like it I request 3-8 pages of script and if I like that we lay down an edit and post it online as a teaching tool for would be writers. Just sort of an introduction to the sequential medium, what works and what doesn't and how it'll look on page, how your book should be structured and how to write your scripts in such a way that they don't scare off artists, publishers, other writers, etc.

The story itself can be a stand alone short for an anthology (which I would 100% prefer) or it could be something longer but under the understanding that in order to properly edit it, at least pieces of the entire story might have to be revealed. But never more than 10 pages of script. Full links, plugs and promotion and when you go to some anthology with your story you can even say "edited by Jason Rodriguez, the guy that worked on Eisner winning Elk's Run". Except, you know, wait until we win the Eisner.
It's a more positive and proactive response to Robert Kirkman's "You Suck" column last week than I would have come up with. Because I've read a few issues of Marvel Team-Up, you know, and Invincible didn't really impress me all that much.

So, two examples of using the internet for good instead of evil. What have YOU done for comics today?

13 comments:

Erech said...

What have YOU done for comics today?

I didn't beat any of you fuckers up ;)

Anyways...

I've been digging Comics Should Be Good a bunch lately, and it's made me feel bad that I don't do as much proactive stuff as I can. Snark is easier I guess. I just need 1 more hour a day, and I could actually do everything I plan on.

The Hive looks interesting at first glance though, good on Jason.

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Snark has its place, but it needs some balance. I stopped reading CSBG for a while because there was no balance at all, but then they had that little split and Cronin brought on some new people, and it really picked up to where now I check it out every day.

Jason's intentions are good. What'll be interesting to see is how good he is at herding cats and keeping the discussion focused while making everyone feel like they have an equal voice. Dude's crazy, if you ask me, but I admire his spirit. So far, it's been going well. You should stop in and drop some knowledge.

Erech said...

Yeah my "just because you can finish a comic doesn't mean it should be published ever" rant probably wouldn't go over too well for initial foray over there, yeah?

If he is smart, he will get some henchman like Ellis has, and just leave the creative stuff for himself as moderator/emcee, so he don't get burnt out too quick.

I did poke in and say hi though, I'll def. keep an eye on it.

Ed Cunard said...

I don't think I've ever done anything for comics, today or yesterday.

Jason said...

The hope is that eventually other people will start to step-up a little bit as they get used to the format.

Either way, twice a month on a Thursday morning/afternoon I'll be keeping my schedule free - I want to at least make sure it kicks off right. I don't get burned out - that's my super power.

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Erech/Jason: That's a good idea, and hopefully a couple of people step up. Ideally someone with a couple of projects under their belt and a healthy combination of hope and cynicism.

Ed: If you're not with comics, you're against them, my friend. Whose side are you on?

jason @ RIOT said...

Ed's gone rogue!

Mark Fossen said...

What have YOU done for comics today?

I bloviated at "The Hive".

You didn't say it had to be something productive ...

Greg said...

Well, I bought some comics yesterday ...

I will take Erech's comment as a compliment, since I blog at Comics Should Be Good. Thank you, Erech (even if you're not talking about me).

Ed Cunard said...

I'm sideless like chaps made wrong.

Erech said...

It's absolutely a compliment, Greg, Although Burton's 100 Days of JL is what's giving me the most nerdwood lately, it's an all around good read.

Kurt said...

I really enjoyed Jason's first entry (I didn't post that over there cause he gets a little huffy if you blow too many kisses) even though I thought it was going to be about paper quality and the tensile strength of staples. I assume that's to come later.

Jason said...

I get huffy?

You can say how much you like the idea or column anywhere on the board except the column thread (unless, of course, you offer up some ideas with it).

I admit, with the column thread I certainly take a "Well, let's not suck eack other's dicks just yet" route but, you know, well...

you know...