While trying to work out our publishing deal for Black Snow we considered letting another artist take over the project. It was an eye opening experience to see just how artists treat each other. Mostly selfishly. These freelance artists for hire on websites are nothing more than mercenaries, wanting to be paid up front and not really caring about what project they take on. There is no passion, just a rush to get the cash and move on to the next one. And a significant portion of these people are not as talented as you’d expect (at least by what they show in their portfolios), so I think there is some ego involved. To them it’s just business, not art.
Other artists who I’ve met and become friendly with through webcomic sites were approached, and the majority of them didn’t even consider the offer because they just wanted to focus on their own projects, and couldn’t spare the time to even consider working with us on a deal with us that was guaranteed to get published and had potential for great long term success. I’m not talking highly tauted published artists or anything, just amateur webcomic hobbyists whom I would think should jump at the chance to get their work published. It seems like most people in the webcomic community really seem like they could care less about you when it all comes down to it. They just want to do their own stuff. But they have no problem asking you to help promote them or work on their stuff, especially if they think you’re successful.
Like most of the internet, these people are quick to talk trash about you to others, but back down immediately when confronted “man to man.” There is a severe lack of integrity and people seem to think there are no repercussions for their actions. As regular readers well know, I have no problem seeking out and confronting this kind of person. I also don’t have a problem manning up if someone confronts me about what I say, though I usually try to approach people in a private manner to begin with if I’ve got an issue. But I try to keep most of my comments to other webcomic creators positive and encouraging, as I know how hard it can be, and I think we can all help each other.
Even our “real life” artist friends were hesitant to help, and wanted us to really sell them on the project.
So to those of you that flat out refused to even consider us or respond, thanks for nothing. I’ve always lamented even being part of the webcomic community, though I’ve tried to embrace it in recent months and enjoyed it, but overall this recent experience has soured me.
One shining exception to this is my friend Mark “Rawr” Egan. I’ve only known him a few months, and only from communicating in online messages (he is Irish born and currently lives in Oslo), but it was immediately obvious to me that he is a man of integrity and passion. Probably the nicest person I’ve met in the webcomic community, as he always has positive things to say about everyone. He always has helpful advice to give and tries to turn look on the bright side. He also really gets our comics.
When he heard about the publishing situation he jumped at the chance to help and rushed out this piece of art for us.
He put thought and effort into redesigning the characters and really making them his own. He then took the time to refine his drawing and work a bit longer on it, completing it even when I let him know we were having cold feet about our publishing deal and it would probably not be submitted.
I think Mark draws for the same reason I do, the fun of it. Because he genuinely enjoys drawing. I’ve always been vocal about my personal distaste for the ever popular anime/manga style, but I can respect it when it’s done well, and Mark does it well. Check out his site at http://rawrtacular.com/
So Mark, this Bud’s for you!
And I greatly look forward to our collaborative projects in the near future.
———- An Update———–
As usual I feel I was too negative after finishing writing something, and there were of course many other people who were helpful during our attempt at publishing, and though I didn’t name you I thank you all.
Also, while I do legitimately think the webcomic community its indeed selfish overall when it comes to focusing on their own work, they can also be very supportive and encouraging when when helping promote each other or giving advice, so it is not as bad as I made it sound.
Mostly I’m just feeling a bit burnt out (and sick) and had some negative experiences lately, so that has made me come off as more bitter than I really meant to.
Oh, and Rawr, you are the man. I could learn from from your positivity.