Monday, December 19, 2011

Swollen heads, prima donnas, and the ego of the comic book creator

In my many years if trying to make a name for myself in the comic book industry, I have come across a lot of great people. I've met superstar creators that sell hundreds of thousands of books, and I've met indy artists and writers that still print their books at Officemax. From small press to the big two, I found that the overwhelming majority of these good people shared one integral character trait: Humility.

They didn't try to dazzle you with rehearsed charisma. They didn't claim their project, script, or art was the best thing ever. And they sure as hell never bashed other creators work, even if it was from creator with less experience, and ESPECIALLY if it was from someone who has has encountered far more success than themselves.

I read a quote yesterday about artists, and it most certainly pertains to writers as well. "Very few artists look at their work and think it's awsome, and if they do, they're usually wrong." This couldn't possibly be more spot on. Fucking bullseye. There's nothing wrong with taking pride in your work. If you don't, what's the point? But when one's ego is so large, so unaccepting of constructive criticism or input from peers and colleagues, you make the mistake of thinking your shit doesn't stink. Every artist has room to improve. Every artist, no matter the medium, should strive to constantly be getting better at their craft. If you close yourself off from creative input from others, then you are in a sense saying, "I'm better than everyone else, and I don't need to change anything." And if that's the case, you might as well hang up your pen and get a job somewhere other than the creative field.
At the end of the day, us comic book creators are a very lucky gaggle of nerds. We took our love of comics we fostered as kids, and turned it into a way to support ourselves. It's basically playing make believe on a much larger scale. It's also something to be increbly thankful for. So even if there is a writer, artist, or publisher you're not really digging, don't go ripping on their work in public. No matter the quality of the work, they are still a vital cog in the machine that keeps people dropping their ever so harder to earn dollar in your local comic shop. This brings the first post of 2012 to an end. Let's all make this year a productive and prosperous year. Go out and buy some comics. Write some comics. Draw some comics. If you come across something that really isn't up your alley, just don't buy it. It's that easy.

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