Today i tweeted as i drew a pretty pretty picture. This is the kind of wild and crazy times you can expect here in the big apple! now i go to get ready for NYCC!
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
I did a pet-peeve list for art students back in March, and but older nerds need a little pep-talk, too. The hardest part is knowing you are doin' wrong.
Don't be a douche at the Con
1. Don't yell at passers-by from your booth. I can't believe I need to say this- but seriously- you look an asshole and you're only selling books to people too timid to say no. That is a shitty target audience.
2. If you don't know someone personally- don't just drop by to awkwardly say hello and stand there for 15 agonizing minutes. You want to meet someone? Awesome- decide what you are going to say before you get up there, and make it short and to the point. Do it and get the fuck out.
3. Editors are goddamned busy. If there is a particular one you want to talk to about a particular thing- check their website for instructions and availability BEFORE the show and before you email/tweet/call them.
4. Everyone is busier thann you- at least you need to assume that. Plan ahead if you need to talk to someone and always always always thank people for their time.
4. Dress appropriately. I know this is insulting- but if it wasn't such a fucking problem we could all never talk about it again, amirite? Quick rule of thumb- stains, smells and skin- we shouldn't be seeing much of any of those things. And good god don't wear sweatpants.
5. Keep your hands clean- make sure your nails are trimmed and you've got as much of the ink off of them as you can. And wash them throughout the day. You'll be asking a gazillion people to touch your hands- don't abuse their trust with a germfest.
6. Don't bitch about the show while AT the show. Somebody worked really hard to put it together. It's like saying a party is lame while you drink the host's beer.
After Party etiquette:
1. Respect the civilians. All you need to do is acknowledge the Significant Other (that hates all things comic related) and make a little small talk. Don't worry- muggles know how and will guide you through if you get stuck. It's common courtesy... AND the happier the muggle girlfriend- the longer you can dissect the inferno crossover with the nerd boyfriend.
2. Check your hygiene before you head out. You've been in a convention hall all day, do you really think you should fore go a quick sniff test here?
3. Remember it's still business. Don't get shitfaced. People talk about who-puked-where for years and no one wants to be the puker in the story.
4. Remember it's still business, part two: Keep the trash talk and offensive speech to yourself. It doesn't matter if you are speaking the truth- it makes you look like an asshole.
5. Don't bring your portfolio to the party to show it to people. I've said this before- but really:
It's like showing up naked to a party, people might like what they see but you're such an asshole that they just don't give a shit.
6. Bring your business cards along. you don't want to have to scribble your contact info somewhere stupid.
I think the general rule is pretty much be polite, but feel free to pipe in and add some more bad convention behavior to this.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Last week a friend of mine was asked for her do-or-die traveling to a convention list-what a brilliant idea to make public? I'm going to put this together to send out to my friends heading to New york for the show next week.
My DO or Die comic con travel list!
plus some others' suggestions:
Bandaids/painkillers/first aide kit gear
"Sleepwear. you can't sleep naked when you're sharing a hotel room" (via ms. shy)
Physical list of people you need to see for meetings. Things get crazy. You will miss someone.
signage or display gear for your table
"extra underwear and socks, no im serious put that on the list."
simple foods and booze for the room
an inventory of all the products you plan to bring to sell or give away.
Lists of amenities that you may need near the hotel. It's best to have this before you go in case an emergancy goes down and you don't have time to waste looking.
nicer clothes for after parties.
more business cards then you think you'll need
a good pair of walking shoes. Ladies, don't be clever.
What else should be on the list? comment and i'll put it up.
You and your buddies are sitting around and talking about each others' work. Or maybe you're sitting behind a table at artist alley and some cutie high school artstar toddles up. Or you get an email from a friend about their unbelievably good new book. Ok kids- this can be uncomfortable as it can get. Each artist in the world can be a special snowflake kind of sensitive and you have no idea where their minefields are, but you don't want insult them with a shallow complement.
The idea here is to partner with the creator to help them see the good parts as well as possible solutions for weak areas. Unless you are a reviewer (who has an obligation to their readers to be blunt and entertaining) or and editor (who has an obligation to their readers and employers to quickly identify usable talent) the one and only goal is to help them make better comics.
An easy, non-confrontational formula for a critique:
1. Take a moment and really review what you are looking at as a whole. Make mental or written notes of anything that you like or that may have common root issues- like strange perspective or drawing goofy hands. Be able to back up everything you see with unemotional facts. Be ready to continue the conversation. Each point you bring up should begin a dialogue where the artist can feel free to process these points.
2. Say one general thing that you like about it and give a clear example. Such as, "I can see you are really studying anatomy. On the third panel, the tendons of the neck look very well observed."
3. Say one thing that you think could be improved. Once again, be very specific, explain why, and offer a possible solution: "In some parts the page construction feels a little rushed. Panels 3 and 4 have a strong tangent running between them. Tangents can be confusing to the reader. Some people find it helpful to use a mirror to catch these kinds of hard-to-see composition issues".
4. End on a positive note. Talk about another general good thing that you see. Talk about what direction they want to move in, who you think they maybe influenced by or who they might benefit from looking at. "I really like how much texture you give all the planes in this page. Have you ever had a chance to look at Ted McKeever? I think you might like his work."
Think of it as a sandwich- Two Positive things wrapped around something you are not so hot about.
You don't want to shut down a useful conversation and put the artist on the defensive. Negatively charged SUBJECTIVE descriptors like "hate", "crap", or "lazy" are pretty much ego fire, and also kind of dickish things to say anyway (even being right doesn't make you less of a dick). Tearing some kid a new asshole for their shitty art doesn't do anyone any good. The same goes for people who are much more advanced then yourself. Just because they are better doesn't mean you should ruin a useful critique by saying "oh but what do I know, I'm barely out of college."
We all want to see more great comics- part of that is lifting up artists to the next level- making ok artists good and good artist great. We can encourage better work by accepting that the comics medium is really a collection of fairly complicated, learnable skills. Things we can talk about. "Talent" at best is a jumping point and at worst used as a crutch when we don't want to move forward in our learned skills.
OK! Now if i could just figure out how to nicely tell people their script is totally not working for me.