[LMB] OT: Understanding Comics, was the plotters of Komaar

Elin B elbju at yahoo.se
Tue May 21 16:24:40 BST 2013

Raye Johnsen wrote:
> > >Matthew George wrote:

MG: > > >It's worth noting that graphic novels are almost always collaborations
> > >between the writer(s) and the artist(s).  

From: Elin B <elbju at yahoo.se>

EB: > > Almost always? I would very much dispute that. Plenty of graphic novels and other comics are written
> > and drawn by the same person - and they're often among the best ones in the medium, too. (Examples: 
> > Maus, Fun Home, Persepolis, Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind, Epileptic/L'Ascension du Haut-Mal, Bone, 
> >American-Born Chinese, Berlin, Finder, Locas...)

RJ: > Perhaps a more accurate statement would be, "Mainstream American graphic novels are almost always 
> collaborations between the writer(s) and the artist(s)".
That I would agree with.
RJ >  All Elin's examples are either non-American 
> and/or self-published.  

Not quite - Finder (Carla Speed McNeil) is self-published, and so was Bone (Jeff Smith) for a substantial part of its run, but Maus, Fun Home, Persepolis, American-Born Chinese, Berlin and the still on-going Locas comics (Jaime Hernandez) are not. But it's true that none are from Marvel or DC. 
RJ > It is not a surprise that one-man or small teams of creators tend to produce the critically acclaimed 
> works.  When you have just one or two people working in close collaboration it is much easier for the 
> original vision to be conveyed.  A broader team can't help but dilute the point.
I would agree with this. Collaborations can bring out great results sometimes, but it's more chancey than sticking with a single writer-artist, or a duo that's worked together for a long time.
(For an interesting but unusual kind of collaboration, there's the French duo of Philippe Dupuy and Charles Berberian: they have rather similar drawing styles, and when they do work together (as in the series "Monsieur Jean", among other works) they both write *and* draw, passing the pages back and forth between each other as they work until by the end it's hard to say who did what.)
EB > > There are also great comics where the collaboration method is used, like Sandman or Watchmen (and a 
> > good many others). But it's far from "almost always" the case.

RJ >It is worth noting that in those cases it was one artist and one writer (Gaiman's commentaries on Sandman 
> show he approached each volume and short story as a more-or-less standalone and interacted with the artist > accordingly) and they had lots of meetings, lots of contact and lots of discussion during the process - the > two-man team.

> Raye
True. Also when it comes to Sandman, the content and main character happily lended themselves really well to a succession of art styles, Dream being canonically perceived differently by different characters in the story itself. 

More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list