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#comic books

It’s Punchline vs. Harley Quinn, Round One in Batman #93 #comics #comicbooks #Batman

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Batman #93goes on sale June 23 but we’ve got an early look at the eagerly anticipated issue. The Designer finally crosses swords (literally) with Batman as he reveals his grand plan for Gotham’s worst criminals to finally take control of the city! And if that’s not enough, this must-have issue features the showdown that every comic book fan has been waiting for, as Punchline squares off against…

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Being a business major be like:

“Oh my god how dare you study business you filthy capitalist!”

No Karen, I’m studying it to be able to tell when I’m being bullshitted by a company or my customers and to be able to speak myself out of a bad deal.

You see, I want to be an artist, make comics, but those who tend to read comics and ask for commissions don’t usually want to pay for that service/product. And then there’s the entire thing with publishers that might not want to pay artists and writers the appropriate amount they deserve for these art pieces because “they are fast to create” which is false.

As a person who is creating comic independently and who does writing as a hobby, you wouldn’t believe the amount of research and thinking that goes into these things. Yes, you heard me, artists do research for their art pieces and writers do research for their books.

So what do I actually research for the comic? Well first of all I need to write the story. And because my comic happens to have a lot of heavy themes, I need to study those first along with what they can cause and how long those will affect the characters. Then I do research on different ways people can react to certain situations, after all not everyone has the same shocked facial expression when someone screams suddenly. Anatomy is also a factor in the research along with different body types and how people from different heritage might look like. And finally there’s culture and how it impacts the way characters act and think.

I also prefer to understand tropes that I use, the better I understand something the better I’ll be able to write it into the story which I then portray visually in the comic.

But all of this hardwork is often tossed aside because it takes you only ten minutes to read the comic, you won’t even stop to think about the amount it takes to create one issue nor what it takes. And then you complain about the prices and how the artist is taking their time without realising that there’s a reason why something takes a long time. That reason being often research and trying to figure out the best way to visually express certain scene, which colours to use if you do colour them, which font to use, what some item looks like, angles, backgrounds, shapes of the speech bubbles and frames, dynamic poses, how to make sure that each character is active if needed and so forth.

When it comes to getting your comic out to the public, there are many ways to do that, self publishing being one of the most popular ones as of this moment, but people tend to forget that the creators also need to be able to buy supplies and pay bills, hence they set up patreons and merchstores. But a lot of them lack the appropriate knowledge of how to deal with such things and what is appropriate, especially since with Patreon people assume that they are entitled to get extra benefits from paying for the service they already receive, that being the comic they read. And artists tend to go with this because they feel like they need to give their supporters extra when in fact they don’t actually need to. Or not at least when it comes to the low tier support. Seriously, that 5-10€ is going straight to the materials.

The above is probably going to cause some sort of huge issue among people, who don’t realise that they’re literally paying for months of labour. Comics with long stories aren’t something that you just throw together overnight. It takes me two weeks to sketch about 30 pages and then I’ll spend another two trying to see if there’s a better way to phase the thing or if I need to change the angle, or make it more dynamic. And then the next two weeks go into lineart and the next two into colouring and shading before I scan the pages and do corrections to them digitally if needed, like cleaning up the borders to of the panels.

So that’s two and half months worth of work because I work alone. Often it’ll take longer to get to the finish because I am part time studying business which I get a lot of shit for.

When all I want is to be able to become a comic artist and live doing what I love without being ripped off. I don’t want to become yet another starving artist stereotype, but I don’t want to give up being an artist either and be forced to do some job that I’m not suited for. So my only choice is to learn how to think and negotiate like businessmen and to understand what those fancy words many of them use when making contracts.

Also before someone brings this up: mangakas drawing and finishing 20 pages within a week are often stressed, overworked and have a team that works with them. Some of them do not have the right to dictate where the story goes either, not to mention that they tend to have close to zero free time, some of them only sleeping around 3 hours a night.

Western comics and Japanese manga industries have completely different working cultures behind them and comparing the two together when it comes to independent comic creators is not something that you should do.

Independent comic creators tend to work alone unless they happen to be in a lucky position where they have a crew with them, but even then many will start without making any profit for ages as independent artists aren’t in the position where people are willing to pay for the service/product due to the mindset of “art needing to be free for consuming” and “cheap” when already creating art can be expensive as hell.

Either way what I mean to say is:

Just because you can’t see the amount of work that goes into something, it doesn’t mean that it’s not there. Support independent artists and indie comic creators. Please do not trash business majors just because they major in business, some of us have reasons for studying that without it being tied to wanting to take the money off of the poor, some of us just don’t want to be ripped off when we put hours upon hours of work on something that’s meant to be a service like commissions.

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