Thursday, April 19, 2012

Probably won't call it 'Art Bastard' actually.

… although it'll do for now.

(FIRST NOTE: won't be restricting it solely to apps - will also be a website you can follow whole thing from if you don't have an iPad - which I don't, for example)

Already had some useful feedback on the original post, which I'll filter in below. I've been thinking about how this idea could work on a practical level, and thus far, it seems like you'd need people to purchase an app which works on two levels thusly:

1st level is for people who want to read interesting new comics, from already-known (but underemployed) illustrators and writers.
2nd level is for illustrators and writers who are interested in collaboration.

Now you could have two separate app, or pay more for the second stage, but it seems simpler and more efficient to have one app that does two things, like when you buy a printer that also has a scanner. You may not have thought you wanted a scanner, but one night you wake up in the middle of the night and think 'Scanner!' (note to advertising bods: don't use printer/scanner metaphor).

The actual process then seems to break naturally into a number of stages, each of which are insanely difficult in their own right, but why not list them as though each one was the easiest thing in the world thusly:

1. Using the app, writer and illustrator find each other, agree on a project and start work
2. Finished project is published digitally for the iPad, available to all app subscribers to read for free, with Art Bastard (or whatever it's called) retaining limited rights.
3. If readers really like what they've read, they can order a physical copy via a style outfit.
4. Writer can then use either the digital or paper copy to take to producers, who then have an already-existing property to pitch to their higher-up bods.
5. If the script goes to production, Art Bastard (or whatever it's called then) can sell its limited rights, or stay involved as a co-producer. Writer will have to give some of the rights to the illustrator, but then these scripts got a second life via the illustrator anyway, so only far to share the credit.

EASY. Well no, but that's the rough idea. I'll go into more detail on these various stages later, in separate posts, but thought it was worth putting the main body up first, for feedback.

Speaking of which, here are first bit of feedback to earlier post:

DM from someone (so I won't put their name)
"Actually had that idea awhile back and have tried to get illustrators/animators on board - trouble is, most have their own ideas/scripts".

Yes indeed, and while a few of these are great, most… aren't. Illustrators aren't automatically going to be great at story structure, which has to be learnt as a craft, just as illustration does. And even if they are good at story, sometimes it's good to take a break by working on someone else's story, just as a scriptwriter can often find a fresh challenge in adapting a novel, for example.

Also… if this gets off the ground, if an illustrator has a piece they've created themselves, there's no reason that couldn't go alongside the other projects.

jeremy cole
"Even though I'm outside the industry looking in, like a puppy in the rain, I can see quality assurance issues. Who vets this?"

Hmm, I guess that would be me. Although I wouldn't be getting involved on a page-by-page level, just making sure the final result is of a publishable quality. HE SAID NAIVELY.

"In terms of people getting paid: artists and writers who hook up to work on a project should consider crowd funding to fund the initial work before digitally selling the project or indeed covering printing costs."

Yes, this is something I'm considering. If a writer and an illustrator 'click', there should maybe be some process whereby peers/fans of both creatives have a chance to pledge some cash before the process starts - they'd then get a physical copy as soon as it's finished, and the creatives get more cash to work with.

Jason Arnopp
"That is a good idea, sir. One thing to bear in mind, is that a regular script (general, loose description of each flowing scene, obviously) needs to be converted into a comic script (pretty precise description of each panel/'snap-shot' within the scene). An illustrator could do this, of course, if they (a) can write; and/or (b) magically have a feel for how a script would/should convert, but it's worth remembering that this conversion might be a fairly involved stage of the process in itself."

Yes, this is a very good point. And all I have to say about that at the moment is: hmm.



Anonymous said...

I'd call it 'Portmanteau'

Adaddinsane said...

Hm, as I am currently pounding my way through a graphic novel script for ScriptFrenzy (got off to a slow start but doing fine now) I am interested.

You're not thinking of limiting it to Apple products are you?