to some degree or other, but there are a few delicate, insecure souls
who are over-sensitive in that department and who often angrily lash
out at even the slightest critique of their abilities - whatever they happen
to be. Often they console themselves by telling anyone who'll listen that
if their critics could do better, then they'd be doing it. That's particu-
larly the case with people in a professional capacity, but their protes-
tations are often without foundation when one considers the
logical implications of such a claim.
taste one. And you can bet your little booties that I know when I've
been served up slop. Neither can I sing a note (couldn't carry a tune in a
bucket), but I can tell a good singer when I hear one, as well as being able
to spot a bum note whenever one happens to assail my ears. I bet it's the
same with you. Couldn't draw a stick figure if your life depended on it?
I'm willing to wager that, chances are, you're still capable of telling the
difference between a properly rendered figure-drawing and a 'mutant'
monstrosity churned out by some talentless hack. (Unless
you're a total thicko, that is.)
My point being, of course, that just because you can't do some-
thing yourself doesn't necessarily mean you're incapable of offering
a considered, insightful opinion on the quality or standard of someone
else's work. (In fact, sometimes it's not being able to do something
that enables you to recognise when someone else can't either.)
accomplished as some of those working in comics today. He drew
the MARVELMAN sample pages (lettered by myself) which were
submitted for MARVEL's consideration when they were deliberating
over acquiring the character. One of the head honchos at the company
told me in a 'phone call that he was well-impressed with the artwork,
and that the pages were "model" comics art.
industry and his name is unknown to the legions of comics fandom.
He happens to suffer from 'dry eyes syndrome' and it's absolute
agony for him to draw for more than brief and infrequent periods at
a time. He'd probably be incapable of meeting deadlines for comics'
monthly production schedules and would therefore be unable to
make a living in the business of sequential art.
many years ago (although it seems like only yesterday), there was an
editor of one particular comic who gave quite a lot of lettering work to
his brother. Nothing to do with nepotism he assured me, his brother just
happened to be available whenever he needed him. Now, I liked this ed-
itor, but his brother (whom I never met, as far as I can recall) was very
far from being the finest exponent of his craft - which is doubtless why
2000 A.D. never availed themselves of his services. (If they ever
did, it must've been an emergency.) Every page he lettered
meant that better letterers didn't.
one who works in a particular field of endeavour is always the best
suited to do so and may be due to considerations other than natural
ability or talent. It demonstrates that some people who are far better
qualified can oftimes be denied the breaks because someone less so is
filling the space, or for any number of reasons. Sometimes those who
work in any given industry do so only because they were in the right
place at the right time, or are simply 'good enough' rather than the
finest craftsmen available. (Council workmen, anyone?)
(To me, at least.) In a rapidly shrinking medium, there is only so much
work to go 'round. You could be the next JACK KIRBY or LEO BAX-
ENDALE, but it's increasingly difficult to 'get the breaks' when editors
understandably prefer to show 'loyalty' to regular contributors who dis-
play a competent (if uninspired) standard of work and meet deadlines.
Sadly, the chief concern of too many editors is simply to get a comic
out on time, rather than focus on how it can be improved. (The
balanced) have sometimes accused me of being a bully. (Ironically,
one of them was accused of the same thing on a comics forum for ab-
using his 'status' as a comics contributor to browbeat others [now that
is bullying], as if his opinion was somehow automatically imbued with
greater validity on account of his occupation.) I'm not in a position to
'bully' anyone, and wouldn't even if I were. However, I freely admit
that, whenever I read or hear of someone talking absolute b*ll*cks,
I'll weigh in with my two cents worth. Oh, wait a minute - I'm no
longer a comics contributor, so therefore my opinions have
no merit. Aye, that'll be 'shining'.
capacity, then keep on plugging away. Don't be demoralised by a
few smug souls who currently occupy a space which you think would
be better filled by yourself. It may take time, but if you really are that
good, then there's a chance you might one day make it - if you're
talented enough and if you're determined enough. ('Though
sometimes it's simply a case of just being lucky enough.)
However, you need to face facts. There are no guarantees in this
world and the road is littered with the bodies of those who fell by the
wayside or were passed over for others less worthy. Just because you
didn't achieve your goal (or haven't yet) doesn't necessarily mean (al-
though it's a possibility) that you weren't (or aren't) good enough - it
may merely mean that there are only a limited number of seats at an
ever-shrinking table and that perhaps others got there first.
anyone else ever lead you to believe otherwise.