Robot 6

Quote of the Day | Sean Murphy’s ’5 Reasons to Write’

“Frank Miller is a successful artist/writer combo. So is Paul Pope. Mike Mignola, Jeff Lemire, Bill Watterson, Will Eisner, David Lapham … the list goes on. And there are a ton of indy artist/writers that also put out a good product, although many will tell you that they don’t make a lot of money doing it. So if we know it’s possible to be a writer/artists combo, why don’t more artists try it?

The truth is that most attempts at being a combo fail. No one wants to be the artist who mills away for years writing (what he thinks will be) his opus, only to have it end up a laughable failure. But I think most of these attempts fail because artists don’t respect writing as an individual craft — rather they think that being in comics for long enough means they’ve developed writing skills simply through osmosis. Which is bullshit. And it’s disrespectful to your medium. Just because you can stand on a hardwood floor doesn’t mean you know how to build one.”

Sean Murphy, laying out his “5 Reasons to Write,”
an argument for comic artists to write their own books

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Comments

11 Comments

Guess Sean didn’t read Batman Odyssey

Francis Manipul has proven to be a pretty good writer/artist on Flash too. Dan Jurgens has also had some good mainstream runs pulling double duty.

It also depends on what your definition of success is. Rob Liefeld sold a ton of books as writer/artist but they aren’t books remembered as a creative high for marvel, dc, or image. On the other side Phil Hester has written and drawn some great books that didn’t really sell.

The whole point of the post, not just this excerpt, is for an artist think about trying to do their own story. Be it successful or not, won’t know how good one is until one tries it. PRJ is leaps and bounds better than Off Road.

And the whole post also points out that now is best time ever for an artist to get their work out there with so many avenues available.

Very insightful stuff from Mr. Murphy.

I think that there’s a bigger problem of writer’s not respecting artist/colorist/inker’s role in a comic–than the other way around.

Urp. So where’s the 5 reasons to write? Did I miss something?

@Jake

You have to click on the Sean Murphy link at the end of the story. Robot 6 all-too-often buries and hides links in their stories

Yes, it’s hidden — in bold red.

@DeleteMyComment:
I guess you didn’t read the whole quote, because then you’d notice that he didn’t say all artists that write for themselves are successful or even good:

“No one wants to be the artist who mills away for years writing (what he thinks will be) his opus, only to have it end up a laughable failure. But I think most of these attempts fail because artists don’t respect writing as an individual craft — rather they think that being in comics for long enough means they’ve developed writing skills simply through osmosis. Which is bullshit. And it’s disrespectful to your medium.”

@ Sarah

This is something I totally agree with, in fact I’ve been saying it for a while; a lot of writers just don’t get how much the art (hell, lettering too, just look at Tom Orzekowski) affects their story. They only look at what they’re trying to get across in their story, and forget the kind of storytelling techniques that aren’t apparent to them but are very clear to the artist, things Scott McCloud points out like panel size, panel borders, lettering choices, page layouts, different ways of creating the illusion of movement like blur effects, panel types, etc. – most writers for the Big 2 today are fanboys who got their dream gig and are concerned only with the plots of their stories rather than the artistic side in the telling of them.

I can see why Murphey would push for more artists to hone their writing since a lot of the craft side of things is going to the wayside because of the current crop of writers, and as an aspiring comics writer, even I can’t blame him. I only want to write them because I can’t draw, and if people like me got pushed out of things by more artists becoming the next Walt Simonsons, Mike Mignolas, Keith Giffens, etc., it actually wouldn’t be such a bad thing for the industry.

Sarah nailed it.

(And Murphy has a good point.)

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