Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
This is actually an answer I like to give to writers when they ask me the question of how they can attract an artist, “Have you considered drawing your comic yourself?” I get that not everyone draws, or has the capacity and patience (and time and momentum) to learn drawing, but take it from me, drawing is a skill, and it is something many people can learn. So why not give it a try?
Hicks has been talking a lot lately on her blog about requests she receives from writers who want her to help them bring their comics projects to life. She differentiates between these requests and professional offers, not only based on how much the writer is willing to pay but on how likely the project is to be published. She kind of starts in an understandably frustrated, “please leave me alone” place, but ends up offering some positive advice to new creators.
Much of it is advice that’s been offered by other creators who get a lot of these requests for collaboration and advice on “breaking in,” but the piece I quoted above isn’t a suggestion that usually gets offered. It’s worth considering, I think. As she points out in the post, no one is a great artist the first time she picks up a pencil. It takes years of practice, and Hicks shares examples of her early work as proof. People who have a great comics idea, but no drawing talent should at least consider developing some talent as an option.
There are of course writers who have no desire to draw their own comics, just as there are artists who have no desire to write. The two groups will always need each other and that’s a beautiful thing too, but many new writers don’t even consider the possibility of drawing their own stuff and that’s a shame. Especially since so many new writers don’t actually want a collaboration, but are only looking for someone talented to bring their vision to life. When that’s the case, the “someone talented” is best going to be the writer himself.