Monday, May 26, 2008

For Those That Bitch & Moan About Late Comics...

Over on his blog, Mike Choi talks about the drawbacks of being an artist. After mentioning how taking a traditional vacation is pretty much impossible, he shares the following:

But it's all good. I've worked on the last five Thanksgivings. However, something opened my eyes slightly today to the idea that something might be wrong in my prioritizing when work is involved.

I woke up at 2 pm, after four hours of sleep. I had two voicemail messages. the first was from the VP of editorial at Marvel, and the second was from my mom, who told me that my uncle had died. I called Marvel back first.

The funeral is this Wednesday, and the book is due Thursday (for me). I won't be calling my editors for an extension, because a) I know I won't get it, because issue 500 NEEDS to be on time understandably, b) measures have been taken to avoid lateness already, measures I wish hadn't been taken but were absolutely necessary, and c) so help me, if Nick called me right now and said, we'll make the books late so you can have an extension, or we can get someone to fill-in for you, I would turn him down.

I hope you join me in sending your thoughts and prayers along to Mike and the rest of the Choi family.


  1. Now THIS blog--might just be the best blog you've ever posted.

    No offense, but you really post a lot of garbage on this site--that isn't thoughtful or substantial--and this single blog proves it.

    If you blogged with your heart instead of that mixed up dome of yours--you might actually make many more friends and a lot less enemies.

  2. Choi seems a pretty stand-up guy and my condolenses go out to him.

    But surely can't artists not get it stated in their contracts that they can only do a maximum of 10 or so books a year. I know Perez had 3 months on, 1 off on The Brave & Bold so it must not be that uncommon.

    Maybe too there is some better way for Marvel (and other companies) to help out in unexpected situations like this such as saying to Choi to just send what he has or do layouts and they will get some inker to finish them off.

    There is something seriously wrong though when you can't put family before work.

  3. Paul C: I think that Mike feels like he could get the time from Marvel one way or the other. But he's so passionate about his work that he can't bring himself to ask for or take it...and he's a little uncomfortable with what that might say about his own priorities.

    Speaking on the overall issue of artists having time off in their contracts, exclusives might give the artist some economic flexibility. I'm not entirely sure if it results in a regular paycheck, rather than just a page rate plus benefits.

    But most artists out there aren't under exclusive contract, meaning that how many issues they do a year impacts their bottom line. Completing fewer issues probably results in not being able to afford that vacation unless they eat Top Ramen all year.

    Anon: Thanks for the compliment.

    GLX: Thanks for sharing that here. If you are interested in passing them directly to Mike and haven't already, he has his internet contact info on his blog (which is linked in the blog we're commenting on).

  4. See, there is a reshaping of the late artist argument going on by the creators and execs, and this post from Choi falls in line with it.

    No reasonable person who is an advocate of on time comics would tell Choi "tough, shit, sit your ass on the chair." When it comes to real personal issues, it is understandable. Turner's cancer flare ups, Loeb's son, all fine and dandy. But all the creators are now conditioned to see is we readers telling them "Who cares? Mush! Mush!"

    But then we have artists who are known throughout the industry as being late, and at the very end we get some excuse thrown out at the last minute to make the advocates of on-time comics feel like fools, such as what DC tried to do with the Adam Kubert and the Action Comics Annual, which a fair amount of people did not believe.

    A fill-in in this situation is perfectly fine. But Brevoort has made it perfectly clear that we all think fill-in artists suck (he speaks for us because he knows better, you see), so maybe people could go tell him off. Of course, his spin machine is such a marvelous wonder he will read it as him being a great editor.

    Don't forget, though, that Choi posted on the Newsarama threads that he was wasting time responding to posts rather than getting his work done first. The posts are there, look them up.

    Also, Kevin, how about making a stink regarding Marvel charging $4 for Secret Invasion issues despite only regular page counts? That's a bunch of bullshit right there.

  5. In regards to this actual occurrence, Ken, I don't think Mike Choi's Newsarama posts come into play. The discussion he got involved with that led to those posts happened before he was even announced as an exclusive.

    Any implication that Mike's post or my pointing it out are about reshaping the late artist discussion would be flat out wrong. I don't know if that is what you're trying to say, but I thought I'd make that clear anyway.

    I just thought it was worth nothing Mike's level of dedication and his loss. From what exchanges we've had, I think he's one of the good ones. In general, most people spend an inordinate amount of time pointing out the bad and so little pointing out the good.

    On that note, I think I'd like to close commenting on this blog and open up a new one specifically for discussing any further discussion of the late comics issue in general to: Of Late Comics & General Gripes