Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Pierre Speaks: How I Met Jim
It was not easy.
Believe it or not, but finding Jim was a long and difficult process.
It all started many years ago (around 2002 I think).
I got connected to the NET and discovered various forums where I could post my artwork, or places like digitalwebbing.com where there is a section for people looking for writer/artists/etc.
I was contacted by many people (no I won't name them). All of them offering a share on future profits..... meaning essentially working for free (will have to do a Blog specifically about working for free sometime).
I was making good money in animation and was not to crazy about the idea of working for free.
But then I figured that it could be something I could do between animated projects (I think I was waiting to work on a new season of Arthur at the time) to get my name into print.
I figured if I at least could get some exposure out of it.... it could be worth it in the end.
I quickly learned that when someone cannot even pay you a modest page rate.... How are they going to afford to pay for printing?or for any advertising for the project?? How much exposure can you hope to get from such a project??
Also since the “publisher” has not paid you a single red cent yet, once you have finished penciling the story, if for some reason they change their minds, it cost them nothing to just say “Sorry, we decided to go in another direction artistically” and get someone else to draw the story.
Since your work ends up not being used, there is no future profit for you. Thus no money.
Not only do you not get any money, but you do not even get any exposure you were hoping for either. It happens.
Heck once I was told the “another direction” line after first being told that thanks to the pages I had drawn, they were able to get a deal to turn the project into a 4 issue mini-series with a bigger publisher.
At some point, I was almost ready to throw in the towel and give it up.
But then, I got the most wonderful surprises.
I got an e-mail from a legend in the industry (sorry won’t name him not to
embarrass him) who had seen my work in my online portfolio and that he really liked it.
The timing could not have been better.
So thanks to that e-mail (although others did e-mail me later on, but he was the first), I got the boost I needed to keep going. But something had to change.
So after doing many designs and many pages for free.... I decided that it was enough. No more "free” projects. From now on... no money, no candy..... or something like that. ;)
And that was when I was contacted by a crazy buckaroo named Jim.
At first, Jim wanted to do some parodies with some Marvel characters from the 70s... for his VsBats website I think.... that was about 3 years ago,,, so the details are a little fuzzy in my memory.
He asked me about some of my favorite Marvel characters from the 70s. I gave him a list of something like Captain America, the Avengers, the Defenders......... and Nova.
So Jim sent me a script and some references for a Cap/Nova parody.
Note from Jim: I ended up pulling the plug on this story when I was told what I was doing might not be viewed altogether as a parody, and that I might get sued. endNote.
We ended up never doing the Cap/Nova story, but when Jim decided to do a Saturn Knight story, he remembered that crazy Nova fan, and contacted me to collaborate on what became the Flashback Universe.
And the summer of 2007, after collaborating with him for about a year and a half, I finally got to meet Jim (and a few other cool guys) in the flesh at HeroesCon where we had the Flashback Universe booth.
And that.... is how I met Jim.
Until next time.
Note from Jim - todays post is late because I was traveling to Pittsburgh this morning. - js