Wednesday, January 20, 2010


"Some sort of Celtic Thor."

That is how I was sold to the idea of making a Fionn comic.

Of course.... when mentioning Thor... I had but one name in mind....

I knew I HAD to have some Kirby feel in my Fionn design.

Not copying an already existing Kirby design. But instead.... trying to get some of the essence of a Kirby design in my Fionn design.

I will let you guys judge/decide if I was successful.

The guy who contacted me had already published a few comics already.... so I figured that at the very least.... I could finally get my name in print.

In addition to a share in the profits... he was supposed to pay me back my expenses (art supplies/shipping/etc).

But as soon as I could not get the measly $20 for shipping and about $20 for supplies.... I pretty much suspected that I would never see a single red cent.

I also was supposed to get my artwork back too.... but that too never happened.

But despite that... when I was asked to work on another series.... or another issue of Fionn.... I said "yes".... at the condition that I would at least get paid for my expenses.

But that check never came... so no more comics/issues were done.

But at least.... that one issue of Fionn did see print.

Although I was a little disappointed with the ink job.

Although... in my book.... since I was not willing to ink the book.... since I DID let someone else ink it.... I don't really have the right to complain.

If I wanted the book to be inked my way.... I simply had to ink it myself.

Why did I not do the ink on Fionn?? or the various other projects I penciled??

Essentially... to minimize my losses in case there never was any future profits. Or in the case that even with some sort of future profits... I ended up not being paid for some reasons.

There are enough stories out there of comic creators never being paid that it was safer to minimize the risks as much as possible.

So if I spend a month penciling a book.... and end up not getting paid... I lose only a month of my time.

But if I ink it?? Then I can lose twice as much time. And more if you add up the coloring or the lettering depending on the project.

So for some time.... I decided to focus on penciling only.

Apparently... Fionn sold over 20,000 copies.
At least according to some interview on YouTube (around 4:20...)

[ Note from Jim: Strange, but if I had sold 20,000 issues of a comic, I think I would be inclined to make a second issue - with the artist who drew the first one. But that may be just me...]

No idea if it is true or if it is pure hype... but if it's true... it would mean that I penciled a book that outsold most Image Comics.

Not bad I guess.
At the time... I thought that Fionn was some of my best work.... but too often I think that after a project.... so what do I know. ;)
But I had a good time over all drawing the book and I had some freedom that I did not have on other projects.

Most amateur/beginners writers will write full script. They will be very descriptive in their scripts and they will include all the dialogues. And too often.... a LOT of dialogues. Too often.... too much dialogues. So it is quite a headache trying to fit all that they are asking for on each pages.

But when I did the pencils for Fionn.... the full script was not done.... yet.
So I started working from the plot only.... and finally did the whole book like that. Turns out the plot was more then enough for me to do my job.

Working from the plot only is the best way to work if you ask me.
But I am sure that there are a lot of writers out there who may not agree.
I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the colored cover though.

I thought someone did a great job with that. Although I was surprised by the color choices... I thought it looked great.
But ultimately... that was the first.... and sadly last issue of Fionn I would do.

Although it did serve some purpose.... it showed that I could do a complete comic. It gave me a sample of a full 24 pages comic + cover that I penciled.

It may not seem like much... but when applying for a job to make... let’s say... comics?... or when someone looks at your online portfolio... one question always comes back...

 "Can you make a complete comic?? Do you have some samples of a complete comic??"
Fionn was my first FULL comic.

I had done my "Heroes" comic before which was 3 short stories adding up to about 24 pages... but strangely enough... that doesn't count. Usually... a complete 20 something pages story is asked for.
With Fionn... I finally had one such story.
Although by now, I have Fionn, The Surge, and a bunch of Flashback Universe comics to show around.

But Fionn was the first one.

Until then. ;)


Reno said...

At least you can now tell publishers that you're the penciller of the "bestselling comic book FIONN (20,000 copies sold!)" :P

Funny. The recent bestselling comic is Blackest Night, which I've read sold just over 100,000 copies. You've got it made, Pierre!

Maybe you can tell Rich Johnston over at about these Nifty Comics guys. He seems to have some degree of success helping unpaid creators get some money.

Reno said...

Forgot to mention that most mainstream books have copies sold in the 10,000-19,000++ range. So to sell a book at 20,000 copies is phenomenal.

Pierre Villeneuve said...

Thanks Reno.

I guess I will have to add that to my resume. ;)

"By the Artist of the best selling Fionn comic" or something. ;)

Rich Johnston already knows about this. He mentioned this a few times in his "Lying in the Gutter" days.


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