Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Abracadabra: The Further Adventures of Harry Houdini

HoudiniI can get easily sidetracked sometimes.

I was writing a series of Blog about essentially the various projects I have worked on in my career.... and at some point I was sidetracked into writing something else for my Blog.... then it lead me to write something else.... then again something else... and once more.... something else.

So here we are a few months later and I finally get back on track.

Okay... okay... Jim had to get me back on track.

But here we are.

At some point... I was very disappointed about some of the projects that I had worked on.

The last 2 or 3 projects I had worked on were not going to see print.

In most cases it meant making a dozen designs and at most about a dozen pages... not that much work... but still some work that would never pay off.

So I was getting a little tired of them projects made in exchange of some sort of future profits.

And I was getting tired of making projects with people who had not a single finished project to their credits. Who had no idea of what they really were doing.

So I decided to turn down projects with people who had not published a single comic/project yet.

No longer did I want to collaborate with people who did not have at least SOME sort of project under their belt.

This is where Abracadabra came in.

The guy behind the series already had a series that was about to see print... and I liked the various previews I saw of his upcoming project.

That told me that he at least was able to get a project done.

That he could at least reach the finish line and get his name out there.

At the time... I really wanted to get at least something out there with my name on it.

So although it was once more a project with some sort of promise of future profit... thanks to having at least some sort of finished project done... it got my attention.

Also... it was originally a project that was supposed to be an 8 pages story that would be part of some sort of anthology. So I figured that I had nothing to lose to make just them 8 pages.

At some point... I was told by one of the guys on the project that thanks to my pages (I had done about 4 of the 8 pages by then)... they were able to get a bigger publisher interested in the project and that it would be turned into a 4 issues mini-series.

But one of the conditions apparently was that they needed to know if the artist (meaning me) was willing to commit to drawing 4 issues.

I may have hesitated in my comment or something because at some point I was told not to draw anymore pages until I was told to get back behind the drawing board.

Alas I was already done with them pages by then... so all that was left to do was wait.

So I waited.... and waited... and waited.

After a couple of weeks of not getting ANY news... not a single e-mail... even just to tell me that they had no news yet... I was starting to fear the worse.

So I sent an e-mail asking what was going on.

Asking just for some sign of life... even just to tell me that they had nothing yet to tell me about the project.

Finally... I DID get a reply.

I was told that in the end... they had decided to go into another direction artistically.

Sad but expected after a few weeks of not getting any news at all.

I was not happy and reacted poorly.

I was scanning and sending each pages as I was finishing them. And each time... I was told that those were the best pages in the known multiverse.

So I was scratching my head at what went wrong.

But most of all.... I was disappointed of being kept in the dark. Of the lack of communication.

I understand that it is never fun to give someone bad news. But it is INFINITELY better than no news at all for weeks and weeks.

So I was more than blunt in voicing my dissatisfaction with how things were done.

But it was done and there is no way to turn back the clock.

All we can do is to try to learn from our mistakes and move forward.

Whenever I hear that someone wants to go with a different direction... I always wonder what that NEW direction will be....

So once I saw the final comic (at least they HAVE published the darn thing), it was drawn in the style of.... Hellboy.

Their NEW direction was to clone Mike Mignola`s work on Hellboy.

All they have to do is ask. ;)

Until next time.

Note From Jim: Below are the finished Pages Pierre produced for the Houdini comic. I remember hearing this story the first time and being sort of shocked that a company would do something like this to an artist, but I've long since learned that in the comic business, the standard procedure seems to be promise artists lots of rewards, and then completely forget about them later.

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