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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Art Driven or Word Driven?

In some of the fora I've come across, a lot of aspiring comics creators seem to be more art-driven than word-driven. This is understandable, since comics by popular perception is a visual medium.

When I started out, however, I didn't place as much importance in art as I did story. Yes, I do believe that art can make or break a graphic novel, but I thought that if I devoted more energy to the art side and scrimped on the story side, what was my business making graphic novels in the first place? I didn't want to make book filled with just pretty pictures.

If there's one thing I envy about writers is the convenience they have. They can write anywhere! They can write a scene on a paper napkin while having a piƱacolada in some South American beachfront. They can revise and finalize wherever an inspiration hits them, even while taking a dump. But the comics artist? No such luck. Unless you're the avant-garde graphic novelist who publishes everything on paper napkins.

My work right now, however, is more art-driven since that's how I really started out. Getting into the discipline of storycrafting is a current passion of mine. I mean, I've tasted some success with my previous work, but I was working mostly on instinct. Now, I'm actually studying storycrafting while continuously honing my art skills. It's a schizophrenic experience which I believe will rewarding in the end.

So to the graphic novelist who reads this--are you more art driven or word driven? Do you feel the need for balance--excellence in both fields?


At June 27, 2008 at 9:54 AM , Blogger Brandon said...

I definitely agree with you 100%. The only way comics is going to get more mainstream acceptance is if we focus as much on the story as prose novelists do, plus with the added allure of great illustrations.

For my book I read books on novel writing and screenwriting, and for the drawing side I reintroduced myself to perspective and life drawing and immersed myself in anatomy.

So what's the name of that book then? I'd really like to get a copy and check it out!


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