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Thread: Q & A with Richard Isanove, Dark Tower Comic Artist

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    Kate / Batwoman turtlex is on a distinguished road turtlex's Avatar

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    Default Q & A with Richard Isanove, Dark Tower Comic Artist

    Say, if Richard is up for some questions... We'd love to pick his brain about how he got involved with the DT comics, and personally - I'd love to know which his favorite cover is !?!?
    The Man In Black Fled Across The Desert...

    ...And The Gunslinger Followed.

    “I’m always on the Batman rule, sir.” - Kate Kane / Detective Comics 857

    "It is the story, not he who tells it." Except to us collectors who have to put limits somewhere. - jhanic

    Remember, Remember, The Fifth of November, The Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot.

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    Gunslinger Daghain is on a distinguished road Daghain's Avatar

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    Smooth move, Pam.

    ETA: I think I'm going to start calling you queen of the segue.



    "People, especially children, aren't measured by their IQ. What's important about them is whether they're good or bad, and these children are bad." ~ Alan Bernard


    "You needn't die happy when your day comes, but you must die satisfied, for you have lived your life from beginning to end and ka is always served." ~ Roland Deschain

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    Kate / Batwoman turtlex is on a distinguished road turtlex's Avatar

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    <- never known for the subtle approach

    And hey, I'm a lifelong comic-geek... how often do I get a chance like this?!?
    The Man In Black Fled Across The Desert...

    ...And The Gunslinger Followed.

    “I’m always on the Batman rule, sir.” - Kate Kane / Detective Comics 857

    "It is the story, not he who tells it." Except to us collectors who have to put limits somewhere. - jhanic

    Remember, Remember, The Fifth of November, The Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot.

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    Other worlds Patrick has a brilliant future Patrick has a brilliant future Patrick has a brilliant future Patrick has a brilliant future Patrick has a brilliant future Patrick has a brilliant future Patrick has a brilliant future Patrick has a brilliant future Patrick has a brilliant future Patrick has a brilliant future Patrick has a brilliant future Patrick's Avatar

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    Along with some other lucky members of TDT.com, I have met Jae Lee. He was very friendly and accommodating. I have great respect for his work as an artist.

    One thing I didn't like about Jae's work on the Dark Tower comics is so full of shadow that you rarely ever see anyone's eyes. This may sound like a small thing, but it got to the point where it became a distraction pulling me out of the story.

    I like that Richard's work in that it is a bit lighter and that I can see people's eyes a lot more often. This may sound simplistic of me, but the small stylistic characteristics of an artist's work do make a difference.

    By the way, Richard's coloring of Jae's work was amazing.


    Pam, while you're waiting for Richard to respond, here is an interview that Lilja did with him. It's a good 2-1/2 years ago, so there are plenty of developments since then to ask about.

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    Gunslinger Daghain is on a distinguished road Daghain's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by turtlex View Post
    <- never known for the subtle approach

    And hey, I'm a lifelong comic-geek... how often do I get a chance like this?!?
    I know.

    The fact that you're still in command of your faculties and not screaming like a fangirl is pretty impressive.

    Not that I would blame you, of course.



    "People, especially children, aren't measured by their IQ. What's important about them is whether they're good or bad, and these children are bad." ~ Alan Bernard


    "You needn't die happy when your day comes, but you must die satisfied, for you have lived your life from beginning to end and ka is always served." ~ Roland Deschain

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    Kate / Batwoman turtlex is on a distinguished road turtlex's Avatar

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    Oh, Daggers - I eek'd like a true fangirl as soon as I saw he posted!! You'd have been proud of me.

    Thanks for the link, Patrick - I had read that but couldn't remember where!

    I have tons of questions though... you know, I'm probably like that annoying fan in line at a comic-con who wants like 40 minutes of the artists time!
    The Man In Black Fled Across The Desert...

    ...And The Gunslinger Followed.

    “I’m always on the Batman rule, sir.” - Kate Kane / Detective Comics 857

    "It is the story, not he who tells it." Except to us collectors who have to put limits somewhere. - jhanic

    Remember, Remember, The Fifth of November, The Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot.

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    Goldmember RIsanove is on a distinguished road

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    Hi

    If you have questions, shoot!
    .. as long as it stays civil: I used to have a web site where I'd do Q&A and some guy went nuts and started repeatedly insulting me because I dared say that I didn't like the movie Chicago.

    I'll do my best to answer in a timely manner but deadlines can sometimes keep me away for a while.

    As for scoops, I'm really tied by the Marvel marketing team who know what they're doing better than me and wouldn't really appreciate if I messed up their plans. I anyway couldn't tell you much more than what you already know about the upcoming arcs.

    For the record: I've been a fan of Jae's since the early 90's. I've followed his career first as a reader than when I started working for Image studios while he was doing Hellshock. It's an honor to share with him the art credits on the Dark Tower. He can draw the Beautiful , the Vulnerable and the Bigger than life. He is one of the best and he is irreplaceable.

    But...Jae needed the time off. I saw The Dark Tower comics as our baby and it needed to go on so, for better or worse, I temporarily took over the penciling duties. I'd probably also be pissed if I was on the other side but it is what it is. Just remember to enjoy the journey. I do.

    Good reviews are always nice and you do learn from the bad ones. They sting but they usually come from people who really care about the project. The purely hateful ones are rather pointless, but if that's what you need to get through the day, it's better than burning crosses or gay bashing. I'm French and I was leaving in the US during the Bush years. I can handle a few virtual punches.

    That said... I saw myself more as the "solo recordings of Ringo Starr" rather than the Backstreet Boys - but it's not as funny.

    This is gonna sound like a Hallmark Card, but working on DT is a truly incredible experience. It's still hard to believe that this is actually my job. Robin, Peter, Jae and I, We're working our butts off to try and make the best book we can, under the watchful eye of Stephen King (contrarily to rumors). If we fall short, sorry. I'm having a freaking blast and want it to last as long as possible. So once again, sorry, but, in one capacity or another, I'm gonna be around for a while (at least I hope).

    My Favorite Covers:
    Gunslinger Born: #2(Crimson King and Spider) , #5 (Rhea) and #7 (Jonas)
    Long Road Home: #2 (Ka tet in a tree) and #4 (Sitting CK)
    Treachery: #3 (Marten and Gabrielle) and #6 (Roland carrying Gabrielle)
    Fall of Gilead: #3 (Dead cort) and #6 (Roland and Arthur)

    Cheers
    -Richard.

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    Gunslinger Daghain is on a distinguished road Daghain's Avatar

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    Well, I can certainly say that Pam is going to fall all over herself now.

    I hope you know we aren't bashing you personally (hopefully we didn't "bash" you too badly!) but yeah, when you get used to a certain style it's hard to accept anything else.

    Thanks for being open to questions, though - I'm sure there's a lot of people who read this forum that are going to have a lot to ask.

    And welcome to the site! We're glad to have you.



    "People, especially children, aren't measured by their IQ. What's important about them is whether they're good or bad, and these children are bad." ~ Alan Bernard


    "You needn't die happy when your day comes, but you must die satisfied, for you have lived your life from beginning to end and ka is always served." ~ Roland Deschain

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    Mr. Unlucky educatedlady will become famous soon enough educatedlady's Avatar

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    Richard, welcome and it is wonderful having you around. I hope we see more of you.
    ♪♪No secret, no matter how nasty can poison your voice or keep you from joy ♪♪ -- Perfume Genius

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    DT.Org's Official Sweetie Wuducynn will become famous soon enough Wuducynn's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by RIsanove View Post
    Hi
    This is gonna sound like a Hallmark Card, but working on DT is a truly incredible experience. It's still hard to believe that this is actually my job. Robin, Peter, Jae and I, We're working our butts off to try and make the best book we can, under the watchful eye of Stephen King (contrarily to rumors). If we fall short, sorry. I'm having a freaking blast and want it to last as long as possible. So once again, sorry, but, in one capacity or another, I'm gonna be around for a while (at least I hope).
    As a long-time Tower Junkie I really appreciate that you feel this way. That you have such a passion for the series.

    Quote Originally Posted by RIsanove View Post
    My Favorite Covers:
    Gunslinger Born: #2(Crimson King and Spider)
    Cheers
    -Richard.
    This is my favorite of all of them so far. Good taste in covers
    "It's his eyes, Roland thought. They were wide and terrible, the eyes of a dragon in human form" - Roland seeing the Crimson King for the first time.

    "When the King comes and the Tower falls, sai, all such pretty things as yours will be broken. Then there will be darkness and nothing but the howl of Discordia and the cries of the can toi" - From Song of Susannah

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    Am I really that predictable?!?

    Wow, Richard, thanks so much! This is like a dream come true. I'm sure the members here have a lot of questions.

    Personally I have a boatload of them, but I'll try not to geek out on you too much.

    My first question is : Who do you consider the biggest influences on your comic art work?

    Oh, and you know, I didn't think Chicago was all that great either!

    FYI : The covers that Richard picked as his favorites are shown below : ( as found in our King Comic Catalog )
    Gunslinger Born: #2(Crimson King and Spider) , #5 (Rhea) and #7 (Jonas)



    Long Road Home: #2 (Ka tet in a tree) and #4 (Sitting CK)


    Treachery: #3 (Marten and Gabrielle) and #6 (Roland carrying Gabrielle)


    Fall of Gilead: #3 (Dead cort) and #6 (Roland and Arthur)
    Hey!! We haven't seen FoG # 6 yet !!! Scheduled for release : November 11, 2009

    FYI : I'm going to send Richard a PM with regards to this Q&A and likely break it out into it's own thread.
    The Man In Black Fled Across The Desert...

    ...And The Gunslinger Followed.

    “I’m always on the Batman rule, sir.” - Kate Kane / Detective Comics 857

    "It is the story, not he who tells it." Except to us collectors who have to put limits somewhere. - jhanic

    Remember, Remember, The Fifth of November, The Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot.

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    Gunslinger Daghain is on a distinguished road Daghain's Avatar

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    Well, I agree about 85-90% with Richard's comic cover picks.

    And I LOVED Chicago, but really, who argues over that stuff? You didn't like it? Whatever.



    "People, especially children, aren't measured by their IQ. What's important about them is whether they're good or bad, and these children are bad." ~ Alan Bernard


    "You needn't die happy when your day comes, but you must die satisfied, for you have lived your life from beginning to end and ka is always served." ~ Roland Deschain

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    Default Q & A with Richard Isanove, Dark Tower Comic Artist

    ~ Good Citizens of the Comic Tower ~
    Dark Tower Comic artist Richard Isanove has joined our site.
    He has generously offered to answer our questions.


    A little background : Richard Isanove has been involved with every arc of the Dark Tower comics, and it was recently announced that he will be part of the upcoming issues of The Gunslinger ( to be published in 2010 ).

    In addition to the Dark Tower comics, he's worked on many of Marvel's keystone titles, including Daredevil, Ultimate X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, Neil Gaiman's Marvel 1602 and Wolverine:Origin.

    He's worked in all the different areas of comic art : color, covers, pencils, etc.

    I'd like to personally welcome him to our site, and thank him for taking our questions.

    Please use this thread to post any questions you might have.

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    My first question is : Who do you consider the biggest influences on your comic art work?
    The Man In Black Fled Across The Desert...

    ...And The Gunslinger Followed.

    “I’m always on the Batman rule, sir.” - Kate Kane / Detective Comics 857

    "It is the story, not he who tells it." Except to us collectors who have to put limits somewhere. - jhanic

    Remember, Remember, The Fifth of November, The Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot.

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    I've enjoyed all of the different artwork from everybody involved, so no bashing from me.



    Welcome to the site!



    Life is a garden...dig it!

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    Goldmember RIsanove is on a distinguished road

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    Hi

    I've learnt the most from the artists I've worked closely with: Brandon Peterson, Adam and Andy Kubert, Joe Quesada and of course Jae Lee. For the color work: Dean White, Steve Firchow, J.D smith, Ashby Manson and Brian Haberlin.

    Here's a list of the non-DT books that are now -and pretty much at all time- piled up on my desk:

    American Comics:
    John Buscema : Savage Sword of Conan + the Silver Surfer
    Bernie Wrightson: Frankenstein + early stories from "Creepy"
    Jack Kirby:the Essential Thor
    Brian Hitch: The Ultimates

    French and Italian Comics:
    Moebius /Jean Giraud: Lt Blueberry
    Hermann: The Towers of Bois-Maury
    Herge: Red Rackham's Treasure (Tintin)
    Cadelo: Skeol
    Milo Manara: Indian Summer
    Hugo Pratt: Jesuit Joe

    Art Books:
    Mike Mignola: the Art of Hellboy
    Caza 30X30
    Franklin Booth: American Illustrator
    N.C. Wyeth
    J.C.Leyendecker
    The Art of Michael Whelan
    The Art of Jon Foster
    Jeffrey Jones: Age of innocence
    Frank Frazetta: Icon + Legacy

    Cheers,
    -Richard

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    Kate / Batwoman turtlex is on a distinguished road turtlex's Avatar

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    Oh, that's so cool.

    You've got a couple of Dark Tower book artists listed - Bernie Wrightson and Michael Whelan... and a couple of very iconic names, as well ( Moebius and Frazetta )... and all the big guns over at Marvel !

    Adam and Andy Kubert run a comic art school - Do you ever think about teaching?!

    Is there a "dream comic" title currently in production that you'd love a shot at working on?!?

    Have you ever read the Stephen King's Dark Tower books? And, the big one, have you ever met Stephen King?

    ( I've got a million questions but will try to keep my posts to a few each one )
    The Man In Black Fled Across The Desert...

    ...And The Gunslinger Followed.

    “I’m always on the Batman rule, sir.” - Kate Kane / Detective Comics 857

    "It is the story, not he who tells it." Except to us collectors who have to put limits somewhere. - jhanic

    Remember, Remember, The Fifth of November, The Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot.

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    Roont Matt will become famous soon enough Matt's Avatar

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    I think this is really cool, thanks for coming to the site and answering questions Richard.

    I want to make sure you know how much I appreciate you working with David to sign our grand prize for the fundraiser this year. The remarque was amazing and I understand King has finally had a chance to sign it so we can get it to the winner soon.

    My question: Have you always loved to draw?

    Love that Savage Sword is on your list, Buscema is one of the best artists ever in my opinion. I know he's not involved but I am loving the new series of graphic novels that follow Conan from the beginning. Issue 0 was "Born on a Battlefield" which really got me going.

    The kindness of close friends is like a warm blanket

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    Life is beautiful LadyHitchhiker will become famous soon enough LadyHitchhiker will become famous soon enough LadyHitchhiker's Avatar

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    I'm really excited to have you join our site! That being said, I would love to ask you:

    Who's your favorite character so far? Who's your least?

    And who's the most fun to draw? Who's the least?

    I love contrast. It's okay if you say you love them all - because a lot of people do - but most people have a favorite around here.

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    Ohhh!! So nice to have you here Richard!!


    “The devil's voice is sweet to hear.”
    -SK.

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    Goldmember RIsanove is on a distinguished road

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    Hi

    Here are the answer sto the first round of questions

    Adam and Andy Kubert run a comic art school - Do you ever think about teaching?

    A few of my friends went into teaching after Cal'Arts and I've given a few guest lectures in their art schools, but I don't think I could hold a real job. I'm much happier working at home at my own pace.

    Is there a "dream comic" title currently in production that you'd love a shot at working on?

    There really isn't any other property I'd be interested in right now. Having the opportunity to work on such a project from the ground up is really unique in the American comics industry. When you work on a major Marvel characters, you just end up being the latest in a long line of often more talented Artists.
    Out of nostalgia, I'd maybe like to take a shot at some of the comics I loved as a kid like "Iron Fist", "The Silver Surfer" or the canceled "Champions", but that's about it.

    Have you ever read the Stephen King's Dark Tower books? And, the big one, have you ever met Stephen King?

    With my schedule, the only way to get any reading done is to listen to audio books while I work. That's how I discovered Stephen King with Bag of bones in 1998. I've been hooked ever since. I've listened to pretty much every audio book of his available. I just could never finish the "the Gunslinger", though. I always gave up halfway.
    Then, when I started the DT Comics, I went back to it and listened to the whole series within a couple of months and realized what I'd been missing. Along with "On Writing", "The Drawing of the Three" is my all time favorite King's book. I remember feeling literally sucked into it within the first few minutes.
    About a year later I re-listened to the "Wizard and Glass" to refresh my memory on the details of the story as we were working on "Gunslinger Born" .
    Finally When I started on" Fall of Gilead", I went again through the whole series within a couple of weeks. This time knowing the characters and where it led , I thoroughly enjoyed the first book. Actually, I found the series even more enjoyable the second time around.

    I met King in person in New York when we started the Comics. I was a total geek but I tried to play it cool. The weirdest thing was hearing the voice I'd listened to for hundreds of hours coming out of his mouth. It made the experience even more surreal.

    Have you always loved to draw?

    I think every kid likes to draw, but some just keep going. I always noodled in the margins of my notebooks and never seriously thought of doing anything else. Education in France is free as long as you pass your grades, so I figured I'd stay in school as long as I could until I found a way to make a living. Still, my real passion was always American Comics. John Buscema's "Savage sword of Conan" was the first time I realized that this was a full blown authentic Art Form. It seemed such an improbable career for a kid growing up in the suburbs of Bordeaux, that I went into Fine Arts then Majored in Animation. I was studying for my Masters in Paris when I got the opportunity to be part of an exchange with the California Institute of the Arts. There, my friend Nick, who had done an internship at Wildstorm in San Diego, introduced me to Brian Haberlin who was now putting together the coloring Studio for Top Cow in LA. I was back in the arms of my first love..

    Who's your favorite character so far? Who's your least?
    And who's the most fun to draw? Who's the least?


    I love Cuthbert, he always says the wrong thing at the wrong time and he's such a wise ass. Peter David's dialog always cracks me up. I try to give him as much screen time as possible.
    In contrast, I love drawing Steven Deschain because he has no sense of humor. He's Peter Fonda's Wyatt Earp with the mannerisms of David Caruso (without the sunglasses). He's really cool but he kinda has a stick up his butt.
    Robert Allgood (Cuth's Dad) was great too. Jae gave him the little turned up moustache so I extrapolated that he was a bit of a dandy. He's well dressed, sure of himself, charming and Funny. Between Rhett Butler and Pierce Brosnan.
    I also love drawing Marten. He's such a snake. Very theatrical.
    The supporting cast is always the worst to draw because you want to spend more time with the characters you love.


    Cheers
    -Richard

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    Kate / Batwoman turtlex is on a distinguished road turtlex's Avatar

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    Richard - Thanks so much for taking these questions.

    I came to the Dark Tower books via audio, as well. For me, it was on a cross-country road trip ( and on every road trip since! ).

    Drawing of The Three is my favorite of the DT books. I think that's because Eddie Dean is my favorite DT book character.

    Since you've already had the opportunity to draw Roland and his first Ka-Tet, who from the books would you like to draw?

    When you're reading a book ( any book ), do you ever just sit and sketch a character you're reading about?!?

    I had to laugh when you wrote that you don't think you could "hold a real job". Don't you consider working in comics a real job?

    What's it like to be on the other side of the table at a comic-con?! Do you have any con appearances scheduled? Do you have a personal website with your con signing schedule? ( I couldn't seem to find one )

    How long does it take to draw a cover? Do you put in more time on a cover, than say, a whole interior page?

    Thanks in advance!
    The Man In Black Fled Across The Desert...

    ...And The Gunslinger Followed.

    “I’m always on the Batman rule, sir.” - Kate Kane / Detective Comics 857

    "It is the story, not he who tells it." Except to us collectors who have to put limits somewhere. - jhanic

    Remember, Remember, The Fifth of November, The Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot.

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    I too could never "read/finish" Dark Tower 1. I got all the audio tapes and CD's and listened to the whole series with them. I kicked myself because of all that I had missed. What a great series....

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    Richard -

    A few members were discussing the collaboration between comic artist and comic writer in another thread.

    Can you give us all a little insight into how much back and forth goes on between the person who writes the comic and the person who draws it?

    Thanks!
    The Man In Black Fled Across The Desert...

    ...And The Gunslinger Followed.

    “I’m always on the Batman rule, sir.” - Kate Kane / Detective Comics 857

    "It is the story, not he who tells it." Except to us collectors who have to put limits somewhere. - jhanic

    Remember, Remember, The Fifth of November, The Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot.

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    Goldmember RIsanove is on a distinguished road

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    Well, it really depends on the writer and the artist.

    Nowardays, most writers will deliver "full scripts". You get a description of the panel. what's happening and the dialog. There's a little bit of flexibility when it comes to adding or cutting a panel, but that's about it.
    That's how guys like Bendis or Jason Aaron do it. It usually comes to an average of one written page for one drawn page.

    I once worked on a story written by Alan Moore and it was more of a 1 written page per panel ratio ! In 1 panel of a 6 panel page, there was a woman working in a diner. Moore spent a whole page describing every single person sitting at the tables. Behind the woman was a shelf for the lost and found which was in no way important for the story. Still, he went on to talk about the history of each abandoned object. Since that panel wasn't very crucial and the page was already crowded, the penciller ended up drawing a waist up shot of the waitress with the shelf barely visible behind her.

    On the opposite side, is what they call the "Marvel way". It's how Stan Lee used to do it. He'd write a few sentences describing the villain of the day, a general outline, the main story points and how long the fight was supposed to last. The penciller would have quasi free reigns to turn it into sequential art. Then it was back to Stan who tightened it all up with the dialogs.


    On the art side, either form has it's challenge and rewards, i've heard of artist who end up feeling either restricted and confined or taken advantage of.

    On DT, what I get from Robin is a 12 to 20 pages long prose story, broken down into scenes. It allows for a lot of freedom in the layouts, but every element of the story is there as well as description of the different characters and locations, and some background information. When a cool idea comes up while drawing, she's more willing and ready to incorporate changes and suggestions then if she had already broken it down to panels. It's by far the best working experience I've ever had. The collaboration makes everyone feel really involved from top to bottom.

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