Scripts. I have to admit to at least one thing I hadn’t prepared for when building my doomed comics career over the past year and a half or so, and that is the amount of script reading I’d actually have to do. I mean… that’s precisely why a handful of us drawhappy types become artists in the first place, yeah? So we don’t need to read? Hehah! Welcome to the half-movie, half-book medium… care for a brain smothering with miles of text? No. Ellis was once asked at a con about how Darrick came up with the idea for Spider’s glasses, after which Warren explained that most artists can actually only express themselves in pictures and grunts. “…guhh… colors… STAR WARS!” Hilarious business, that. Sad part is I know exactly what he meant.
But yeah, I’ve had to read. And I don’t just mean reading so I can put it on paper… I mean reading to find out if I even want to put it on paper. Know what I mean? I get a healthy stack of scripts to choose from every couple of months, and I get my next project from this pile.
But I need to be smart about it… because if I’m not, I’m gonna be stuck with something I don’t love for what will seem like too fucking long. Whore yourself out just a bit too much and you risk committing to something you’re not sure your creative attention span can handle.
Son, when choosing a gig — big or small — you gotta be excited about it, because if you aren’t it will show in the pages, and that will make the book an ugly part of your portfolio… assuming you even manage to finish it.
It’s the irony of ironies, really — having worked so hard to get to a place where you don’t need to kill yourself pimping anymore, just to learn how to turn things down.
Bowing out of a project is easily one of my least favorite things about working freelance, because not a lot of writers take it very gracefully. Too many assume that the reason why a project is declined owes a lot to the story’s quality… even when you make it clear that you just don’t feel you’re right for it. Comes with the territory, I guess… an insensitive writer probably isn’t really much of one, I’m inclined to imagine. But what do I know?
All the same, it all boils down to decision making and having the balls to stick to it. Gladly grown a pair, hoping it lasts through harsh winters.