It was an interesting experience. The editor was super heavy handed. but missed some basics ,like I was never told that the kids I drew were meant to look like Akira old/babies. I just drew them as kids.
I got asked to do a lot of layouts— I think it was 16 pages of layouts for an 8 page story or something. That kind of thing just makes me second guess my own work. I feel like I’m fairly competent as a storyteller but I was being asked to make changes that I thought made the storytelling weaker. —Maybe it’s just that I’m coming from more of a manga background and not a Vertigo aesthetic.
After that I also colored a Ulises Farinas story for Vertigo—I was always amazed at how much they paid and Vertigo’s ability to hire good artists and still put out books I wouldn’t take for free.
Ouchie. In a later post Graham clarifies that he doesn’t hate DC or Vertigo but “I think mostly they just don’t do stuff that’s my scene. ”
This is sort of a dog-bites-man story — even at a “creator focused” imprint like Vertigo, there is often more editorial guidance than out in the wild blue yonder of Image and elsewhere. Of course, Vertigo itself isn’t even doing much creator-driven material any more, but given Graham’s success outside the Big Two, where that model even fits any more is open to question. It’s also another example of a good paying gig going away and DIY taking over.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.