200608171102As someone pointed out in the comments (WE LOVE THE COMMENTS!) Adam Hughes talks about his sure-to-be-pretty-but-slow stint on ALL-STAR WONDER WOMAN over at the Byrne Board in comments posted weeks ago but more timely now than ever:

First up, “Then you read that Adam Hughes is going to do a monthly”. Ouch. Not sure if that puppy I ran over last week was Chuck’s, but now I’m thinking it was…

Secondly, I am not doing a ‘monthly’. My commitment to ALL-STAR WONDER WOMAN is for 6 issues. My schedule is to hand in 10 pages, pencilled and inked, a month. The issues will be released monthly, on-time, because we’re starting far enough in advance. You will get your ALL-STAR WONDER WOMAN every four weeks.


Although i’s unknown how much Hughes has in the can, it’s safe to say it will be a little while before these start coming out. Hughes also speaks eloquently for the artists who work on a less than monthly pace:

Next, may I be allowed to take umbrage at the suggestion that anyone who does not/can not create a monthly comic is either casual or (more offensively) unprofessional and irresponsible. I realize that this is the wrong place to suggest this, but the notion that you are not a real comic artist if you can’t do a monthly book is archaic. Prolific masters like John Byrne and Jack Kirby are the exceptions, not the rule. Would you call Neal Adams unprofessional or irresponsible, just because HE never did a monthly book? All 12 issues of WATCHMAN didn’t ship on time; is Dave Gibbons therefore merely a casual dabbler in our medium? Anyone care to call Brian Bolland names for being slow? Perhaps KILLING JOKE should have been given to a DC artist who was doing a monthly book, as a reward for productivity.

I’m sorry that I cannot do a comic a month; I wish I could. So does my accountant. But I cannot. “A man’s got to know his limitations” as a wise man with a loaded gun once said. I know what I can and cannot do. Faced with the choice of hacking out a mediocre Adam Hughes comic 12 times a year or working at my own natural pace and doing work that I can be proud of, I personally choose quality over quantity. It’s not for everyone, it’s just how this cat is wired. I don’t think EVERYONE should slow down and work at this pace. I think everyone should find their niche and excel at what they do best.


Aside from playing the WATCHMEN card, it’s a thoughtful response from an artist who is definitely worth waiting for.

1 COMMENT

  1. I don’t understand. What’s wrong with “playing the Watchmen card”? I think that dovetails very nicely into the comment I made on an earlier post of yours about having rose-colored memories. A lot of people probably don’t even know that Watchmen didn’t ship on time! It’s worth reminding folks. I’m also glad he repeated my favored “you don’t prove your point by citing exceptions” mantra. :)

  2. I think Adam Hughes is one of the few artists in this biz who can credibly compare himself with Dave Gibbons. Now, if _I_ were to make a statement like that, the cat-calls would be both voluminous and well-deserved.

  3. “All 12 issues of WATCHMAN didn’t ship on time”

    That’s simply not true. IIRC, the first 6 issues shipped on time. #7 was a week late, and after that the delays became more pronounced, a route that Civil War seems to be following unfortunately.

    “Anyone care to call Brian Bolland names for being slow? Perhaps KILLING JOKE should have been given to a DC artist who was doing a monthly book, as a reward for productivity.”

    I’m not sure what point Hughes trying to make. Virtually no one anticipated Killing Joke to achieve the classic status it now enjoys, so even if it was a few weeks late, it wouldn’t have been a big deal. And it was a one-shot.

    Assuming the writer is timely, shouldn’t a project should be scheduled with the artist’s output in mind and then add an extra 10% to the time to be on the safe side? Barring unforseen emergencies, I don’t understand why titles become late. If anything, the high-profile series should have extra scrutiny, just so this sort of debacle won’t occur.

    In the case of Watchmen, I recall Moore complaining that the series was solicited before he expected it. Supposedly marketing wanted to fill a hole in the schedule and saw there were several issues completed so they went ahead with the solicitation. If that’s true, then what we have is a failure for two departments to communicate, which might be the case with Civil War for all we know.

    I’m looking forward to an All-Star Wonder Woman to be solicited on a monthly basis, whenever Hughes has completed enough issues to make that possible.

  4. ““All 12 issues of WATCHMAN didn’t ship on timeâ€?

    That’s simply not true. IIRC, the first 6 issues shipped on time. #7 was a week late, and after that the delays became more pronounced, a route that Civil War seems to be following unfortunately.”

    Actually…that statement is true. Noone meant they were all late, they mean not every issue shipped on time. It might not be a clear statement, but it’s not truely inaccurate to say… I doubt that Adam meant that every issue was late.

  5. >>What’s wrong with “playing the Watchmen cardâ€??

    I know I don’t like it because Civil War and/or AS Wonder Woman will never be as good as Watchmen or a Dark Knight, and probabl won’t stand the test of time that those breakthrough title have.

    To site some other “mega crossovers”, how many folks are still talking about how mind-blowingly good Atlantis Attacks or Inferno were?

  6. Could this be the end of Spiderman, the teenage superhero growing OLDER and OLDER, and his face being the face of an ENTIRE ART FORM!?… who KNOWS!?

  7. also, it’s not that if you’re able to do 2 or 3 books a month, you should do 2 or 3 books a month
    It’s all about scheduling. I liked the record of the sigil-era of Crossgen: allowing a title 6 weeks to produce and having “relief” artists made for no late comics for a couple of years.

    I still have the Infinity Gauntlet series (don’t laugh) and i didn’t notice the change of artist untill i read it again. When you have artists and fill-in artists with very similar styles, you won’t notice the change.
    That is: when your story is good to begin with.

  8. What I don’t like about the Watchmen and DKR card is them being late didn’t make them better books.

    The publisher could have gave the creative team more time to complete the series before soliciting it. Then they would have been the same great books, but done on time.

    That’s what publishers should be shooting for.

  9. As long as the title you’re working on has no ties with other titles in terms of scheduling (i.e. nothing worse then reading a story chapters out of order), take all the time in the world, and the readership you garner is a testament to their willingness (or lack of) to wait for quality work.

  10. yeah, yeah, not ALL of the WATCHMEN issues shipped late, so what then…
    whatever.

    Hughes has brilliantly made a very good point AT the Byrne Forum, heheheh

    *zinnng* [Special Olympics and all that aside…]

    I’m waiting forever for new issues of ALL-STAR SUPERMAN to ship and it’s been worth it. I’d wait forever and another day. see how Hitch’s speed at ULTIMATES has *not* affected general sales at all.

    those are concerns that more and more only interest specialty store owners and nobody else, as they live or die by how the Big Two books ship. still, please read the Tom Brevoort comments Heidi reproduced here. ;-)

  11. I love…LOVE Adam and 99% of his work (hey, no one is perfect) but the only thing that gets my goat is how much time many creators in general are spending on the internet and forums, etc. instead of doing what they’re being paid to do. Maybe some of the more prolific posters who are also big in the industry would be more “on time” if they unhooked their internet connections…?

    Working at home is for the most part awesome. But being your own boss and kicking your own ass to get work done instead of replying to the yahoos on the web (myself included)? That is the tuff one.

  12. “I love…LOVE Adam and 99% of his work (hey, no one is perfect) but the only thing that gets my goat is how much time many creators in general are spending on the internet and forums, etc. instead of doing what they’re being paid to do.”

    In Adam’s case, I was shocked — SHOCKED, I tell you! — to learn that he’d actually posted something on a forum. Obviously, I don’t know how he spends all of his time, but he’s not known for being online a lot.

    Also, I’ve seen the man draw. He achieves his quality by taking plenty of time to work.

  13. Adam makes a good point in that every artist works at his own pace, and what matters most is what he puts on the page. But I should correct an error of fact: “Would you call Neal Adams unprofessional or irresponsible, just because HE never did a monthly book?”

    Neal actually did a monthly title a number of times. On his longest run, X-MEN (first series) #56 through #63, he penciled the cover and 20 pages of interior art per issue, and (according to http://www.nealadams.com/comicchecklist.html) plotted the stories as well.

  14. Not that I necessarily agree with Jamie Coville, but it should be pointed out that you can have internal deadlines that protect the retail side of things; it’s clearly not a choice between having something put into the sales cycle and not having any deadline at all.

    I know plenty of prose writers who have been told, “Have it in by January 10 or you don’t get in the Fall catalog” or “turn in the book and then we’ll see where releasing it makes the most sense” or something similar.

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