Friday means many things to many people. For some, Friday is all about time to finally garden. For others, it’s all about not thinking anything about gardening. For others still, they have their mom do their laundry.
At iFanboy, Friday means it’s letter column time.
You write. We answer. Very simple.
As always, if you want to have your e-mail read on the any of our shows or answered here, keep them coming – firstname.lastname@example.org
Shane from Texas
In regards to yall’s discussion about construction of the Batcave. I always assumed Batman got Superman or J’onn J’onzz or someone like that to build it. With heat vision, super strength, flight, and super speed they could have the place built in a couple of minutes. I don’t know what Batman did when first started out but after he comes into contact with the other heroes it seems like a no-brainer.
Shane from Texas
Well that’s the big question, isn’t it? How did Batman get that cave built in the beginning? It’s comic’s greatest mystery. As for later on, sure, he could use the help of the Justice League but would he? I think it depends on which version of Batman we’re talking about. The ultra paranoid and secretive Batman would never use their help to build his inner sanctum. The more friendly and upbeat Batman might. Maybe Harold does all the work himself…?
I am excited to see Barbara Gordon back as Batgirl, but don’t you think she is much more valuable to the DCU as Oracle? I understand that fighting crime would be more exciting, especially after being in a wheelchair for three years, but she is very smart and must realize how important she was as Oracle. What do yall think?
Shane from Texas
There are several issues being touched upon in this email. First off, “valuable” is a tough word. What constitutes value? Valuable to stories is one thing and valuable is a commodity is another. As Oracle there were certainly no other characters like her in the DC Universe and thus she was in an unique position. In that sense she was probably a stronger character as Oracle. But if you look at her value to DC as a commodity (which, let’s face it, is how these characters are most valuable) then she’s much more valuable as Batgirl. Ask most people who don’t read comics about Batgirl and they’ll tell you she’s Barbara Gordon and vice versa. That’s because of years (decades, even) of cartoons and TV shows and movies where she was Batgirl. So I understand why DC chose to bring her back as Batgirl. And despite the fact that I think she’s a stronger character as Oracle, I’m fine with her being Batgirl again because she was the Batgirl I grew up with as a kid.
The final part of your email brings up yet another issue: shouldn’t Barbara realize that she’s more valuable to the superhero community as Oracle than Batgirl? Now, I’ve never lost the use of any of my limbs but I imagine that if you were to lose the use of your legs and then suddenly get them back you would be pretty keen to get back out there. Not to mention if you were a world class athlete and superhero. Plus, she has consistently been portrayed as being wistful for her time as Batgirl. I can see her understanding that she is important as Oracle but also really wanting to get back to the life she lost, especially a younger version of Barbara, which is what we’re dealing with now.
I recently saw an iFanboy Mini video about tips on getting into the comic book industry. Whilst the advice was very helpful and has given me that extra push to chase my dream I still feel like I’m stuck in a rut so to speak. I’m nineteen years old and currently at college, but it isn’t for me. I’ve always had a passion for writing and I’m a big comic book fan. I love to read whether it be fanfiction, books, comic books and I love watching TV shows and movies and being a writer for comic books is something I’d love to be.
Here’s where I feel stuck. I’m in the UK and I don’t have any friends or know of anybody who shares my interests other than people online and even then there’s a limit because while my online friends share my interests none of them are comic book publishers or artists etc…
I’ve contacted Dark Horse, Mavel, DC etc..to try and ask for some tips but I’ve had zero responses and I expected that. I think the purpose of my informal email is just to see if you guys could give me some advice on what I should do. Or how to get a foot in the door so to speak.
If you can take the time to reply to this email then thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to help a fangirl out! and if not then no hard feelings!
Do you know why you haven’t gotten anywhere yet? It’s because you shouldn’t have. You’re NINETEEN! Other than very rare exceptions, you shouldn’t be anywhere near writing comics for a living. As far as whether you should be in college or not, well, that’s a conversation and piece of advice I won’t be giving, because it is nowhere near my place. But your life is positively nascent. But, I can tell you that the only things holding you back are your talent, or lack thereof, and your willingness to hustle. That’s it. I can’t tell you if you’re good enough. You can’t even tell if you’re good enough. The only way to know it is to do it, and to keep doing it. You will be terrible at first. You have a lot of things to learn that you didn’t even know existed. Then, if you want to write comics, you’ve got to find artists and work with them, and it takes a very long time. In the meantime, write, write, write, write, write, write, write and read and write. Are you listening?
You’re in the UK? That’s not a problem in the least. I think there are more British writers in American comics than Americans. You only have comic friends online? Join the club.
As far as the established publishers are concerned, they have work to do, and they’re not going to help you become a writer. They aren’t interested in you until you’re already established and professional and have a body of work. That means self publishing, or starting at smaller publishers. That means being the editor, producer, writer, and master of your own work. It takes an enormous amount of time, and that is completely normal. Even after all that effort, there aren’t that many jobs in comics that pay you a living wage, relative to how many people want those jobs, so the only thing you can do is be excellent. Find your voice, and push at the world until someone will listen.
There is no shortage of comics pros giving advice online. None. I give advice all the time, and I don’t know what I’m talking about. You saw that video? Listen to these podcasts I did with industry professionals, and new comics writers (who are all in their 30s, it should be noted). Follow C.B. Cebulski on Twitter. Pay attention, and dig in. If you don’t have tenacity and patience, then you should definitely stay in school, because this isn’t the business to be in.
One last thing. Don’t apologize. Be confident. Don’t disparage yourself or minimize your significance. Project to others that you believe in yourself, and your goals are valid. Be stronger than you are, or at least appear that way. Find and earn your confidence so that when there is a seat at the table, much further down the road, you’ll know that you deserve to be there.
Alan Moore dropped out of school, and he’s British. Just as an aside.
I have been listening to the podcast and you guys would often say I’m getting that page after salivating about some artist work. After 25 or so years I think I’m ready to take my collection to the next level and start collecting artwork. I found a lot of art being auctioned on eBay, but is there any other methods for getting specific pages from specific book? How do you guys approach this?
Derrick (Speedbal on iFanboy)
So you’re ready to take the plunge into original art. I’m either excited for you, because it can be a fun extension of this lovely hobby of comic books for you to enjoy, or I’m scared for you, because original art collecting can be a tough and expensive hobby to maintain. Depending on what your goals are and what you want out of it, it can be incredibly rewarding or incredibly frustrating. Ultimately it will be up to you to decide which it will be.
In terms of how to go about acquiring original art, most people start at eBay, and you could go there for original art. In fact, the first pages of art I ever bought were off of eBay. But, I tend to steer people away from eBay for a few reasons. First, there’s nothing worse than falling in love with a piece of art and losing the auction to some eBay pro who has all sorts of tools and bots to make sure they win. Second, the art available on eBay is wildly random, with no consistency. If you’re looking for a specific page from a specific book or artist, you could give eBay a shot, but there are better ways to track down art.
To make your art shopping easy, there are several solid and reputable original art dealers with presences on the web, representing many of your favorite artists. Looking for art from Gabriel Hardman, Jeff Lemire, Mike Norton, Becky Cloonan, Chris Burnham or any other awesome current artists? Then you should check out Cadence Comic Art, who reps those artists and many more. Or maybe you’re looking for Cliff Chiang, Jock, Charlie Adlard or Ryan Ottley art? Then you’ll want to head over to Splash Page Art, where they have art from those artists plus many others. There are other dealers out there on the web, and they’re a great way to purchase art as they’re focused on selling you art from the artists they rep. There’s very little chance like with eBay, if you see a page you like, order it, pay for it, they ship it to you and it’s yours.
If you are hunting for a specific page and can’t find it at a dealer or eBay, you might want to check out Comic Art Fans, a site where collectors post the art they own. Not everything is for sale here, but some pages are and if you can find the page you’re looking for, maybe you can talk the owner into parting ways with it.
Finally, for a complete list of resources and sites related to original comic art, check out this amazing post by iFanboy staff writer Jason Wood over on the message board of our pals at 11 O’Clock Comics. If you’re into original art, this post is a must read with all the key links and resources to help you in your collecting.
Good luck finding that piece of original art that you’ll cherish forever!