Friday, October 21, 2011

Why So Many Comics Tend to be Rushed

An illustrator is expected to come up with several thumbnails, a few roughs, and one finished illustration per page. A comic artist is expected to come up with exponentially more thumbnails, more roughs, and several images per page. Each panel should stand alone as an illustration, be strong compositionally, and make sense as a coherant whole. A good comic artist can pencil a page in a day and ink a page in a day, with a day being 8 hours or more.

Many comic artists are intimately involved with every aspect of their comic- concept, character designs, script, preplanning, research, thumbnails, pencils, inks, letters, self publication. While an illustrator can afford to slave over a single image, a comic artist is often expected to work miracles for little pay. Depending on who you work for, you may be expected to pencil two 15 page issues a month, and even if you're self employed, one comic page a week on top of working an 8 hour day job is difficult to juggle.

This topic was generated from a google search result on my stats page, so if I knew what sort of comics the person in question was talking about, I could give a more in depth answer. Short answers:

Web Comics may seem rushed because the artist works a day job that wears them out, and has little free time to spend on art. They may not recieve any real compensation for their artwork, and may be trying to suppliment their income by also attending conventions.
Manga is very often rushed because many manga release an issue (15 pages ish) a week. A WEEK. Even with assistants, that's a crazy pace.
Mainstream comics, while not quite as hectic, have a super busy pace as well.
Indie comics don't really pay well, and often the artist is holding down a day job while penning their comic. Indie artists are also often jacks of all trades, in charge of every aspect of their comic.

In summation: While there is no real excuse for bad art, cut comic artists some slack. They are an underappreciated breed.