Saturday, September 29, 2012

What Do Editors Do, Anyway?

Mainly editors work at getting stories assigned and done on time. Often they say encouraging things to members of their creative teams, especially when one is terribly green. Sometimes they request changes.

My first two regular gigs at Marvel, now long ago, were with editor Mike Rockwitz. He gave me some of that early encouragement, telling me I was getting better every month. More generous than accurate, but very good for me to hear at that point.

Like, I think,  most comic book artists, I experienced few instances of actually being directed to change my work over the years, and only one that originated with Mike. He was doing what any artist would want an editor to do: He kept me from looking like a idiot. Which I will now undo.

Here's the cliffhanger splash I drew to end one issue, a couple months into my run on Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD. This scene was written by SHIELD scribe Greg Wright to be a surprisingly tense confrontation between Fury and Captain America. I don't need to tell you the reasons Mike had me redraw it, do I? You do have to give me some credit for managing to be both stiff and limp at the same time. Not many could.

(This wince-inducing and once blissfully forgotten fragment of my artistic history came sailing back to me from Marvel Art Returns just a year or so ago, two decades after the fact.)

So how did I redraw it? A lot better, with an uncredited assist from the Law of Averages. It was further enhanced by the excellent inking of Don Hudson.

Thought you might enjoy this little behind-the-scenes.

Thanks, Mike. And Greg, for the many times you steered me away from terminal dullness on SHIELD. Or tried to!

P.S.: Also recovered, an equally weak 2nd try, which
I can't even bring myself to scan!


Scott Cohn said...

huge improvement! and that IS some sharp inking from Don. i miss sitting behind you as you worked on this series.
i wonder, did it look good in the initial thumbs? solid drawing, just not as dynamic as the 2nd go-round, given Fury is looking for a fight.

Bink MMX said...

Thanks, Scott. I doubt it, but possibly? I don't remember. I was pretty good at spilling the dynamism of the rough on the way to the final.

Scott Cohn said...

that's the case with everyone. i think you could've kept that angle, but spiced up the figures more. more aggressive/ reactionary. live and learn!