Some people like to interpret dreams. Well, let’s say that the one I had last night is typical of my natural “control freak” tendancy and clearly a message I should let go…
So what was it exactly?
I dreamt I was in my old office, in Paris, and arriving on the scene, I discover copies of my new ONE HIT WONDER album except, there are unicorns, little ponys and elves on the cover instead of my characters, and inside, it’s full of pages drawn by an unknown artist. Pages that I never wrote, designed by a monkey and full of typos.
This is when I woke up! I know. Terrible. Totally irrelevant.
But there’s something interesting in all that mess. Creators should be very careful of what they give to the public. Whether it’s creator-owned or company owned, we should always have someone to have our backs, to “watch the watchmen”. An editor. A real one. Not a traffic manager. Someone who’ll kick our asses when we slack. Who’ll encourage us when we do well.
Good editors are hard to find. Especially these days. The late and wise Joe Kubert once told me that “80% of the editors spend most of their time protecting their job and not doing their actual work”. Unfortunately, this is true. But with the crisis, there’s now a lot of freelance editors who are competent and could help independent creators delivering the best possible comics.
Now, how do you finance an editor when you’re already struggling to finance your comic book? I’m afraid there’s more than one answer to that question.
Some will use the crowdfunding. Some will offer the editor a back-end deal just like the creative team. Others could even use their colorist as the editor. Or blogger friends. Or journalists who’ll trade an early review with their precious feedback. Many solutions indeed.
Clearly, it’s always very tempting for the writer to do it himself (like many do a lot of things beside writing their own book: lettering, designing, marketing,…). But we have to fight that.
And always remember that comics are a collaborative medium where somebody else can help you being better than you are.
So let’s become the best there is at what we do. And there will be less unicorn nightmares.