Full Version_ A Slimline Anthology Format

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					Full Version: A Slimline Anthology Format
From: Warren Ellis (WARRENELLIS) [#1]
           25 Apr 9:15
 To: ALL



I can't remember if I posted this before, so what the fuck:

I'm unlikely to ever get the time to do this, so I throw it out there for people to
consider.

Slimline books are what we apparently now call the FELL Format.

I structure this for financial ease -- Image books, as at other indie publishers, are
back-end only, paying royalties instead of page rates or other advance fees.

Anthologies are generally thought of as anathema in US Direct Market
publishing, not least because they're thought to be unsatisfying to readers. So
consider this: one writer, four artists, working in the following structure:

1
 5
 1
 5
 1
 5
 1

+ 1 cover.

That's three five-page stories. Four one-page pieces. And one cover, provided by
the same artist doing the four one-page pieces. Leaves the inside back cover
and one interior page over for playing with.

Four artists and one writer equals five contributors. Therefore, break the back
end into clean fifths: everyone gets 20%.

Anyway. Just a thought.

(I really, really want to do this one day. But no time. That said, I'm not especially
worried about getting gazumped, it's not like people are flooding to do FELL-
format books as it is)

-- W




Reply


From: Ted (TED_BRANDT) [#2]
 25 Apr 9:21
 To: Warren Ellis
(WARRENELLIS) [#1] 25 Apr 10:39

This may be a premature/daft question (if so, please ignore my ramblings), but
do you have any thoughts as to the sorts of miniature stories you'd be interested
in producing for an anthology like this, or have you just been thinking about
structure?




Reply


From: Marvin Mann (MARVINMANN) [#3]
             25 Apr 9:27
 To: Warren Ellis
(WARRENELLIS) [#1] 25 Apr 10:39



The one page pieces are intriguing.

If they are to be one page stories (16 panels each?), then you need the right kind
of cartoonist to draw something that tight... probably someone with a deceptively
simple style.

If they are to be single page illustrations (plus cover) then again, you would do
best to have a special kind of illustrator... the kind where people will buy it just to
have the illustrations.

Either way, it seems to me that selecting that artist would be a real key to
success.




Reply


From: Jason Rodriguez (JASON_RODRIGUEZ) [#4]
                25 Apr 9:38
 To:
Warren Ellis (WARRENELLIS) [#1] 25 Apr 10:39



It's an interesting concept - it seems a lot of anthologies are going the opposite
direction and beefing up to 40+ pages or bookshelf friendly.

I think the idea can certainly make it an impulse buy - 1.99 for seven stories from
5 creators sounds too good not to try. And there's always the possibility of
spinning a story off into its own Slimline book if it has the legs.
Reply


From: William Couper (WILLIAM_COUPER) [#5]
            25 Apr 9:39
 To: Marvin
Mann (MARVINMANN) [#3] 25 Apr 10:48



It would be getting the four artists who could switch from the single page stories
to the five page ones.

And whether anyone was willing to put it together in the first place. But I suppose
there has to be that 'build it and they will come' mentality about it.


 Will




Reply


From: Richard Pace (RPACE) [#6]
        25 Apr 10:02
 To: Marvin Mann
(MARVINMANN) [#3] 25 Apr 10:48



Interesting take.

My first thought that the cover and one-page guy would be doing interstitial bits
connecting the other five page increments, so the panel count per page would
probably remain similar to the rest of the book.

The key isn't in the artists (beyond what artists are usually needed for), but in the
writer's ability to find a story to tell in that structure and tell it well.

~Richard




Reply


From: Josh Hechinger (JOSHHECHINGER) [#7]
             25 Apr 11:57
 To: Warren
Ellis (WARRENELLIS) [#1] 25 Apr 11:58
Hm. You could run a comic strip on the one page section. An original strip by
your fourth artist, or maybe bring in a webcomic creator and let them run their
strip in the gaps, which might bring in an additional audience.

The one page sections could easily work like the paintings in the old Night
Gallery show too...




Reply


From: Bill Cunningham (CINEXPLOITS) [#8]
         25 Apr 12:10
 To: Warren Ellis
(WARRENELLIS) 25 Apr 12:23



Now just to throw a rusty wrench into the works, what if several of the five-pagers
were chapters of a much longer story?

Five pages a month of a certain story told over umpteen months.

--------------------------------------




Reply


From: Eric Palicki (ERICPALICKI) [#9]
     25 Apr 12:15
 To: Josh Hechinger
(JOSHHECHINGER) [#7] 25 Apr 12:16



My first thought, when Warren posted the proposed format, was that the 1-
pagers would be self-contained stories...I see now that they could be used as a
framing or introduction sequence for the otherwise disparate 5-pagers. Like the
bar scenes in the SANDMAN World's End stories. Or like what Harlan Ellison did
in the Dream Corridor comics (or like the Crypt Keeper, I suppose), showing up
as himself to introduce the stories.

This could replace the backmatter, with the writer popping in between entries to
give the reader notes sequentially, rather than as prose.
Reply


From: Eric Palicki (ERICPALICKI) [#10]
      25 Apr 12:17
 To: Bill Cunningham
(CINEXPLOITS) [#8] 25 Apr 13:27

Or at the very least, sef-contained pieces featuring recurring characters. I'm sure
there are people out there who buy FELL for the title character as much as they
do for the writer and/or artist.




Reply


From: Skipper Pickle (SPICKLE) [#11]
       25 Apr 12:20
 To: Josh Hechinger
(JOSHHECHINGER) [#7] 25 Apr 12:23

You could run a comic strip on the one page section. An original strip
by your fourth artist, or maybe bring in a webcomic creator and let
them run their strip in the gaps, which might bring in an additional
audience.
 
 Interesting. i'm flashing on The Fate of the Artist now. 
 
 Hey,
maybe this would be a good way to get more Astronauts in Trouble. *ahem*




Reply


From: Josh Hechinger (JOSHHECHINGER) [#12]
             25 Apr 12:23
 To: Eric
Palicki (ERICPALICKI) [#9] 25 Apr 12:36



Yeah, I was just thinking along the lines of the Cryptkeeper...some sort of
narrator introducing the stories.

I really like the idea of the writer chatting up the reader in one-page comics
between the stories though.

Another thought, depending on what kind of stories of course, is throwing little
gags about the five pagers in-between the stories. Like the omake gag pages in
a manga volume.

EDIT: Or steal a page from Eiichiro Oda, and do a piss-taking letters
column/FAQ in the gaps, like his SBS pages in ONE PIECE.




Reply


From: Warren Ellis (WARRENELLIS) [#13]
 25 Apr 12:23
 To: Bill
Cunningham (CINEXPLOITS) [#8] 25 Apr 13:27

Now just to throw a rusty wrench into the works, what if several of the
five-pagers were chapters of a much longer story?
 
 Well, obviously.





Reply


From: Warren Ellis (WARRENELLIS) [#14]
        25 Apr 12:27
 To: Warren Ellis
(WARRENELLIS) [#13] 25 Apr 12:27

Re: the one-pagers -- no-one remembers Brendan McCarthy's ARTOONS?





Reply


From: Jonathan Hickman (JHICKMAN) [#15]
         25 Apr 12:30
 To: Warren Ellis
(WARRENELLIS) [#1] 25 Apr 12:35



To each his own, but I would the one pagers as complex pictographs or collage
that were just as much narrative as symbol.

It would be much more dense than the other pages, but not as overwhelming as
if it were page after page of it.
But that's me.

/




Reply


From: Warren Ellis (WARRENELLIS) [#16]
       25 Apr 12:36
 To: Ted
(TED_BRANDT) [#2] 25 Apr 14:02

I know exactly what I'd do.





Reply


From: Josh Hechinger (JOSHHECHINGER) [#17]
          25 Apr 12:40
 To: Skipper
Pickle (SPICKLE) [#11] 25 Apr 12:43

Sure, why not? The idea of running a funnies page in the book, so to speak,
could be to weave someone/something people want more of through three
stories they don't know they like yet.




Reply


From: ivan brandon (IVAN) [#18]
 25 Apr 12:51
 To: Warren Ellis
(WARRENELLIS) [#1] 25 Apr 12:53

you mean as an ongoing thing?




Reply
From: Warren Ellis (WARRENELLIS) [#19]
          25 Apr 12:54
 To: ivan brandon
(IVAN) [#18] 25 Apr 12:56

Sure.





Reply


From: Caffeine-Powered Enforcer Ariana (SILVERSMOKE) [#20]
               25 Apr
12:58
 To: ALL



I tend not to comment on these idea threads, as I don't write scripts for a living;
but, if I may comment on the one-page:

Commercial Break. 
 Propaganda. 
 Station Identification. 
 Want to Know More?

 Footnotes. 
 You may also enjoy...
 Definition of Terms.

 Meanwhile...
 Commentary.
 History.
 Next
time...
 Prologue.
 Epilogue.
 Poetry?
 Flash.
 Aside.
 Related Content.
 Liner
Notes.
 Weather and Traffic at the top of the hour.
 Coming Soon.
 And now for
something completely different.
 Roll Credits.




Reply

From: Jonathan Hickman (JHICKMAN) [#21]
 25 Apr 13:02
 To: Caffeine-
Powered Enforcer Ariana (SILVERSMOKE) [#20] 25 Apr 13:03



LOL. I'm doing six of those in a Marvel thing I'm working on right now.

/




Reply
From: ivan brandon (IVAN) [#22]
 25 Apr 13:03
 To: Warren Ellis
(WARRENELLIS) [#19] 25 Apr 13:09

hmm... it would make for a much more interesting/complicated hell on
administration, in terms of deadlines and the like. 1 of your artists flake (much
less all five, as is a good possibility these days) and you end up retracing a lot of
steps to make the whole thing cohesive.
 
 just thinking out loud here. it would be
hard to do fast, for sure. hard anyway, i guess, but not insurmountable with a
bigger window before publication.
 
 (not trying to make a point for or against the
thing, just thinking out loud)




Reply


From: Warren Ellis (WARRENELLIS) [#23]
         25 Apr 13:15
 To: ivan brandon
(IVAN) [#22] 25 Apr 13:17

All true, of course. That said, five pages a month is an easier target per
artist.
 
 It all comes back to the STRANGE DAYS model (and, maybe, the
earlier ECHO DES SAVANES gang) -- comic as band.





Reply


From: pj holden (PAULJHOLDEN) [#24]
          25 Apr 13:30
 To: Warren Ellis
(WARRENELLIS) [#1] 25 Apr 13:35

I'd love to be involved in something like that - coming from a 2000AD background
- short stories are my natural home.




Reply


From: Jason A. Quest (JAQ) [#25]
       25 Apr 13:41
 To: ivan brandon (IVAN)
[#22] 25 Apr 13:44
Furthermore, if one artist flakes, you only need to squeeze five pages out of
another artist (one who owes you a favor) to make up for it. At least in theory,
you could recover from a totally blown "I haven't started yet" deadline in a week
or two.




Reply


From: ivan brandon (IVAN) [#26]
     25 Apr 13:53
 To: Jason A. Quest (JAQ)
[#25] 25 Apr 14:16

well, it's potentially more involved than that, depending on how elaborately you
structure each story to the artist... and further how long that respective story is
intended to be long term, and whether or not it interacts with the others, and so
on...
 
 for my own part, i wouldn't see the point in doing just random unrelated
shorts, you know? if we're looking at it in band/album terms, you don't want to
just throw in any old song to fill that void.
 
 again, i'm not saying it's
insurmountable, but anthologies bring their own set of logistical headaches to the
table. (trust me, i'm ripping my hair out over one RIGHT NOW)




Reply


From: Amy Kim Ganter (GANTER) [#27]
         25 Apr 13:56
 To: ALL



I can attest to the slimline anthology format, having participated in one of the
Goosebumps Graphix books. They contain three stories per volume, each story
running around 40 pages. From an artist's perspective it's awesome. 40 pages is
the perfect amount to tell a full short story, it's completely manageable. I'm not
sure how readers have reacted to the books, although I'm sure they're doing well.
I think RL Stine's name has more to do with it than the format, though.

edit: whoops.. I didn't read the first post carefully enough. That's an interesting
format, and even easier than doing 40 pages! I wonder if it would be a viable long
term model, though. It would definitely be a project more for artists than for
readers, I think.
Reply


From: Maxim Douglas aka Salgood Sam (MAX) [#28]
            25 Apr 14:11
 To:
Warren Ellis (WARRENELLIS) [#23] 25 Apr 14:15



It would be an easy target, and I think someone with a good working history with
a number of artists would be able to stock a book like that with known quantities
for a lot of the work making the flake out factor pretty manageable, and the short
bits lets you try out new talent relatively painlessly. Nice.

If one got the 5 pagers to be done mostly by a regular stable of trusted talent it
would make for a nice not to demanding monthly gig.

One consideration from my own experience on short stuff, is that you have to
watch out for taking the ease of it for granted?

Anyone doing this kind of book would be probably mistaken if they took a laid
back approach to deadlines, with something like a short comic or illo its just so
easy not to think about it till the last minute for artists who have a few things on
the go. Mostly that’s the artists professional lookout but an editor or writer would
want to keep it in mind when planning this sort of thing and assigning work. Make
good use of padded delaines, give them only enough time to do it in even if it
means getting the story in weeks or months in advance, far better that then late
after all. You could even get some to draw a 30 page or more story [6 5pg
chapters] in one go and have it all done way in advance.

cool format, i like.

but I’ve always loved anthologies.




Reply


From: Dave Farmer (DAVE_FARMER) [#29]
            25 Apr 14:35
 To: ALL

Just to throw my two cents in, one approach might be to give all five writer/artists
an end goal in mind for each issues plot; and have each of them cover one of five
character's viewpoints as they all arrive there. Example: on the way to the
Emerald City in OZ, you see one guy cover Dorothy's perspective, while
someone else covers the Tin Man reacting to her. I guess in that example, the
fifth person would have to be Toto.
Reply


From: Michael L. Peters (MLPETERS) [#30]
            25 Apr 15:40
 To: Warren Ellis
(WARRENELLIS) [#1] 25 Apr 15:56

Sounds interesting, fun, not too much of a time commitment and potentially
profitable. 
 
 Any particular artists in mind (hint: I'd love to tackle an Ellis script,
someday...)?
 
 http://mlpeters.com

Reply


From: Michael L. Peters (MLPETERS) [#31]
            25 Apr 15:51
 To: Marvin Mann
(MARVINMANN) [#3] 25 Apr 16:56

"The one page pieces are intriguing.
 
 If they are to be one page stories (16
panels each?), then you need the right kind of cartoonist to draw something that
tight... probably someone with a deceptively simple style."
 
 Not necessarily -- I
did a one-pager for Heavy Metal (it's awaiting an opening in the schedule, so I
can't show it publicly, yet) with all of 3 panels, drawn and painted in my usual
style. I'll e-mail a secret (shhh...) link to anyone here that's interested.
 
 Keeping
a story down to one page can be less about cramming a full story onto a page,
than limiting the writing to one simple, clever notion -- something more akin to a
daily comic-strip drawn to comics page format.
 
 
 http://mlpeters.com

Reply


From: Chris Arrant (CHRISARRANT) [#32]
             25 Apr 16:04
 To: Warren Ellis
(WARRENELLIS) [#1] 25 Apr 17:02



I did a minicomic version of this for SDCC last year -- 2 5pp stories, 2 6pp
stories, written by me with four artists. But it was strictly as a one-off "show reel"
type of thing and not intended to begin an ongoing.

I've talked with Becky Cloonan and some others about a slimline anthology, and I
think it's possible but it would need to be weighted with a considerable "name"
creator that can pull in units, and one talented enough to work in 5pp increments.
Whether they're ongoings or one-off, that FUTURE SHOCK kind of storytelling
isn't something everyone possesses.
But having an artist only responsible for 4 pp a month would be an interesting
thing, and would open up the potential to get far ahead and do possible double-
shipping months or have one of the ongoing stories take up 2 stories spot in one
issue for a big scene.

I did this format in a minicomic for SDCC last year; 1-writer-4-artists-5pp stories...
more as a "show reel" than a launching pad for an ongoing series, but I enjoyed
it.




Reply


From: David McIntyre (ROGUEDEATHANGEL) [#33]
               25 Apr 18:11
 To: ALL



Personally I'd prefer if a book like this didn't follow a "the one-pagers are lead-ins
for the five pagers" or "the one-pagers are all one big story" kind of formula. It'd
be good every now and again, but not as the general formula for the book, I think
it would be more interesting if you didnt know the structure of the book before
reading it, other than the 1-5-1-5 etc page break-up.

For £1.55 this would be an absolute bargain. A book like this should be put at the
checkouts at every Borders in the country.



Reply


From: Mark D. Ashworth (TH_MOLE) [#34]
 25 Apr 19:07
 To: Jason
Rodriguez (JASON_RODRIGUEZ) [#4] 26 Apr 9:03
quote:
It's an interesting concept - it seems a lot of anthologies are going the
opposite direction and beefing up to 40+ pages or bookshelf friendly.
A quick and dirty way to accomodate that:
 
 2
 10
 2
 10
 2
 10
 2
 
 Plus front
and back covers.
 
 The other route that seems obvious would probably force the
creator to spend more time editing than
writing:
 
 1f
 5
 1f
 5
 1f
 5
 1f
 5
 1b
 5
 1b
 5
 1b
 5
 1b
 
 With one of two
"single page" artists getting the front cover, and the other the back.
 
 The math
gets screwy that way, though, with 11 contributors to split the pot.
Reply


From: Nick Ellis (NICKELLIS) [#35]
      25 Apr 19:26
 To: Warren Ellis
(WARRENELLIS) [#23] 26 Apr 4:09



Slimlines as singles? M Fraction is calling the Casanova collection an album
yeah? K Gillen has one page B-sides...

Pie in the sky idea: This format could work with a 'Big Issue' style distribution
method. Cheap issue price, variety of content, slab of culture. The sort of stuff
you pick up to read on public transport.

Don't know how or if you'd work in the charity angle (seeing how the profits are
all back end), but it might go some way to finding a different audience.

(Actually, isn't that how a lot of the underground comix were distributed? Out of
prams etc. on street corners?)

-n/e




Reply


From: FoolKing (JOEL_R_CRABTREE) [#36]
             25 Apr 19:49
 To: Warren
Ellis (WARRENELLIS) [#1] 26 Apr 4:09

Strictly from a (discerning?) reader's standpoint: This idea is so good it's sexual.
My mind's abuzz with the possibilities. To keep it short and sweet, one thing I'd
be interterested in seeing (unless the intial team overwhelmed me into blind
devotion) is seeing a rotating artist roster following certain arcs. A perfect way to
gauge dynamics and the set the stage for "outside" collaborations.




Reply


From: Richard Pace (RPACE) [#37]
        25 Apr 19:57
 To: ALL
I think there's a lot of talk around the idea on different formats and page counts
that isn't recognising the status of Warren's structure. It might be an idea to talk
through the current model presented before speculating on how else it can work
when it hasn't worked yet, it's still speculative.
 
 I think we need some people
pushing the initial format forward to see how it rolls before we tinker under the
hood. 
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 One writer, four
artists, one book lends itself to one story told from different places. The simplest
example I can think of off the top of my head is a zombie comic. Perhaps mini-
series to test the experiment, or as an ongoing to free the writer to explore the
myriad story possibilities, yadda, yadda, yadda. Whatever the concept, this is the
writer's band, the artists are just stepping in to jam.
 
 Cover -- drawn by
Interstitial artist
 
 P1 -- Interstitial segment -- following zombie mob (with several
recognizable Zs) as they approach apartment building and some go in.
 P2-6 --
Story 1 - mother and kids trapped in apartment building.
 P7 -- Interstitial
segment -- zombie mob wanders to police station and join assault.
 P8-12 --
Story 2 -- cops and misc civilians in Assault on Precinct 13 With Zombies
 P13 --
Interstitial segment -- some from the zombie mob descend into the subway
 P14-
18 -- Story 3 -- Commuters vs. Snakes Zombies on a Train! 
 P19 -- Interstitial
segment -- new zombie mob forms from dead commuters, it goes deeper into the
subway tunnels (leads into issue 2 where Interstitial artists tackles the 5-page
story of the homeless living in the tunnels dealing with the zombies and one of
the other three artists tackles cover and interstitial bits).
 
 Artists can rotate in
and out of the cycle as the series progresses, commiting to three chapters and
one interstitial/cover three month tour, though it would be better to aim for 12
issues and a nice thick 240 page collection.
 
 That's how I see it working with
Warren's structure. It's simple and elegant and can work, but there needs to be a
few solid things in place to get it working.
 
 You need a bankable headliner, and
it's gonna have to be the writer and he's going to have to have had a goodly
amount of comics experience under his or her belt to make this work if they plan
to write to the strengths of varied artists. Another reason for the writer to be the
headliner is that the writer will be staying, he/she is the constant running through
all the stories and, if this is to work, you need readers, not art appreciators.
Everyone involved in the project has to recognise it's the writer's show, too. This
would be a bitch to write and orchestrate, so everyone else would have to show
the required amount of deference and respect and not fuck up.
 
 You also need
artists who know that a 5 page story will probably take as long as any 8 pages
they do on a longer project, and even more time for the cover/interstitial gig.
These shorter, denser chapters will have to do double-time in storytelling and
action, something most artists aren't required to do much anymore. These artists
are going to have to be absolutely addicted to the subject matter for this to
work.
 
 Most of the writers I can think of who could pull this off are exclusive to
the large pubs or possibly quite removed from looking at this as worth the effort.

 
 ~Richard
Reply


From: Marvin Mann (MARVINMANN) [#38]
             25 Apr 22:43
 To: Richard Pace
(RPACE) [#37] 26 Apr 4:43



Nicely thought through. i think my only problem with the interstitial segments is
that they might tend to become not much more then little bits of geographical
business. I'd want something more than an announcement that, "Now we are
here."

As a reader, I'd prefer to see four brilliant one page stories. Brilliant. There's the
rub.




Reply


From: Jason A. Quest (JAQ) [#39]
        26 Apr 4:06
 To: Marvin Mann
(MARVINMANN) [#38] 26 Apr 6:20

I know that my world would be brighter with more one-page stories. And more
five-page stories. Why do people gravitate so quickly back to turning a format like
this into yet another serial?




Reply


From: Warren Ellis (WARRENELLIS) [#40]
           26 Apr 4:11
 To: Nick Ellis
(NICKELLIS) [#35] 26 Apr 5:03

(Actually, isn't that how a lot of the underground comix were
distributed? Out of prams etc. on street corners?)
 
 The headshops, too.
Not totally dissimilar from the current state of the direct market.

Reply


From: Nick Ellis (NICKELLIS) [#41]
      26 Apr 5:09
 To: Warren Ellis
(WARRENELLIS) [#40] 26 Apr 6:32



quote: Warren Ellis
The headshops, too. Not totally dissimilar from the current state of the
direct market.


Which might argue against this technique widening the audience.

Of course the other distribution possibility that would work with this format is web,
although that takes the idea in a completely different direction.

(In my head I have the idea from W Gibson's ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES,
where you build your own magazine and it gets printed out, crossed with some
sort of music download site. But again, completely different kettle of fish.)

-n/e



Reply


From: Joe Williams (JOE_WILLY) [#42]
        26 Apr 5:24
 To: Jason A. Quest
(JAQ) [#39] 26 Apr 6:03



If Harvey Pekar wasn't already with Vertigo I'd like to see him try the Slimline
anthology format with American Splendor.

The thing I miss most in the current comics marketplace are the single-creator
anthologies that most indy comics people were doing in the early 90s like
Eightball which contained both short (sometimes even half pagers or less) and
longer form comics (sometimes serialized stories) along with little bits of
ephemera like letters, comic reviews, etc.

I like the Slimline anthology idea but see no reason why anything has to be linked
for the simple fact that the comics world needs something to counteract the
tendency to create ever-larger and complex graphic novels, manga series and
interlinked continuity-based spandex soap operas across several monthly titles.
Some of us like short comics and want to read more! Why not just a really cheap
anthology without all the headaches some people are imposing on the format?
Why not just a chance to let artists whack out 5 pages and move on to other
projects? I think a lot of artists wouldn't mind doing something so short for back
end money and it could also offer some exposure to artists who still have day
jobs and other commitments and can't afford to take on a full book by
themselves.

The biggest argument against anthologies seems to be the feeling of being
cheated if 1 or more stories aren't a favorite of the purchaser but at $1.99 I'm not
sure those complaints would be as loud.




Reply


From: Alex Wilson (ALEX) [#43]
      26 Apr 5:48
 To: ALL

Working on something like this between other projects.




Reply


From: Graeme McMillan (GRAEME) [#44]
          26 Apr 6:49
 To: Warren Ellis
(WARRENELLIS) [#14] 26 Apr 7:07

I didn't think of Artoons (which was wonderful), but Milligan and McCarthy's
Sooner or Later, from mid-80s 2000AD. Weren't they mostly 1-page episodes, or
am I completely misremembering?

Reply


From: Garrett_Farrelly (GARRETTFARRELLY) [#45]
            26 Apr 7:01
 To:
Warren Ellis (WARRENELLIS) [#40] 26 Apr 7:07



My first thought seeing the 1 page idea was Jim Mahfood. That guy does more in
1 page than some artist/writers do in a whole fucking book. Or that sick monster
Templesmith with his leprechaun fetish, he can give you comedy/horror and an
accurate depiction of Irish mating rituals all in 5 panels.
And what about really finely detailed artists doing 1 page pieces. I'm thinking
Frank Quietly, Bryan Talbot, fuck...why not Amano? They do covers, why not
something inside? You hear so many writers saying "God, I'd love to work with
one of them". Here's the chance to do so in a very compact way.

The artists don't have to commit to the grind of a monthly, just a little piece. Or
maybe a whole bunch of little pieces adding up to something.




Reply


From: chris_mitten [#46]
     26 Apr 7:17
 To: Warren Ellis (WARRENELLIS)
[#1] 26 Apr 7:18



This is probably something worth taking a whack at (but then, I’m kind of a
sucker for anthologies, so maybe that’s shading my thinking a bit). But still, it’s a
fun idea. And, like it’s been said, the smaller snippets make for easier
scheduling, at least from an artist’s standpoint.

You could get some truly interesting stuff swirling around out there.

-chris.




Reply


From: Rob (ROBWILLIAMS) [#47]
 26 Apr 7:39
 To: Garrett_Farrelly
(GARRETTFARRELLY) [#45] 28 Apr 20:35

Henry Flint did some one page stories for 2000AD a while back - Alien Invasions.
They were typically bonkers and brilliant in equal measure, which is Henry all
over. He'd be great at this type of thing.

Reply


From: becky cloonan (BECKYC) [#48]
          26 Apr 9:10
 To: ALL
I've been thinking about this for a whie- (I think "comic magazine" is a better way
to describe it though, over anthology.) 
 I really love working in the OGN format,
but I have a monthly book too and it's so much more rewarding to put something
out every month.

My OGN is published by Tokyopop, and I always thought their Takuhai (I think it
was called?) magazine was a great idea, they collected a chapter from each of
their OEL books and would distribute it for free. I think this would work great also
if they could distribute it and charge a minimal amount for it, especially if you print
it on super cheap paper and get soe advertisement money the cost could be kept
pretty low.

It takes most OEL books about a year to reach a sequel, and I can attest to how
tiring and frustrating it can be to work and work and not feel like there's any
progress. I'll be drawing East Coast Rising for another two years!! I think a comic
magazine would benefit not just the readers, but more the creaters. I think there's
a creator need for this sort of thing, and the material is already there in most
cases. Tokyopop is one company who could pull this off, another would be Oni
Press, I think Yen Press is doing something like this too? I'm not sure?

But yeah I'd love to be part of something like this. I think the super short format is
good because not many creators I know can commit to something new, everyone
is so busy! It's a busy time! If it catches on I think it could grow into something
bigger, until creators have enough time to work full time on it?

I'm just rambling!! I love thinking about this stuff. Mmm. Format.




Reply


From: ivan brandon (IVAN) [#49]
       26 Apr 9:15
 To: becky cloonan
(BECKYC) [#48] 26 Apr 12:03

it's a variation on the idea, but you and vasilis could trade duties back and forth
on something like this.




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From: Dean Haspiel (DINO) [#50]
 26 Apr 9:31
 To: Warren Ellis
(WARRENELLIS) [#1] 27 Apr 2:35
Interesting idea. Good way to get cool artists to pony 5pp per month towards a
bigger tapestry of a comic. Were I to edit/co-produce it, I'd have one writer,
possibly an artist/writer, provide the plot breakdown and dialogue, possibly, with
rough thumbnail layouts [left up for interpretation -- not unlike what Keith Giffen
did for 52]. The over-arching story would have seperate storylines that "met" via
story thesis, and possibly converge at the end of the tale. Kinda like if Robert
Altman had written/directed a comic book version of one of his ensemble movies.
Hell, a character could die or his/her storyline end, make some kinda impact on
the tapestry [ripple effect?], and a new artist w/a new character could enter the
fray. Narrative Corpse with a plot. I'd call the book, P.O.V.




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From: Joey Stone (SHOEFACE) [#51]
         27 Apr 5:11
 To: ALL



I don't think that it would need to have an ongoing narrative throughout the whole
series (each 5 page story being the first chapter in a longer arc, for example). I
think the better approach would be having a constant theme appearing. The best
example I could think of - and also something I would fucking love to see - is a
Snowtown anthology.

Each issue would collect a number of short stories about the various fucked up
things going on in Snowtown - one five pager focusing on the Nixon Nun, one
about the receptionist at the police station, etc. Not only would this be a great
way to get other artists interpretation of Snowtown (not that there is anything
wrong with Templesmith, whom I love dearly in a very sexy way), but it would
also help expand upon the world in which Richard Fell exists, fleshing it out
more.



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From: Nick Ellis (NICKELLIS) [#52]
     27 Apr 5:22
 To: becky cloonan
(BECKYC) [#48] 27 Apr 9:14



The way you put it sounds very similar to what (I believe) is the Japanese format,
with title's like Shonen Jump running chapters of things like Naruto each month,
and then the collection coming out later.

(Also, interestingly, if you go back and have a look at the early Detective Comics
and the like, it's pretty similar to that. In Detective #27, Batman is I think about an
8 page story, with about five other stories in there [including a weird one page
celebrity thing with a damn creepy drawing of Fred Astaire].)

I haven't done my research on this, so I may be a little off the mark with how the
Japanese magazines work, but it would be interesting to see a western publisher
try this sort of thing out.

-n/e




Reply


From: Elliot Mears (ELLIOTMEARS) [#53]
          27 Apr 5:57
 To: Nick Ellis
(NICKELLIS) [#52] 27 Apr 17:30

I have a copy of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP right beside me, and you're not
wrong. The NARUTO episode is about fifteen/sixteen pages long, one of some
22 different series currently running in the magazine. The longest of them is
about 30 pages, and it retails for 230 yen (about a quid in God's Money, and
maybe two of those quaint American dollars). There's also a few strip cartoons in
there, and one or two gag illustrations, such as Napoleon I riding a panda into
battle. It's printed on thick, low-grade pulp paper in many different colours, which
I think looks kind of cool.

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Message 8348.54 was deleted


From: becky cloonan (BECKYC) [#55]
          27 Apr 9:23
 To: Nick Ellis
(NICKELLIS) [#52] 27 Apr 17:30

The way you put it sounds very similar to what (I believe) is the
Japanese format, with title's like Shonen Jump (snip) 
 
 Yeah it's funny
how the whole OEL market is based on how the Japanese supposidly do it, but
it's actually based on how we've been translating them. Nobody was thinking that
in Japan they have monthly or weekly distribution (and assistants!) to help with
the massive output. 
 
 I think comic magazines/anthologies/collections whatever
you call them would greatly relieve a lot of stress from all the kids (and adults!)
jumping into the OEL/OGN format. From what I've seen online there has been a
lot of talk about it from creators. 
 
 I actually think this slimline anthology would
be a great diving board into something like that as well. Get the direct market
used to a monthly anthology, get people thinking in that direction and it might
move things foreward!




Reply


From: Warren Ellis (WARRENELLIS) [#56]
           27 Apr 10:01
 To: becky cloonan
(BECKYC) [#55] 27 Apr 15:33

I think comic magazines/anthologies/collections whatever you call
them would greatly relieve a lot of stress from all the kids (and
adults!) jumping into the OEL/OGN format. From what I've seen online
there has been a lot of talk about it from creators. 
 
 Another bunch just
last night, in fact.





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From: Morgan Jeske (GUS) [#57]
         27 Apr 17:08
 To: ALL

It seems like this could be a really cool project to utilize a rotating group of
writers/artists. A project wherein they can tell those smaller stand alone
stories/concepts they have floating around on a monthly basis.




Reply


Message 8348.58 was deleted


From: Richard Pace (RPACE) [#59]
         27 Apr 17:25
 To: ALL
Had another thought, I think it's a bad one but I'm gonna share for the hell of it:
one artist, four writers.

At that point the headliner becomes the artist (duh), but the play of it becomes
how much of a taffy pull can the other writers have with the artist's style and
abilities within varied genres.

Breaking down the payment into fifths is a bit of a no-go, but simple maths of
10%x4 and 60% might make it work. The one-pagers become less important as
interstitial elements, but can still be nice exercises. Hell, you could still do the
one-genre thing -- four writers do their zombie riff all connected by one
storyteller.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The more I think of Warren's initial premise, the more I like it. It's probably the
only sort of regular comics workload I could consistently handle in addition to
teaching September through April.


 ~Richard




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From: Nick Ellis (NICKELLIS) [#60]
       27 Apr 17:39
 To: becky cloonan
(BECKYC) [#55] 27 Apr 18:34



quote: Becky Cloonan
Yeah it's funny how the whole OEL market is based on how the
Japanese supposidly do it, but it's actually based on how we've been
translating them. Nobody was thinking that in Japan they have
monthly or weekly distribution (and assistants!) to help with the
massive output.


Yeah, it's funny how people will advocate other modes of production but
completely forget vital parts of them. With assistants for example, some of the
teams have people who just draw vehicles, or backgrounds.

(Another funny comparison is that if you go back and look again at early western
stuff, the same sorts of things happened there. In the introduction to a collection
of Superman newspaper strips I have, they talk about Paul Cassidy who was
hired by Siegel and Shuster to ghost a couple of strips they were putting out.
Shuster himself just inked in the faces. [From memory, Bob Kane and Will Eisner
had similar set ups at times, possibly others too].)

Back on topic, I can definitely see this sort of thing working, and with the
possibility of different magazines aimed at different audiences (my little sister
would love a monthly anthology of OEL stuff, and her tastes run quite differently
to mine).

-n/e



Reply

From: Rantz Hoseley (RANTZ) [#61]
       27 Apr 17:51
 To: Nick Ellis
(NICKELLIS) [#60] unread



I've been reading a fuckload of books on the beginnings/rise and fall of the silver
age lately, and yeah... Goodman/Timely/Atlas/Marvel did the short 'test bed' bit
almost as SOP. Journey into Mystery, Amazing Fantasy... all had that 2-3
running serial format, usually with page lengths about 8-10 pages. In those cases
it was to hedge bets against returnable sales, but also so they could have
multiple teams churning out stuff.

Everything comes around...

and yeah, I like the idea a LOT. It kinda deals with one of the major outstanding
puzzle pieces of a anthlogy idea Derek and I were talking about at SDCC this last
year. Maybe when the decks get cleared a bit...




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From: Nick Bryan (NICKMB) [#62]
       28 Apr 2:15
 To: ALL



Fleetway did this five-page-story anthology thing with Sonic The Comic, a kiddies
Sonic-The-Hedgehog-based comic back in the day. Thinking back, it was
basically a young-skewing version of 2000AD where all the stories were based
on Sega videogames. But I used to really love it as a kid, it was probably my
gateway drug to comics as a whole.

The Sonic-stuff with talking animals took over the whole comic in the end, you
just ended up with four stories featuring different characters from the same world.
But in the beginning you had a Sonic story, then a Shinobi story about ninjas, a
Streets of Rage story about street gang fighting (written by a very early Mark
Millar, actually) and Ecco The Dolphin, which I think may have been beyond me
as a child. Lovely art, but I never had a clue what was going on.

It also slowly imploded and died a death, actually... It was sad to see. First they
removed one of the original stories and only featured three new stories and one
reprint per issue. It degenerated further and a year or so late, it was one new
story and three reprints. And I think it kept going as a 100% reprints thing for a
year or so more after they stopped producing anything new. Except for the
covers.

Anyway, that post ended up being a bit of a nostalgia trawl, but my point (I think)
was that I have very fond memories of the kind of thing Warren's talking about.
The key difference was that there wasn't one unified writer, just four teams.

Also, the Sonic stories by Nigel Kitching and Richard Elson are under-rated
classics, just for the record.



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From: Dan Maharry (HMOBIUS) [#63]
         28 Apr 5:36
 To: ALL



Funny how this idea doesn't a million miles away from the way some cartoon
shows are structured. e.g. Animaniacs, a personal fave. Three or four minute
cartoons as the main attractions with sixty seconds of randomness thrown in for
effect.

I wonder how many more types of media can be structured in this way?




Reply
From: Yann Krehl (Y_KREHL) [#64]
           28 Apr 7:16
 To: Warren Ellis
(WARRENELLIS) [#1] 28 Apr 7:22

I like the idea and would pay money for something like that. (Nobody here
disliking it?)
 
 The 1-5-1-5-1-5-1 seems a little bit rigid - but you could use 0-5-1-
5-1-5-0 as a basis and add the remaining two pages wherever you feel like (just
not to the 5 page segments) to make the thing a bit more unpredictable.
 
 If
something like this would be published, I would probably buy it – depending on
the concept and the creators involved, of course. And the individual pieces
wouldn’t necessarily have to be connected, as far as I’m concerned. (Yes, I like
anthologies.)
 The more well-known the writer (and the artists), the looser the
connection could probably be. (And there are far more writers out there who
could pull this of than there are writers who could sell it with their name alone.)




Reply


From: Yann Krehl (Y_KREHL) [#65]
           28 Apr 7:20
 To: ALL

Just remembered another comic using a similar format:
 





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From: Michael L. Peters (MLPETERS) [#66]
            28 Apr 16:27
 To: Richard Pace
(RPACE) [#59] 28 Apr 16:32

I think the one writer, five artists model was proposed because a writer can often
write much faster than artists can draw.
 
 I don't see why anyone's making light
of one-pagers. Jeff Jones did many one-pagers in National Lampoon (Idyll) and
Heavy Metal (I'mage) and even won awards for it. Granted, as stories they didn't
make much sense, but I don't think that was purely due to format. 
 
 I've done
one one-pager for Heavy Metal -- it worked fine, much like a Sunday newspaper
strip.
 
 http://mlpeters.com

Reply


From: Juan Navarro (THISISJUAN) [#67]
            28 Apr 19:48
 To: ALL

I think I would love to tackle a project with this type of structure, but I think it all
comes sdown to the writer and the script they put together for it. If it has good
bones, the whole thing'll look great.




Reply


From: Chris Gumprich (GUMPRICH) [#68]
            30 Apr 5:53
 To: Yann Krehl
(Y_KREHL) [#65] 30 Apr 6:01



Ah, WASTELAND... criminally underappreciated series. I miss Del Close.

If the proposed anthology was of a similar quality, I would buy it. As everyone
knows, it's a lot easier to risk $1.99 on a new book than $4.95 (or more).




Reply


From: Blake Peterson (BLAKEPETERSON) [#69]
               8 Jul 14:52
 To: Warren
Ellis (WARRENELLIS) [#1] 8 Jul 14:56



This is actually the idea that I read on your blog that got me to delurk on The
Engine. It seems like a realy exciting idea.

For comic artists or writers just starting out it would give them the lattitude to start
by telling more compact stories before moving on to something larger. If I wanted
to try out the format as a writer, probably with an online distribution model, should
I post in the "Writer's Looking for Artists section?" I noticed a lot of people here
sounding off on the format, but didn't see too many actually talking about doing it.

I'm asking because it's your idea and your forum (not because I'm trying to sound
like a moron).




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