An embarassment of riches
The first time I needed an artist for STRANGEWAYS, oh those years ago, I went over to Digital Webbing, which was about the only place I knew of to get a hold of artists. I suppose DeviantArt had been around, and remember seeing a few galleries from there, but never saw it as a place to simply rifle through samples (mostly because that would be a sanity-destroying process, and who has the time?). When I posted last time, which was well over five years ago, I recall getting a handful of responses. One of them was from the original artist for the book (which yielded a half-completed non-sequential issue, when I paid for a fullly-completed yes-sequential issue in advance–never again.) That was out of five to seven responders worth viewing.
The second time around, where I found Estudio Haus in Argentina, and Luis Guaragna in particular there, I’d received maybe ten responses. And this was to an ad stating payment and publication, not a pie-in-the-sky sort of project.
Yesterday, I posted that I was looking for artists for a horror/western anthology, as indeed the third STRANGEWAYS book will be. It’s either called ONE-EYED JACK or THE LAND WILL KNOW. Stated that it would be a paid project, short number of pages, genre restrictions.
As of a little while ago, I’ve gotten sixty responses. A few of them are very, very good. Most of them can *not* be dismissed out of hand. This is a pretty amazing transformation in the quantity/quality ratio. Nearly everyone responding is from overseas, not a big deal in the age of the Internet, though disconcerting should they choose to go walkabout. But really, I’m astonished at the quality level of the artists I’m seeing art from. A lot of these guys really get it. They’ve sent sequential samples, not just pinups. They’ve shown an interest in a variety of genre materials (and plenty of them seem enthusiastic about westerns as a whole.) Okay, I’m getting a lot of zombie samples, but that’s not a big deal. There’s room in the world for zombies.
Honestly, though, I was dreading this process, but what I’m seeing is really exciting. Of course, this means that I have to turn some fifty-plus artists down, as there’s only a limited amount of slots. But there’s a lot of talent out there.
I’m just hoping that I can afford it.
With artist’s blessings, I’ll probably be running some samples as I start to go through them. Maybe someone else out there has a project that needs pencils?
I’m sure of it.
And on another note, I’m looking at pages for the fourth chapter of THE THIRSTY and am generally really pleased. Except where they followed my directions and I find out that my directions were bad to begin with. This is where I take note of those mistakes (like calling for a dramatic panel and have all the drama sucked out of it by putting another character in it, trying to break up the action: that’s stupid kids, don’t do it), promise not to do them again and ask very very nicely for redraws. However, things are coming together quite nicely. I’m told by the studio that art will be done around mid-August. I just have to get the backup story finished up (halfway through the inks now.)
Then I start selling it into the Direct Market. No sprinting here. Just keep swimming.