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Dustin Neal
09-04-2011, 08:28 AM
...ever catch up with how today's society is? Everything is instant. Waiting a month for a short read is pretty tough for non-comic readers to undertake, I would think. I'm not sure if JLA #1 will really pick up new readers if it takes six months or so to get the "origin" story out. Will we ever see a universal bi-weekly system in comics? Weekly would be way too much with how so many writers/artists work on multiple projects, but a month is so long to wait for the amount of story we do get now.

FHIZ
09-04-2011, 08:33 AM
How much time do you think it takes to plot, write, pencil, ink, color, letter and proof an issue?

Dustin Neal
09-04-2011, 08:36 AM
How much time do you think it takes to plot, write, pencil, ink, color, letter and proof an issue?

Honestly, I don't know.

FHIZ
09-04-2011, 08:43 AM
Well, a while. I mean, art is usually what takes the longest, and there are some artists that either ink their own stuff or do it digitally, taking out a step, but still, there's a reason why they're monthlies. I don't think that there is any artist out there that could produce a full issue every two weeks by themselves, because it's not like they'even have a full two weeks to do it. They've got to get it to the colorist, letterer, editorial, and finally have time for it to print.

Hopeful
09-04-2011, 08:44 AM
I don't think they can really.

I suppose there could be a few series that work like the majority of webcomics, just a constant stream of pages online every few days or so, perhaps paid for with an subscription.

But overall it just can't be done, unless these bi-weekly comics are black and white and only ten pages long...which may or may not be so bad.

Let's Kill Hitler
09-04-2011, 08:56 AM
The thing is monthly comic books don't stop to have breaks. I sometimes wonder if comic books work better if they had series like TV shows; there are, say, 16 comic books each released weekly then series 1 is over and we wait several months for the next one. Gives the artists enough time to create enough comics to release them weekly.

phantom1592
09-04-2011, 08:58 AM
Closest you would ever get would be the Web-comics like Dr.Mcninja. That's one page 3 days a week...

for a full 32 page book? I don't see it happening.

Blue Blazes
09-04-2011, 09:18 AM
Well, a while. I mean, art is usually what takes the longest, and there are some artists that either ink their own stuff or do it digitally, taking out a step, but still, there's a reason why they're monthlies. I don't think that there is any artist out there that could produce a full issue every two weeks by themselves, because it's not like they'even have a full two weeks to do it. They've got to get it to the colorist, letterer, editorial, and finally have time for it to print.

talking to steven butler at a signing, most recently did sonic the hedgehog comics said he could do about 2 pages a day (varies depending on exact page, but average). so thats a full 22 page comic in 11 days. then letterer, inking, color, editorial (which may mean redraws), etc. And sonic is not one of the more detailed comics, has a good amount but not like some others. and often they try to get the "current issue" completed about 6 months prior to release. He did the free comic book day sonic (may 2011) and said his art was done in december. so that gives an idea about the process.

Ebon
09-04-2011, 09:19 AM
How much time do you think it takes to plot, write, pencil, ink, color, letter and proof an issue?


Honestly, I don't know.

A good rule of thumb I've seen is that a good, fast artist produces about a page a day under optimal conditions. A 20-page comic therefore takes a bare minimum of 20 days to make, not really accounting for mistakes, misunderstandings, color, lettering, and all the post-production stuff.

Deadline crunches are one of the reasons, I think, we've seen such a large increase in splash pages over the last several years. They don't take as long to draw.

Here is an excellent breakdown of the work by a DC artist. (http://mikehawthorne.blogspot.com/2008/02/from-layout-to-inks-how-to-make-comic.html) He's producing roughly 2 pages a day (if he's counting a 'week' as five days). No color, no lettering, etc. From what I've read in other places, he's also working with a writer that's able to provide him with details instead of that first description simply being 'An old office building downtown'.

He's making full use of digital tools as well. I think most artists these days don't have the option of not doing so.

Amazing how we could get longer issues bang on time every month 'back in the old days' when artists still worked only on paper, with brushes and pens, and had to snail-mail art around.

TheVampire
09-04-2011, 09:32 AM
for what i know the average speed for artists is 1 page a day (i follow a lot artists blogs and interviews). That, counting 5 days a week of work, means that the 20 pages of an issue are made in 4 weeks\1 month. And the inker\colorist usually work on the previous pages while the artist works on the new ones.

And.. i can't agree too much about the problem of making people wait one month for a comic in a world where everything is instant. Guys wait 12 months for each new Assassin's Creed episode that they will complete in a week-end. In France comics are mainly published with annual deadlines. And what about movie sequels like Harry Potter ones?
I think that if someone (even a modern teenager) really likes a story (a movie, a videogame, a comic series) he\she will wait for the next chapter, even one year.
He\she can always read\watch\play something else while waiting for it. :)

Hopeful
09-04-2011, 09:33 AM
Closest you would ever get would be the Web-comics like Dr.Mcninja. That's one page 3 days a week...

for a full 32 page book? I don't see it happening.

Yeah, Warren's FreakAngels managed 6 pages a week I think, plus the odd week off, I think thats the very best that can be done.

CyberCoyote
09-04-2011, 09:43 AM
The only way you can do a weekly comic BOOK is to have.. what.. four rotating teams MAYBE? At least for art production. Is Spider-Man still 3 times a month? The drawback is you have completely inconsistent art on the book. I picked up one issue, LOVED it, the next issue was painful on my retinas.

You do raise a good point, though. We're in the 'give it to me right now!' era of entertainment. I think the idea of bursts of issues followed by breaks isn't profitable because folks tend to forget about what's not right in front of them. If Nightwing goes on hiatus every few months then when it comes back folks have set their attention on something else and don't come back as surely as a regular release schedule.

I do think DC's day-digital will change some reading habits in the long run, though. If I'm a new reader that catches an issue of Superman in October of 2013, I may have to wait a month to get the NEXT issue, but the entire series will be readily available back to September of 2011 in the very least. Same thing for maybe even a regular reader who nabs Swamp Thing sometime in the future because he'd never read it but his buddy is talking about it. If he's enamored with what he sees he can get that modern day instant gratification by back collecting the entire story arc or series to #1 without a hassle.

So comics may never get a weekly or daily release schedule, but the digital progression of which a foundation is being developed now will provide a version of that in the near future.

Munkiman
09-04-2011, 09:50 AM
...ever catch up with how today's society is? Everything is instant. Waiting a month for a short read is pretty tough for non-comic readers to undertake, I would think. I'm not sure if JLA #1 will really pick up new readers if it takes six months or so to get the "origin" story out. Will we ever see a universal bi-weekly system in comics? Weekly would be way too much with how so many writers/artists work on multiple projects, but a month is so long to wait for the amount of story we do get now.

Everything is instant? What about the wait between episodes of TV (usually a week, but then with long breaks between seasons or even between parts of seasons)? What about all the years it takes to make a movie? Or to make a video game? Modern technology had sped some things up but it's mainly just distribution that has been made easier, the actual thing still takes a while to do. You'll notice that Brightest Day, which was bi-weekly, had like five different artists working on it at a time. You can't just make an artist suddenly cut their production time in half.


Yeah, Warren's FreakAngels managed 6 pages a week I think, plus the odd week off, I think thats the very best that can be done.
You would think Freakangels was better than a normal comic because it was 24 pages a month, but there was a skip week basically every other week. And frequently three out of the six pages of an episode were big two- or one-panel pages of scenery. It was ridiculously decompressed. I still loved it, but at no point did I think that you could do any comic this way.

DaveEB
09-04-2011, 09:50 AM
Why don't you try making a comic yourself and see how long it takes?

I'm serious.

T Hedge Coke
09-04-2011, 09:57 AM
...ever catch up with how today's society is? Everything is instant. Waiting a month for a short read is pretty tough for non-comic readers to undertake, I would think. I'm not sure if JLA #1 will really pick up new readers if it takes six months or so to get the "origin" story out. Will we ever see a universal bi-weekly system in comics? Weekly would be way too much with how so many writers/artists work on multiple projects, but a month is so long to wait for the amount of story we do get now.

Everything?

Then, I want six new Elmore Leonard books, two Jonathan Lethems, a new season of Torchwood on DVD this instant, and an Alan Parker film. Yesterday.

Seriously, I think the current serialization methods are outdated and not helping, but it's not because everything is available instantly and serialization is bad. People still watch TV shows that are on a weekly schedule, and when a season is over, they don't decide to never watch again because there's a break happening before new episodes.

J. Robb
09-04-2011, 10:21 AM
The seven-week wait for Justice League #2 is a great way to kill any excitment the first issue may have built up.

Dustin Neal
09-04-2011, 11:03 AM
I have read every response and now understand how long it takes. I did not know. I could analyze and break down every response, but I am not that type of person. Guys, it was a question. I don't need negative responses, not that anything was too negative. Remember, I'm a new reader. :-)

doordoor123
09-04-2011, 11:23 AM
...ever catch up with how today's society is? Everything is instant. Waiting a month for a short read is pretty tough for non-comic readers to undertake, I would think. I'm not sure if JLA #1 will really pick up new readers if it takes six months or so to get the "origin" story out. Will we ever see a universal bi-weekly system in comics? Weekly would be way too much with how so many writers/artists work on multiple projects, but a month is so long to wait for the amount of story we do get now.

You would really like Manga. There are a lot of Manga that come out once a week. One Piece is my personal favorite. Its not colored but its still good.

Dustin Neal
09-04-2011, 11:25 AM
You would really like Manga. There are a lot of Manga that come out once a week. One Piece is my personal favorite. Its not colored but its still good.

I used to read manga.

doordoor123
09-04-2011, 11:25 AM
The seven-week wait for Justice League #2 is a great way to kill any excitment the first issue may have built up.

Its long when you're only waiting for one comic but if you have comics you're excited for every week, it makes the wait worth it. Thats why people with less comics aren't as enthusiastic.

Mat001
09-04-2011, 12:11 PM
When it varies for artists, it's that some are slower and more precise than others. Mark Bagley can crank out 13 issues a year and that's when it's at his best. Others like Frank Quietly, a good artist, takes months in between for a full issue by him. And that was before his recent back problems and with a good lead time. The only way to reduce that is to take a year just to crank out a decent run and have it all come out once each issue is complete which isn't always easy either.

Dustin Neal
09-04-2011, 12:23 PM
Its long when you're only waiting for one comic but if you have comics you're excited for every week, it makes the wait worth it. Thats why people with less comics aren't as enthusiastic.

I plan to read more than one, so I'm sure I'll be fine.

Ari Gold
09-04-2011, 12:34 PM
It's an interesting question, and one I keep going back and forth on.

For the past couple of years I've thought of updating the system to something like 15/18-issue seasons, appearing 3 times a month for half the year, then taking a break to the following year/season.
Like imagine if LOST (back in its heyday) only gave a new episode once a month, and that includes the fact that an hour of television can relay more information and story than 1 issue of comics (I think generally).

However, thinking about the relaunch now I'm thinking ppl. are more likely to continue reading a title if they only have to drop $3 once a month on it. It doesn't work the same way as tv, which comes free, and dropping $10 a month on 3 issues of comics might not sustain enough different titles (though it may be able to work for the biggest ones).

I'm pretty sure this post is poorly written.

The Adventurer
09-04-2011, 12:35 PM
Will we ever see a universal bi-weekly system in comics?

Man I hope so. Even if it means shorter story installments (like 10 pages, instead of 20). More frequency of release can only help improve a comic's ability to grab and keep a readers attention.

Raye
09-04-2011, 01:04 PM
Well, a while. I mean, art is usually what takes the longest, and there are some artists that either ink their own stuff or do it digitally, taking out a step, but still, there's a reason why they're monthlies. I don't think that there is any artist out there that could produce a full issue every two weeks by themselves, because it's not like they'even have a full two weeks to do it. They've got to get it to the colorist, letterer, editorial, and finally have time for it to print.


Pretty much this. It's just not possible to create 20 page book in a week. There are a rare few artists that could pull off every other week, which could also be accomplished by alternating artists (a couple books do this, X-Factor was every other week for a good while there, by alternating artists). But beyond that you'd end up with like 4 pencilers/inkers per book if you wanted a weekly schedule. There aren't enough artists to accomplish that on a wide scale, right now.

mathew101281
09-04-2011, 04:16 PM
Closest you would ever get would be the Web-comics like Dr.Mcninja. That's one page 3 days a week...

for a full 32 page book? I don't see it happening.

or manga which puts out 15 to 20 pages a week

BioXD
09-04-2011, 04:34 PM
I think the current Amazing Spider-Man format could work to fasten the release dates, that is, have 2-3 regular artists rotating (for ASM it's Humberto Ramos / Steffano Caseli / Others) and give them time to work on a full arc while the issues from the other artists are shipping.

Unfortunately, I can only see this working for the big books, the ones with fewer sales coulnd't afford it probably.

Another option, is to have smaller 16 page issues shipping each 2 weeks or so and take small breaks or release fillers/minis for 1 or 2 months between arcs to give the artist some time to work in advance.

I think the current format of monthly shipping works ok for the people that collect a lot of comics because each week they get a lot of issues, so waiting is no big deal because you have other stuff to read, but for the casual readers they are trying to attract now that only read 1 or 2 comics each month, the waiting period kills momentum,

CyberCoyote
09-04-2011, 07:28 PM
The seven-week wait for Justice League #2 is a great way to kill any excitment the first issue may have built up.

Is it that long? Yeesh.. but then again, JL came out alone, the other books should help fill the gap. But 7 weeks?

clownprince01
09-04-2011, 07:35 PM
That's why I think DC needs to really focus on OGNs or advertise the TPBs when they come out. And most importantly, release them more in bookstores. The idea of trying to bring in new readers through monthly comics is just stupid in my opinion.

I highly doubt the relaunch is going to bring in many new comic readers. Just Marvel converts or those returning to comics.

T Hedge Coke
09-04-2011, 07:47 PM
or manga which puts out 15 to 20 pages a week

Some manga. Usually ones with a huge back up team of artists assisting the primary, done in black and white, and often redrawn for later collection... and having sales to justify all that.

CyberCoyote
09-04-2011, 08:15 PM
I plan to read more than one, so I'm sure I'll be fine.

On the flip side, if all the books I'm really interested in came out even every OTHER week.. I couldn't afford to keep up with them.

Goggindowner
09-04-2011, 09:19 PM
I know that there are a lot of logistical problems with a bi-weekly model, but it really is something that comics need to shoot for. Especially now that they are getting halfway serious about digital release. The current generation is all about immediate gratification, and the wait between issues is going to cause them to lose interest pretty quickly, since I don't see too many casual readers trying to get more than one or two books a month.

The way I see it, there are a few options that could be implemented, all of which have already been suggested.

1. Produce an entire "season" worth of issues, say 4 to 6 months worth of bi-weekly releases, then go on hiatus for 4 to 6 months to complete the next "season."

2. Rotate artists like mad. Instead of having one regular artist, have three or four artists who have complimentary styles. I wouldn't want to get to broad on the style differences for this, because then you really start to lose your artistic flow.

3. Focus more on releasing OGNs. Which, I guess, would work in much the same way the "season" format would, only with possibly longer breaks.

Or some combination of the above. Whatever the solution is, it seriously needs to happen. And publishers and editors need to get VERY serious about meeting deadlines. This is a fast paced, world at your fingertips society that we live in, and most people have the attention span of a gnat. They are easy to lose if you aren't holding their attention.

The Adventurer
09-04-2011, 10:04 PM
On the flip side, if all the books I'm really interested in came out even every OTHER week.. I couldn't afford to keep up with them.

Unless they cost half as much.

Paul Newell
09-04-2011, 10:10 PM
I highly doubt the relaunch is going to bring in many new comic readers. Just Marvel converts or those returning to comics.
And yet I'm seeing just as many new readers appearing at this forum as there are Marvel converts and those returning to comics.

Dustin Neal
09-05-2011, 07:09 AM
Not just here, but many other places I'm seeing people get into comics that feel, "Hey, I can jump on here."

CyberCoyote
09-05-2011, 07:16 AM
Not just here, but many other places I'm seeing people get into comics that feel, "Hey, I can jump on here."

Which makes this the greatest time in comics I can remember in a long time :) Someone above mentioned bi-weekly being ok if they were cheaper, if you can pump up the volume of distributions then the prices can be affected.

Dustin Neal
09-05-2011, 07:42 AM
Maybe it's my newness (again) to the hobby, but it does seem like a very exciting time.