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Stephen Collins on internet ‘distractions’ 11 nov 2017

Perdoem-nos o atraso, empatados noutras frentes, that's life.

Parte 2 de 2 – a primeira podes ler aqui, seguimos a estratégias insustentáveis, comix-wise, e fechamos capítulo com duas abordagens já tratadas antes: o artista que despreza o $$$ e o freelancer que procura fazer carreira na indústria. Começamos com visita aos artistas doin’ it for tha cause -cof-cof- e depois saltamos ao outro lado e espreitamos entre aqueles que vendem BD como quem vende sabonetes.
É um recorte do geist para registo às teses: não vos vamos apresentar conclusões – que ao caso, rimaria com "soluções"-, mas definir o momento em que nos encontramos, ie, o problema em mãos. Concordassem ou não com as nossas leituras, os factos mantêm-se.


I


Life, politics, artsy and $$$. As ever. Peça no TCJ, tradicionalmente mais ocupado dos comics enquanto meio maior capaz de alguma profundidade: uma entrevista aos fundadores de uma pequena editora de BD artsy, à data da inclusão entre a sua equipe editorial uma crítica de sensibilidades semelhantes (*).

* A combinação dos dois pressupostos enunciados atrás –artsy & crit hand-in-hand- seria o suficiente para ignorarmos a peça, obrigamo-nos à leitura do artigo para que vocês não precisem de o fazer.

What do you have planned for 2018?

- Zainab Akhtar: I’m gonna make lots of books so the guys will have to make me rich!
- Patrick Crotty: Yes, our main goal for 2018 is that we all get rich.

- Olle Forsslöf: Great! We have a bunch of books in the making… but we’re so loose that we don’t have a set date for any of them almost.
- Zainab Akhtar: I’m the opposite of the guys. I am very organized and have dates set for everything. Mainly because ShortBox is on a tight schedule/turnaround, and if it fails I can’t eat!

- Olle Forsslöf: That’s a good motivation.
- Zainab Akhtar: I love food, Ollie!     
- Olle Forsslöf: Who doesn’t?
- Zainab Akhtar: Vegans…
in "FYI: I’m Going to Make a Lot of Books" 21 nov 2017

...and that's our queue.

Brincamos, mais do mesmo: fazemos o caminho juntos até que cada um segue sua viagem em separado, os artsy também calcorreiam os mesmos trilhos que nós até ao momento que o deixam de fazer. Queremos muitas Peows e Shortboxes ao mundo, mas fazemos este resumo para lembrar o que nos separa, e se começamos pelo louvável na aparência depressa descobrimos sob a superfície de boas práticas aquelas tentações de intenção.

Primeiro: porque à superfície nos parecem um exemplo louvável de atitudes perante – fuck it! – a vida em geral!

It’s the first time we are actually bringing in a new person to Peow, nobody at Peow is actually a businessman - the suits are just for show. We’re all doing everything. We don’t really have roles, which might be a really inefficient way to work, come to think of it.
in "FYI: I’m Going to Make a Lot of Books" 21 nov 2017

Ineficientes e orgulhosos do ser: não são escravos de coluna alguma no Excel, o que os move não é o $$$.

Mais: têm uma abordagem tão relaxada nessa frente que o faziam de graça, tendencialmente de graça, ou em paralelo com outras actividades, podendo assim disfrutar do processo sem considerações comezinhas como pagar a gasolina entre viagens. Bottom-line: aquela relação desprendida ao $$$.

We had had some changes to Peow the last year or so, but most recently, its been that we actually can pay ourselves for editing work.

Zainab Akhtar: I used to work in comics retail. And I was utterly shit at selling. I couldn’t do it. Mostly because I sucked at selling things I didn’t like. Which was 90% of what was on the shelves.

[Eles:] We don’t have a monthly salary at Peow, but it’s more on a project to project basis, so each book we edit, whoever is editing that book gets paid x amount. It’s flexible, [because] if something comes up outside of Peow, then you can work on that instead. Elliot from Peow decided to take a break to do other things and, um… Olle had a baby!
in "FYI: I’m Going to Make a Lot of Books" 21 nov 2017

Ter filhos!, liberdade de seguir projectos paralelos: viver a vida em geral. Olhó sonhadores, senhores - o contraste para o segundo exemplo de hoje será abismal.

Continuando: almas gémeas que o fazem pelo prazer de fazer e por acreditar no que fazem.

I think anything Zainab wants to publish is something we’d love to make anyways, so we will never be fighting each other.

[Eles:] Our goal when we started out was to publish books we enjoy ourselves one way or another. Mostly if we liked the artwork. We’re all artists ourselves. I’m mostly not thinking of if others are gonna like the book, even though I hope for it. It’s always most important that I like the book, if that makes sense.

Zainab Akhtar: What impressed me a lot was the production values, and the clear care and thought put into making the book a full thing. The relationship simply started from me liking their comics and liking what they do.
in "FYI: I’m Going to Make a Lot of Books" 21 nov 2017

Seguem-se vantagens de fontes de rendimento alt e combinar projectos sem necessidade de fusões de empresa ou aquisições em bolsa.

Zainab Akhtar: ShortBox will continue as before. 2017 has been the first full year of my being self-employed with ShortBox. I’ve published something in the region of twenty books. I’m planning to continue ahead and take it as far as I can. It works really well, too, because the system of the box essentially allows new books to be produced every quarter, which are then sold individually online and at cons.

Patrick Crotty: The way we have our work set up, like project to project basis, it makes it pretty easy to have someone else working with us. Zainab could make one book, or she could make 100. It’s really all up to how much time she wants to work on books with us, and it still leaves her with time to do Shortbox or whatever other work she wants to do.
in "FYI: I’m Going to Make a Lot of Books" 21 nov 2017

De percursos - Zainab Akhtar continua a estranhar o $$$, mas sem por isso desistiu de trabalhar comics.

Zainab Akhtar: I guess I had maybe harbored an idea that someone (within comics) would hire me to work as an editor. I never really believed it would happen, when you look at the viable companies out there in terms of who’d be in a position to pay, and who would fit in terms the ‘eye’ I have, I don’t think there’s anybody with whom I match up, and I’m not very compromising.
in "FYI: I’m Going to Make a Lot of Books" 21 nov 2017

Percursos II - Peow estranha igual:

We started making books because we didn’t like what the rest of Sweden was publishing (...) eventually we set up a table at the Swedish comic book festival, and soon after that we thought we should get a riso to print better looking comics. We had no idea what it was or how it worked, but we’d seen stuff online that people made on a "riso" so we just went for it. That’s basically how it began.
in "FYI: I’m Going to Make a Lot of Books" 21 nov 2017

Percursos III - até o TCJ estranha:

- I think it’s interesting how the first thought that y’all seemed to have was "let’s set up our own company" to do the books–you’re passing over that like the decision is a common one!
- Olle Forsslöf: Since all of us had another job to make a living of, it wasn’t a super big serious decision. It was more that we got the opportunity to do it and we did.
- Patrick Crotty: Peow was a side hustle for a long time. It’s still like a side hustle more or less but it’s where all our energy goes.
in "FYI: I’m Going to Make a Lot of Books" 21 nov 2017

"Onde todas as nossas energias vão". O início do declínio, quando deixa de ser um side hustle e começa a comer demasiado do teu tempo: esse nunca é um bom princípio, uma boa dieta deve ser variada ou darás demasiada importância a algo que será sempre relativo.

Sem surpresas onde começa a descarrilar, não muito depois do parágrafo anterior.

There are lots of independents who are doing it for themselves, which is great to see. But those people are mostly only in a position to sustain themselves, not move further and hire others. It’s harder to build infrastructure in this way. Our hopes, or at least mine, is to eventually make a living of off Peow.
in "FYI: I’m Going to Make a Lot of Books" 21 nov 2017

Portanto: querem profissionalizar-se, já não estamos no reino do DIY amador por amor à dor, estamos a dois passos de criar uma empresa. Não faltou muito para o "pecado" nº2 no artsy-f alternativo vir ao de cima (*):

* E cientes de estarmos a sinalizar virtudes dentro do vortex 30 nov 2017...

Peow is never gonna publish a book by somebody without making sure that artists are actually… good people.
in "FYI: I’m Going to Make a Lot of Books" 21 nov 2017

Os good e os bad people. Bad, bad people. O $$$ e torres de marfim enrolados como sempre parecem andar: artistas alternativos a criticar aquilo que não gostam (*) mas entrelinhas a notarmos que gostavam de censurar aquilo que desaprovam.

* Nada errado enquanto exercício e recomendamos vivamente a prática, vide OS POSITIVOS, mas nesse aspecto muito longe dos P+: we say tha mo’ tha merrier.

-That’s why we like Zainab!
-We think so alike!

I know publishers gotta make money but… But what I feel is strange is when a publisher goes ahead with spending money and time to publish something that should have just stayed as a Twitter post. I hate "Bartkira". I don’t get the point of it. I think that publishing books like "Terms & Conditions" also shows young people that "hey I can make real nonsense and get published." It’s not… inspirational.
in "FYI: I’m Going to Make a Lot of Books" 21 nov 2017

Side note, podes ler o "Bartkira" grátis online. Recomendamos vivamente enquanto BD e enquanto exercício sobre BD. Muito longe de um Josh Simmons 15 nov 2017, mas a incluir em análise semelhante nessa meta-frente. E no tópico de Batman já a seguir...

Não inspira os teens saber que podem ser publicados por qualquer merda? Mas... esqueceram-se como são os teens? Cremos em contrário: devem convencê-los de ser assim mesmo, e aos que mostram iniciativa –fanzines, talvez...?- alimentar-lhes a vontade até qualquer coisa de mérito tocar à porta - mas contrário de artsy-farstys encartados, nOS POSITIVOS não assumimos o monopólio de gostos e preferências: "we’re for tha crappy comix".

Artsy-front, nada de novo. Mas se os artistas aspiram secretamente a uma vida de abastança, temos então que procurar a autenticidade do lado da indústria?


II


Espreitemos o Bleeding Cool e bd como bubblegum, mastiga e deita fora. Aos que fazem o caso pelo mercado, basta-nos esta nota na mesma semana do artigo acima.

David Hahn is a comic writer/artist best known for comics such as Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77,  the current Batman ’66 Meets the Man From UNCLE. He’s also known for Bite Club, Robin, Fables, and Lucifer for DC Comics, Marvel Adventures: The Fantastic Four and Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane for Marvel, as well as his creator-owned series Private Beach, All Nighter, and Dayglow. He is a successful comic book creator, working for the Big Two, with creator-owned projects on the side.
Yesterday, he posted the following to his private feed on Facebook.

It seemed a heady warning.
in "When A Monthly Batman Artist Still Can’t Afford Healthcare" 26 nov 2017

It seems it can’t be done. My ability to make a living with my years of experience and skillset is not enough to keep me far enough from the precipice of financial ruin on a regular or comfortable basis.

As a self-employed career, I draw and write comic books- actual comic books with characters you’ve heard of like Batman, Wonder Woman, and Spider-Man, as well as my own creations for publication. I spent 10 serious years of honing my skills with hours of commitment DAILY (and plenty of rejection from publishers) to get to the point where I was good enough to get noticed by DC Comics in 2002 and was finally in a position to have comic book drawing be my full time, main source of income. Once I had that opportunity in 2002, I have managed to keep the ball rolling with other publishers and occasional commercial clients as well.
 
But here’s the thing: it only works as a viable career if I don’t get sick and have to see a doctor.
 
Right now, like so many, MANY others, I have a decent middle-class income, but am living at the edge of poverty. Honestly, I think I might be living in actual poverty by definition, but am too proud to admit it, or think I am not because at least I have a roof and running water.
in "When A Monthly Batman Artist Still Can’t Afford Healthcare" 26 nov 2017

Das contas do sujeito,

I own three pairs of pants, two pairs of boots, a dozen t-shirts, and with the exception of socks, have not bought a stitch of new clothing in over three years.

The monthly expense breakdown goes something like this-

Terão que o ler, mas os básicos necessários entre os genéricos mais baratos do supermercado, o homem vive uma vida contida: não o acusem de luxos extravagantes. O seu dilema: seguro de saúde, o habitual nos States. Aos que retorquirem "mas aqui na Europa seria diferente", o nosso: "aqui na Europa também não existe uma indústria de comics, pois não?" Mas é um bom ponto ao qual voltaremos adiante. Continuando:

"Yeah, David, you should go work for Disney!" Which would mean, even IF I could get a job at Disney or the like, there is no escaping the fact that I would need to relocate to a city that I can’t afford to live in. I would have health insurance, but would be in an even worse situation when it comes to paying my other bills.
in "When A Monthly Batman Artist Still Can’t Afford Healthcare" 26 nov 2017

O que nos centra no fundamental:

"Welp, David, then maybe you should seriously consider stepping away from the idea of drawing comics for a living." Sure, I could abandon my full-time comic drawing and get a job in an office, or retail, or a factory, and get health insurance through an employer there. But even though I have not had a raise in my comic book payment rate since 2003 (my per-page rate of payment has not gone up a cent from the big publishers since I capped out in 2003. And from discussions with many of my peers, they also have not had a raise since the early 2000s), even if health insurance was fully covered, there is no job in any of those situations that would pay enough for me to meet my mandatory monthly expenses.
in "When A Monthly Batman Artist Still Can’t Afford Healthcare" 26 nov 2017

O seu ponto, e nosso também: this is bigger than comix.

I don’t write all this for sympathy or "woe is me." I know that I am a white, male, American, and that affords me advantages, yes, so I’d like to curtail anyone pointing that out to me. I know there will always be someone, somewhere, worse off, no matter who you are. My point of all this is because I am realizing that I am the vanishing middle class. I never really thought much about what that meant until the past few years.
in "When A Monthly Batman Artist Still Can’t Afford Healthcare" 26 nov 2017

O contínuo vislumbre de uma luz ao fim do túnel:

This isn’t a post meant to indicate in any way that I am quitting comics. I love comics and will continue to create them for as long as possible. This post is just to show that not having something as basic as affordable healthcare is the looming shadow American freelancers are constantly living under.
in "When A Monthly Batman Artist Still Can’t Afford Healthcare" 26 nov 2017

Mas onde, como tantos outros, faz a curva errada:

There is one bright spot to all of this (besides my health) and that is that it has really forced me to address the area of my time management. I have always struggled with working smarter when I am at the drawing table. I often find that I have sat there for 8 hours, but only done 6 hours worth of work. My attention to time management ebbs and flows. I need to start focusing again on my productivity, and maybe with more work getting done smartly, I can navigate through this.
in "When A Monthly Batman Artist Still Can’t Afford Healthcare" 26 nov 2017

"Work smart", lembram-se? O nosso artista escolhe ser "mais produtivo", dedicar mais do seu tempo a suar sobre a mesa de trabalho, ele não escolhe viver, não escolhe ter filhos ou prosseguir projectos paralelos como no primeiro exemplo dado neste post: ele escolhe dobrar-se ante uma máquina que o tritura e deita fora, e esperar que não piore de saúde.

E, ironia, não precisa de desistir dos comics e pode mesmo continuar a criá-los para o resto da sua vida. Mas talvez o primeiro passo para o fazer seja mesmo desistir de o fazer a troco de $$$.

A que faças outras escolhas para que nunca precises de desistir de nada: voltaremos pelo capitalismo next.

all work, no play