Friday, July 3, 2009

This business we call "show"

Culled from this week's Publisher's Weekly/Comics Weekly newsletter, a quote from comics writer Greg Rucka:

"What I learned is that the checks cash just as well whether the movie is made or not. Whiteout was on and off several times since first being optioned in 2000, and I think the secret to all that not driving us [he and artist Steve Lieber] crazy is that it was never our goal to get a movie deal out of this. A lot of people are writing comics or graphic novels in the hopes of getting it made into a movie. That is a recipe for disappointment."

To which I would just like to add: Amen, sir.

Anyone who gets into comics so that they can get a movie made is going to get their damned hearts broken. Hell, anyone who gets into comics for any reason other than to make comics is destined for el corazón quebrado.

I remember a few years ago I spoke to a high school class that was studying comics (although the courses may have actually called them "graphic novels") and one of the things I said, based on a question about how quickly one can become rich as a comics artist, was, "if you get into comics to get rich, you're in for a nasty shock. The only reason to get into comics is because you love comics."

The teacher and the owner of the local comics shop both gave me dirty looks. It quickly became apparent to me that these kids had been told something other than this pessimistic view I was spouting. Maybe they had even been told, as incentive to get them to take the class, that they would become overnight sensations and that people would throw buckets of money at them where ever they went. And here I was saying that comics might have some worth beyond the ability to make you rich and attractive to the opposite sex.

But some people get their comics made into movies and earn money that way, right?" the teacher asked me. His expression said to me that I should not contradict him. And, since his statement was true, I said, "yes." But I didn't go on to say that these kids would be better served taking a class that taught them how to play the lottery than they would be learning how to make comics that got turned into movies. How many comics movies have there been in the last ten years? Twenty, thirty? And how many comics are published every month? Hundreds! Hundreds of comics a month get published and only three or four a year get turned into movies. If Vegas offered those odds, there wouldn't be any casinos still in operation.

So, please, kids, if you want to make movies, do that. Go to film school; buy a camera and go shoot something. Just, please, don't think you're going to make a comic that will be seen by Steve Spielberg and then turned into a movie. It ain't gonna happen.

And no, the recently scuttled deal for 100 Girls has nothing to do with this rant. Why would you even think that?

1 comment:

ThomSouza said...

funny I've been watching sanctuary from syfy and I keep thinking they'll make this but not 100 girls?