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Swan Song

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  • Swan Song

    Walt, people who have seen your latest work, the very few pictures that have made their way onto The Internet thusfar, are raving that it's probably your best work ever. Michael has been saying that too. Are you at an apex in your career or might this be a swan song?

    Michael, do you forsee yourself doing more gaphic novel work in the future? Or will you lay down another pen towards your retirement?
    The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

  • #2
    Geez, I hope it's not a swan song! And where does that name come from anyway? Do swans sing once and then croak--so to speak!?

    Nah, I'm just hoping that as I get older, I'm getting marginally better. Eventually, I may even have comics figured out!

    LOL.

    Best/Walter

    Comment


    • #3
      Walter and I have already discussed ideas -- vague at the moment -- of future projects. We're going to wait until this one is done before we talk about another. I still have an ambition to do at least one Captain Marvel story!

      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
      The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
      Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
      The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
      Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

      Comment


      • #4
        Opinions- everyone's got one

        On the one hand, I would think it flattering for people to say that a creator's newest work is their best to date. On the other hand, I could see how it might detract from pevious accomplishments that said creator might have suspended a fondness for.

        Myself, I enjoy the work and try to see how it fits in with the other work that has been done. I myself am a painter in oil, and at a recent showing of my work, many people said that one of my drawings was the best piece. I enjoyed the compliments, but was a bit perturbed that a drawing had received more commendation than my specialty, painting.

        Everyone's a critic!

        BTW, i should say that I'm really entertained by the Elric series thus far!

        Later,
        Jubal

        Comment


        • #5
          On the one hand, I would think it flattering for people to say that a creator's newest work is their best to date. On the other hand, I could see how it might detract from pevious accomplishments that said creator might have suspended a fondness for.

          I understand but it's not really how it works for me. Besides in comics, I find you're much more liable to hear fans tell you--in all honesty, mind--that they like your current work but your old stuff was better. Anybody who's done comics for more than, say, a year, is fertile ground for such a comment.

          :lol:

          Exactly why so many fans feel compelled to exhibit what I'm sure they regard as the truth, rather than just offering a compliment and saying--gee, I like your work--I'm not sure. But I do think the negative connotation regarding the present has something to do with it. Perhaps it reinforces an idea that they're being ruthlessly honest, a more honorable course than simply telling you that they appreciate your work and letting it go at that.

          Not that I mind, you understand. Between my friends and me, we've all heard it enough times to be mildly amused by it rather than insulted, appalled, flattered, or nonplussed.

          In my own case, since most of my work is drawing rather than painting, I've come to regard what I do as esssentially one long drawing begun years and years ago. It's a drawing I hope to continue to add to as long as I can. But in working to make the drawing better over time, the drawing itself gradually changes. As a result, various parts of the drawing have been appreciated by any number of people over time and I'm grateful and pleased when any part of it is appreciated. And if some parts are appreciate more than others, that's just the nature of the beast.

          I've had enough different parts of the drawing appreciated by enough different people at enough different times that I've learned to just do the drawing and after that, it's out of my hands. That being said, I also have favorite parts of the drawing that few others seem to appreciate, at least judging from a lack of feedback. And then you just have to have enough faith in your own work to keep drawing.

          Best/Walter

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Walter Simonson
            I've had enough different parts of the drawing appreciated by enough different people at enough different times that I've learned to just do the drawing and after that, it's out of my hands. That being said, I also have favorite parts of the drawing that few others seem to appreciate, at least judging from a lack of feedback. And then you just have to have enough faith in your own work to keep drawing.
            What's your favorite part of this new series thusfar?
            The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

            Comment


            • #7
              Walt,

              I think people just have a preference towards nostalgia. Personally, I love your old work and your new work, and if anything, in terms of technically the new stuff is better. Asides from that, I think they are both great, different is all. Like you said though, there always seems to be a negative connotation associated with the present that holds true in everything from comics to music and films, and it's best just to laugh it off.

              Looking forward to issue #3,
              Paul

              Comment


              • #8
                What's your favorite part of this new series thusfar?
                Hummm. That's a tough question in that I don't have any single favorite part nor even a single catagory in a sense.

                I like the story Michael's writtten and I was delighted with the ending of the entire series. But of course, I can't say anything about that at the moment. Sorry. :D

                **A SPOILER WARNING** for those who haven't yet read the first two issues of Elric: TMOAS.



                Speaking of the things I've done myself:

                I've really enjoyed designing Elric's world and I'm very happy with some of the various inhabitants of the world. I like the demon on whose back Elric rode in the first issue, I'm happy with both King Grome's design and the entire sequence where he nearly eats Elric. I'm really happy with the design of the Phoorn. I like both King Straasha and Lord Artigkern. I like the double page spread when the Falkryn come to Imrryr. I also like the aerie of the winged men in the third issue but I won't anything else about that issue at present.

                And generally, I'm pleased with the visual storytelling in the series.

                Best/Walter

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think people just have a preference towards nostalgia. Personally, I love your old work and your new work, and if anything, in terms of technically the new stuff is better. Asides from that, I think they are both great, different is all.
                  I would agree with this in general but I'll add one additional note, based on observation. This isn't true for everybody and honestly, I don't know how broadly true it is but John Byrne and I have talked about it occasionally and I believe it was John who suggested it to me originally. Most readers of comics have favorite runs. And quite frequently, the comics that are a reader's favorites by, say, a certain artist are the ones where they first came across the artist's work. Perhaps it's a form on imprinting. And I'm sure there's a degree of nostalgia there as well as the years roll by.

                  To some degree, this is true of both John and myself. We've each worked on the FANTASTIC FOUR in the past and for both of us, the FF was a favorite comic at a particular time and place. As it happens, John came across and began reading the FF before I did. Very early issues captured his fancy and for him, the way the FF ought to look is the way they looked pretty close to the beginning of the series--say, FF 5-10 and thereabouts. For me, I came across the comic when it was in the mid-40's and for me, that's the look I still like although when I drew them, I didn't bulk Reed up quite as much as Jack Kirby had in those issues. But that was the general look I was thinking of.

                  Anyway, I do think there's a component of discovery in one's choice of favorites, that first fresh revelation as one encounters new work that opens up the mind to hitherto undreamed possibilities.

                  Always lovely when it happens.

                  Best/Walter

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I definately agree that there's such a thing as good nostalgia. I may not be very old, but I'd like to write comics one day, and so for the past ten years, I have been reading them, as well as books like "Comics and Sequential Art" to try and get better. I'll never forget the first time I read a FF comic with Jack's art, it was obvious why he is the father of action comics, if only because of the revolutionary use of 65 - 70% action to action transitions. When you first discover something that is truly good, I think nostalgia does add to it, and like you said, open up to the mind to all the possibilities.

                    Hell, if it wasn't for the late Mr. Eisner I wouldn't have the dream I do.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Walter Simonson
                      I also like the aerie of the winged men in the third issue but I won't anything else about that issue at present.
                      Sounds great... is there an expected release date for this issue, at the moment? No rush, I know comics take time. LOTS of time. I am currently working on a little mini-comic that I will photocopy and try to distribute. It is just taking forever to do. I can't wait to finish so I can move on to bigger, better things! Big plans, in the works, you know how it is.

                      8)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sounds great... is there an expected release date for this issue, at the moment? No rush, I know comics take time.
                        Yes. Well, this one does seem to be taking more time than most!

                        And that's strictly my fault. Michael finished the scripts longer ago than I'm going to admit to here!

                        I'm still working on No. 3 but I'll let everybody know when it's going to come out when I know when it's going to come out. If that made any sense!

                        :)

                        Best/Walter

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Elric

                          No sweat, Walt. The ride is worth the wait. I am astonished by the time it takes to draw & ink a single page. For instance, in my mind I can see how a page might look, with the layout, etc, and it seems so easy. But once I start actually filling in the space, I realize all of the little problems that must be solved to get to that finished state. Say, there might be a background that must be referenced for it to look believable. Or, a character's facial expression that I want to get just right. A few days later, the page is done (relatively), and I realize that there are like 20 more to do, and that's just one issue!
                          I am certainly a novice to the trade, so I'm hoping it gets easier thru time... but it is amazing that professionals can get books out in the time they do. One thing I must concentrate on is not falling for all of the little distractions that take me away from the work. Focus, discipline, concentration... I'll get it, it'll just take some practice...
                          8)
                          Best,
                          Jubal

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Walter Simonson

                            Yes. Well, this one does seem to be taking more time than most!

                            And that's strictly my fault. Michael finished the scripts longer ago than I'm going to admit to here!

                            I'm still working on No. 3 but I'll let everybody know when it's going to come out when I know when it's going to come out. If that made any sense!

                            :)

                            Best/Walter
                            Ah, so that's why it was rescheduled into a quarterly! I thought DC lost faith in the project and spaced it out to become lost. It's a shame, sales wise, since it loses some of the profile of a monthly, BUT IT"S WORTH THE WAIT!

                            THIS is INCREDIBLE ART, Walt. Like Kirby's, it may take some time to get used to at first exposure (and mine was WAY back in the 1970's on Manhunter), but you've just gotten better and better. To be honest, I never cared for your X-Force, but THOR utterly blew me away (and writers are still using your DOOM sound effects today), and Orion was as good if not better than Kirby's own, IMHO. And your work in MMM just made that series for me.

                            Keep up the fantastic work. It's breathtaking (and you've gotten better over these past 30 years -- has it been THAT long, sheesh).

                            Best,

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