I’ve been putting off posting this for awhile, and I’m not even really sure that my thoughts are entirely in order, but now’s as good a time as any. You see, I think it’s important to have a direction, a statement of purpose, if you will, with this site. Sure, it’s a webcomic/online graphic novel site, but beyond that it needs to serve as a platform for my personal preferences in regards to graphic storytelling. So, in the interest of finding my own way, I’m attempting to put down some of the reasons for my new pursuit here, in one place so I can keep them straight.
First, I suppose that much of my drive can be summed up in one line: I want readers to be drawn in by the art, but to stay for the story. It’s extremely important for me to have good, recognizable art propping the story up. I don’t know how many graphic novels I’ve picked up, flipped through, and set back down because I was turned off by the art. Perhaps I’ve missed out on some good stories, but I find bad art to be an incredible turn off. I don’t believe that all graphic art has to be realistic, that’s a personal preference in my own working style, and there are plenty of loose, “cartoonish” artists out there that don’t adhere to reality that I really like (Paul Pope for one). But I also believe that every story has a certain art style that would serve it best, and that many times the art and story are simply not a good match, and this drags the book down.
Of course, you can have the other problem as well. Good art and bad story. I can usually get through those books, as long as the story is somewhat serviceable, but boy have I read some stinkers. The Green Woman by Peter Straub and John Bolton comes to mind. That book was this close from being hurled across the room. Anyway, in terms of writing, I find that there are more subtle forces at work. It’s not enough any more to just write a crackerjack plot for me. I need to have resonant themes, living characters, and most importantly…a point. What the hell is the point of the story? What is the point the author trying to get across? Why spend so much time on a project that doesn’t have a point. And believe me, entertainment in and of itself can be a point, but it damn well better be entertaining.
Honestly though, I’m still finding my way, and I expect that my style, in art as in writing, will change over time, but I wanted to lay out my thoughts now as at least a sort of baseline, 2013 version of the way I think. Ya dig, Artacats?