Thursday, April 30, 2009

Carmine Infantino

So, I just had lunch with Carmine Infantino thanks to the awesome Christopher Irving. He was interviewing him as part of a NY Comic Creator history book he's putting together and he invited me to tag along.

This is the artist responsible for creating the Flash (Silver Age/Barry Allen) and his entire Rogues Gallery. He also is responsible for helping artists get royalties on their work, getting their artwork returned to them, increasing their page rates, and more. A true unsung hero in not only DC Comics history, but also superheroes and comic book publishing.

He brought a design sensibility to comics and helped bring many major talented artists to DC Comics, even working on the script for the Superman films with Mario Puzo. He partied with Stan Lee and challenged legendary editor Julius Scwartz's storytelling. A creator of many of DC's secondary characters, and one time editor, publisher and president.

I asked him what advice he had regarding writing and he had two pieces of advice. One: write it visually, always be thinking of how it will look on the page. Two: situation, complication, and twist. He had me repeat this last bit a few times and I will be sure to really refine my scripts around this structure.

I long for the days when comics can again be written based around cover art showing some sort of cliffhanger, then leaving it to the writer to come up with some sort of story to really play up this insane idea. It seems the days where comic companies would playfully push each other to create better comics, where rivals would get together for drinks and party, might be long gone.

Let's try and bring this back.


Freelance Writer, Starving Artist

I'm broke. Today I sold a few books to the Strand Bookstore for $8, enough for a coffee and old fashioned donut, and some Mocha concoction for my lady. I've eaten dollar slice pizza as my one meal a day for the last week. I drank some beers last weekend thanks to some awesome friends.

So I'm hungry. For anything. I'm still working on the final chapters of my novel, sixty four months since I began it. Back then I was making the most amount of money I've made in my life, working in an office, designing medical, financial, and legal forms. I was vegetarian, didn't smoke, and had no life whatsoever.

As everyone gets laid off it seems time to make a go of doing something creative, something you've always wanted to try but was too comfortable to dive headfirst into. Write Club was born of this desperation and drive to do something new and find a way to promote myself.

It's easier to get people to listen rather than read. I've written some of my best, most polished scripts in the last four months, and talked with more creators as equals, than in the past few years. Hopefully we'll begin interviews on the podcast shortly to help promote them.

It's even easier to get people to watch things, so on that front I've begun getting together scripts to begin filming this summer with the man Boston Scott. I've got an actress girlfriend, a friend with the equipment, and a burning desire to make movies. All I'm missing is money.

I'm ebaying away my most cherished comics to collect the funds to pay rent for one more month. Goodbye original issues of Watchmen. Farewell Final Crisis, Transmetropolitan, Preacher, Amazing Spider-Man, and any book that might sell for a good price. At least everything's collected in trades these days.

I'm applying for every job on Craigslist (security guard scams and dog walking), Monster (graphic design jobs I'm not qualified for), and Mediabistro (photo editing gigs I don't want), besides begging friends for any hookups.

I applied to DC Comics, called friends to ask for them to put in a good word. Also applied for several other jobs ar Warner Bros. About a day away from getting an application for my local Starbucks. I'll probably bring my resume to all the local comic book stores. I wish I could be a waiter actually.

But tomorrow I'll be meeting Carmine Infantino thanks to Christopher Irving, who'll be interviewing him. My girlfriend lives around the corner from 177 Bleeker St, the address of Dr. Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum (at least til they evict us for not paying rent). And I've got a killer podcast with my oldest friend that's picking up steam every week.

Who needs to eat anyways? As long as I got enough cash for the next issue of the Flash and to get a ticket to see Wolverine on the big screen.

Stay hungry.