Friday, November 04, 2005

Guest Speaker --Ron Fontes

I think this email from Ron should be shared (He said I could) so here it is:

Have you ever extended a helping hand to a fanboy and had it chewed off while he climbed over you, intent on The Top? It's sad to see so many half-baked comics and the greedy "creators" who dream of the merchandising and mega-budget movies they think will spring up in mere months. It's even worse when these starry-eyed egomaniacs are in their 40s. Damn, boys, it took 50 years to get Batman in a big movie. Even Hellboy has been around for 10 and Mignola paid his dues for years before that. Frank Miller has been working since the 70s. And they earned the privilege by working for other people, deferring their pet projects until they proved their worth.If you've spent 20 years being a cop, then you're a cop, not an artist or storyteller. I would never presume to tell a cop how to do his job. As for the initial hero-worship (which never fails to creep me out), that was his wish-fulfillment working overtime. Yeah, I worked at Marvel for a few years, but so what? I was hired by Special Projects because I didn't want to draw the superheroes. They wanted a skilled, competent, reliable, experienced person to stay in the job, not use it to platform a Career. It was a strain and boring at the same time. The ridiculous politics were unbearable. And all that stuff in COMIC WARS? Started then, got worse, so I got out.I'm not the world's greatest artist, actor, writer or film-maker, but I am better than average. That does not oblige me to try to exploit my talents or ideas to the max in a frantic rush to Fame and Fortune. I like a nice, quiet, steady life. I don't want to be idolized or make millions of bucks, I just want to live by telling stories and die in my sleep at a very advanced age. I want to be good to people, but I have found I can only be good to good people. The other sort just grab and boss and stuff themselves like pigs and they'll never feel gratitude. --rf


Robert Scott Cary said...

"If you've spent 20 years being a cop, then you're a cop, not an artist or storyteller."

That's generally true. On the other hand Joseph Conrad had a long career as a sea captain, and after retirement wrote the novels that make college students stay up late at night cramming for (also Coppolla made that "Apocalypse Now" movie from a Conrad book). I can't think of any cartoonists that did that though, but I bet they're out there (Harvey Pekar maybe?)

But those comments about the greed and foolishness of evil fanboys with ambition are quite true.

Roy Batty said...

I have to disagree with Mr. Fontes.

"If you've spent 20 years being a cop, then you're a cop, not an artist or storyteller."

Tell that to Gene Roddenberry, an LAPD Sergeant or Dennis Farina, A Chicago Cop and NYPD Detective.

Let's face it, there are hacks everywhere. Doctors, lawyers, DC and Marvel. Just because you're pegged as one 'thing' by no means you're excluded from another. Great works have come from the most unlikely sources. To say that if you're this then you'll never be that is just short sighted and misguided to say the least.

The are many, many mediocre artists and writers who hack out schlock on a regular basis. There are 'writers' who shake their angry fist at the sky when their tired and rehashed works are not given the recognition they feel they deserve when in-fact they're revamps of material already existing.

On the flip side, there are 'fan boys' who've produced brilliant work. There are evil, blood suckers out there for sure but by the same token, there are evil, self important twerps that pass themselves off as the real deal when in-fact, they haven't the where-with-all to deal with the notion that not everyone is out to worship them. I could name a few in this business, but why bother?

Don't limit yourself to such a narrow view.