Thursday, April 20, 2023

Project Manager or Enfant Terrible?

January was a huge month for me, writing wise. 

I realized a lifelong dream and teamed up with a great to release our fan-comic/tribute to Kevin Conroy (A Big Fan). I also got to work on writing three other scripts for fan-comics that I'm hoping to get published this year. In fact, I know at least one of them will because right now, Marcelo is hard at work completing the artwork on our next story which is titled...well, I'll leave that part out for now.

Marcelo's an incredibly busy guy, constantly doing paid commission work for other people along with working on other fan-comics as well. On top of that he's also got his studies at University as well. He did the lettering on "A Big Fan" last time but because he's got so much on his plate, we agreed that we needed to bring in someone else this time.

Enter comic editor, Carl Shinyama whom I established a rapport with on Twitter. He agreed to join me & Marcelo and we're happy to have him with us.

There are a lot of changes compared to the last time I made a comic. For one thing, this comic is more than three pages. Instead of doing something that serves as a tribute to a late actor, this time I wanted to tell an actual story set in the DCAU.

Even more interesting is that my duties don't end at the writing stage but now I'm a project manager as well. I need to be kept aware of how each member of the team is progressing in their individual area, their timeline on when they'll be complete in a certain area. 
So if Marcelo tells me he'll try to have a page for me every weekend, I hope to see a page every weekend. Of the pages completed so far, he's knocking it out of the park. Even the preliminary sketches he sent had me screaming with joy because he was either drawing it just how I envisioned it or he was making it better.

This morning Carl sent me the first lettered page and I agreed with him when he said he needed the page in a higher resolution if we wanted the lettering to be crisp & sharp as it should be. So I had to ask Marcelo to send it in a higher resolution to Carl directly and it looks like we're good to go now. Crisis averted.

But most importantly, I have to make sure these two men get paid when their work is complete. Marcelo already received half of his payment when I saw all the preliminary sketches and he gets the rest of it once the final page of finished art is complete. Carl gets paid upon completion of every page that needs lettering. This way, once Marcelo is complete Carl needs to do just one page instead of sending him 11 pages all at once.

I don't want these two left hanging wondering when or even if they're going to get what they're due. There are a lot of horror stories about professional comic publishers being months or even years behind on paying artists. If I want to one day work in this industry, I should hold myself to a standard that is professional. Plus having a reputation as someone who pays on time doesn't hurt either. 

So now I'm writer/project manager. All the while I have to find time to write more stories, estimate which one would be the quickest to complete (The next one we're working on probably won't be out until December) and keep a close eye on my team without coming off as some sort of enfant terrible. I once joked with Marcelo that I don't want to come off as Gordon Ramsay. Maybe in a drive for perfection but that's about it.

"Marcelo, how long for the fucking comic!?"

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