November 15, 2018
Giving credit to writers who work with cartoonists
As a cartoon illustrator myself, I've found that most people don't even think about writers. In fact, when I tell people that I'm a cartoonist, they imagine that I write funny captions. I don't. Some cartoonists are also writers, but very often writers and cartoonists work as teams.
The best example I can give of a writer who worked with various artists is Stan Lee of Marvel Comics. He didn't draw, and he didn't have to. He collaborated with artists like Steve Ditko, to create Spiderman, and Jack Kirby to create Ant-Man (among others).
As a kid, I always paid attention to the artists, and didn't think much about writers. When I studied the great masters of Mad Magazine, such as Mort Drucker and Jack Davis, I really had no interest in the writers. I suppose the writers' names were listed in the "usual gang of idiots", but I paid no attention to them. To me, it was the artwork that mattered, not the "word balloons".
I actually didn't start paying attention to writers until computer animation started becoming popular in the 1990s. And that's when it really hit me that the animation can be wonderful, but without good writing, it fell flat. It happened so many times in computer animated movies that people started becoming aware of it. Great-looking animation just wasn't enough. We need stories, we need writers.
I've worked with many writers over the years, and I have tremendous respect for what they do. Their job isn't to draw the cartoon, that's my job. Their job is to give it the story, the words, and ultimately life.
I'm proud to call myself a cartoonist, and I'll put it on my resume. And I do write a bit, but I'm not a writer. Those guys are good!
Posted by Brad Hall