July 13th, 2007

The Zombie

Introduction to Editors 101

July 12 -  My second round of direct interactions with a comics editor were with Joe Kubert when I attended his school in New Jersey!  Known chiefly as one of the greatest comic book artists of all time, few people remember that he was also an editor.  In fact, he was even Editor in Chief at DC for several years.  Joe's take on editing was similar to his role as an educator.  In both, he suggested, guided, corrected, and inspired.  It was not his way to be overbearing or overly demanding, but, at the same time, he clearly expected an artist's best.  Mr. Kubert is definitely one of those people that you do not want to disappoint!  His class, which was called something like "Storytelling" (again, I can't remember the specifics anymore), was very much like "Introduction to Editors 101."  He would suggest a very open story idea, describing only the number of characters to use and their core actions, to which he then expected us to fill in the blanks.  Once completed, he'd carefully review our stories, panel by panel, using overlays of tracing paper to suggest corrections or changes.  Considering how green we were, it's a testament to his character that he, an Old School Master Cartoonist, took such care with our awful, awful artwork, always respecting it...and us.  Even his critiques of my art, which were always constructive, were phrased in such manner as to have me believe that I had discovered the errors myself, and, more to the point, solved them from my own inner Artist's Voice.  For Mr. Kubert, I think he found that, in the long run, both as a teacher and as an editor, it was more effective to have artists learn to improve themselves than it was to have to continually correct their work for them.  While I eventually had many unfortunate problems with Mr. Kubert's school administration, I was always, and still am, a fan of the man...so much so that I attempted to model my actions on his when I was once an editor myself!  More later.  Here is your classic Comic Book Editor of The Day - Gill Fox!