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Return of the Knave
Drink It Black
Friday, 7 September 2007
Without looking at the label

We've touched on credits in several ways through exploring what each producer of a comic book does. They're not that different from credits for similar media: they appear either on the cover, the first page or the last page; anywhere else would be weird. And not in a good way.

For some time comics seemed not to need much in the way of credits. There would appear the perfunctory byline but you had to really notice it at the bottom of a panel, when your eyes were really flicking enthusiastically over the story.

Then came the classic attributing of the staff who directly worked on the look of the page:

. Notice I did not include
  • editor or publisher.
  • The colourist was only needed sometimes but still got a mention when it was 'all in color for a dime'.
  • Even though there are now companies and machines producing what used to be done by hand, I think it is important that we got to know which books Chic Stone worked on. It 's revealing to see the different projects that creative and artistic talent was used on. Admittedly a lot of plain hard graft; you took whatever job was offered, and much of that could be generic and churned out quickly. True artists rise above that, though, and still stamp their individuality onto the work they produce and, for that reason, it's good to be able to trace their development.

    Attributions tend to work the same in all fields. The public sooner or later want to know who created the work they're enjoying and the publishers can see the benefit of telling them.

    Magazines will have different credits: photographers and journalists. Books don't have to have a lot of credits but they will if they are reference works. Then everyone besides (or including) Jesus Christ could get a citation. Plays, apart from the playwright, change their credits with each production or season or sometimes each performance. Radio works much the same way, with the voice actors being announced on a roll. Where credits have really blown out is in film, where canny directors are now adding tidbits after the credits have rolled to get cinema patrons to stay till the end. It may not make them care who Best Boy is, but at least they haven't walked out with the credits still rolling. Harder to get a television audience to read through all those bits so often the networks will preempt the lack of attention by shrinking the end credits and announcing over the top.

     

    Meanwhile, the gruntwork of comic creation is most likely to be found at the bottom of the page. According to the blurb there, the posting of this boring recital of statistics is for the purposes of satisfying second class postage requirements.

    To date, only the Comics Journal took up the challenge of making them entertaining, thus giving an unexpected treat to the most tragic of nerds and  hope to crude production assistant types everywhere. [looks away hurriedly, adjusts coat] 

     


    Posted by berko_wills at 5:19 PM NZT
    Updated: Sunday, 7 October 2007 1:04 AM NZT
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