Friday, June 17, 2011

Swiping Then and Now--2

Swiping Revitalized--uh, I mean, Revisited.

On the heels of my last post I offer this advice. It is obviously not meant to be taken seriously (It pains me to have to say this, but nature knows no thinner skins than righteous Internetters.) Aimed at American comic artists, clearly. Not bad advice, though.

Handy Handbook for More Effective Comic Book Swiping

by S. R. Chasm
  1. Swipe from old stuff. The older the better. Most swipists crib the stuff they liked last week or last year. However fans' knowledge of artists seldom goes back more than a decade. Swipe Frank Miller, you're found out. Swipe Al Avison and only the scholars will catch you. Note: 2008 isn't "old."
  2. Swipe from alternate genres. Dan Adkins had a good idea: in his comics work he swiped from science-fiction magazine artists; in his s-f work he swiped from comics. At the time there was little crossover between readerships. Be careful, though...
  3. Don't swipe where everyone else looks. This changes with the culture. Today it's unwise to nab stuff from celebrity shots, porn (this used to be a safe source), movie stills less than 20-30 years old, and mainstream magazines or websites. Lift a photo from a gay porn mag and you'll be nailed in a heartbeat. You're less likely to be called if you swipe a photo from a farm implement trade newspaper.
  4. Utilize foreign sources. This is still a good idea, though given the reach of the Internet it's not as safe than it used to be. American fans remain ignorant of most foreign comics. Look how long it took Giffen's love of Jose Munoz to be acknowledged! There are plenty of foreign comics artists, especially from the 50s and 60s, who were great and are still unknown. Not many eyes will catch a swipe from Hans Kresse! Careful, though: Italian Bonelli comics used to be a great source of swipes, but today lots of those guys work for the US market. Gotcha!
  5. Learn to Draw Better. Just kidding.


Peter Bangs said...

I'd go for recommending option 5 but Giffen introduced me to Munoz which lead to me discovering Oscar Zarate and a whole world of comics across the narrow channel that separates me from mainland Europe.

2nd great post on a fascinating subject. Not sure why swiping is such a bad thing though, so long as the artist makes it his/her own, when you consider how many great artists have swiped regularly over the history of comic books.

Joakim Gunnarsson said...

Great and funny posts on swiping.:)

I Richards said...

Excellent article and great blog!