RICHARD: You mentioned a number of projects just then.
UDON work for a number of publishers. How do you work with
differing managerial styles? Is there a working relationship
you're happier with than others? And do you ever encounter
conflicts of interest, working for competing companies?
Waiting For Tommy XXVIII
By Richard Johnston
do this one by one.
Marvel is where
we started. We all owe Joe
Quesada everything we had, because he is the one giving
us the chance to prove ourselves in the Burger King X-Men:
Evolution comic, that the 15 of us did 64 pages of art within
28 days with lots of revisions. That prepares us to who we
are nowadays. With Marvel, it always feels that we are working
with some family members. We know them well, and they know
us well. Not necessarily that we agree on everything, but
we can always make up the difference and move on because we
love each other. The relationship with Marvel is more personal.
However, things can get messy when the discussion gets too
is more of a big corporation with more rules and regulations
to follow. A lot more steps in editorial approvals and got
to say that it is the most professional system that I have
dealt with. Strict deadlines, no BS information exchanges.
Much like military standard. It might sound tough, but I think
artists do sometime need these push to get things done.
#1 GENERATION ONE (VOL.2) EXCLUSIVE ALTERNATE COVER -
Cow and Harris give us the most freedom in terms
of creative aspect and even scheduling. We can do more
of what we wanna do than what we need to do and the
end products are always very satisfactory when we look
back at them. However, with freedom we have to execute
maximum discipline on our end, or else, things could
start falling apart. So far, our relationships have
been good that we respected each other a lot and things
do get done in quality and on time.
So no company is perfect. And I really do not have any
preference on who is better. Obviously, they all work
or else they would not be still in business. If you
ask me to choose one, I would go for more of the DC
approach. Dealing with 25 plus artists everyday, I do
realize that a strict and standard system would work
much better and lead to less trouble in the long run.
Well, it doesn't necessarily mean the artists would
like it though. I am totally talking in the point of
view of a managerial position.
I personally do
not think there is much conflict of interests working with
different companies. We are all working with them on a freelance
basis, and even under the UDON umbrella, it is actually different
teams working on different projects. As long as everyone is
producing good quality work and hand in stuff on time, we
are all good. Once in a while, I do get calls from editors
asking for a particular team, and if schedule allows, we do
try working with everyone! It is a good experience for the
artists as well as a perfect way to build up our portfolio.
Your studio, UDON, has shared history with Dreamwave... hell,
it looks like almost everyone who works at UDON used to work
at Dreamwave. Friendly rivalry? Or is it sometimes more?
off, UDON is not a studio. UDON is formed by a group of artists
coming together to produce art. If anything, UDON is a brand
name. People just started tagging the word "Studio" along.
I tried correcting them, but no one ever pays attention. So
I rest my case and just let it be. But in reality, it is just
UDON. Legally, it is UDON Entertainment Corp.
has NO relationship with Dreamwave whatsoever. Right, the
original founders of UDON do all come from Dreamwave. Heck,
we all helped build part of Dreamwave. Even Pat Lee acknowledges
in a Wizard interview before that this whole Anime art is
an idea that comes from me!
But for different
reasons, we left the place we help build and moved on to different
things. Funny enough, unlike what some guys think, UDON is
not formed to rival DW. We all split and went our separate
ways and almost after a year, we came back together by chance
and started talking about comic stuff. The big catalyst comes
when Joe Q asked us to do the Burger King deal. That is when
we seriously thought about getting our feet back into comics.
And the way we
are setting this up, we have no intention in rivalling DW
either. We are set up to work as a freelance group for hire
producing artwork, instead of putting out our own titles.
We will even work for DW if they want to hire us!
Do you think that's likely?
It's really not up to us. We offer our service to everyone.
Our terms are pretty standard - we need to be credited and we
need to be paid when the work is done. That's pretty much it
and everyone has no problem in working with us from Marvel to
DC/Wildstorm to TopCow/Image to Harris.
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