Friday, 1 February 2013

True Creative Freedom

Glamourpuss #9 (September 2009)
Art by Dave Sim
(from an interview in UK fanzine FA #94, December 1985)
...I talked to Bill Sienkiewicz a couple of nights ago and basically proposed that he do a book for Aardvark Vanaheim. And the way I proposed it to him was that he would have to produce 20 pages of black and white artwork. I would want him to announce how many issues he was going for - I told him I would prefer 30 to 40 as opposed to 4 or 6 or 8 as everyone else is doing that - and that I did not want story ideas, I did not want an outline, I did not want a script, I did not want to see the pencils. Get it in shape, get it in the format, send it to the printer and when the first issue comes in I'll read it. To me that's creative freedom, because it becomes a crutch if I say to Bill, send in a treatment of what you're going to do, it becomes a crutch and an impediment on the one hand because if I write back and say "fabulous, go ahead," then he feels more secure in an illusory sense that now this is a good idea because Dave said so and Dave's publishing, and that's not the point of it. The point of doing a Bill Sienkiewicz book is to say, if you do it for 40 issues it doesn't even have to make sense to you for the first ten, particularly in Bill's case. We have an idea in our mind of what Bill's going to do if somebody just turns him loose and says start doing page one, keep going, when you get near an idea start playing with that, but if you do things that you don't want to play up any more, drop them, and that's true creative freedom to me. If he sends in a treatment and I'm supposed to analyse it, or if he sends in  a treatment he's going to have to nail down elements of the story, to say and this is what happens around issue 30, and this is what happens in 32. Well, if he gets up around issue 15 and it's a Thimble Theatre situation, where it's all this band of characters and suddenly this sailor named Popeye walks in and takes the whole joint over. If he sends me a treatment saying this is where it's going and he can't pursue that, he can't just veer off here and say "here, this is what I'm going to do now." And the only restriction towards him is his own attitude to the sales figures. The first issue shipped 20,000, Bill, we've got orders for 15,000 of the second one, third issue comes out, we've got orders for 12,000 the 8,000 the 6,000, he's going to perform some radical surgery just because his income's at stake. But if he's going completely off the deep end and completely weirds out on everyone the circulation's going to go up, and if it goes up it says let's keep going as far over towards weird as we can get.

1 comment:

Jim Sheridan said...

What was Bill's response? BTW I would still love to see it happen!!