A few weeks ago, East Coast Rising creator Becky Cloonan pondered the 150-page or so digest format, and wondered whether artists are really meant to work that way. Now Sharknife creator Corey Rey picks up that thread, asking, “how f***ing honestly reasonable is it to ask ONE DUDE to produce a roughly-200 page OGN in the span of a few months?”:
I’m dying every f***ing second. I have no studio. I have no “people”. Sharknife Co. Ltd. ™ is all one guy. It takes a shit ass load of energy and intelligence to construct an entire universe for this shit!!! I’m not complaining!!! I F***ING LOVE TO DO IT. But without instant success, piles of royalty checks or some kind of media tie-in deal, the OGN format is amazingly hard for a young BASICALLY “freelance” artist to commit to.
Oni, Myself, We all dream that the book will be out for San Diego Comic Con. We all crave new Sharknife :] But for that to happen, I’d have to draw 150 or 160 pages in roughly 3 months. And considering how GOD DAMN dense the pages are, that is a TALL, TALL, TALL order. Not to mention that I am also currently being sought after for many other side projects, which is a f***ing conondrum when you’re pinned as being somewhat “unreliable” on delivering serialized comics, yet people still hit you up for work coz you are “good”, yet you need to focus on your ONE OGN, yet you need to take jobs because you are poor and need money. CONUNDRUM.
Like Cloonan, Lewis considers smaller installments, somewhere between the monthly comic and serialized manga: “So my idea to Oni was to split Sharknife Double Z into 3 installments. Self-contained Peng-size comics to be released probably tri-monthly until the whole story is done, then collected into the ‘complete’ Double Z book (probably with a bonus story). Not that astronomical of a suggestion, I think, since that’s how most comics operate, anyway.”
Seeing Lewis’ LiveJournal entry, Cloonan revisits the subject, writing, “The whole format of the OGN — 150 someodd page books with no previous solitication in smaller form — is totally backwards and I think we’re going to see a lot of artists (myself included) trading in the longer format for monthly or quarterly books.”