Hello, Goodbye!

True story: An artist for whom I’d gotten a couple of small jobs and was coaching on good samples did a test for an established western series — just character studies. They were beautifully drawn, but for some reason he drew them 6 heads high — they all looked short, especially given that heroic characters are usually drawn 8.5 to 9 heads high.

For the heck of it, I elongated the bodies in Photoshop to the correct height and, after I made some other adjustments, they looked great. I submitted them and got a thumbs-up from the editor who then needed to see a couple of pages of sequentials to land the monthly series. The artist agreed, and I warned him to go with the correct heroic proportions.

Instead, he drew the sequential pages with the characters all FIVE heads high. I couldn’t submit them. This wasn’t Terror in a Tiny Town, after all. I asked him, “Why did you do that?” The only answer he gave was, “It makes them juicier.” He wouldn’t correct the pages and dropped off my radar.

A couple of years later, an editor at another company asked me, “Whatever happened to that guy?” It turned out he’d submitted the same stuff I’d coached him on two years earlier and caught their attention. They assigned him a two-page test and, if he “knocked it out of the park,” they’d pay for the sample and give him the rest of the book — the series, in fact.

He received the script and vanished.


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