Edit Your Damn Work!

By | Sunday, August 18, 2013 3 comments
I picked up a few local artist comics the other day. It really threw the clerk because I was also picking up some Destroyer Duck books too. Anyway, as I sat down to read them, I found that they were not atypical of local indie artists trying to do their take on superheroes. They owed a lot to Marvel and DC, and the stories were a bit derivative in that respect. I'm okay with that, though. Not my thing, but if you like it, knock yourself out!

The art was serviceable -- not great, but not bad either -- and they all went the extra mile to get their books printed in color, which looked like it helped. The one, I think, was a little hard to follow, but made sense enough in light of the zillion other supehero stories I've read like it over the years. (I know they were trying to be original, but you simply cannot out-Kirby Jack Kirby himself!) All things said, they were okay books. I probably won't pick up future issues, but I don't feel bad that I picked these up.


Except they hadn't been edited. There were typos all up and through the whole thing, and misspellings, and incorrect word usages... I can let slide a typo or two, and I can tolerate bad grammar if it's dialogue of someone who's not supposed to be speaking properly anyway, but there were some basic mistakes that just pulled me out of the story entirely and stopped me cold. It made these okay comics a lot worse in my mind than I think they deserve.

You know, I'll admit that I'm not a fantastic writer, and I've been known to make my fair share of typos and grammatical errors and such. Here on my blog especially. But if you're doing something for print? And you've only got 22 pages of a comic book story? You better be damn sure you get as much of that fixed up as you possibly can! Your readers should NOT be seeing problems on every other page!

Look, I know not everyone has decent editing skills. And I know that some of these folks came from backgrounds where education wasn't valued, and the fact that they can read/write at all is incredible! But if you want to put out a comic to the world, and you opt to do single issues in a pamphlet format, you NEED to have someone at least read over it for you before it goes to the printer! It's bad enough when you see problems on a four panel webcomic; you can sometimes excuse that because they often come out daily (though with webcomics, errors are easy to correct as soon as any of your readers point them out). But for something as permanent as a pamphlet comic, you need to get your shit together and have things proofread by SOMEone! You might be able to cover up a incoherent plot, or awkward scripting with great art, but even a fantastic script looks like crap if it's filled with typos and bad grammar!
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It's editing, not editting.

One of my favorite comics of all time had TONS of simple errors in spelling and (especially) apostrophe use when it first debuted. In the years since, the creator has improved significantly, or else started editing better, but I do remember it bothering the crap out of me for a while there.

Thanks, Nathania. It's been corrected.