Going to Hell?

Martha Thomases

Martha Thomases brought more comics to the attention of more people than anyone else in the industry. Her work promoting The Death of Superman made an entire nation share in the tragedy of one of our most iconic American heroes. As a freelance journalist, she has been published in the Village Voice, High Times, Spy, the National Lampoon, Metropolitan Home, and more. For Marvel comics she created the series Dakota North. Martha worked as a researcher and assistant for the author Norman Mailer on several of his books, including the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Executioner's Song, On Women and Their Elegance, Ancient Evenings, and Harlot's Ghost.

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4 Responses

  1. Craig Wood says:

    My wife would start to get upset about my brother living with us at this point. I know there is tension building… This suspenseful medium is fun, but at the same time frustrating — can't we do 6 pages a day ;)

    • MARK WHEATLEY says:

      6 pages a day? 6 PAGES A DAY??!?!???! My drawing arm curled up and fell off just reading such a request!Anyway – I don't think I'm giving anything away when I say that all the characters are soon to be faced with some hard decisions. But also – keep in mind – Keely and Danny are not married. They are just living together in the house that still belongs to Danny and Scott's mother. So in a real sense Scott has more claim to live there than Keely does.

      • Russ Rogers says:

        I was trying to imagine comics how drawing six pages a daymight be a reasonable task. Show of hands, who remembers "Tales of the Beanworld" or "Cynicalman"? Now, I'm not saying that it's reasonable to WRITE and draw six pages a day, but the simplified figures of Matt Feazel's Cynicalman and Larry Marder's Beanworld were the first I could think of even imagining drawing at that pace regularly. Matt and Larry would probably argue the point. I seriously don't know all the complexities of drawing brilliant stick figures and beans.Heck, we only asked Charles Shultz to come up with about three PANELS a day! But he's still doing it even after how many years of being dead!Who, in the comics world, is actually fast enough and prolific enough to crank out six finished pages a day? I think I read that Sergio Aragones was very fast. It's like taking on the McCloud 24 Hour Comic challenge in perpetuity.

        • MARK WHEATLEY says:

          Very good point, Russ. Design for the time available to do the work.I used to have this discussion with Dick Girodano when he was still heading up DC Comics – back when all the creative teams were missing deadlines and causing problems. Oh wait – I think that still goes on. Anyway – we were having this talk on the cusp of the change from, let us call it, Kirby-style comics, to Ross-style comics. That's for the art. And the stories were becoming more dense and character-driven – while at the same time cross-over events were popping up more and more making the job of writer harder. Essentially – all the factors involved in creating comics were taking on very time-consuming styles. And yet the schedules and the 24 hour day were not changing.In my case – I can layout about 10 pages in a day. Or I can pencil between four and six pages in the day. My inking speed is about the same – 4 to 6 pages in a day. and it is about the same for painted color. I guess if I worked on a page at a time I could complete a fully painted page each day. But not seven days a week. If I don't get a day off in there my creative output gets slower and slower. But the good news is – if I do take a day off and enjoy it – the next day back at work I can do almost two days of work! If only I could hypnotize myself into thinking every day was my first day back from a vacation! There are two major reasons that I am collaborating on the script for EZ STREET with Bob Tinnell. The first reason is that he is a fantastic writer. But the second reason is that he is a fast writer who is a big help keeping script pages coming while I'm busy drawing! So it would seem like the schedule solution would be to have a whole team of people working on a strip. But it is rare that you get an entire team that actually produces much faster than one or two people. I'm not sure why that is – but it is true.Of course the other option is to get a book like EZ STREET completely done before we start running it. Then we could post it as fast as we wanted. Bob and I have been working full tilt on EZ since October – of 2006. I currently project that I will finish it in August of this year!