single creator special spark

Cord Wiljes cord at
Sat Aug 21 17:41:59 CEST 2004

Don Rosa wrote:

> And yet... on a certain profound level, no team-produced 
> comics can compare with Barks' DUCKS, Eisner's SPIRIT, 
> Cole's PLASTIC MAN, Kelly's POGO, Foster's VALIANT, 
> Segar's POPEYE, Herge's TINTIN, Capp's ABNER, Raymond's
> GORDON, Hamlin's OOP, Herriman's KAT, Watterson's HOBBS, 
> etc., etc....

Herge's Tintin has been redrawn and re-redrawn by a team of artists with
Herge just supervising. So in fact Tintin *is* a team effort. And Li'l
Abner has been ghosted by other artists for years, most famous by Frank

+ So Neal Adams "Skateman" has the special sparkle Adams' and O'Neill's
"Green Lantern/Green Arrow" does not?
+ Uderzo's Asterix has that special sparkle Uderzo's and Goscinny's
"Asterix" does not?
+ Jack Kirby's "Captain Victory" has that special sparkle Kirby's and
Lee's "Fantastic Four" do not?

I agree with Don that most of the greatest comics are written and drawn
by the same creator. But couldn't this be just a result of the fact that
the industrial assembly-line creation of comics in the U.S. isn't a very
healthy climate for high quality? So those creators who

+ have a strong desire to create outstanding work
+ can write and draw
+ are good enough to still make a living with a smaller output

have to step outside the assembly-line production.

But I believe this does not mean that their works automatically have a
special sparkle which others can not. I would define the special sparkle
as "quality/craftmanshop + artistic aspiration/innovation". Simply put:
A profound ability combined with a heartfelt desire. And this is
something good teams can also create. Maybe even better than a single

Best point in case: Goscinny's and Uderzo's "Asterix" is one of the
greatest comics of all times wheres Uderzo's Asterix is nice
entertainment at best. 

And how about:

+ "Lone Wolf an Cub" by Kazuo Koike's and Goseki Kojima 
+ "Conan" by Roy Thomas and Barry  Windsor-Smith
+ "Modesty Blaise" by Peter O'Donnell and Jom Holdaway 
+ "Blueberry" by Jean-Michel Charlier and Jean Giraud

Don, your comics are great because you are a great gag man, a good
writer, a solid and interesting artist and (last but certainly not
least) because you are immensely dedicated to your work. All this shines
through and makes your works sparkle.

Other creators may produce their magic sparkles better by combining
their talents with others'. I think the sparkles are the important
thing, not how they came to be. 


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