The Work Behind Wonder Woman

The Work Behind Wonder Woman

Monday during second period Cat Staggs and Amanda Deibert talked to the student body about what it was like to create comic books for a living.

Artist and writer respectively, the parters are working together on a new edition of the Wonder Woman comic series. However, Staggs mostly talked about the process by which comic books and their related art are made.

She said that nowadays most artists have switched over entirely to digital art, but a few like her prefer to start with pencil and paper. The process starts with the writer, in this case Amanda Deibert, writes the script panel by panel. Deibert says that writing for comic books is much like writing a screenplay for tv or movies in that you write the dialogue, but you also write the actions of the characters such as, “Wonder Woman headbutts Circe with this sassy line.” Afterwards, it’s the artists job to visually interpret text.

After the script is finalized (and approved by the editor) the artist, Cat Staggs, starts the drawing process using pencil and paper (which is then approved by the editor), and that gets sent to the inker who draws the black ink onto all of the images. Then the color is filled in, and lastly the letterer gives the characters their dialogue. Usually this process goes with minimal errors (barring disapproval from the editor), except in the rare case when working by hand proves disastrous.

Staggs told the audience about a time where three of her pages had been sent to the inker and were “obliterated”. This doesn’t happen as often currently because most artists work digitally and have the option to retrieve saved images and just reprint them, but in this case she had to draw those pages three times.

In addition to technical troubles,  the pair said that professionals in their field often are putting in 12 or f14 hour days for just one project, and in many cases the collectors are making vastly more money reselling the art than the actual artist, but it’s worth it.

“I found the presentation really interesting because anybody can relate to the long process of work– 12 hour days, consistently striving for improvement, and always working toward a goal,” said Junior Abbey Bako. “I also had no idea that making a comic book (or even a cover) could take so long and be such a hard process! I can absolutely relate to the aspect of putting in long, hard hours of work. At the end of the day, I can do what I love and make money. I can’t imagine anything better!

When asked if there was anything she didn’t previously know about the real life of an artist Abbey said, “I had no idea that per trading card, you get paid $1.50. That’s just awful.”

Cat Staggs and Amanda Deibert told the students that although it’s long and hard, to always pick 12 hours of something that makes you happy over six hours for a job you hate.