Thursday, January 04, 2007

Kyle Baker in Draw

The new issue of Draw is out and it contains part 2 of an interview with cartoonist Kyle Baker. Baker is one of the more entrepreneurial creators out there, self publishing work like The Bakers and he's in progress on a graphic novel based on Nat Turner.

Interviews with Baker are always worth reading for his take on the artist's relationship to the marketplace. Here's a great quote from Draw.
[Warner Bros. was] developing Why I Hate Saturn [one of Baker's graphic novels] as a TV show and when that fell apart, I stayed out there for seven years, doing screenplays and all that junk. And in the old days of Hollywood, they used to give you a whole lot of money up front. Like, when I was at Warner Brothers, they'd give me a big pile of money, a nice contract, and they totally ruined the work, made the script suck. The show never went on, I don't get the script back, etc., etc. But at least I got a big pile of money, and I bought a house. It was worth it. But with the kind of deals that at least I'm getting offered now in animation - I don't know if this is the general deal, but the people are coming to me with is, like, "Okay, here's what we need. We need you. We don't really have much of a development budget anymore, so we want you to practically develop the whole thing before you bring it in. Then we'll pay you about ten grand, and we'll make this thing, and if it succeeds, we get everything, and you get nothing. And if it fails, you get nothing." That's all you end up with now, is, like, ten grand. And it's easy enough to find ten grand somewhere, so that you don't have to give everything up and watch them ruin your script. You know what I mean? I mean, the last thing I did like that, I did a Fox pilot, and that's how much I made, ten grand. It wasn't worth it to me.

6 comments:

Liz Glass said...

Hi Mark,

My husband is Kyle Baker. Thank you...I didn't even know the second half of the DRAW interview came out.

Great animation blog!

Cheers,
Liz Glass

Mark Mayerson said...

Hi Liz. Besides admiring Kyle's versatility as an artist, I think he's one of the smartest cartoonists working. Regards to both of you.

Larry T said...

Mark, your blog is the best.

Particularly, when it comes down to telling it like it is in the animation field nowadays, you don't hold back on anything....

Animation as an expressive art form is rapidly losing its purpose, and this quote from the great Kyle Baker really hits the nail on head in so many angles.

It's nice to see someone who knows what they're talking about call a spade a spade for a change.

Keep up the great blog!

Anonymous said...

It's criminal how, since the mid-1990s, positions that were formerly in-house, full-time paid jobs have been replaced by the work for free ethic in corporate animation studios. Not creating anything original to make mean people wealthier is the correct thing to do.

Liz Glass said...

Hi Mark,

Thank you for kind words about Kyle. He really is smart; I have learned so much during our ten years together. Not just about comics, animation, publishing, show biz and comedy, but about history, politics, technology, parenting (he is a MUCH better parent than I am).

Thank you again...I will link our blog to this one, but I have to try and get back to sleep...

Tony Fisher said...

I have dreamed of making cartoons since I was about knee high. I grew up admiring the love and craftsmanship that went into the work. I find it disheartening that the industry behind all those lovely shows from my childhood are now (or always have been )ran by cutthroat bastards. It's scary to know they know starry eyed kids like me are coming, and they are waiting with bated breath...