“Artists Are The Life of Comics” – Panelists of Comic Masterclass at Lagos Comic-Con

The Lagos Comic-Con had a lot of goodies to offer in terms of comics. There were comics from all over the world on sale and different merchs to purchase. But above all, the best part the comics category had to offer was the masterclass.

The masterclass was more like an intimate session between lovers of all things comics and the people who create, draw, and write what we all love to read. There were different sessions and different panellists from the many recognised and upcoming comic industries in Nigeria present on the panellist table.

When asked if it’s easy to be an artist, the panellists had this to say,

“Artists are the life of comics, they are the ones who bring the comics to life. A writer can write the story in a vague way but the artist has to open his mind’s eye to not only interpret what the writer is trying to say, but make sure the scenes and expressions tally to make the story progress as it should. More often than not, 90% of artists want to kill (metaphorically) the writer because most times, the real work of making a comic only depends on how much load the writer will give the artist to do.”

This struck me as odd because I have been reading comics for years and I never realised – until now,- just how true this is. Once the writer is done with his story, it is really left to the artist to draw and make sure that the story and comic progresses as it should with all the action scenes, environment and every detail in a frame falling on the artist to help come alive.

“No matter how good a comic story is, if the art is below par, no one will read it”.

Asides from me totally agreeing with this, based on the number of comics that I have forced myself to power through or just dropped because of the art, the one thing that made me really happy after the panellist said this is that the Nigerian comic industry actually has done well in this regard. The drawings in Nigerian comics are really amazing and it is definite proof that we have come a long way from the olden days when the art in comics were caricature at best.

When asked if artists are underappreciated in the comic industry, the panellists had this to say,

“The writers are actually the ones who are underrated because everyone celebrates the artists but there are very few people who even know or care about the writer of the comics. It’s the same even in the movie industry, everyone praises the director for the success of the movie but no one cares to notice the writer whose lines and stories made the scenes come alive.”

That was another true story that hit me on personal levels (considering the fact that I am a writer). I know how much writers are underappreciated and are put on the bench while others are celebrating the win.

I wouldn’t be able to fully quantify and say everything that was said in the masterclass, but the above are part of the many things that hit home. If you, however, want to read a full review of the Lagos Comic-Con, then click here.

The Comic masterclass was no doubt an interesting session that had an impact on everyone present and left a sweet truth at the back of people’s minds. The industry will only keep growing and expanding from here on out.

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