The Ethan Van Sciver Special!

Download The MP3 here

An all singing, all telling conversation with the artist, as he discusses where he is in his career, facing the decision of a contract renewal or the possibility of leaving DC after the last 6 years. Regardless of how things shake out, Ethan promises new plans for some creator owned ideas, including the return of Cyberfrog!

We discuss the delays on the six part  mini series Flash Rebirth. The final issue comes out at the end of the month, and Ethan is first to claim responsibility, with no excuses. He gives an apology, along with an explanation.

Plus we talk about his designs for The Flash and Green Lantern universes, from what happened to Wally West’s “new look” , to the new Impluse, Jessie Quick, and the contrasts to Ethan’s Green Lanteern work.

We also discuss his view that artists may not have equal power in today’s comic creative process. Has the pendulum swung to writers in the same disproportionate way artists led during the 90’s?

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9 responses to “The Ethan Van Sciver Special!

  1. Great show John! You’re the best!

  2. Great show! Ethan’s music sounds almost Daniel Johnston-ish. I completely identify with what Ethan was going through. I’ve lost 50 pounds myself in just under a year. Don’t give up! Keep up the good work John and Ethan!

  3. Ethan is great! Very happy that he´s feeling better and ready to bring his own ideas to comics again!

  4. Great show John and I love his work but he sounds a little bit of a conceited artist. His opinion on mainstream comics and artists working in that arena of comics is a little bit analogous to Michael Bay saying that the only films worth making are Transformers films and their like, Duh! Its not all about fans and or money.

  5. “Great show! Ethan’s music sounds almost Daniel Johnston-ish.”

    Alan, you took the words right out of my mouth. I downloaded this via the RSS feed and came to the website specifically to say just that.

    Ethan, great job on getting your health sorted, you’re doing great, keep it up. Your family will thank you for the extra decades you just put on your life and your fans will appreciate the decades you put on your career.

    John, great interview as always.

    On a personal note, I lost 100 lbs in the past year, and most of that was sweated off listening to iFanboy, Word Balloon, Around Comics, and 11 O’Clock comics. Thanks to the collective lot of you all.

  6. First, thanks as always to John for the new show. There always seems to be one just when I need good conversation to keep me company in my home office.

    Ethan, thanks for sharing your work/ health issues. Not only does your honesty benefit the experience of a newbie artist like myself, I agree with Drew that it is also a testament to living your life and being there for your family when the internet fandom can sometimes pretend that comics are made by machines.

    A few quick notes:

    – Both Bendis and Brubaker were cartoonists who were hired as writers by Marvel. Unless more artists also write and self-publish their own work, I understand Marvel’s need to look to other media (film and TV) for professional writers. Artists may have storytelling instinct, but have not necessarily spent the comparable time honing their craft as writers.

    – I recently took a artists’ “Comic Storytelling” class with a prominent industry vet. He rightfully points to the degradation of storytelling skills among professional artists who are handed scripts with full panel descriptions vs. the old Marvel Method. It’s a muscle that gets lazy when following orders and pulling photo ref for the “realism” of the house style. The risk are pages that lack coherence and pop and start to seem dead.

    – I personally find that Ethan might be able to save time on his art by looking to some of the masters of minimalism like Toth and Batman: Year One-era Mazzuchelli. While I appreciate his inventiveness and passion on the page, some of the excess detail is lost in printing and decisions like redrawing the entire crime lab from the shifting perspective of the assailant in Rebirth #1 may cost time that benefits the reader better elsewhere. I can see your enthusiasm for a moment like that but only appreciated it after hearing you talk about it in your last interview. Just my two cents.

    – Viva El Cyberfrog! And, I hope to see you lead the charge (on a book like Plastic Man) of the “Cartoonist” movement of the upcoming decade.

    – I know John is a big proponent of act-i-vate.com and I wholly endorse it as a venue for enormous talent and a creator-driven alternative to the “studio system.” These are writer-artists to watch out for.

  7. Pingback: EVS Talks Flash: Rebirth at Word Balloon « Speed Force

  8. Love it when EVS is on the show as usual! I do agree with a lot that was said about artists and I also disagree with a lot that was said. I just don’t see artists being oppressed but I may have just misinterpreted the discussion. I’m going to say this keeping in mind that Ethan is one of my favorite artists but maybe he does need to be on a project that’s not subject to monthly restrictions. I think Scott Kolins & Tony Daniel got their gigs because they can put out a monthly book. I would really love to see him do a Plastic Man book though!

    I was left feeling unfulfilled with Tony Daniel’s Battle for the Cowl as well John but you should pick up his current Batman work. I’ve recommended it to others and they haven’t been let down so I know it’s not just me.

  9. Hey Travis. Not sure if I took it that EVS was saying that artists are oppressed so much as raising the discussion as to who (the artist or writer) is allowed the power as a storyteller when working for the big 2.

    I can tell you from personal experience that many artists are often disregarded as anything but craftsmen by the “thinking” positions of writer, editor, producer, etc in a creative field like comics or animation. And maybe a lot of them excel specifically at drawing.

    A thinking artist like Ethan clearly pours narrative into his art (ie. the lantern beacons don’t just look cool, they illustrate a concept) and I’m positive that he is immersed in the nuances of story as he spends his time rendering. Visual narrative solutions in a visual medium. All of this gets squelched when a star writer is too heavy on panel descriptions and talking heads and has the clout to get exactly what he asks for (if that’s the case). The artist has the potential to become a tool.

    Like John said, most comics shine on the collaboration between writer and artist. EVS could and should do his own creator-owned material (Cyberfrog) but I think he’s also asking to be regarded as a storyteller on the licensed characters he works on and for the chance to launch a book as an artist-writer (Plas!).

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