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Derek Kirk Kim review: "The Best Artists Rarely Keep to a Schedule"

"The Best Artists Rarely Keep to a Schedule."

So declares a new article at the WCE, reviewing Derek Kirk Kim's outstanding new series Healing Hands as a case in point. Read it at The Webcomics Examiner.

Charles M. Schulz. Paul

scarfman's picture

Charles M. Schulz.


Paul Gadzikowski,

Arthur, King of Time and Space New cartoons daily

To schedule, or not to schedule

I guess it depends on the creators. Some will work better with the discipline of a schedule, others will do just fine without.

The important thing, I think, is - if you do announce a schedule - then keep to it. Readers hate tuning in for the next instalment on the due date only to find it's not there. If you can't (or don't want to) keep to a schedule, then don't announce one. Nothing wrong with irregular updates as long as your readers know that's what to expect.

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

I dunno about "not keeping

I dunno about "not keeping to a schedule". When he's not busy with conventions or preparing books or collections, DKK updates like a clock. Healing Hands has been updating daily -one panel a day, but daily nonetheless- for some time now.

worth the wait

acid42's picture

Maybe a constant deadline stifles some people. But without any deadline at all, many webcomics would be unfinished or rarely updated, I think.

Still, the stuff that DDK puts out is worth the wait.


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Actually DKK is quite

Joe Zabel's picture

Actually DKK is quite prolific, especially for someone working at that level of detail. My point was not about how prolific an artist should be. My point was about adhering to a schedule. When the schedule is the first priority, quality will inevitably suffer, because some things will necessarily take longer to create than other things. And even the most prolific artists go through down periods, or encounter false starts. Â

Anyone engaged in putting out artwork on a schedule is going to develop some kind of formula to make it possible; they are not going to throw out the rules and reinvent everything every time they sit down to draw. And that formula, that predictable quality, in the long run is a very dangerous thing to an artist's creativity.

This is the kind of thing

Joey Manley's picture

This is the kind of thing that varies from artist to artist, whether or not it's good to crank out a lot of work. Joyce Carol Oates, a very prolific novelist, spoke at one of my classes one time back when I was in creative writing school, and she spoke on this topic. There was another famous novelist -- I forget who it was, maybe William Gaddis, or maybe not, I forget -- who had just put out a new novel, which was all the rage, in part because he only published something once every ten years or so. Oates, on the other hand, puts out several novels a year. Both are very highly respected in the literary world. Somebody asked her if she thought it was a good idea to only put out a book once a decade like he did, or if she recommended that young writers try to become prolific. "The thing is," Oates said, in her talk, "I can see how it could happen -- how I could have been him, putting out only one book a decade, and how he could have been me, cranking them out constantly -- I can totally see his side of it. It's just a thing that happens." That's not the exact phrasing, by the way. Not sure what I'm trying to say here. Ah well. That's typical of me.

I can pump'em out!

Coydog's picture

 Speaking strictly for myself, I been at it so long that the schedule is not really relevant any more. Pages I can churn out. It's the marketing that bites me in the butt.Â

Monique MacNaughton

UNA Frontiers

Monique MacNaughton

UNA Frontiers

Interesting concept. I

Interesting concept.


I thought people could be more creative and create better artwork under pressure. I guess this is not the same for everyone. Some people will create their best artwork under a schedule and some people just take a lot of time.Â

Kiba, I think Derek Kirk Kim

Joe Zabel's picture

Kiba, I think Derek Kirk Kim is actually a very disciplined workaholic. The point is that uncompromising quality doesn't mix well with a pre-defined schedule that has no flexibility. For instance, I don't think you often see panels like this one in a daily strip:

I think you would see more

Fabricari's picture

I think you would see more art like that on a daily basis if the market could affort a guy like Derek to draw full time. I'm guessing that market is more likely to be found in print than in webcomics for now. Hopefully the web-to-print niche continues to grow. I have my trigger finger over the "order" link on his shop page.

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison
Fabricari, Sexy, Violent, Cyberpunk Comic

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison

I mean using schedule as a

I mean using schedule as a way to help you produce high quality and creative work.Â