17 July 2012
A collaborative creative project of comic proportions
iStockphoto has launched the Collective Comic Project at the WIRED Café at Comic-Con 2012 in San Diego. The collective will result in a digital comic created progressively by 10 iStock illustrators, to celebrate more than a decade of stock illustration sales and a revamp of iStockphoto's Feast, an online creative community.
While each illustrator will be able to illustrate a portion of the comic, the story itself is being driven by input from Comic-Con attendees and Feast members who have an opportunity to choose the story’s hero, villain, location, genre, love interest and problem by visiting the Feast site where they can vote on various components of the story.
"Deviants, misfits and non-conformists will have the chance to submit their own original ideas as well," notes a release. "The final concept for the comic will be driven by the most popular selections as well as any other suggestions that are simply too awesome or crazy to pass up."
Each illustrator (10 in total from around the world) will have seven days to create a set of panels and advance the story before the next artist takes over the following week. Illustrators where chosen based on skill level, style of work, and how active they are on iStock. During the 10 weeks, the artists will be "very active on the Feast site inspiring the community."
The four Canadians include Andre Jolicoeur (a.k.a. Doodlemachine), Boris Zaytsev (a.k.a. Borisz), Brett Lamb (a.k.a. Blamb), and Jayesh Bhagat (or just... Jayesh).
What's it like to illustrate a story created by the public?
"Input is great, it's much easier having someone else do the driving," noted Lamb of Toronto. "The challenge will be taking that user input and interpreting it in a way that the user may not have intended. A good surprise can be a lot of fun."
I work on tons of projects that have ridiculous deadlines."
Jolicoeur (in Stirling, ON) has never been part of a collective project quite like this one before, but does have some experience co-creating a drawing. "Colleagues and I have a hobby whereby we work on a single illustration as a team, each taking turns drawings parts of the scene until we agree it's complete," noted Jolicoeur, who doesn't think a collective comic will be a huge challenge. "I freelance full-time so I'm pretty used to having guidelines or instructions that I need to follow."
The tight time frame to complete their portion doesn't phase them either. "A whole week? That's not tight, that's luxury," noted Lamb. Added Jolicoeur: "I work on tons of projects that have ridiculous deadlines, which often pop up without warning and require me to quickly reschedule my life to make them possible."
The first panel will be uploaded on August 1. Each week the newest panel will be available on the site for viewing and public commentary, which may then be worked back into the story. The comic will be completed by the end of September, at which time it will be released for free on Feast with a chance of a print version depending on demand.
UPDATE: Check out completed pages of the comic here.
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