Although I do most of my projects alone for the time being, there are a few close friends that I will sometimes take on projects with (though with the exception of Lucid Fate, most of them are still in development hell). I still consider myself pretty green when it comes to the world of media creation, so I'm a little apprehensive about what to expect from a formal creative team.
The subject came up last weekend when discussing a potential project with a couple of friends, and we were looking to submit said project to Image (their submissions guidelines can be found here). The TL;DR of their submissions caveat is that although each submitted project is to be creator-owned, they can make suggestions for change at their discretion (e.g., a different colorist or letterer). I know they didn't mean that they would go and appoint someone of their choosing, but still, this got me thinking: exactly how comfortable would I be working with a creative team I'm not familiar with? I know that beggars can't be choosers, and that I would learn to adapt to any environment that gave me an opportunity to express my talents, but nevertheless I do have my concerns when it comes to strangers:
- I'm worried about working with other women. As a female myself, I know that many of us girls in male-dominated art environments secretly enjoy being the Smurfette of the group, and that another woman poses a subconscious "threat" to that comfort zone. Unfortunately, I'm almost always the beta female in this arrangement, and I don't want to deal with that stress.
- I'm worried about working with "progressive" men. As stated above, I'm generally a non-aggressive woman (outside of the way I portray myself in autobiographical comics, anyway), and in my experience, emasculated men see that as an opportunity to feel dominant. They have it in their mind that they know everything about being a woman, and how horrible it must be, and if I don't share in that mindset, then I cease to be a woman to them - instead, I become a sexless piece of meat for them to take out their frustrations on and feel better about themselves. I've yet to find a way to successfully get through to these types, so that's a Kafkaesque nightmare I'd rather avoid.
- I'm worried about working with people who are way out of my league. It's realistic to assume that you're always going to work with someone who does your job better, but I'm likely to get overwhelmed nonetheless.
- I'm worried about working with insufferable opinionated people. Nobody wants to constantly be around someone who is always standing on a soapbox, especially when that person is your sociopolitical foil. I'm no exception to that rule.
- I'm worried about working with idiots. We all know the joke about having the people we did group projects with at school being the ones to lower our coffins into the ground, so they can "let [you] down one last time." That doesn't end in college.