By Dean Haspiel

I’m a reasonable professional to work with. I’m an innovative and conscientious collaborator and I always bring my A-game. I’ve  learned to know when to leave my ego at the door and step aside to serve the job. I’ve also learned, when push comes to shove, to walk away with dignity.

In retrospect, I should have realized the website editor wanted me to draw exactly in the rendering style of a Thing vs Hulk sketch I drew that was originally cited. Instead, I based the poses from said example for the final illustration, coupled with the fact that all the drawings I saw on the client’s website were simple line-art solutions; something akin to clip art and paper dolls. Less sophisticated than what I usually produce. So, I was doing my best to appeal to their established esthetic. In the end, what I produced was not what they wanted and the gig just wasn’t meant to be.

Herein lies a freelance case of ill-communication and diverse expectations. Below is the email parlay I had with the editor with minor edits to protect names and the website.

–Dean Haspiel

**

Dear Dean–

[A mutual friend] gave me your name and sent me a link to your fantastic comic-book style illustrations. I thought you would be perfect for a project we’re thinking of doing for our website.

We were thinking of having characters from TV—say, Kenneth from 30 Rock, fighting with one of the physicists from the Big Bang, but in the style of something like this:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_owOIcuY21Gc/S8Xd_sxSbkI/AAAAAAAAC4I/squdt713PVM/s1600/thinghulk.jpg

Is that something you’d be interested in doing for us? Let me know. If you have any other pop-culture based ideas we’d love to hear those as well.

**

I’m interested.
What’s the deadline and pay?

–Dean

**

Hey Dean,

So glad you’re interested! Pay would be $300. It would be great to have something for next week, but we’re flexible. Are you a big TV watcher? Are there any characters in particular you’d want to draw in battle? We’d love the same kind of detail that you include in that original piece.

Let me know!

**

I watch some TV. I usually buy DVD sets but, yeah, I’m hip to pop culture [I gotta be].

Is this a regular feature? If we can talk for 5-minutes, it would help me with the scope of the gig.

Thanks!

**

Hey Dean,

Really excited you’re going to be working with us on this. Here are some links to other things we’ve done that have been successful

[LINKS REMOVED TO PROTECT THE WEBSITE. Suffice it to say, the art was very simple line-art with flat colors akin to what I described above in my introduction.]

That should give you an idea of the sorts of things that have worked. Please let me know between now and next week if you have any more questions!

**

Attached is a light sketch I did for the 30 ROCK vs BIG BANG THEORY illustration. I usually pencil in light blue before I got to finishes [in this case; inks & colors]. Let me know if I am approved to go to finishes.

Thanks!

–Dean

**

Hey Dean,

This is a great start! Just a few notes. The bodies should be more defined– They shouldn’t be muscular, but it should feel like this visceral impact is about to happen. Also, you should make it clearer that Kenneth is wearing the NBC page uniform. I know this is just a sketch, but it feels more like a business suit here — you should see the NBC pin and the name tag flying, a la

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/1d/Kenneth_Parcell.jpg/250px-Kenneth_Parcell.jpg

Does that all sound ok? Looking forward to the final.

**

I will add more definition to the drawing [I just wanted to make sure the poses were in line with what you wanted] and I’ll show the NBC pin and name tagging flying. Once it’s inked and colored it will come alive.

Cool?

–Dean

**

Yep! I would make it more menacing too, if you can, but the basic idea is there.

Thanks so much dean.

**

Quick question [so we're not crossing wires]: isn’t the visual gag that these two guys are skinny weaklings going at each other and they’re more inclined to engage a “girly” slap-fight than do any kind of real bodily harm? Just want to insure the absurdity of the illustration. I could add a charge of color burst inbetween them, too, to amp up there fierce [farce?] competition!

–Dean

**

Yes, you’re totally right. I like the idea of a color burst. By menacing I meant, menacing in their mincing way…

**

Attached is a low-rez version of my 30 Rock vs Big Bang Theory illo. Let me know if you need anything else and I’ll prepare a hi-rez version for you.

–Dean

**

Hey Dean,

This isn’t quite on the money yet. It’s not getting that intense, clash of titans superhero-y feel. I know this is potentially too vague, but could you make them look more like super heroes, even though they are wussy? Right now it’s much too cartoonish and not comic book enough (like this: http://www.openlettersmonthly.com/stevereads/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/captain-america-annual-8.jpg )

Let me know if you want more specific guidance.

**

For what it’s worth: I drew exactly how I would draw for Marvel and DC Comics and any other publisher, for that matter. I am a seasoned [Emmy Award winning] cartoonist who gets hired for my “style” [now that I've established one] and, with the examples you provided [see your links] of what XX has published in the past, I feel my illustration absolutely befits the spirit of the column.

I do not draw neo-realistically; the newest example you sent AFTER I provided you my finished illustration, and I’m confused to why you hired me if that’s what you wanted. I spent some of my weekend and all of today to do this illustration and, if you feel it’s not what you want, let’s please discuss a kill fee.

Thanks–

–Dean

**

Hi Dean,

I’m sorry for the confusion in communicating. Obviously we think you do good work or would not have asked you to do this piece. As I said, I’m new to editing illustration. We’re happy to offer you a kill feel of $150.