Will Scott Interviews Cameron Stewart
This interview with Cameron Stewart was done by proxy: I prepared the interview questions and Sequential Highway’s charismatic managing editor Peter Howard conducted the interview via Skype. Cameron was very generous with his answers and the resulting interview now carries the title of Longest Interview Yet to be Published on Sequential Highway.
Although Cameron has had quite a successful and varied career, I don’t believe we have seen even a fraction of what he is capable of. And it is that promise of what he will produce for the comics market in the future that I find most exciting.
Ladies and gentlemen, Cameron Stewart.
Will Scott: Was there a defining event in your life that made you choose comics as your profession?
Cameron Stewart: I don’t know if there was a defining moment. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve been quite lucky, I think, that I’ve had a pretty singular path in my life; I’ve never really wanted to do anything else. Other kids, you know, I think go through a period of wanting to do a bunch of different things before they figure themselves out…and I’ve always wanted to draw. I’ve always drawn ever since I was a kid. I don’t remember exactly the moment when I realized that it was something that you could do as a career but I think it was sometime in high school. Early in high school, I think, I had started taking note of the names of people that actually worked on stuff and realized that these things weren’t sort of magically conjured into existence, somebody actually made them, and that’s when I first started doing it professionally.
WS: I heard somewhere that you got your start in comics by apprenticing under Darwyn Cooke? Is this true? Or were you working alongside him? What did you take away from that experience?
CS: Yeah, sort of. How that worked was, I was working at Suspects Video and Darwyn came in as a customer and I was actually working. I was sitting behind the desk just drawing a picture of Batman and he saw it and was, like, “Oh, that’s pretty cool, I actually work on the Batman cartoon show”. So that kind of…you know…we struck up a friendship and then he was setting up a new studio space and he asked if I wanted to share it with him. So I spent a couple of years working with him and I learned a whole lot about drawing from him and comics and everything, so it’s definitely a formative experience in my career.
“My own comic is nothing like anything I’ve done in the superhero genre. Stuff like Niro and Sin Titulo, that’s the stuff that’s coming from my heart and that, you know, is not really at all like superhero comics. So I think my sensibilities have always, kind of, lay off to the fringes […].”
WS: I think that it’s safe to say that Catwoman put you on everyone’s radar. However, I think that it’s interesting that you always seem to choose projects to work on that are a little off-center. I mean Seaguy and The Manhattan Guardian, both written by Grant Morrison, are not the types of projects that an artist on the rise would necessarily embrace. So why are you drawn to material like that?
CS: Well, I mean, one of the things about me is that even though I have done books like Catwoman and superhero stuff it’s not really where my primary interest is. I’ve kind of outgrown it now, I think, and I feel like what I’ve done with superhero comics is kind of, you know, what I want to do with superhero comics. I’m not really necessarily interested in making a full career out of that kind of stuff and so I’ve always wanted to work with Grant Morrison since I was a kid. I mean, I lined up when I was thirteen years old to get his autograph. He’s a great writer and he’s always been one of my favourites. So when the opportunity came to work with him I jumped at it. The first thing I did with him was just a very brief thing in The Invisibles and that ended up being something that…he, you know, liked my work on it and he’s since then kind of wanted to work with me on whatever he has going—which is very good for me but the superhero stuff was always just…sort of a means to an end, I guess. I mean I enjoy doing it, it’s not like I don’t. Well I definitely enjoy doing it but doing the stranger stuff and the more offbeat stuff is definitely far more where my sensibilities lie and where…like, you know…where I’d like my career to go. My own comic is nothing like anything I’ve done in the superhero genre. Stuff like Niro and Sin Titulo, that’s the stuff that’s coming from my heart and that, you know, is not really at all like superhero comics. So I think my sensibilities have always, kind of, lay off to the fringes […].
WS: I think that with your work on The Other Side you began to mature as a storyteller. Would you agree? What was it about Jason Aaron’s story that grabbed you?
CS: Well it’s funny. It was the script, really. I had just finished Seaguy and I was talking to Karen Berger who is the editor at Vertigo about what to do as a follow-up and I was looking for, you know, some Vertigo stuff to do, or whatever, and she said that they had just received this really great script from an unknown writer who had just sent it in unsolicited and it was really great—It was a Vietnam War story and would I be interested in that? She said, I think you’d be really good at doing this. I thought she was crazy. I had no idea why she would think that I would be appropriate for doing a Vietnam War book: I’m Canadian, I’m too young, I was born after the war ended… I have no connection to it at all short of, you know, seeing some movies, and so I really wasn’t interested. So I said, thanks but no thanks but if there’s something else you should let me know. She said, Well I really think you should read it. So I agreed; it was like, OK, reading it won’t hurt. She sent me the script and I read through it, and was just blown away. It was a really, really impressive script.
As I was reading it the images just sort of popped into my head right away —like I didn’t even need to have to…usually when I get a script, you know, I have to sit and work them out and do thumbnail sketches and whatever and just you know really kind of work at it but with this…Jason’s script was so evocative and so beautifully written that the images were just popping into my head and I kind of knew that I really wanted to work on it just to get, you know…to get what I had in my head out onto paper. So I was really surprised and I said that, yeah, I actually really would like to do this. So, fancy that! Karen Berger knew what she was doing.
So then I kind of was left with this thought that now I have to do something that was, you know…my artwork on it has to match the strength of the script and one of the things that I really felt was important about it was that I do the proper amount of research. Rather than just go to Google image search or watch a bunch of movies I felt like it was really important that there was an authenticity to it and so the way that I felt like I could get that would be to actually travel to Vietnam. So that’s what I did; I booked a flight and flew to Vietnam and I spent three weeks there and did a bunch of drawing and research and, you know, just soaked up as much of it as I could, as much of the history, as much of the scenery. I didn’t want it to look fake and so a lot of the faces in that book are people that I met while I was there. I took a lot of photos and stole their faces.
So yeah, I think it taught me a lot, I think my passion for it and enthusiasm for it definitely really pushed me to do something I thought was exceptional. That all just came from just really wanting to do due justice to Jason’s script and also to prove something to, you know…I mean, I felt […] as I mentioned earlier, I felt like I had no real right to work on this book […] having no, you know, formal experience with the material or with anything. It’s a sensitive thing because when you do a story about a war that’s so comparatively recent where people are still alive who were there, you know, I think you have a real responsibility to depict it accurately and honestly and so I didn’t want…the thing that I was really worried about was that people who were in the war would see it and think that it was, you know, bullshit; and Jason had befriended a lot of vets and I knew that they were going to be reading it and I wanted to make sure, you know, [that] I did right by them.
“We’re learning from the mistakes of past cartoonists who have signed away their creations or have spent the entirety of their careers working for hire and seeing the fruits of their imagination turned into gigantic multi-billion dollar movies with no compensation.”
WS: Apocalipstix and Sin Titulo took you to a whole other level of creativity. One was like a post–apocalyptic Josie and The Pussycats acid trip, where you demonstrated your cartooning chops, and the latter was a (David) Lynch-esque work of fiction that really took you into new cinematic territory. You also embraced the written word while working on Sin Titulo. Why is having creative independence so important to you?
CS: Oh gosh, that’s a big question. I don’t want to spend my entire career executing other people’s ideas. We’re at a time where, unfortunately, we’re learning from the mistakes of past cartoonists who have signed away their creations or have spent the entirety of their careers working for hire and seeing the fruits of their imagination turned into gigantic multi-billion dollar movies with no compensation. You know, The Avengers was an enormously successful movie and Jack Kirby’s estate didn’t get a penny from it. I don’t want that to be my life and my career.
I’ve enjoyed almost every book that I’ve worked on with a writer and there’s definitely an appeal to collaboration and to working with somebody on a project and being in it together as a partnership. But there’s a unique feeling that you get when you’re working on something that’s entirely your own creation. Writing a story and drawing it myself is a very different experience and very creatively satisfying to pull off. Also, I want to learn to write so that I can expand my skill set so that if, let’s say, I get my hands broken in an accident, you know, I can still earn a living. So it was all of those things but the main thing is that I would eventually…my goal is to become autonomous and I would like to be able to write and draw my own comics and not be dependent on other people for that. To be dependent on an audience—of course; dependent on people paying me to read them, but not necessarily to be dependent on finding work from people.
WS: Do you consider Sin Titulo your most important work to date?
CS: Yeah, unquestionably. But for that very reason, it’s the only thing that I’ve done where I’ve done all of it from beginning to end. There’s not a single person who…I had friends give me occasional advice or whatever but the story is entirely mine. I wrote it, drew it, coloured it, lettered it, edited it…you know…made the files ready for print. It’s entirely my own creation from top to bottom and so, definitely, it’s the most significant thing that I’ve done so far. I hope it won’t be the high point of my career; I hope to eclipse it at some point. It’s the thing that won me my Eisner award which is a high mark in my career, as well, and it’s extremely satisfying to win an Eisner award for that over, you know, my Batman work or The Manhattan Guardian.
WS: I read somewhere that Sin Titulo had some biographical elements to it. Would you perhaps expand on that a little?
CS: Yeah, I mean it’s very autobiographical [but] not often in the places that people think. I initially drew from experience for the inciting incident of the story. The story begins with the lead character finding out that his grandfather had been dead for over a month and he had not been notified because he’s kind of a delinquent grandson who wasn’t really paying that much attention to him. And that is, sadly, that is what happened to me. When it was time for me to, kind of, start writing a story I decided to use that as my jumping off point just as a way for me to explore some of the guilt that I had over it, whatever; and so as I was working on it I found that more and more elements of my own life were creeping into the story.
I mean all stories are autobiographical to a certain extent. I mean every character in the story is a reflection of one facet of the author’s personality, and so on. All the decisions the characters are making are coming from the author’s subconscious somewhere so everything’s autobiographical but, I mean, I was taking very specific details from my life and then at times I would change parts of them to make them a little bit more dramatically satisfying or I would take two separate events and combine them into one or, whatever. But a lot of it’s taken from my own life but because I didn’t want to just strictly do an autobiographical comic like, you know, some of Chester Brown’s stuff or Fun Home or things like that. I didn’t want to do straight autobiography so I decided to infuse it with a layer of fiction and surrealism or magic realism that kind of brought it more in line with some of the fiction that I really like, which is David Lynch as you mentioned. Haruki Murakami, a Japanese novelist, is another big influence of mine.
WS: Why have you embraced the internet as a means of distribution for your personal work? And why give it away for free? First with Sin Titulo and now your next project Niro?
CS: Well I won’t be giving Niro away for free but I’ll answer that part later. We’re at a time now where the internet has democratized the creation of art and it’s very easy for anybody to make something and distribute it themselves and reach a global audience. That’s a double edge sword. I mean, it’s great that everyone can do it and it’s also terrible that everyone can do it—if you know what I mean—because it does mean that there’s a lot of junk that’s out there.
I do think that there’s a value to publishers in that they can definitely curate what they publish and there’s a certain mark of quality, there’s a certain standard when you go through a publisher […]. I do think it’s incredible that we’re at a time when anyone can do it, anyone can put it out and everyone can reach a giant audience and I’ve spent the majority of my career doing my work through “the proper channels”, doing it through a publisher and building up an audience. Now I’m at a time when I have an audience that will follow me to the internet and read stuff there so I just think it’s really powerful, because you kind of take the power away from the publishers and put it directly into the hands of the creator, which I think is really good.
I did Sin Titulo on the internet initially because there’s no way any publisher would have done it because I was not tested as a writer. I didn’t really have a clear idea of what it was going to be, it was something that I was doing just for myself and, you know, to kind of prove a point to myself and to kind of work some things out on my own. Had I pitched that to a publisher I’m almost certain that no one would have bought it. So the only way to do it was to put it out online on my own. A benefit of it was that by putting it out online I committed to it and with every page I put online it was more and more cemented as a real thing that I then had to finish, you know, instead of waiting for a publisher to pick it up or working on it in my spare time and then when it’s complete trying to shop it around. Those are things that might eventually just lead to me never doing it, you know, but if I put it out online and it’s starting to build an audience and it’s starting to get people reading then it becomes a thing that I then am committed to and I have to finish.
WS: What is Niro? I’ve read the first 18 pages and it’s caught my interest. And I don’t know why but it sort of reminds me of Jodorwosky’s film El Topo. Have you seen El Topo?
CS: Yeah, you’re correct, it’s definitely an influence. El Topo and The Holy Mountain actually are influences, they’re both Jodorowsky films.
I mentioned earlier that one is not being given away for free. That is something that I’m going to be doing as a digital download; it’s not going to be a web comic. I put those eighteen or twenty pages up as a preview to kind of get peoples’ interest and gauge reaction to it but I will be charging for it.
I’m going to be doing digital downloads. The plan is to do four chapters around sixty pages each and I will be doing digital downloads DRM free so you can get them PDF or CBZ files which is, I think, are the two formats in which most people currently read comics, and it’s going to be pay-what-you-want. I’m not going to set a price point for it. I’m going to set a minimum price of $0.99 but if someone wishes to pay $5 for it they’re free to do so, if someone wishes to pay $20 for it they’re free to do so, if someone wants to pay $2, they can. I might have different incentives; if you do pay $20 you get a limited edition print sent to you, or something like that. But I really am curious in doing a kind of pay-what-you-want model and seeing how that goes. I’ve seen it work for musicians and it’s worked in comedy.
There’s been people who are kind of embracing this idea of giving away something of substantial value for a very cheap price—The cheapest being free and, you know, if not free at least very, very cheap—as good as free—and I think the one thing I’ve learned about the comic market—it’s not even just the comic market, I think it’s the media market in general these days—is that people are reluctant to buy something if they don’t know what it is, particularly if it’s expensive, because there’s so many different options now for your entertainment. So the way to get people to pay for it is to make it as easy as possible to buy it, and that’s to give it away for almost nothing and eventually recoup the costs in a print edition or just hope that volume pays off and maybe twenty thousand people will pay $1 for it.
“As comics start to move into digital distribution and publication—I mean […] when it becomes dominant, which, I think, is inevitable—we’ll start to see the way the comics are consumed, or the way that they’re produced, change.”
WS: You seem to have had an interesting career. You get to pursue personal projects like Sin Titulo and Niro, but you also score really fun gigs like working on Assassin’s Creed, B.P.R.D. and a Suicide Girls project. You traveled in preparation for The Assassin’s Creed comic, yes?
CS: Yeah, the same principle as The Other Side, just kind of wanting to be accurate with the story. So the Assassin’s Creed book was set in Russia, set in St. Petersburg in the time leading up to the Russian Revolution. My partner, Karl Kerschl, and I thought that, you know, the best way to learn about it was to actually go. Fortunately we were working for Ubisoft, the video game company, and they very much encouraged the idea of research trips […] They were very kind and they sent us to Russia for a week, you know, so we could do a lot of drawing of the city and learn about the history. You see New York City in comics all the time […] but no one’s really ever done St. Petersburg and we wanted to ensure that someone from St. Petersburg would read the comic and kind of be delighted that their city was depicted accurately.
WS: What countries did you travel to and how did you choose those particular countries rather than other ones?
CS: Well, that’s it for now. I have travelled the world extensively but it’s just usually for comic conventions or personal travel, or whatever. Research trips have mainly just been those ones, to Russia and Vietnam but I hope to come up with other ideas in future that are in other places of interest that would provide me with a reason to go there.
WS: Were you given a lot of freedom to develop both Suicide Girls and Assassin’s Creed, or were you closely managed?
CS: Suicide Girls was not something I was given a lot of freedom on. I mean, I was sort of brought on to that in a weird situation. I was initially hired to do [only] the covers and the concept art for it but then the artists that they had on the book didn’t really work out so I was kind of brought in to take over; I was just sort of working from what had already been established. On Assassin’s Creed, I had a lot of freedom, which was really surprising because we figured that a giant company such as Ubisoft would want to manage properties very carefully and we thought that they would micromanage us every step of the way. But they were actually really receptive to our ideas and they really enjoyed what we did and they did give us a quite surprising amount of freedom. [Ubisoft was] so happy with what we did that they actually incorporated elements of our comic into the video games. I’ve just been playing the most recent game recently and it’s really strange to see the character that I created [appearing] in a video game played by millions of people.
WS: Do you still aspire to work for Marvel and DC? Do you have any dream projects in mind with their characters? Or are you been there and done that. Time to move on?
CS: I don’t aspire to it, no. I mean I will never say “never” because—who knows— maybe I would like to work on something with them. I have a couple of things that are in the pipeline still, stuff that I have committed to already that hasn’t come to pass yet but I’m assuming will at some point […].
People always ask, “What character have you always really wanted to draw?” You know, expecting I’m going to say Spiderman or something. But really that’s not true and if I want to draw Spiderman nothing’s stopping me, I mean I can sit down right now and pick up a pen and draw a picture of Spiderman if I want to draw Spiderman. In order to get me to want to draw an entire comic or an entire five issues of a comic or an entire graphic novel it needs to be something that really intrigues me because it’s a lot of work and I get bored of things if I’m not personally invested in it. So I’m not really interested in drawing Marvel or DC stuff just for the sake of working for Marvel or DC, or just for the sake of working on those characters, but I would definitely do it if there was a story that I found really compelling. If somebody pitched me a Batman story that I thought was really, really compelling or an X-Men story or, whatever, and I was excited by it and it was like, yeah, I would love to draw this, then I probably would…But ultimately it’s not really, as I say, where my interests lie. I’m far more interested in developing my own ideas and moving forward with that.
WS: You have transitioned from more of a traditional approach to making comics to, if I’m correct, producing your work almost entirely digitally. What is your thinking on this? Is it faster, allowing you to accomplish more work? Or do you find an aesthetic that appeals to you?
CS: I started working digitally just purely for practical reasons. I was quite slow. I was doing a lot of digital cleanup work if I would make a mistake on the page or whatever and I would have to white it out and then draw it again and then when I would scan in the page I would have to do a lot of digital correction. I started experimenting with doing the corrections entirely digitally so if I made a mistake on the page I wouldn’t bother correcting it; I would just do the corrections digitally. I found that that kind of sped up the process a little bit and then I thought, well maybe I could do the pencils digitally, and so I started doing all of my pencils directly in Photoshop with a Wacom tablet, which saved on paper and was easy for me to work on page layouts because if I drew things in the wrong place or, whatever, I could very easily manipulate them and move them around.
It started to speed up, so it was this very slow migration and then I started just doing inking digitally and finding that that worked. So as an experiment I just decided to try and draw stuff directly digitally and found that it was very enjoyable and I thought that drawing digitally gave me a confidence that I didn’t previously have because I no longer have the fear of screwing up the page, you know, because it’s very easily fixable and it’s just, you know, command Z to undo. So if I make a wrong line I just command Z it. That gives me a confidence that I didn’t previously have. Without having to do all that scanning and cleanup and everything, it’s sped things up so…I mean when I was drawing on paper, I used to take, I would say, about a month to do a comic, to do a twenty-two page comic. Now I can do it in just over two weeks, I think. It’s certainly made things a lot faster for me, which, in turn, means I can work more and earn more.
“I would rather read a story that was memorable despite some weak artwork than look at some gorgeous artwork that was in service of nothing.”
WS: Do you think that artists will move more and more to digital production in the future?
CS: I think so. I think there’s a lot of artists who will do it. Every so often when I see artwork on paper I kind of think, I miss doing this. I miss having tangible pieces of art. My art agent certainly misses me doing stuff on paper because he has nothing to sell. I think there’s people who definitely prefer and always will prefer working with ink on paper and I think that, you know, there’ll be people into digital technology. I like doing it because I can have the freedom to work on a lot of different layers.
I think that as comics start to move into digital distribution and publication—I mean […] when it becomes dominant, which, I think, is inevitable—we’ll start to see the way the comics are consumed, or the way that they’re produced, change. I think that working digitally will assist that. A lot of people, I think, will kind of have no choice but to move over to digital if they want to do things efficiently.
WS: How do you define storytelling? And what’s more important to you, story or art? Is it a marriage of both?
CS: It is a marriage. The ideal comic is something that has good art and a good story, of course. I would always value story over artwork—which is funny for me to say as an artist. But, you know, I would rather read a story that was memorable despite some weak artwork than look at some gorgeous artwork that was in service of nothing. It’s like movies or people or, whatever, you know…like a movie that is all flash and bombast but has a stupid script. Or a person—a man or a woman—who is really pretty but really dumb […]. I’d rather have people of substance and I would rather have stories of substance…so I definitely prefer story. The ideal is that it’s both. Unfortunately, that seems to be pretty rare.
WS: Are you still learning and growing as an artist? Do you see areas in your work that you want to improve upon? May I ask where you would like to grow as both an artist and writer?
CS: I absolutely see areas that I need to improve. I see it every day and it causes me great pain but I think that that’s necessary. Getting better is a lifelong process, you know, it’s eternally in the process of getting better. The tragedy is you’re never going to reach the top of the mountain. You might get close maybe, if you’re lucky, by the end of your life but I don’t think you’ll ever quite reach the top…And I’m fine with that because I know that it’s a process and, whatever, but I think that when I conquer the things that are bothering me about my work now or the deficiencies that I have in my art now, ten years from now I’ll have new things that I want to improve on and I think that it’s a healthy thing.
My girlfriend is often upset with me because as I say that I hate my own artwork or I don’t like the drawings that I’ve done or, whatever, but I think that, in a way, it’s kind of a healthy attitude because it pushes me to get better. I think that if you think that you’re good, if you think that there’s nothing left to learn, you’re probably nowhere near as good as you think you are.
WS: Who inspires you? I’m not only thinking about comic artists or fine artists. I’m thinking about filmmakers and musicians, too.
CS: Oh man, the list is [long], and for different things too. That’s such a huge question. It’s funny, actually, because I’m far more inspired by movies than I am by comics. Even though I love comics and I make comics, filmmakers are really my primary inspiration. You’ve already mentioned David Lynch; I love the Coen brothers; I love Paul Thomas Anderson; I love Ridley Scott. Quentin Tarantino— he is someone who I really love. I watched Django Unchained the other night. I loved it. He does a thing that I really enjoy which I think is very relevant in comics too: he does […] genre mash-ups of what […] are usually regarded as sort of trash cinema and but then he manages to transmute it into something that’s respectable. I find that really inspiring and really exciting and that’s the kind of thing I would like to do in some of my comics work as well.
WS: I believe that you have recently moved to Europe? Is it Germany?
CS: I’d never been to Germany. I’d never been to Berlin. I’d heard about it for many years and heard that it was a great city and I’d hit a point where I was really interested in living elsewhere in the world just again feeding into that idea of getting better in your art and broadening your horizons and experiencing new things and a great thing about Berlin is it’s really cheap to live here—like, less than a third of what I was paying in Toronto to live….what that allows me to do…I’m very fortunate now in that I can. I no longer have to be dependent on seeking work from Marvel or DC or, whatever. I can go for a while now and just live off what I have in the bank and focus on working on Niro or whatever else I want to do that’s for myself…whereas when I was living in Toronto—Toronto’s becoming obscenely expensive—I had to make sure that I had money coming in all the time just so I could pay my bills and now living here I have the luxury of not worrying about that any more.
WS: Are you perhaps transitioning into the Euro BD scene and Berlin is a good place to be because of that?
CS: Yeah definitely, I love the Euro scene; the European comics [scene] is, I think, closer to my sensibilities than the North American comics scene. I would love to do some Euro stuff, I have a lot of connections in the Euro market and certainly this is a great place for it, you know, to be quite so close. But we’ll see, I mean, again, that is still the same problem as a lot of the American comics market—you still end up working for hire without really having any creative control or ownership. As I say, I want to avoid that for now.
WS: Are there specific types of stories, if you’re given both financial and creative freedom, that are burning inside you waiting to be told?
CS: Yeah, I have a lot of ideas for stuff that I want to do, I’m not going to talk about them just now but you will see them in the future. I like to experiment with a lot of different things. I like to do, as you’ve already seen…you know, you mentioned about the choices that I’ve made about the work I’ve done with… like…Apocalipstix and The Other Side and Sin Titulo and everything…and, I mean, they’re all very different in terms of the subject matter and the way that I approach them, the way that I draw them. And that’s something that I like to do just to keep it fresh for myself. I like to experiment with a lot of different things and try a lot of different genres so I’d like to do a flat out horror story, I’d like to do a comedy thing…I’d like to do a lot of different things, just keeps me from getting in a rut and getting bored you know, just different things all the time.
WS: Digital Comics? Good thing or a bad thing?
CS: I think, unquestionably, a good thing. I wish that the North American comics market would relax and just let it happen and not be so afraid of it.
WS: Lastly, are you concerned for comics and the future of the industry or do you see a bright future ahead?
CS: I don’t know about a bright future. I think they’ll always kind of struggle through. I think there’s [lines] that are dysfunctional in the industry that are going to prevent it from actually growing in any meaningful way. The insistence of hobbling digital sales is one of them. I don’t think it’s doomed but I don’t think we’re in a golden age either. The one thing I think is good is that because Hollywood seems to be buying up a lot of stuff is that there definitely does seem to be a lot more original stuff that’s coming out. There’s a lot more independent material that has a chance in the market place now—which I don’t think always used to be the way. So that’s encouraging. That’s a good thing for the future.