Originally Posted by PixelFish
I love working with groups on very big projects. (Video games, movies, newspapers, magazines. That sort of thing.) I love it when the project comes together and you get to see your effort in the whole.
However, with smaller projects, there can be some issues as you negotiate things like ownership of the project (usually with bigger projects, you are more like a contract worker than a share holder--the project will go on whether or not you are there) and creative input and roles. I think it's helpful to discuss with any potential partner (and any new incoming partners) what roles are, the limitations of those roles, and make sure everybody knows how much time goes into the roles. I know that when I had a webcomic for a year, I ended up doing the editing, drawing, and maintaining the site, whereas my two compadres had less time taken up with their parts. (Writing and promotion, which can still be intensive in their own ways, but just didn't take up as much time as all my tasks.) This imbalance resulted in me being burnt out quicker. So it is a good idea to find out who is doing what, how long they expect it to take, and a reasonable production schedule. (No matter what you are doing.)
Getting a small group of people together and making something can be very rewarding. It just requires a bit of planning at the fore-front to keep everybody on track and happy.
Edited to add: I'm addressing groups that come together for a specific project or purpose. You mentioned comics, which triggered my own recall of such experiences. But not all groups that come together to work together are necessarily that ....structured. As Fongmingyun notes below, there can be much more casual groups which are aligned mostly to just draw or paint together, the way writers groups work together to crit. You may still want to lay out expectations and etiquette for new members of the group, but there's certainly less to worry about re: roles and schedules with that kind of group.
Thanks for the response! Yea, establishment of roles would probably have to be one of the main priorities along with what genre and story to do if it was a comic group. Coming together for a purpose was one of the major reasons why I started this thread because I've been on DArt and various other places online, not to mention conventions where there are large groups of people working together and they all seemed to just have done it right.
Gaining the trust not only in others but oneself to open themselves up and get out there seems like a hard task to do. But then its also about that commitment!