Do you think editors and agents have different (lower) standards for writing that's submitted by an author-illustrator as opposed to someone who's "just" an author?If a submission wins me over partly with writing and partly with art, should I think less of it than the submission that won me over solely with writing? Both verbal storytelling and visual storytelling are talents, and both are strengths in a book.
As you can imagine, I am a writer who can't draw a cube.
Some of the feedback I get from my agent has really challenged me to reach for something a lot higher with my writing. Then I see some books that are being published, and it's like they got some kind of pass. I feel like if I sent my agent a story like that, he'd send it right back to me and wouldn't even consider showing it to publishers.
Are the standards different for an author-illustrator if the art is good enough to sell an otherwise lackluster story?
So the answer to your question is yes, in some cases it's ok that the writing isn't as wonderful as in other manuscripts since there's such strength in the art.
It's not ok to feel these people got a pass-- they still had to submit something powerful. Just like you do. If you sent me a manuscript whose development of setting was non-existent but whose plot-development and characters were wonderful and made the manuscript worthwhile all by themselves, it would be ridiculous for me to reject it, right? Just because your strengths aren't what some other people's strengths are?
Don't think of yourself as being in the same race with author-artists-- think of yourself as being in the same Olympics. If you both end up on the winners' stand, it will be for different skills, but your accomplishments will both be worthy of the honor.