One of the marks of genuinely great panel design at a con is if time is a factor. If you get to the 15 minute ‘Any questions?’ mark 25 minutes before the end you’re maybe a little light on content. If you get there with 14 minutes to go, you’re doing great. Nine Worlds this year felt far more information dense and that’s a really good thing.
With Comics though it presents a little bit of a challenge. There’s a lot of follow up research and reading to be done for them so, today and tomorrow, I’ll do short debrief posts on some further stuff relevant to them. Starting with How To Break Into Comics – But seriously, how? . Inevitably, this is going to skew towards my fields so the links below are useful for writers and reviewers more than artists. But all of them link to resources that will steer anyone looking to do comics onto a good track.
First off, two people whose work you need to be reading.
Steve W Morris-One of the most prolific and even-handed interviewers working today, Steve’s critical approach has helped alter my own awareness of the field and how to write about it. The Comic Spire is the best place to start for him.
Zainab Akhtar-An endlessly enthusiastic advocate for comics. Her blog is essential reading.
Next, an indulgence. I cut my teeth writing about comics on two sites. One, Savant, hasn’t survived in any form I can find. The other, Ninth Art, has. It was a very successful attempt to look at comics with an intelligent, enthusiastic critical eye and there’s a ton of great work up there still. Go, read, marvel at how young and purple filtered we all look.
Next up, writers.
The book I mentioned in the panel was this Writers on Comics Scriptwriting.It’s essential reading, giving you a detailed look at the various ways a group of the best writers in the business work. The sequel and Artists on Comic Art, are also well worth your time. Especially the artist book as it will help close the gap in expectation of quality of work and speed of delivery that Sally talked about on the panel.
A more recent release, Words with Pictures by Brian Michael Bendis is one I haven’t got to yet but hear nothing but good things about.
Pretty much everybody interested in working in comics needs to read Jim Zub’s vast series of tutorials. Covering everything from pitch construction to how to promote your finished work they’re essential reading. Here’s a couple of standouts:
And here’s Jim’s Amazon page. He’s not only incredibly helpful but ludicrously talented so go pick something up if you feel like thanking him.
So there you go. Some of that will help and all of it will help you find other sources that will help more. So get reading, keep writing and go make some comics.