Tag Archives: Brian Michael Bendis

Essential readings for Comic Book Writers

Essential readings for Comic Book Writers:

This list is based off of the curriculum from Brian Michael Bendis’ writing class, as well as other recommendations from friends, and other lucky finds. I picked my favorites or, at least, the ones I believe to be the most helpful, should be read first or even re-read, perhaps studied. Simply put, books you should have at arm’s reach for easy reference.

Here is my Definitive list of Essential readings for Comic Book Writers:

51473OvY5zL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_voglers-writers-journey

One of my favorite books and the one I recommend reading first. It will give you a solid foundation, from the actual structure of your story to character’s archetypes. This is a great book that you will keep referring to and should keep handy. Plus, I feel like it makes all my writing super Mythical and Epic!

 

51c1Pf0fe7L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Another great book though, I felt, a little more dense. I found it easier to digest AFTER reading The Writer’s Journey since it builds on some of the principles explained in the first book. The script analysis of Chinatown is particularly exciting. This is a book you should read closely and by that, I mean STUDY it. Just like all the books on this list really. And yes, it is about Screenwriting but the same principles apply to Comic book writing.

 

61KgveZjO7L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_mc36c

The best book about the actual medium. Understanding Comics is a big fat comic strip about comics and how they work. Scott Mc Cloud takes you through everything that makes up a Comic Book, one panel at a time. You should also read his Making Comics.

 

59704

Tons of good advice from the Legendary Writer with an interesting focus on the ‘Theme’ of your story. Also, the afterwords that he wrote 15 years later destroys everything he recommended doing in the book. Priceless.

 

9780770434359

More than a book about writing Comics, this is  about the entire business of being a professional Comic book Writer. From your relationship with Artists to dealing with Editors, it proves to be the most original and innovative book of the bunch with advice from pros you won’t find anywhere else. This book will take you to the next level. Oh, it also gives you homework.

 

wwgbg

This is my new favorite book and one I keep handy.  Nick Macari little book will truly take you to the next level because it assumes you already know about the writing basics and concerns itself with mechanics specific to the comic book medium. I am still learning from this great book. You can find some of Nick’s advice on his site here and make your own opinion.

More cool books to check out:

You can also find Comic book scripts in the back of some trades or Deluxe editions of your favorite books. It is worth checking it out. I especially enjoy the Civil War Script book by Mark Millar.

And of course online, at the Comic Book Script Archive.

Have the most Mythical and Epic of Journeys!!!

-Nico

 

Essential readings for Comic Book Writers

Essential readings for Comic Book Writers:

This list is based off of the curriculum from Brian Michael Bendis’ writing class, as well as other recommendations from friends, and other lucky finds. I picked my favorites or, at least, the ones I believe to be the most helpful, should be read first or even re-read, perhaps studied. Simply put, books you should have at arm’s reach for easy reference.

Here are my recommended, Essential readings for Comic Book Writers:

51473OvY5zL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_voglers-writers-journey

One of my favorite books and the one I recommend reading first. It will give you a solid foundation, from the actual structure of your story to character’s archetypes. This is a great book that you will keep referring to and should keep handy. Plus, I feel like it makes all my writing super Mythical and Epic!

 

51c1Pf0fe7L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Another great book though, I felt, a little more dense. I found it easier to digest AFTER reading The Writer’s Journey since it builds on some of the principles explained in the first book. The script analysis of Chinatown is particularly exciting. This is a book you should read closely and by that, I mean STUDY it. Just like all the books on this list really. And yes, it is about Screenwriting but the same principles apply to Comic book writing.

 

61KgveZjO7L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_mc36c

The best book about the actual medium. Understanding Comics is a big fat comic strip about comics and how they work. Scott Mc Cloud takes you through everything that makes up a Comic Book, one panel at a time. You should also read his Making Comics.

 

59704

Tons of good advice from the Legendary Writer with an interesting focus on the ‘Theme’ of your story. Also, the afterwords that he wrote 15 years later destroys everything he recommended doing in the book. Priceless.

 

9780770434359

More than a book about writing Comics, this is  about the entire business of being a professional Comic book Writer. From your relationship with Artists to dealing with Editors, it proves to be the most original and innovative book of the bunch with advice from pros you won’t find anywhere else. This book will take you to the next level. Oh, it also gives you homework btw.

wwgbg

This is my new favorite book and one I keep handy.  Nick Macari little book will truly take you to the next level because it assumes you already know about the writing basics and concerns itself with mechanics specific to the comic book medium. I am still learning from this great book. You can find some of Nick’s advice on his site here and make your own opinion.

More cool books to check out:

You can also find Comic book scripts in the back of some trades or Deluxe editions of your favorite books. It is worth checking it out. I especially enjoy the Civil War Script book by Mark Millar.

And of course online, at the Comic Book Script Archive.

Have the most Mythical and Epic of Journeys!!!

-Nico

 

Comic Book Sketch

It’s been a sketchy week (‘haha’).

Earlier this week, I received the commission I purchased from Artist Randy Emberlin at the Rose City Comic Con. Artists charge per character so if you want her or him to draw  more than one person, you have to pay more. I was on a budget (aren’t we all?) so I asked him for something special and a bit tricky: Mystique in the process of transforming (morphing) into Wolverine. Here is the terrific final product!

wolvmystiquesketch
I especially enjoy the contrast between her/his ample chest and the super hairy arm.

 

On Wednesday, I went to a couple signings.

Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick had  a signing at Floating World Comics to celebrate the release of the Bitch Planet Trade Paperback. Per usual, Kelly Sue was funny and brilliant. She signed my copy of Bitch Planet #1 and gave me a mission.

bitchsigned

Like several others at the signing, I was on my way to Things From Another World for another signing. Artist David Marquez (Ultimate Spiderman) was there to celebrate the release of his new Marvel title Invincible Iron Man #1 written by Brian Michael Bendis. Kelly Sue wrote a special congratulatory message on the back of a Bitch Planet poster, tore it to pieces, and gave the “bitch chunks” to us so that we could give it to David. I became one of her trusted messenger, bringing a piece of that bitchy puzzle with me.

David Marquez was taking the time to sketch variant covers and, after I delivered my piece of the puzzle, I asked him to do a version of the Invincible Iron Man #1 cover with Brian Michael Bendis as Iron Man:

ironBendis
Iron Bendis!

Wednesday truly is the best day of the week.

-N

Words for pictures.

WORDS FOR PICTURES.

The ART and BUSINESS of WRITING COMICS and GRAPHIC NOVELS

by Brian Michael Bendis.

 

I was lucky enough to take Brian’s writing class at Portland State University a couple years ago and it truly got me going on writing Comic Books and wanting to break into the industry.

If you do not know who Brian Michael Bendis is, let’s just say that he is a Comic Book legend… at least to me. He is currently writing two X-men books, Ultimate Spiderman (more than 100 issues under his belt) and his own creator owned books, one of which is about to become a TV show on the Playstation Network: POWERS. He also wrote Daredevil, Avengers and plenty more. Busy man.  Of course he also lives here, in Portland OR like half the Comic Book industry it seems.

WRDS-4-PIX_5.1

Words for Pictures is unlike any other books about writing Comics. It is a perfect addition to Will Eisner’s and Scott McCloud’s excellent books (that you should look up and read as well). The section in which Bendis interviews editors about what they like and do not like about working with new talent and the best ways to approach them is PRICELESS. The whole book, truly, is fantastic and will surely become a genre bible. I say bible because you will feel you need to keep it near so that you can refer to it whenever you please.

The writing exercises near the end are also quite brilliant.

I recently reverse engineered a page from The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen and it was an eye opening experience.

Bottom line is: go buy this book! If you are serious about writing Comics, you need this book.

Oh, and read:

WickedDivine01-2ndPTG

because it is truly awesome too.

N-

Never Stop Writing

“Never stop writing”

That’s what Brian Michael Bendis told me.

I took the Writing Graphic Novel class he taught at Portland State University back in 2010. This was the beginning of my Comic Book writing days. Professor Bendis is not only extremely knowledgeable about the craft, he is also very supportive. It was just a great, fun, informative class with fantastic reading material.

I personally recommend starting with The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler. It’ll teach you plenty about telling a story and the three acts structure. Don’t just read it, STUDY it. Take notes. Commit to memory. You should do that for all these books. It truly helps. THEN read Story by Robert McKee. It seemed to me it was a lot easier to read Story AFTER The Journey. I also recommend the DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics. It contains some great organisational methods. Add Will Eisner’s Comics and Sequential Arts and Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative; and Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics and Making Comics. Those will take you on a trip.

That’s enough,  you got plenty there. In the end though, you write your way. There are not set methods. just pick and choose what works best FOR you.

I got an A in the class, not that I believe in grades or anything but it does help when people enjoy your work and tell you so. The Activist was born in that class and so was Alistair.

The last time I talked to professor Bendis, it was on the floor of the Stumptown Comics Fest where the whole class met for the last time. As he walked away from me, he turned around and said “never stop writing”. To this day, this is the most supportive and positive advice I have gotten. It carries me through and pushes me forward no matter what.

I quickly answered: “I won’t”.

N-