Tag Archives: Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative

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”.

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