Saturday, December 26, 2009

So You Wanna' Be A Comic Book Writer?

When I was a child, my grandfather used to read me the comic strips in the Sunday newspaper. The Sunday comics -- and later comic books -- were the reason I wanted to learn to read at all. And not long after I learned to read, I started trying to make my own comics.

I still have some of those comics, featuring The Liquidated Man, who, despite his name, was not involved in bankruptcies, foreclosures, or everything-must-go auctions. Instead, he was made entirely of water, which meant that he had the singular advantage of being an easy-to-draw amoeba-like blob. This suited my artistic abilities at the time perfectly. My drawing has not improved since that time.

So, from an early age, I decided I would be better off trying to write comic books rather than draw them. I say "trying" to write because many years passed with words being put to paper only intermittently. This is as common as dirt, I know.

Andy Schmidt, Senior Editor over at IDW, was recently asked during an iFanboy interview what the biggest mistake was that an aspiring comic book writer could make. Andy's answer was:

"There are a lot of would-be writers that I meet who really don't write. They think about stories a lot and they'll write a pitch for a story and then outline for a story, but they won't actually sit down and write the story.... If you're a writer, you should be writing. And if you've got a full-time day job, I do, too. I've got a two-year old, I've got a teaching business on the side. I'm a busy guy. You've just got to find that time and sit down and write whenever you can, even if it's just 5 or 10 minutes at a time. So, I would say, honestly, the biggest mistake I see from writers is they're not writing."

Guilty.

So, now I'm writing again. Animal Control: Special Creatures Unit is going to see the light of day in an honest-to-goodness printed comic book this Spring. Andy has a lot to do with that. And I'll explain that in my next post.

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