Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Comic Books as Literature

This weekend, I'm off to London to go to a huge Comic Book convention. I've never made a secret of my geekiness and my love of comic books, but something I've only recently come to realise is how interested I am in actually writing them.

This isn't, however, something I would tell to a writing or critique group. Why not? Why is is that writing comic books is seen as such an insignificant for of literature?

The skills needed to write a comic book are different to a novel or a short story, but that doesn't make them any less legitimate. The biggest challenge seems to be that you have to try and tell your story almost in two separate ways - one to give instructions to your artist, and one to entertain your audience. Show, not tell is still a fundamental part of this storytelling process, but it seems to take on another layer when you're working in such a visual medium.

People compare it to screenplay writing, but while the physical format of the writing is similar, I can see a lot of differences too - the primary one being that you have static images to work with, rather tham moving ones. It must be a lot harder to portray a character's terror when you can't see his heart thundering or tell that his palms are sweating.

There's a panel at this convention that is about breaking into comics and is being presented by some big names in comic editing. I can't wait to hear their advice and discover what steps I need to take. And maybe in another few years, it'll be my name on a comic book, being picked up by a little girl who is dreaming of being a writer...
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1 comment:

  1. Well hello from London! Hope you had a fab time. You'll have to post an update on your trip!