Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Books on Writing Comics

I recently read a couple of books about writing comics. Not because I have a strong desire to be a comic writer, but just out of general interest.

Writing for Comics with Peter DavidIn his book Writing for Comics with Peter David (Impact Books, $19.99), the prolific writer uses the opportunity as an introduction to basic creative writing, using comics as a foundation. The book is heavily weighted towards 'mainstream' comics because, as David says in the introduction, he's mainly known for his mainstream comics work and if you're buying a book called Writing for Comics with Peter David that's what you're expecting to get. David covers all of the bases from plot to character development to dialogue and illustrates with a multitude of examples from his work and from the work of others.

Writers on Comics Scriptwriting 2In Writers on Comics Scriptwriting 2 (Titan Books, $16.96), Tom Root & Andrew Kardon interview 17 comics writers about their craft. Most of the subjects are known primarily as mainstream writers--the exceptions being Dave Sim and possibly Jill Thompson--although most have also done work outside the DC-Marvel axis. Each interview is pnly about 15 pages long, so you won't get the sort of insight you might out of a good Comics Journal interview. It's best taken in short doses, one interview at a time, as despite the variety of responses from the interviewees it does all start to run together. Still, it does make for a variety of interesting looks into how different comics writers approach their work.

Taken together, these books serve well as a general introducitno to the craft of writing comics, though they won't turn you into a superstar writer over night. (And you'll have a couple of books on your shelf with really boring covers...)

Rating for both: 3 (of 5).

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