Monday, July 14, 2003

Comics and Writing

I want to get some of this material out of the way so I can spend some time on some of the more political stuff I'm hoping to talk about in the next few weeks.

Comics Writers you should be reading work from (listed in no particular order):

1) Alan Moore - is a force of nature. If you haven't read an Alan Moore comic, then you really haven't been reading comics for long enough. Alan is the best in the medium, a creative mind so powerful it is a physical presence.
2) Warren Ellis - Alan is the best, but Warren is my favourite. I'm very much in line with most of Warren's science-fiction and political leanings, though that's not to say that I don't have some disagreements with his work, because I do. Warren at his best is capable of being reflective, thoughtful, and even optimistic.
3) Mark Waid - My favourite among the classic superhero writers, Waid's writing can be at times a little too feel-good, but then if you read EMPIRE....well, let's just say that this must be where his repressed negativity goes.
4) Kurt Busiek - the master of the dramatic plot twist, Kurt's writing has been consistently engaging and surprising for me.
5) Peter David - I have to admit, I'm not a fan of his superhero work, but at the same time, he is probably one of the most unique and diverse authors in the medium
6) Gail Simone - FLAT OUT FUNNY.
7) Brian Michael Bendis - Again, not really my cup of tea, but he does have a solid grasp of characterization and dialogue.

Comic Book Writers you should avoid like SARS:
1) Chuck Austen - Listen Chuck, I've never bought a single issue you've penned, you know why? I go to the online previews where they post the first four pages...and you've never held my interest past page three. It is obvious from what I have heard that you don't understand how the dramatic form of writing works, and that you are simply assigned to books that could not possibly ever be cancelled no matter how terribly you write. Good for you, that's job security. Just don't ask me to like you.
2) Rob Liefeld - The Ed Wood of Comics.
3) Todd a fellow Canuck, yet he's never had a truly original thought that wasn't handed to him by people greater than
4) Joe Kelly - has writen exactly ONE good issue of Superman in about 4 years.....1/48 =2.08333%....and you're responsible for one of the most important comics franchises? We're screwed.
5) Jeph Loeb - has contributing to making comics seeming more infantile and confusing at the same time....great.

Now, having written the following, and given that the question has been posed to me over the years, would I ever consider a career as a comic writer?

No. Probably never. I have a career, thanks.

There are a few reasons why I'd never really consider this as a career option. They are listed in order of importance

1) Most importantly, to me anyway, is to apply the lessons I learned from comics to my adult life, foremost among these lesson is to use my gifts to help others. That's why I'm engineer, because I have these gifts which can be used to help people. I don't want to just write about heroes and the advancement of science and human society, I want to be an active part of it to the best of my ability, and for now, that is exactly what I'm doing.
2) In all honesty, looking at that "Best" list, it is a daunting task trying to bring something to the table that one of those folks couldn't do a lot better.
3) I'm 23...I've got more than a few years, and if I ever did feel like trying it, I want to actually live enough to have something to write about.
4) I'd need a lot of training and studying to do before I'd be ready for such a drastic career change. My last creative writing class was my senior year of high school. I'd have a LOT of reading, researching, and writing to do in order to get a style good enough.

That being said, I do still write, but I write mostly a prose literature style, possibly geared towards writing a novel at some future point. The ideas are there, but I'm willing to take the time to develop them and shape them into something that someone would actually want to READ. Anything else and ....I'd be Chuck Austen.

That's all, I'll be on a different topic all together tomorrow,


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