Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review of WORDS FOR PICTURES by Brian Michael Bendis

Title: Words for Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels

Author: Brian Michael Bendis

Publisher: Watson-Guptill

What It's About: Words for Pictures is a guide for anyone interested in writing scripts for comic books or graphic novels.

Why I Read It: I've always loved comic books and graphics novels. I've never written in that medium before, but I've always been interested in the process. Bendis's book is the perfect guide to learning how to write in the comic book/graphic novel medium.

What I Liked About It: As a fan of comic books, I've come across Brian Michael Bendis's name many times, so I knew this was a book by someone who was on the front lines of the industry. In fact, Bendis is one of the leading writers for Marvel Comics, and he's written for The Avengers and Ultimate Spider-Man, among many others. I loved his story about how he got into comics. He even includes some examples of his early work in learning the craft.

Bendis covers the way comic book scripts are created, from pitch documents to the actual script that an artist follows to create the visuals of the story. Bendis makes it clear that when you're writing a script, you're writing something that your audience will never see. Comics and graphic novels are a joint effort by the writer and the artist, so when you're writing your script, you're writing in a way that the artist will understand what you're trying to get across so that they can translate it into visuals on the page.

The book also includes several contributions and interactions with other leading writers and artists to give us an even wider look into the creative process for comics/graphic novels.

The book doesn't just cover the craft side of comic books, however. Bendis also guides writers through the business side of comic book writing. This includes how to break into the business of comic book writing, which is a difficult pursuit. It's also about how to run a writing business once you've broken in and established yourself as a comic book writer. This was an interesting part of the book because Bendis interviews his wife who handles much of the business side of Bendis's career. It was great to see her insight into what a writer must do to always stay in the profession.

To top it all off, the book includes a chapter on the questions Bendis is asked the most, complete with his insightful and honest answers. This is a great book, the best I've seen, if you're interested in writing for comics or graphic novels.

Review copy provided by the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review

Where You Can Buy It:

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