First attempt at hand-rendered inks. I’m tired at staring at a computer.
In the field of graphic design, students are encouraged to take on projects outside the classroom. Do small exercises yourself in order to harness your skills, or at least retain them over time. I’m sure the same can be said for your traditional artists as well.
I need to do the same for my writing.
I’ve seen advice from writers, both in prose and in comics. I’ve read stories and advice, taken it to heart, bathed in it, nestled it underneath my pillow so I could sleep on it and a writing tree blooms. There are some consistencies between all of the advice. One of which is short-story writing.
Many authors and graphic novelists suggest getting a grip on short-storytelling in order to improve your writing. In some ways, it’s easier – you’re not bogged down by pages and pages of characterization, story, sub-plot, et cetera. You have to get from point A to point B in ten pages or less, okay GO. In other ways, it’s more difficult – you need to establish a beginning, a middle, and an end in a short amount of time, and make sure you tell a complete story.
So I’m thinking I should take on some short story exercises. Maybe post the pages on Scribd or something when I’m done. We’ll see.
I love comics.
There. I said it. We’ve gotten that out of the way.
But it’s more than love, really. Comics are my passion. There’s something amazing about the world that comics creates – a visual world equally reliant on both text and image. It could be argued that it’s no different than watching a movie on mute and with subtitles, but that would be wrong. There’s a level of user engagement in comics not seen in that oh-so-prevalent moving picture. But I digress.
I love comics, and I want to be part of that world. So years ago I started writing scripts, and finally took the dive and started illustrating my own humor series, Carbon and Space, which I’ve updated off and on since 2009. But this weekend marks a new chapter in my life. I will be attending a comic convention; my first convention as an exhibitor in Artist Alley.
I’m excited, I’m scared, I’m filled with… feelings. Big names like Mark Waid and Valiant Comics will be a stone’s throw away. This might not be my chance to break into the big leagues (or even the minor leagues, to take the metaphor further), but this is a shot at getting some people to know my name and see what I can do.
What I need right now is a perception shift. This weekend, it’s not about the big dogs and how I can run with them; it’s about the fans. It’s about people like me who adore comic books, graphic novels, the strips, the funnies, whatever you call them. This is a weekend to celebrate the medium that has brought so much joy and happiness into our lives! This isn’t about me or my work or Mark Waid or Valiant – it’s about what we make, about our passion.
We make comics because we love comics.