Monday, August 4, 2014

Words for Pictures by Brian Michael Bendis

book cover
Words for Pictures
by Brian Michael Bendis

ISBN-13: 978-0770434359
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Watson-Guptill
Released: July 22, 2014

Source: Review copy from the publisher through Blogging for Books.

Book Description, Modified from Book Cover:
Best-selling Marvel Comics writer Brian Michael Bendis reveals the comic book writing secrets behind his work on The Avengers, Ultimate Spider-Man, All-New X-Men, and more.

Bendis guides aspiring creators through each step of the comics-making process—from idea to script to finished sequential art—for comics like Ultimate Spider-Man. Along the way, tips and insights from other working writers, artists, and editors provide a rare, extensive look behind the creative curtain of the comics industry. With script samples, a glossary of must-know business terms for writers, and interactive comics-writing exercises, Words for Pictures provides the complete toolbox needed to jump start the next comics-writing success story.

My Review:
Words for Pictures is a book about breaking into and working for the commercial comic industry. The author described what it's like to work professionally as a writer who must work with an editor, artist, letterer, etc. The book was filled with interviews with various editors, artists, and writers who described how to best work together and about business aspects that you should know. The book was also packed with comic art by the various people who were interviewed. If your goal is to write for Marvel or Dark Horse Comics, and you want to know what to do to get the job, what will happen after you do, and how to keep getting jobs, then this book will certainly help you a lot.

On the other hand, I had expected a little more information about handling the challenges of writing for a graphic novel or serial-comic format (compared to writing text-only stories that contain a complete story within one "book"). I also would have been interested in more information about producing web comics, independent comics, and graphic novels. He did talk some about these topics, but he mainly focused on working for comic book publishers. This is fine, but perhaps a more accurate subtitle would be "the business of writing comics."

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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