Comic Books 101–Part Eight

For the 8th edition of Comic Books 101, here’s a straight-up list of useful resources for comic book writers and artists:

Duotrope.com—Duotrope offers “a fully searchable database of over 4,125 active publishers
statistics on publishers’ response times, acceptance-rejection ratios, etc.
the ability to track all your submissions in your own submissions tracker.”

Writers’ Market—Keep up-to-date with publishing news, search for places to sell your work, manage your submissions, and search genre-specific resources.

Frame Forge—“FrameForge Previz Studio 3 enables you to create a virtual 3D set in your computer with the freedom to place any number of virtual cameras in any placement, angle or height desired.”

Poser—Poser is a 3D figure design software. It “includes over 3 gigabyte of ready-to-pose, fully textured, human and animal figures, basic accessories such as hair, clothing, pose sets, real world props and 3D scene elements. With Poser 9 you can start creating 3D character art and animation in minutes.”

Bryce—“Bryce is a very affordable 3D terrain generation tool. You can create mountains, skies, and oceans, as well as your own 3D models and props.”

Comic Life—Comic Life is useful for storyboarding your comic. “The easy-to-use interface integrates seamlessly with your photo collection or iSight. Drag in your pictures, captions, Lettering text (‘ka-blam!’) and speech balloons and your work is done!”

Anything you’d add to this list?

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Comic Books 101 — Part One

Fridays at 8:30 in the morning, I sit in a class filled with fiction, gaming, art, and film majors to learn about comic books. More specifically, how to write them. I recognize that I’m insanely lucky to have this opportunity, so I’m going to share my experiences. Let’s call it Comic Book 101. And this is part one.

The first class blew my mind. I was told I’d have to write a script, a proposal, an elevator pitch, and convince an artist to draw the first six pages of my novel for my final project.  HOW COOL IS THAT!?

I was told there’s no money in comics (I’ve been told this before). I was told it’s difficult to find work as a comic writer.

I was also thoroughly convinced this is something I want to pursue.

So what did I learn?

Comics are special. They have their own unique culture, cliques, and genres.

Comics are corporate. Comics are about doing whatever you need (even if that means writing Scooby Doo) to get work.

Comics are commercial. You can make a lot of money off licensing. Or, you can make no money at all.

Comics are changing. People don’t read comics like they used to or in such volume.

There is nothing shameless about working in a comic book shop to break into the industry. Self-publishing isn’t only for losers who can’t get their stuff published; it’s for serious writers who want to attract some serious attention from publishers.

Comics are a community. It’s a small world.

Comic writing is not poetry (mostly). It’s creating a foolproof script any artist could understand. Comic writing is the foundation of comics, but it’s like being the drummer in a band.

That’s what I learned this past Friday. Check back next week for what I’ll learn next.