“A Different And Valuable Resource For Comic Book Writers”
I am not generally a fan of Bendis work.
I get why other people are, it simply doesnt work for me. Im not saying this up front since I wish to begin some flamewar over the quality of Bendis writing but so youll understand that someone who is emphatically NOT a Bendis fanboy is providing this book a five-star review. Also, I bought and read the Kindle version and will discuss that below, just if thats relevant to your buying decision.Im likely to presume that if you are thinking about getting this novel its because you wish to be a writer of comic books, so Im going to review it from that perspective. And from that standpoint among the things thats good about the novel is exactly what Bendis *doesnt* comprise. He doesnt include a great deal of fundamental what’s a story? Things, nor does he spend a good deal of time beating the drum for super detailed outlining or going over the basics of three-act narrative structure. I’m grateful for this as it feels like every other general book on writing fiction nowadays does. If you desire or need that stuff for comics specifically, you need to certainly get Dennis ONeils _The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics_ or Peter Davids _Writing For Comics With Peter David_, both of which can be well worth your time regardless.Okay, so what exactly does it have thats worth five stars? Bendis writes about his procedure and its evolution. He talks about composing for the artist on a project, and how hes corrected his style to function to the strengths of various artists. To me this is remarkably valuable stuff. Sure, anybody interested in composing comics knows that youre supposed to write stuff that an artist could actually draw, but that I believe that Bendis goes beyond this basic information. In about his adventures and applying these principles to various real world artists on published projects, I believe theres a great deal of additional insight here I have not gotten out of other publications or blogs that I have read. His interviews with established comic book artists and comic book editors are, in my opinion, invaluable. I strongly disagree with some who criticize them to be too shallow or too subjective. The simple fact that not all artists or editors agree or desire the very same things is essential, and I enjoyed reading about their thought processes and getting a sense of where they’re coming from and why they prefer what they want. It got me thinking about things more from the perspective of an actual working pro, beyond the easy principles everyone writes about their sites, and I believe thats extremely valuable. Even in instances where they were rather terse, just seeing the contradictions in preferences between specialists in the context of their other remarks was useful.I want to especially emphasize how precious and important I feel that the stuff from the editors would be. The discussion and evaluation of what these editors desire from the people they hire, the common mistakes, the things that encircle them, how they want prospective authors searching for work to approach them is good material and value the purchase price of entry alone to me. Ive read bits and pieces of this type of thing scattered about over time, but this really is the single best choice of this sort of advice and instruction I have read up to now. I heard lots of new things and began having a great deal of new ideas only from such sections alone.There are 3 other advantages of the book I want to highlight, things which are sorely lacking from most other books on fiction writing normally and comics especially. The first is the business side of things. With very few exceptions, most comic book authors are independent contractors, and that means that if you become a writer you are your own small business. This is critical, often neglected material, and Bendis and his wife and business partner provide a treasure trove of helpful info and important information on this topic. The second is that Bendis discusses the mindset of living and writing as a writer and coping with fear and discouragement. This material may be too fuzzy for many people searching for just the truth, but I believe that these people are missing out on some real wisdom. Most of us know how emotionally hard writing can be, and also the strain just ratchets up when you set out to encourage yourself or your loved ones through composing. Its not an easy road, and Bendis is at once brutally honest and deeply reassuring when he writes about it. Finally, another important strength of this book is that Bendis writing style throughout is quite light and conversational. A lot of books on fiction writing are sterile and feel very textbooky. Bendis style here keeps you engaged, provides the things he emphasizes more impact, I think, and makes for a faster, more enjoyable read than a number of other books on writing.I also want to give special mention to his writing exercises, which I believe are quite excellent. I am not normally a fan of writing exercises in how-to writing novels, but I enjoyed these. The descriptions are excellent and enlightening in themselves, and that I had fun doing them. I feel like I got real benefit out of them, and they created lots of exciting new ideas that I hope to have the ability to put to great use.My only complaint is something I was hoping the book would comprise but does not, something I havent seen in any other book on writing comics, and something I think would have been extraordinarily useful for his readers here, and that is a more detailed discussion of plotting and adapting a specific story idea to distinct functional lengths. What I mean by this is state you have an idea for a comic book story and you instantly see that it could be completed in a really simple, uncomplicated fashion in one issue, but with some extra complexity and growth of its subject it could be a great two parter — or possibly even stretch over three or four difficulties. I’d have loved to see Bendis examine that process and talk about the challenges and issues in scaling a narrative down or up a specific number of problems and/or in trying to match in different subplots. How do you balance individual difficulty wants against writing for the trade paperback collection? While Im miserable there wasnt a part like that in this book, Im not going to speed it lower simply because it didnt include this, especially when whats is so valuable, and such a fun, easy read.Finally, a fast note on the Kindle variant. Many novels often have poorly structured picture files from the Kindle variant, or graphics that are too little or too fuzzy to make out naturally. I found the images within this book to be very readable, and my eyes suck. While your mileage may vary, I never the need to download a high resolution version via the links, although these seemed to work quite well. Anyhow, for me personally the reading experience on my iPad through the Kindle program was thoroughly pleasant and I liked having the ability to highlight text and make notes directly in the publication.