More on writing comics

I got some really good quotes from the net on writing comics. The first one is from a comics artist called Matt Madden and the second is by Chris Ware (and even makes a comment on Clowes work!)

Interview one:
"X: Speaking more specifically about your own work... how would you define your approach?

MM: This is a hard question to get a handle on. Let me try to work from the inside out, that is, starting with the basics of how I write a comic. Like many writers/artists, I have both a sketchbook and a small memo pad and I am constantly gathering sketches and notes, some of which are eventually collected and arranged into a story. When I write comics, I write in thumbnails; that is, I try to write the verbal and the visual simultaneously, allowing the two elements to play off each other. I find that this method produces ways of expression that would not be possible through writing a script in screenplay format first and then breaking it down visually. As for drawing and writing style, I certainly have my influences, but I try to let both skills develop as organically as possible, and I adjust them according to whatever story I am working on. The only generalization I can think of is that I like to keep things simple and economic, both in art, design, and writing, in order to leave as much as room as possible for the reader to had his or her own meaning."

Interview Two:
"Q: You know, talking about writing when you’re talking about comics is a little treacherous because I tend to think you write with pictures as well as with words, so there’s no easy demarcation there.

A: Oh definitely. That’s what comics are. If you are writing a script beforehand, you’re not really writing comics. You’re illustrating a story. That’s a generalization of course, and there are cartoonists who work that way. For example, Dan Clowes told me that he did “Caricature” as his first edited and thoroughly-plotted narrative, and that’s one of his best stories done in comics.

Q: He’s fortunate in that his mind is doing both. In other words, there’s not a writer writing something and giving it to an artist. Now, when you conceive of a story, do you think of it in visual terms or in verbal terms?

A(From Chris Ware): I really don’t know, actually. I tend to think of it in all sorts of different ways. I guess more visually. I guess images flash into my mind, they might get transferred into words. If I have something else and that occurs to me and I don’t want to forget it, I’ll write it down. I don’t know. This is all hideously embarrassing. I mean, any real writer that might happen to read this is just going to be disgusted!

Still waiting to hear from more peoples in comic land (except you Nicky) about their comic writing techniques. Anyone is worthy to write in...

It's not so much 'how do you get your ideas' but in what format do you write comics? Is it one of the three methods I came up with (see previous post on writing) or your own method? Be sure to include the little quirky details too if they're important to you, eg, yellow pencils, old typewriters, handmade notebooks, squid ink etc.
Email me a response and I can edit it for the blog


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