Saturday, January 23, 2021

Tools for Writing Comics Pt. 1

Hello, world!

I'd like to welcome you to the first part of my Tools for Writing Comics series.

I present to you three guides by the industry's brightest minds: Peter David, Alan Moore and Brian Michael Bendis.

First up is Writing for Comics & Graphic Novels with Peter David. What I found interesting is David's approach to writing comics how he's providing helpful insight as well his own personal yet funny anecdotes from his storied career in comics. [Peter] David's book also has advice on how to create your own comics from the essentials of character development, plot and pacing, scripting format, and an updated chapter on how to break in to the comics game by Andy Schmidt. The best part of this book are the writing prompts which helped me with original story ideas as I dove in to writing my own projects.

Second is Alan Moore's Writing for Comics. I've only heard of Alan Moore through works like Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and his work on Swamp Thing. I first picked up this book looking for sources on writing years ago. Another thing was to see what Moore had to offer on the craft. His way differs from others because he's narrating through an essay he wrote in 1985 on how to write a great script. In the reprinted edition, Moore teams up with artist Jacen Burrows and adds a bonus essay on how the writer should not be afraid to try new styles circa 2003. On the same level of Peter David's book, he gives an honest perspective on writing for comics.

Finally, we get down to...Words for Pictures by Brian Michael Bendis!
In my opinion, Bendis gives a very deep look in to the comics business. He shares the process of writing script formats to sequential art and more. The book also features insights from industry legends and glossary for business terms in writing for comics. What Bendis gives in detail is how to build relationships with the creative teams on a project. Added with his own experiences in the business, Brian Michael Bendis lays out the best advice for all writers: Write truthful and honest. 

For my overall review, these books have pointed out a clear and concise view on how to not only write for comics but also how to thrive in the industry, making connections and how to build solid ones as one goes into comics & graphic novels. To anyone looking for resources on writing for comic books, I recommend these works from the legends themselves.

Happy Creations!

Thursday, January 9, 2020


Happy New Year, world! We made it to the next decade of the new millennium!

Now I haven't been on a blogging groove like I have but I want to let you cats know it's all good. 2019 has been a TRIP for me and I've been very reflective on how things had turned out. So here's a quick recap of what went down on my end of the last year of the 2010s.

  • My first Women's March
  • Open Mic Poetry
  • Being terminated from my old job after four years
  • Starting a new job with the developmentally disabled
  • My first poetry publication in four years
I'd give the details for each of these life events of yours truly but it would be too long to go through so that's my recap of 2019.

Be there as I get back in the swing of things in 2020!

See ya!

Friday, December 13, 2019

Stay Tuned!

I don't have any topics to blog about today. This is me getting my thoughts out.

These past five months have been a roller coaster. Things are changing so fast before I could even blink. I can't think of any place to start so I'm tapped out.

What I can say is I'm doing okay and ya boy needs a time out.

Stay tuned, cats!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Folklore Thursday: The Wild Hunt

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of Folklore Thursday.

Today we travel to Europe exploring another one of its legendary histories. The Wild Hunt.

*The Wild Hunt is a folklore motif that historically occurs in European folklore, typically involve a ghostly or supernatural group of hunters passing in wild pursuit. The hunters may be either elves, fairies, or the dead.

*In according to legends, the Wild Hunt has had many different leaders. Most notable ones are Odin or Woton, Berchta, Arthur, and Gywn ap Nudd. Others names are biblical figures such as Cain, Herod, Gabriel, or the Devil.

AsgĂ„rdsreien [The Wild Hunt of Odin] (1872) by Peter Nicolai Arbo
  *Seeing the Wild Hunt was thought to presage some catastrophe such as war or plague, death to those who witness the Hunt. *Experts in conclusion to the body of the lore surrounding the Wild Hunt finds a number of themes that connect powerfully to the dead and the underworld.

That's a wrap for this week's folklore exploration, friends! Tune in next week!

*Source(s): Wikipedia/Wild Hunt
*Encyclopedia Mythica

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Folklore Thursday: Basilisk

And we're back with this week's Folklore Thursday.

Today we explore one of the most vicious and terrifying serpents in legends, the basilisk!

*In European legends, a basilisk is mythical beast reputed to be a serpent king, which is a hybrid from a rooster and a serpent. A single glance from the beast can cause death. Other accounts say that it leaves deadly poison in its wake and spits venom. *Another name for the basilisk is a cockatrice.

*The Naturalis Historia of Piny the Elder says the basilisk can be killed by the odor of the weasel, which according to Piny, was thrown into the basilisk's hole, recognizable because of the surrounding shrubs and grass was scorched by its presence.

And that's it for this week's folklore figure on this Thursday, friends. Until next time!

*Source(s): Wikipedia & Encyclopedia Mythica

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Folklore Thursday: Kelpie

Happy Thursday all folklore aficionados!

Welcome to my latest edition of Folklore Thursday! Each week I will give the rundown on the legendary, the weird, and the scary.

Today, we're exploring the Scottish parts of mythology with...the kelpie!

*In according to Encyclopedia Mythica, the kelpie is a water spirit that lurks in rivers and streams. It usually assumes the form of a black horse and entices people to mount it. Then rushes off to its watery lair taking the victim with it. Another account says they have the power to assume human form while keeping its hooves.

The kelpie can also cause swelling torrents, and may come out night after night to a farm to cause fear and annoyance. *In the past, human sacrifices were made to appease water gods and spirits. In time, this practice lead people to believe in the notion of evil water horses. However, the kelpie has been told in a positive light as saviors of drowning children. In some instance kelpies bear a warning to young women about handsome strangers.

So now you know about the kelpie.

Be there next week as we explore more folklore extravaganza!

*Encyclopedia Mythica

*Riding the Seas: The Kelpies and Other Fascinating Water Horses in Myth and Legend. 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Comic Book 101

I know that are those who are unfamiliar with writing for comic books and graphic novels. So I'm bringing forth knowledge on the craft. First, we'll begin with formats.
*Full Script-This gives the artist and editor the entire story descriptions of scenes, dialogue, sound effects. Character dialogue is written in all caps. Action descriptions of characters and setting are described in each panel up to several paragraphs or less. Plus, each page should start fresh on another piece of paper with a notion of how many panels. Another thing to take heed are the modifiers.
  • OP=Off panel.
  • Thought=dialogue in a word balloon.
  • Whisper=dialogue lettered in a whisper balloon.
  • SFX=Sound effects.
  • Cap=dialogue written in captions.

*Marvel Script- Also know as the Plot Script. This particular style was created by Stan Lee in the 1960's. With this format, the writer breaks down the story and for each page you describe the action and situations that's wished to be represented within the artwork. Panel breakdowns are suggested or given and more or less dialogue is required.
*Now that we got that covered, we now move to the word balloons. When writing word balloons in the comic script, they are formatted in different formats such as italics and bold.
  • Word balloon for "punch"= italics. Applies to an irritated character. 
  • Express yelling= Dark type. Comes in handy when a character is yelling at another character.
  • Anger= italics and boldface. Bruce Banner will tell you that one.
  • White Area= dropping point size letters. This one occurs when a character's speaking in a strangled voice.
  • Thought balloon= puffy cloud. For those who've read comics of days past, you know how characters don't want say something out loud, so the dialogue goes in that balloon. Sadly, no one uses them anymore.
  • Illegal Immigrant Effect= Anyone falling into a time portal? The Punisher throwing a hoodlum out the window? Words emerging from the balloon border indicates that a character is being dragged away, pushed out of a window, or off a cliff. In the case of The Punisher, sometimes firearms won't cut it when "punishing" the wicked.
  • Attach balloons for conversation= When someone is talking in one panel, attaching one balloon to the next occurs with the following. 1. to convey individual thoughts; 2. to emphasize certain beats; 3. to indicate a measured way of speaking; 4. avoid too many words in a balloon and a massive block type.
  • Stacking balloons= Two or more characters speaking to one another. One balloon is inserted between two others in exchange of dialogue. They run horizontally or vertically.
  • Wavery balloon= Upper/lowercase letters with a "wavery" look makes the speaker talk with much effort. Best use for when a character is drugged or stark-raving-drunk.
  • Burst balloon= Zigzag pattern to indicate shouting, conveying volume and extreme anger. Also referred to as the "static burst" when pointer is to a radio or telephone.
  • Narrative caption= For those who read Spider-Girl, DC Comics' Talon, and Wolverine, this is used for first-person narrative. Of course, Harry Dresden does that since his adventures are blended with magical mayhem and noir themes.
  • Frosted balloon= icicles dripping off the bottom of the balloon to indicate sarcasm. Best for female characters.
  • The whisper= Broken line around balloon to indicate whispering.
  • "Hmmm" balloon= This is new here. Found in manga, or Japanese. A place maker where a character has just received a message, or piece of information but doesn't know how to react.
  • Heart balloon= Word balloon shaped like a heart indicating love affection. Hugh Grant could use that in his movies.
When submitting comic book scripts, stables like DC Comics, Marvel, Dark Horse, and Top Cow have certain guidelines to follow. Another thing I feel that needed to be addressed is that reading comics and graphic novels plays a part in writing them. Screenplays to start small, if you wish. I recommend that anyone up for the challenge of creating their own super hero or fantasy adventure need to do their homework and pick up books that give insight on this form of writing.
Happy Creations!
*Source: Writing for Comics and Graphic Novels with Peter David.
*Dave A. Law. "How to Write a Full Script for a Comic Script." Oct. 16, 2001
*Dave A. Law. "How to Format a Comic Script: Part 2." Oct. 30, 2001