Open Soapbox by Brian Daniel

Heroes, Kids, and Hope

Tonight was the night I’d been waiting a year for.

Spiderman 2 was finally out, and while I’d promised my friends back in my old college town I’d see it with them on Friday, the geek in me was screaming to see it ASAP. So I bought my ticket a day in advance, put off drawing my comic for a few hours, and headed out to the theater. Continue Reading

Form is Function by John Barber

Mean What You Say, but Never Say What You Mean

Continuing down last month’s David Mamet trek towards an aesthetic of creating comics….

Brian Michael Bendis is a big Mamet fan. When I read a Bendis script a little while back, I was really impressed; I liked it because it read like a script to a comic, not like he was trying to impress anybody. It wasn’t full of witticisms and fancy descriptions, it was bare-bones writing that provided a structure which could be turned into a comic.

What I liked about Bendis’ script was that it was made up of panel descriptions like: “Shot of guy’s face.” And “Same as 2.” “Same as 2, closer.”

At first, every growing-up-thinking-comics-scripts-should-look-like-Alan-Moore-scripts bone in my body reacted against this. Wait, I thought, shouldn’t Bendis be saying what the face looks like? Continue Reading

Why Do Online Comics by Iain Hamp

This summer, Derek Kirk Kim is teaching Comic Book Illustration to high school students. I read about this on his forum, and then mentioned that if he ever teaches something in Phoenix (my area) or over the Internet, I’d be willing to pay for the experience. Now, I said this in jest to some degree, because I sincerely doubt circumstances would ever bring him to a school in Phoenix to teach, but that second part, about the Internet course, got me thinking.

What if there was a relatively easy way for Derek to offer something like that – an Internet-based course where he offered structured insight into a particular area of creating comics, putting them online, or some other topic relating to comics? Continue Reading

Form Is Function by John Barber

Taking a look at my bookshelf, I find the two best books ever on the subjects of writing and drawing comics. Both are written by director/screenwriter/playwright David Mamet.

The books are On Directing Film (which is about writing comics) and True and False: Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor (which is about drawing comics). I don’t know why the titles make them sound like they’re about directing films and acting in plays; maybe the publishers figured they could sell more copies that way. Whatever. They’re about making comics. Continue Reading

Why Do Online Comics by Iain Hamp

Perception Is Reality Is The Difference Between Angry And Paying Readers

When I went to Scott McCloud’s panel on experimental comics at San Diego Comic Con International 1999, he planted the idea of webcomics in my mind, and set me on a wonderful journey of discovery and experimentation. I listened to all of the ideas and reasons he had for the Internet as a great new place for comics to flourish. In my mind, one of the most obvious advantages was the ability to maintain an open comic archive so that new readers – rather than jumping into the middle and having to somehow hunt down the rest of the story in other comics, collections of strips, etc. – would instead be able to just click the Back button to read the previous strip, or go back to the very start and read it the whole way through.

This seemed like such a great idea at the time, and over the years it has by and large become standard practice in webcomics – a “no-brainer”, really. It is a great convenience to be sure, though perhaps a little too convenient for our own good. Continue Reading