Words For Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels by Brian Michael Bendis (2014)
Words For Pictures
by Brian Michael Bendis
I have read a handful of books about writing for comics and graphic novels, and each brings information that was not contained in the last. As of yet, there has not been one as thorough as Brian Michael Bendis’ Words For Pictures. Reading how-to books by unknown writers may or may not be helpful, but reading how-to books by individuals who are successful in their chosen field are almost universally inspiring and invaluable. In this book, Bendis accomplishes one of his goals: “Be Walt Simonson.” To him, that means to be as helpful and patient as possible with those who ask questions, who thirst for knowledge and guidance, who share a like passion. Bendis gives outsiders a peek into the world of creating comics, from the script to the drawing board to the editor’s room. Beautiful artwork from the pages of Marvel graces nearly every page.
The best chapter in this book, however, has nothing to do with comics. The world of comics provides the backdrop, but the thrust of the first chapter, “Why?”, has to do with passion. This chapter should be read by every young person, no matter what career they pursue. “Make it for you. And you only. Then, if by some miraculous turn of events someone ELSE wants to buy it too, that’s great. It’s all gravy after that.”
Words For Pictures is a book that needs to be a part of every comic book writer’s library, and the first chapter should be read at least once a month. Bendis is both honest and inspiring in his writing, and every aspiring writer and artist will benefit from this book.