Or May for that matter? I posted straight after the Bristol Comic Con and have then spent all my time since reading rather than writing… whoops!

Where shall I start? At the beginning with Bristol I guess.

I picked up some good stuff at Bristol, and worth particular mention I think was Eponymous. At Bristol they were selling the collected print version, but it originates in a digital anthology: VSComics. There was lots to like about Eponymous: the art was very nice, but the story matched it and the layout and design were equally impressive. It was something that immediately felt like a finished product. I really think it could have come from one of the smaller US publishers. Go have a look.

I’m sorry that I’ve only highlighted Eponymous, there were others worthy of mention, but perhaps I get to them later (August??!).

I think I said before that Rob Williams (Miss Fury, Low Life, Ichabod Izrael, and soon: Ordinary (see his recent post on Ordinary here)) recommended I read Story by Robert McKee. Interestingly this book is also recommended by Brian Michael Bendis (more of that in a minute).

Story is a screenplay guide that preaches form NOT formula. It is not about rules but about “substance, structure, and style”. However its 400+ pages are not for the feint-hearted. This is a University level text book and not an easy-to-read puff piece. I confess I also listened to the audio book version, read by McKee himself. This is abridged, but allowed me to ‘study’ while in the car or out cutting the grass. It was nice to get the feel for the author and I now hear his voice as I read the book. I personally learn better by reading, but the audio has given me an overview and reinforced my motivation to spend time on the book itself.

Interestingly I had a script rejected not long after Bristol, and it was what McKee likes to describe as a daydream. To put it simply it had no point, there was an idea than ran around on the page for a bit and then stopped. It was akin to a sketch in a weak TV show, where the joke was right up front or a minute in and there was nowhere for it to go, but it plodded on for a couple more minutes anyway. However in my defence it was a Future Shock type story, of the (meant to be!) amusing variety, and I’m left wondering how on earth these ever work. Maybe that’s a format that I’ll not get to grips with for a while, or ever!

Right, I promised Bendis-goodness!

I’ve been reading Powers Bureau (love it!) and at the back in issue two Bendis responded to a question about which text books he references when he lectures at Portland State. The books were:

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

On Writing by Steven King

Story by Robert McKee

Comics and Sequential Art by Will Eisner

He is also writing his own book ‘Words for Pictures’ which at the time he suggested would be out for Christmas, but he’s since said Spring!

By the way he is no longer teaching at Portland State, but will be teaching at the University of Oregon starting “in the fall”.

While I was looking up those links I found a bunch of resources at the comics faculty’s website (here), and stumbled across a Script Archive. Worth checking out later I think: http://www.comicbookscriptarchive.com/. There’s also a LOT of process stuff there to digest.

I’ve also been reading the collected trades of Ultimate Spider-man, Fatale, Nao of Brown, and Criminal:Coward. Also slowly reading Scarlet – I don’t like to splurge, I like to take my time.

That’s about it really. I really need to get my next pitch in for Zarjaz. I have an A3 ‘mood board’ with scenes all over it, and replacement scenes glued over the top of some of them. I have character backgrounds and a log line, I just need to stop reading Story and put the pitch together!

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