Monday, February 9, 2015

Make Comics Like the Pros by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente

This is not step-by-step instructions for how to draw comics. Rather this is a very detailed description of how to go from concept to publication in the world of comic books and graphic novels. I recommend this book for adults as the content is highly technical and younger audiences will get little from the narrative (although they'll undoubtedly enjoy the comic artwork throughout).  There is also some language; not a whole lot but worth a cautionary note. For the most part, the women in the comics are fully clad. There was one character, however, with a rather ill-fitting bikini top. I do appreciate that expletives were blacked out in the dialogue boxes of the comics shown.

For anyone who has ever dreamed of pursuing comics as a viable job option, this book gives the reader an overview of every step of the process and excellent tips for collaborating as a creative team. I really liked the emphasis on developing a good relationship among the players that help bring a concept into production.

Book chapters include:

  • Writing for Pictures
  • Visual Storytelling for Artists & Related Tradespeople
  • I Love it When a Team Comes Together
  • Pitching Makes Perfect
  • D.I.Y. in Print and Online
  • Finding Your Audience--And Keeping It!
The book also has an exhaustive index at the back.  I thought the content really very thorough with so many practical suggestions and "commandments" to work by that anyone who is serious about pursuing work in this field will be very well equipped for what to expect and how best to succeed.

The authors give very clear explanations of the process from start to finish with lots of illustrated examples of what they are talking about.  They have a film background and I believe people in that field as well will enjoy learning more about the storytelling and production of comics and how it compares to creating films.

For more about the authors, visit Greg Pak's website (or PakBuzz) and Van Lente's website.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Make Comics Like the Pros from Blogging for Books program for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

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