Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Alan Moore's Writing For Comics - From 2003
If its editor had read Moore closely, he'd have known that Writing For Comics is not a graphic novel as touted on this magazine's back cover. It is not even a comic book. Its random illustrations don't even follow the text. It is an essay, an opinion, about how to write comic books from one of the best and most prolific writers of comic books. Among his works are Watchmen, Another Suburban Nightmare, and Supreme.
Among many subjects, Moore discusses the technical aspects of writing for comics, the differences of writing comics as compared to other media, and plot and characterization.
That other comics writers will have other, conflicting opinions does not negate the value of Moore's beliefs. Conflicting opinions are the stuff of style; without them, everyone would write exactly the same way. If you should choose to write exactly as does Moore after reading his essay, you will have missed his point completely. Moore ends with a new back-word reflecting on how his early ideas have changed in two decades. His conclusion? Ignore everything in the essay. Ummmmmm. Interesting.
So what is the value of Writing for Comics?
"For fans of Moore's work," opines the back-cover blurb, "new writers, or anyone interested in comics, this book is an indispensable and fascinating peak [it should read peek] into the thoughts of one of the masters of comic book writing."
Exactly right, except this isn't a book either. Writing for Comics is highly recommended.
Alan Moore's Writing For Comics/$5.95 & 47 pgs. from Avatar Comics/illustrated by Jacen Burrows/ sold at www.avatarpress.com and comic shops.
Review by Michael Vance