I’ve noticed in my writing that I’m torn between long hand and writing on the computer. On the one hand, I gravitate to using pen and paper to jot down my copious ideas, notes, and early prep work. But when it comes to the more in depth prep work, the outlining, and the drafting, I much prefer working on the computer. Though there are times when I just go for pen and paper regardless of whether or not it makes more sense to use the computer.
There is just something about writing out my thoughts on pen and paper that is more engrossing compared to similar activities on the computer. I don’t think it is the ease of distraction that computers can provide. Today, for example, I went on a seven page idea and prep romp while texting my brother, listening to two podcasts, and occasionally surfing the web. I had intended to do much of this on the computer. But I just went for the pen and paper. Curious, I think.
But, there are certainly areas of writing that the trusty computer wins at. I don’t particularly like having to manually recopy everything out, so I much prefer using the computer for the grunt work. Say I’m outlining something, if I don’t like it, I’ll go in and fix it without having to rewrite everything.
The more I think about, the more certain I am that I’m an outliner. The times I’ve written pantsing, I’ve found myself crashing against a wall or going off into very weird tangents. Mind you, outlining does take away some of the fun out of writing. But slogging through is better than staring at the computer in frustration or typing out garbage.
I had originally wanted to write a post detailing my frustrations with comic book writing (or at least the initiatory phases of writing for comics) when IGN Assemble got me to thinking.
Now, lets be clear, writing for comics is tough. New technologies are making things both infinitely easier and considerably more difficult.
Pitching ideas, assembling a creative team (if working on creator owned stuff), and the myriad other issues that potential comics writers face can be daunting and dejecting.
I’ve mentioned a few times that I would like to write a comic book series at some point. A good portion of my problem can be solved if I could actually draw. But, honestly, I suck at art. So, I would have to assemble a creative team to start with. And I don’t know how well I could collaborate with a team.
So, I’ve been toying with the idea of omnibusing the comic book idea. It just doesn’t work.
This brings me to another of my frustrations. I have difficulty sticking to a single project for the duration. I get bored, dejected, or enraptured with a new idea. And by the time I get back to what I was doing, I’ve lost the momentum. Probably another reason why I’m best suited as an outliner. It’s easier to pick up where I left off.
I’ll admit that I’m still far away from publishing (or submitting) anything. Yet it is important to think about that possibility. I’ve blogged about preferring the traditional method over self publishing (or should that be e-publishing). And while I still feel going the traditional route (agent and publisher) is the right call for books (unless one has a considerably larger platform), I’m not sure I’m right about comic books. That is where IGN Assemble gave me pause to think. Could it be possible that forgoing the major publishers is the right move (especially given that unless you are working with the superpowers there is no guarantee your books will even get picked up by the shops)?
I guess I’ll have to do more research. Which is, honestly, always a good thing.
This post has gone on a little longer than I wanted it to, so I’m going to end it here with no real conclusion. But this post has helped me work through some of my frustrations, so that is a positive.
I don’t know what I have in store for next week. I’m tempted to do a politics post. But I don’t know. Maybe I’ll be lucky and something will jump at me.
I want to take another look at MonkeyBrain Comics outside of the controversy surrounding Roberson’s exit from DC Comics. Now, I haven’t been able to find out much more about MonkeyBrain than I did when I last posted. So, expect a third post to come when the press release hits next week.
As I said in my last post, I hope this venture is a success. I really hope so. I hope MonkeyBrain Comics will join the other creator owned comics publishers as a home for creators who wish to own their own work.
But, I can’t help the niggling doubts I have. MonkeyBrain Books hasn’t published since 2010 (and that a single anthology). What happened to MonkyBrain Books? Did it go on hiatus? Is it, perhaps, being retooled into MonkeyBrain Comics? Will it be relaunched? Given new life?
And will whatever happened to MonkeyBrain Books happen to MonkeyBrain Comics after a few years? I hope my fears are for naught and MonkeyBrain is a great success.
I agree with Joey Esposito of IGN Comics that more independent and creator owned publishers are needed in the comics industry. Check out the recent IGN Assemble podcast for his arguments for more independent and creator owned publishers.
Now, I do fault myself for being a bit of a DC fanboy. I need to read and buy more independent and creator owned titles. And that, I think, is another pledge I’m making- to take the time and effort to seek out creator owned comics (and maybe promote my local comics shops, too). Maybe something like the Russ Pledge is in order to bring attention to comics that aren’t published by Marvel and DC.
With the emergent success of The Walking Dead not only in the trades but also (apparently) in the individual issue releases, is this a sign that maybe, just maybe, creator owned comics are finally standing up to the comics superpowers? I hope so.
At the end of it all, will comics other than Marvel and DC’s superheroes be as successful? Only time, patience, and diligence will tell.
But for me as someone who wants to write comics, I am keenly interested in and hopeful for the future of creator owned publishers. Right now, my goal is not to write comics for DC or Marvel, but to write the comics that I created and own.