Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How to Break into Writing Comics

The number-one question I get from people is, "Do you get tired of drawing Babymouse?"

The answer (fortunately) is no. Babymouse is fun to draw. Wilson and Felicia Furrypaws are fun to draw. I could draw them over and over again all day long, given I had things for them to say and do. Less fun, for me, since I came from a newspaper-comic-strip background, which is character-focused to the detriment of all other visual elements, is drawing the rest of Babymouse's world—making sure sidewalks and houses and hillsides all have the proper perspective, drawing tree after tree, drawing cars (I'm one of those kids who never really drew cars ... I spent more time drawing spaceships), and so on.

The number-two question I get from people is, "How can I get started in children's books/graphic novels/publishing?"

Luckily, someone else did the homework on this one, because my answer isn't very satisfying (draw cartoons for 15 or 20 years with no reward in sight, get a job at a magazine for eight years while doing graphic design work on the side, wait until your sister develops a successful YA publishing career, collaborate with her on a graphic novel series, then wait two and a half years for publishers to begin to show any interest in the graphic novel genre). Johanna at Comics Worth Reading has a four-and-a-half-step-plan to success. The follow-up discussion is also excellent, as other successful comickers chime in with their own experiences.

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