story


A lot of students come to me with a whole epic in mind. Those who want to tell sprawling tales that will end up slip cased novels in the hundred of pages! Understandable. I mean, it’s Comics! Of course there’s a lot of people looking for that. I’m pretty guilty of doing it […]

The short and silent story


I’ve posted about the writing side of inventing characters, with comics of course the visuals are just as important, and by extension, often the world you set around them. If your comics take place in the now, then you don’t have to think as hard about it, just pick locations around you. […]

Character and Design


For the first few weeks as we study the structure and formalism of Sequential art, we’re also going to start keeping diary comics. And to keep focused on short narratives, while also forcing students to think about how to express their ideas in a limited format. There’s a strong tradition […]

Haiku, Senryū & Tanka



Of all the skills it takes to make comics, writing is one of the last I tried to tackle as a student and practitioner myself. Ty moves around a lot so you’ll need to turn the volume up to hear everything in this recording. I’ve also made a Powerpoint style […]

Somewhere to start, on ‘Story’


This post features a short film and some bonus material by Redglass Pictures, staring the writer George Saunders, known for his short stories, essays, novellas and children’s books. In the documentary he reveals the pitfalls of bad storytelling and explains the openness and generosity he things is required to breath life into […]

George Saunders On Story


On the site here I’m exploiting the surplus of material out there about writing for film and books because at their core, stories are stories! Studying how writers tell them in other mediums is one of the key ways I learned about how to write my own. And being a related […]

Write A Short Anything…



Telling a good story is often about planning, and a great tool I recently heard about is something presented on Out on the Wire, a new story workshop podcast series about making stories, step by step. Cartoonist Jessica Abel & Co break down the principles of storytelling on the show really well, […]

Focus Statements & XY Formulae


In the First post, I said I think Ty’s talk is an excellent crash course in Genre Writing, sometimes cast as lowbrow, but most popular forms of writing these days tend to conform to clear genre tropes, or making a point of hybridizing those for dramatic novelty. There’s nothing intrinsically keeping […]

An aside on Genre vs Literary


Ok, so I think the last two posts on story cover Genre. Genre is like the style of house your want your story to live in. So what goes in the first room of your story? In your story, there are more than just things happening. There are the people they are happening […]

Words of advice on Character



Trope – noun -(ˈtrōp) plural: tropes : A word, phrase, or image used in a new and different way in order to create an artistic effect. – a : A word or expression used in a figurative sense : figure of speech – b : A common or overused theme or […]

girl#2 – a comic about tropes


In my post “Like moving pictures, but not” I specifically talk about some of the ways Sequential Art and Cinema are different; How there are things comics can do that are completely unique to it. That said there are many ways in which they are similar and certainly a lot […]

Visual Storytelling in Cinema


FLOW sums up a key concept in comics page or strip design: Underlying structures that make the work legible, flow and should not need to be explained to readers. Flow is a big subject, though to nail down simply. It covers everything from the rudimentary like having the first person […]

Flow, & the Eyelines!