I have a confession…

I don’t know who Brian Michael Bendis is. Or that is, I didn’t. I’ve just put down issue 100 of Ultimate Spider-Man and I’ve been blown away by reimagining of my favourite Marvel super-hero teen.

However, back to the point! I’m trying to read through all the Ultimate universe stuff at the moment and came across that name – Brian. I looked him up on Wikipedia then quickly scanned my bookshelf to notice that I’ve read his work many, many times (Avengers Disassembled, Secret Invasion and one of favourite stories House of M).

What was also embarrassing was that I never even realised that he was involved in the MCU and that I have seen all the films he has had some input into.

Ever since I’ve have gotten back into writing I have been studying his panels and writing of Ultimate Spider-Man to see how I can take his technique and apply it to my own writing.

I don’t think I’m there yet but reading up and studying Bendis’ style has given me more confidence in my own writing. There’s another author I can add to my list of writers I respect. Neil (Gaiman) and Mike (Mignola) I’ll write up about you two soon enough!

If you’ve never read any of Bendis’ material before I would recommend getting stuck into Ultimate Spider-Man as it is very approachable.

You can grab the first TPB from amazon here.

N. S. Paul

Independent Comics Pt. 1

Good afternoon all,

I’ve just spent the better half of this week checking out creator owned and usually self published works. Since committing myself to finally getting one of my ideas to paper and getting it produced I have actively tried to get involved in the creator owned online comic community and by golly there is a lot of good stuff out there. So I thought I would share with you some of the comics I’ve come across this week that are creator owned and published.

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Grimwood Crossing

Conner Bartel – Writer & Letterer

Atagun Ilhan – Illustrator

James Liswed – Cover

So I was really quite lucky to pick up a copy of this comic prerelease through reddit/comicwriting and I really thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so that I have remained in contact with the writer and cover artist ever since I came across their work. I have to be upfront and also point out  that they have been kind enough to critique my own work which has really been helpful developing as a writer.

Grimwood Crossing takes the popular theme of the supernatural (zombies, vampires etc) and transports it the Wild West and it does it well, very well in fact. The story is engaging and without giving away to many spoilers, follows the adventures of The Sheriff and his apprentice supernatural bounty hunter Bobby as they deal with the consequences of The Sheriff’s sordid past.

For an independent publisher and creator owned comic this was a great first entry into the world of comics from Bartel. The fact that this story ends on a tight cliffhanger that engages the reader to continue reading the next issue shows the strength of the writing.

Alas, we will have to wait for issue two and the remaining four issues after that to find out how it all ends but until that time you can buy Grimwood Crossing #1 at Amazon here.

Join me next week for Independent Comics Pt. 2.

N. S. Paul

Wednesday Support – Comic balloons & clarity

Evening all,

My journey to developing as a comic writer and letterer led me to do a lot of research on how to develop different skills. I thought I would start sharing those online posts that have helped me in the interests that it might help others with their own work.

This tutorial has great information about placement of word balloons within your comic. This particular article comes from IDW published writer and artist Lora Innes. You can check out her online comic, The Dreamer here,  buy it here and her twitter here.

All the best,

N. S. Paul

Comic Layout Tutorial: Comic Balloons & Clarity