Every year, instead of a “My Picks for Best Books of the Year” list, I make a “Here’s What I Read This Year” list. I’m way, way, way behind on this post … 2015’s been a busy one so far! But, in keeping with the grand tradition (Check out previous Years In Books, if you’re so inclined: 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.), here’s what I read in 2014… Read more ›
A while back, I had a silly idea. It was a notion of what would become a short comic story and—though I doubted anything would ever come of it—I sat down and wrote the script so I could get the idea out of my head and down on paper, freeing me up to move on to the next silly idea. Read more ›
Continuing my efforts to compile as many helpful writing tips as possible, here’s a resource post about writing and storytelling advice written by people far more experienced than me. Go forth, read what they’ve written, and grow! Read more ›
If you want to create comics, I think Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics is required reading. “But Jim! I’ve read enough comics to understand them! I don’t need to read this!” Well, if you’ll allow me a sports metaphor… Watching Michael Jordan or Lebron James play hundreds games isn’t gonna make you a great basketball player, nor is watching every NFL game on Sunday gonna make you a great coach. In short, there’s a lot of doing the work and studying the craft involved in mastering the craft, so if you want to create comics, you should do more than just read lots of comics, you should immerse yourself in information about the craft.
But, getting off my soap box (“He said, while writing am advice-centric blog post.”), I’m writing this post about two pages from Understanding Comics that I think are a great lesson for newcomers and a fantastic refresher for old pros alike. Read more ›
The 2014 mustache season was my sixth year participating in the cancer-fighting, mustache growing fundraiser Movember. Over the past five years, my small effort with a single teammate has become a family operation with my brother, father, and sister all participating and with great support from my wife and my mom—not to mention the over 100 teammates we’ve all had within the Ministry of Mustache Growth & Management network over the past half-decade. It’s been a helluva ride! Read more ›
That’s right, folks! Caleb Goellner and my little comic is now available at one of the world’s largest digital comics retailers! So, head to Comixology, and for just 99 cents, grab a copy of the futuristic cryptid crime comic that Comics Alliance calls “quite possibly the greatest sasquatch-based sci-fi revenge mystery of autumn 2014.”
Get Birch Squatch: The Last Bigfoot #1 here! Read more ›
Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your peepers!
I have written a comic about a bigfoot pushed to his limit that Comics Alliance (who generously covered this indie effort) dubbed “quite possibly the greatest sasquatch-based sci-fi revenge mystery of autumn 2014.” You should use your eyeballs to look at its glorious art and read its excellent words! The comic is called Birch Squatch: The Last Bigfoot and it is currently available digitally on Gumroad. Read more ›
“And then…” is the enemy of a good story. “Therefore” and “But…” are your friends. South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker break it down… Read more ›
Last night, I was watching MasterChef with my fiancé and I realized that, over the two seasons I’ve watched, there are always a few contestants who seem certain they know better than the judges. Gordon Ramsay will come around, ask them what they’re cooking, taste it, and often offer some sort of “Are you sure about this? Did you think this through?” criticism. The contestants who often do the best, take that cue and work toward applying the criticism to their cooking. The contestants who are often eliminated early on in the competition are the ones who shake their heads at the criticism and seem convinced that they know better than the judges. Read more ›
In David Mamet’s On Directing Film, he explains that a director’s job is to make a film by putting together a series of uninflected shots. Using straightforward images alone, you tell the story. He suggests that if you try to make a silent film, you should be able to make a great film because you’ll be forced to make sure each image you use means something, each shot furthers the scene.
Think about that. It’s a great guide for the visual storyteller—Comics very much included in that. Make sure every scene/image works toward telling your story. Read more ›