Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Reading and Writing Comics

Joe also wanted to know:

Do you think that getting into comics has enhanced your like for them or pushed you away from them? I know this may seem like a weird question but for example, i am a massive video game player, and i was recently talking to my friend (who back in the day also played ALOT of video games). He decided to become a video game designer. Through him learning how to make them and what not, he said he cant play games, it bothers him and it has become something he doesnt like.

I think simply being a storyteller has spoiled fiction for me in some ways, no matter the medium. Unless I really suppress the writer within me, it's generally not hard for me to figure out exactly how a novel will end within reading the first couple of chapters, or a movie from watching the opening ten minutes. With absolute accuracy, I was able to predict the whole mystery of the astronaut and Amy Pond's baby an entire season before that resolution was revealed on Doctor Who. This isn't bragging, in fact I wish it weren't the case, but because I know what happens behind the curtain when writing a story, figuring out what's going to happen in other people's stories isn't hard. Unfortunately, it makes it difficult to enjoy even the best fictional entertainment to its fullest. I try to suppress this ability as much as possible, but it's always there.

This is why I mostly read non-fiction. 

As far as my enjoyment of comics goes, if the work is good, and interesting, I can still enjoy it. I particularly get excited when I see someone really embracing the strengths of the medium, and creators who experiment with what comics can do. I like to come across interesting storytelling techniques as well as ones that don't work, because they both shed light on ways that the medium can be used to present a story.

I still read comics pretty regularly, but most of what I read is collected archive material, and collected series by people whose work I really enjoy. The bulk of it is material that is outside the type of stories I write myself. Because I don't have a comic book store nearby, I really only read comics in book form, which is how I prefer it anyway, because then I can read an entire story at once, and not lose track of the nuances as I would by reading it in serial form. My working in comics does not take away any enjoyment I get from reading them. Like any other medium, I enjoy a good, well told story, and don't have any interest in material that I don't find satisfying. There are some comic books I just have no interest in in the same way I wouldn't watch a movie starring Adam Sandler, or read a novel by Danielle Steel.

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