Monday, March 30, 2009

Comics Grammar and Tradition

An interesting article about comic book lettering by Blambot's Nate Piekos.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Free Blambot Word Balloons and Sound Effects

You can download a bunch of free balloons and sound effects in eps format from the Blambot site. How generous!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chris LoParco's New Blogs

I promised to post about Chris's new blogs which he started earlier this January. Unfortunately, I didn't start blogging again until March. Sorry! Better late than never. The first is a blog for his book 'A Story Told', the second is his personal blog. Check them out.

Hopefully he'll make it to a meeting some day!

Monday, March 23, 2009

One More Thing

The nice thing about being a writer, as opposed to an artist?

This shit's all the phat gear you need.

Lo, There Shall Come... A Writer!

Good evening. *waves* My name is Michael, and I'm the Sequential Salon's token writer, aka the one who *didn't* go to SVA. I've been a part of the group for about a year now, thanks to my hetero-lifemate Jeff. In that time, I hope I've given some good story advice, and I hope I can continue doing so here.

For those of you who care about my credentials, you poor credulous saps, they are as follows: I graduated from Emory University with a degree in Creative Writing, and that and a Class C license qualifies me to drive a car. I've worked as an editor on a short-lived magazine called Citizen Culture, the website for which is still active for reasons I cannot fathom. I'm a graduate of NYU's comics writing course as taught by former Marvel staffer Danny Fingeroth, and have two professional published stories to my name (one fiction, one non-fiction). And I'm a Scorpio who detests long walks on the beach and would rather stay at the hotel, get hammered, and play Smash Bros.

So, what the hell am I doing here? Well, as I have occasionally done in the past on my own blog, Tales To Mildly Astonish, I hope to share some insights about writing that I've gathered from various sources, and even some original ideas from time to time. I also hope to explain why and how a writer is a lot more than the guy who fills in the dialogue, in comics and elsewhere. And maybe, just maybe, I'll show you the development of a project from original germ of an idea to all-out final execution.

For now, though, I'll start out with what I think are some valuable writer's resources:

The Elements of Style. 91 years after its original publication, E.B. White and William Strunk's guide to the rules of writing American English is still relevant, still vibrant, and still chock-full of useful, immediate nuts-and-bolts information on how to write without sounding like the complete dumbass you probably are. (It certainly works for me.) It is the 128-piece adjustable wrench set of the writer's toolbox. Read it, know it, memorize it, love it. There WILL be a test later. (And yes, that's the Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little guy.)

On Writing
. Stephen King is the Bo Jackson of modern fiction: He knows. This book is crammed with advice on how to write and how to be a writer (they're two different things), gathered from his more than fifty years of experience with the craft. You'll learn about revision, discipline, developing mindful habits, and the reasons why and why not to write, all with the same style and wit that characterize his fiction. Probably the most fun book on writing I've ever read, and one of the most helpful.

The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics
. Denny O'Neill took the notes for the course he used to teach to new DC staffers (and currently teaches at various locations around New York City), and turned it into the definitive book on writing for the Big Two. Story structure, visualization, plotting, it's all here. It's most helpful for writing a monthly series, of course, but a large part of the advice can be adapted to any writing situation. Plus, it's got purty pictures.

Panel One
& Panel Two. Nat Gertler edits two collections of real scripts and plots from real comics by real comics creators, including Kurt Busiek, Neil Gaiman, Peter David, Scott McCloud, Greg Rucka, Jeff Smith... oh, hell, just go out and get it already!

That's enough out of me for now. You have your mission, troops; get on with it.

Uni-Ball Kuru Toga Review

A few months ago Jeff posted some news about an interesting pencil, the Uni-Ball Kuru Toga. Here's the original post. Well, it took me a while to get to Kinokuniya Book Store (which moved from Rockefeller Center to Bryant Park without my knowledge!) but I finally purchased one for $8.35. My review:


Frankly, there's absolutely no difference from a regular mechanical pencil, at least from a drawing standpoint. I'm going to return it to get my money back.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Alison Bechdel - Creating Fun Home

Fun Home creator Alison Bechdel shares her creative process on how she created her tragicomic.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Darkstalkers Tribute Contest Piece

A few weeks ago Carlos and I entered the the UDON studios Darkstalkers Tribute Contest, where winners will be published in their new art book.

Here is the first entry where I painstakingly worked on for 2 weeks.

And the second entry where I completed in 6 hours while on a chocolate chip cookie sugar high.

Neither of them got chosen dammit! Well, now that the contest is over I can finally post them.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sequential Salon Meeting, April 4th!

Hiya peoples, it's time for another meeting! Same time, same place! You know the drill. Do I even need to tell you guys what to bring? Hope to see some new work y'all!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Seriously, the best movie I've seen in a long time. Based on Neil Gaiman's children's novel, it's about a girl who thinks her life is extremely dull, and wishes things were different. As the saying goes, be careful of what you wish.

Cartoonist extraordinaire Vera Brosgol worked on the storyboarding for the movie.

Go see it in 3D if you can. It doesn't try to be "in your face" about it.

And the soundtrack is really quite lovely. The film's website is pretty fun, too!


Screenwriting samples

Someone named Lee Thompson has posted a ton of TV show scripts on their website as downloadable PDFs. While not exactly formatted for comics, the structure is pretty similar to it. They are a handy reference of what to do/not do, and a fun read, to boot.

Check it out.

(Thanks for the link, Mike!)