Stick and Twisted – why writers should thumbnail or at least try to

When i started writing comics, I’d make short photo collages to help visualize the page/panel layout and caption spaces etc. these were rough visual guidelines, which I’d then translate to a script.

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Shown here are pages from DEVI #11 (W: Saurav Mohapatra / A: Edison George / E: Ron Marz). I never send these roughs to the artist. But Edison George’s final pages came pretty close to what I had visualized. With experience I have learned to keep the visualization phase completely in mental space, though from time to time, I do try to draw either stick figure layouts or do a photo collage before scripting the page.

It is my belief that a comic book writer should never enforce their view of what goes in a page to the artist. That is simply a very stifling experience for the artist and not a true collaboration. But sometimes if enough thought and TLC is put into the page design by the writer, most probably the artist would come up with the same or very similar solutions to the layout. After all it takes two (both writer and artist) to make a comic book 🙂

comic books I read – a (non-comprehensive) list

I usually read comics spanning quite an eclectic range and one rule that I have is picking each book based on what I feel about that particular story. Though that being said, I’m much more likely to pick up a issue #1 by Ed Brubaker, Warren Ellis or Greg Rucka blindly :).

So when someone asks me what books you like to read, it’s pretty tough to just say one or even five/six names. Currently my pull/read list consists of THE BOYS by Garth Ennis, AIR by G. Willow Wilson and UNWRITTEN by Mike Carey. Some of the other comics that I’ve read and really enjoyed (listed in no particular order) :

  • LAZARUS CHURCHYARD, TRANSMETROPOLITAN, PLANETARY, AUTHORITY and FELL by Warren Ellis and his run on Ultimate FF and IRON MAN : Extremis
  • PLANET HULK by Greg Pak
  • WOLVERINE LEGENDS v2: MELTDOWN by Walter Simonson
  • SWAMP THING, TOM STRONG. SUPREME and TOP TEN by Alan Moore
  • WOLVERINE: SNIKT! by Tsutomo Nihei
  • WALKING DEAD by Robert Kirkman
  • HITMAN, PREACHER by Garth Ennis and his PUNISHER run (especially WELCOME BACK FRANK)
  • THE PATH by Ron Marz
  • WAY OF THE RAT by Chuck Dixon
  • LUCIFER by Mike Carey
  • Frank Miller’s run on DAREDEVIL and DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN
  • Ed Brubaker’s run on DAREDEVIL and his work in CRIMINAL
  • Grant Morrison’s run on ANIMAL MAN
  • WHITEOUT and QUEEN & COUNTRY by Greg Rucka
  • MARVELS, SECRET IDENTITY and ASTRO CITY by Kurt Busiek
  • EMPIRE and KINGDOM COME by Mark Waid
  • POWERS by Brian M. Bendis
  • MIDNIGHT NATION by J. Michael Straczinsky
  • MARKED by Steve Ross

Albany Comic Convention update

my table

Thanks to Ron Marz, I got to attend the Albany Comic Convention on Nov 1st. This was my first time as an invited guest at a comic book show and I enjoyed it a lot. The excellent folks at That’s Entertainment (especially George and Pete) hooked me up with a ton of Mumbai Macguffin and Sadhu vol 2. – The Silent Ones TPB, so that I had some stuff to sell. Thanks to everyone who bought a copy. I managed to offload almost all the copies I had gone into the show with. Hope you enjoyed those, folks! 🙂

The show was small-ish but a ton of fun. I shared tablespace with Nick Taplansky, writer of AWAKENING (Archaia) and Dave Rodriguez, writer of STARKWEATHER: IMMORTAL (Archaia) and SHADOWGIRLS webcomic.

Had a blast with Ron and Matthew Dow Smith (Dr. Who, The Keep). Scored some free copies of Ron’s Samurai TPB vol 2. and Con exclusive cover WITCHBLADE (done by Matthew).

Towards the end of the show, chatted with Dennis Calero and found that we have a common friend. Small world, indeed.

So all in all, a good time. Looking forward to heading back there next spring in April 2010. Here are some pictures from the show.
before it begins
(Before the Show Started)

Ron's Table

(Ron at his table)

Nick T. with his book (courtesy Zach Rosenberg - http://nerd-quest.blogspot.com/2009/11/albany-shenanigans-and-little-comic-con.html)

Nick T. pimping AWAKENING (photo: Zach Rosenberg)

DEVI vol 4 (#16-20) TPB out

DEVI TPB vol 4[digg-reddit-me]I received my comp copy of DEVI vol 4 TPB collecting issues 16-20 of Virgin Comics’ DEVI (created by Shekhar Kapur and your truly as writer) in the mail yesterday. It feature a cover by Luke Ross (SAMURAI : HEAVEN and EARTH). G. Willow Wilson (CAIRO, AIR) was kind enough to write a warm foreword. (Thanks, Willow!).

It should be available in comic book stores and shall be available for purchase at Amazon.com and other retailers soon. In the meanwhile it can be purchased from the Virgin Comics Store