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Write or Wrong

PDF I would recommend this book to anyone thinking about creating comics, or interested in the process. Unfortunately, that's not because the book is great, but just because of the lack of good alternatives. All of the advice in this book is sound, but it's so poorly written that it's tough to get through.

I feel like this book could have benefited from a harsh editor. It could easily be half the length, since the author constantly repeats himself. He also tells tons of personal anecdotes, and the book focuses on his story rather than straight-up advice. His story is useful to hear, but not to the level of unrelated, repetitive detail he provides.

However, by far the most distracting part of the writing is the author's heavy use of asides (including nested asides (like this one)). This book has more parentheses than the last 100 books I've read put together. (Which includes Seconds, Bryan Lee O'Malley (of Scott Pilgrim fame)'s latest book, which was pretty good. You have read that, haven't you? (I read it last week.) Wasn't the Scott Pilgrim movie pretty good, too? Not as good as the book, of course.) Anyway, a lot of the asides (as you would expect) have nothing to do with the narrative (and the narrative sometimes has nothing to do with the actual advice that you're reading the book to get!) You know what I mean? (If not, can I recommend reading my comic, published by Jim Valentino of Image Comics (called Nightmare World)?)

If you liked the style of writing of the previous paragraph, you will like this book. And who knows? Maybe some people do like it. The author is clearly going for a friendly, approachable style ... but it was just too casual and disorganized for me.

Also, the book is lacking in information about actual writing, focusing on the creative process. Personally, I preferred this, but it might be deceptive to some based on the title. The most script information we get is actually at the end during an artist interview, ironically. The artist interview section was excellent overall.

Also, the book is peppered by quasi-sexist jokes, the kind of joke that as a one-off isn't really too offensive but soon becomes an embarrassing pattern. It's clear that the intended reader is male ("Ask your girlfriend about her favorite manga"), which with so many new female comic creators coming up, is unnecessarily limiting.

All that said, the book has worthwhile, accurate advice. You just have to work for it.

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