One of the most effective ways to learn more about creating comics is to sit down and read them! How does the creative team sync to bring out the best in one another and the story itself? What makes the characters resonate with you? The more you peer into at the narratives in front of you, the more you pick up on the nuances and techniques used to craft them.
In our Creators Workshop, Comics Experience founder and CEO Andy Schmidt outlined a reading challenge to participants. His rules are simple…
You pick a series that you’ve:
A.) Never read before.
B.) Have started, and have been putting off finishing.
and then you read the heck out of it until you’re done! And finish before the end of the month!
While you’re reading, try to take notes on what elements stand out to you the most. They may go a long way in helping you discover your unique voice or aesthetic. But more importantly, have fun! Find some series you’ve been meaning to check out for a while, or push yourself to pick up some comics outside your favorite genres and creators. Expanding your horizons through your reading choices might open you up to some new approaches that step up your creative game.
Need inspiration? We have a few suggestions of where to go to summon your new muse:
- Goodreads keeps a dynamic list of the most popular graphic novels.
- Two Creators Workshop participants recently appeared in a Greyhaven anthology.
- Wikipedia has a comprehensive list of all Eisner Award winners.
- We recently launched five new books on the comiXology platform.
- Most public libraries, particularly in major metropolitan areas, offer “Ask a Librarian” services. Talk to them and see which comics your community has been devouring!
And, of course, the men and women of the Creators Workshop are always happy to take the time to discuss their favorite finds with one another, too! Join up with us to meet more writers, artists, letterers, colorists, and editors eager to share what they know about making – and reading – comics.
If you want to make comics, write, draw, letter, and color comics, or improve as a comics creator, you’ll find like-minded friends and colleagues in our online workshops and courses. We hope to see you there!
Posted by Meredith Nudo