Mark Waid has enjoyed one of the comic book industry’s most successful careers, writing for DC, Marvel, and every major independent publisher. His experience and expertise bring the kind of knowledge that would benefit every aspiring comics creator — and now he’s sharing it in a special one-day Comics Script Writing Master Seminar with Comics Experience on March 18, 2017.
We asked him a few questions to give a taste of the knowledge he’ll share.
What do think is important for aspiring writers to know about writing for comics? How does it differ from writing for other media?
Comics isn’t a motion picture. Each page is a series of snapshots, still pictures that readers can pass over quickly or linger on. One of the many things that make comics unique to other visual media is that the importance of an object or a moment isn’t determined by how long we linger on it, as with TV or movies–it’s how large it is on the page.
What can prospective students expect from your Master Seminar? What are some key points that are going to be covered?
Soup to nuts, we’re going to go over where ideas come from, how to shape them into stories, how to create pitches and proposals and full scripts, and much more.
Who are some of your own writing role models? What do you learn from them?
My number one role model has always been screenwriter William Goldman, who (despite the fact that he and I work in different media with different rules) has always taught me about story structure and about how leaving things out is sometimes just as important as leaving them in.
No writer can be a comics writer without working with an artist. How should writers build and maintain relationships with collaborators?
By always remembering that it’s only “your” story until such time as you hand it off to an artist, at which point it becomes “our” story. The best collaborations I have ever had with artists have been because I don’t treat them like “art robots.” I treat them like equal partners in telling the story, and so long as the storytelling is clear, I don’t mind that it’s not on the page as it might have looked in my imagination.
Where do you see comics going in 2017? What should aspiring writers keep in mind to succeed?
That more and more, thankfully, our audience isn’t just old straight white guys anymore. All of us in our work, regardless of our backgrounds or experience, need to be a LOT more mindful about being inclusive of others not necessarily like them.
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 Jennifer de Guzman