Walker says: “It’s a safe space, the best way I can put it. It’s a very relaxed place. You can say things and not worry about too much judgement. You can put out your criticisms and see each other from different perspectives.”
A key aspect of the Path to Publication is finding the publishers you and your work connect with. Kenny Porter discusses how to find a home for your comic book, whether it’s subject matter is superheroes, slice of life or anything that stirs your creativity.
Porter says: You have to ask yourself, where does it actually fit? Instead of trying to fit a round peg in a square hole. The story you want to tell: who is the audience who wants to read it? Just because someone wants to do comics doesn’t mean they want to do superhero comics, or slice of life, or vice versa. There’s way more options now. It’s a big thing to learn now that the market is more open.
Porter says: First thing I asked when I’d post it: were you excited to read it? People who reviewed it would tell me this is where it trailed off for me; this is where it doesn’t bring the same heat or energy; or it doesn’t tonally fit, or someone’s dialogue didn’t sound consistent. It’s great to have people as a sounding board who have experience in the same medium as you.
If you’re looking to join as a writer, you’ll get a community of people from all kinds of backgrounds, who’ll give you feedback you can take to the bank, as opposed to someone who may not be familiar with the art form. It was the only way I could get feedback that was useful and take to heart, as opposed to bringing it to a class somewhere at a college.
I did have a lot of interaction with the pros. I got great feedback from people like Kyle Higgins, gave me a lot of great script notes, helped me with plotting and structure. Afterwards he let me ask him a bunch of questions about pacing. Fred Van Lente helped me build scenes, characters and how to keep them consistent. Wouldn’t have had that without Comics Experience backing me up.
Up-and-coming writer Kenny Porter discusses how Barnstormers, his graphic novel being republished by Simon and Schuster in September 2020, started from the five page script he wrote for Intro to Writing Comics.
Porter says: There might be writing groups in my city, but no one in them who wrote comics or anything close to that. Intro to Writing Comics was a great opportunity to talk to other people who were interested in what I was doing, familiar with the medium and wanted to get better.
Intro to Writing Comics was a great structured experience. You were given a deadline and specific format and page length to tell a complete story, and on a timeline similar to what a publisher would give you.
I was able to extrapolate that into a bigger story that became a prologue that is now becoming an original graphic novel, Barnstormers, coming out from Simon and Schuster in September.
Douek says: Peer review is a big part of the workshop… in order to upload a script, I had to critique other people’s scripts. Every script I read, I learned something. Every person who read my script, I learned something from them. Nobody’s competitive, everyone who touched the script had an interest in making it the best script it could be.
Douek says: “When I hit page five of the script and wrote “The End”, I went “WOW, It’s done.” It seems small, but it felt really big as my evolution as a writer because I had trouble finishing things. It was this five page story in my hands. It was real. I could print it out and hold it. The question then became how can I do more?”