About half a year ago, I started a new job as a Content Strategist and Copywriter at a marketing firm – and I am LOVING it. Marketing writing trips my trigger for numerous reasons, but one of the biggest is that it utilizes what I’ve come to call my Comics Brain.
My Comics Brain is the part of me that thinks and writes in the language of comics – in the language of page layouts, speech bubbles, captions, and art direction. It’s the part of me that’s read so many essays, books, and tutorials about “How to Make Comics,” but hasn’t always had a way to apply those lessons.
Well, now I do. Marketing copy doesn’t live by itself; it’s mashed up with web and email layouts, Facebook ads, videos, and a whole host of other media. As such, I’ve been thinking with my Comics Brain a lot lately, because it helps me better collaborate with the rest of my team.
Below, I’ll make the case for how thinking like a comics writer helps me write better marketing copy. And if you read to the end, I’ll set you up with a couple books and other resources you can use to begin building your own Comics Brain.
Back in 2017, I asked DC Comics to give the then-recently-arrived Brian Michael Bendis a Daily Planet series. I did so because I knew Bendis would nail the grit, drama, and heart inherent in Metropolis news reporting.
Well, we didn’t get that Daily Planet series, but we have gotten Bendis’s take on reporting in Metropolis – through his current run on Action Comics. And reader, it’s as impressive as I hoped it’d be.
Like many comics readers, I hope to one day publish my own comics. So I devour articles about process, and when I find a writer who goes deep talking about scripting, writer-artist relationships, or economics, I take note.
I’ve assembled the list below for those just starting to read about making comics. These five writers are, in my opinion, the best at talking process. They are not my five favorite writers period, though they’re all very good (and some would make that list). But they’re the ones who have the most to share about the act of writing, or at least the most patience to deal with those of us on the Internet who want to learn.