A Journey of a Thousand Pages Starts with a Single Word

As far back as my high school years, I was an avid reader of comics. The stories, the art, the drama and the passion – it all fascinated me. There was a world into which I could escape, far from homework, awkward social interactions and plain suburban monotony.

And like the boy who dreams of sailing as he watches the ships go by on the horizon, I too had aspirations to become fully part of that world. I would become a writer and forge the destinies of legendary characters like Spider-Man and Batman.

In time however, I became a bona fide adult – at least, that’s what you’re lead to believe when the bills start to come in – and I let go of comics. Living in a French-speaking enclave, ensconced in the northern reaches of the Americas, I had next to no resources or opportunities for cultivating the art of comic book writing.

With 15 years going by between my last purchase of comics and the return to collecting last year, the world has changed. More precisely, the Web is now teeming with resources and communities specifically geared towards helping creators produce art and find each other. So I thought: let’s give this another shot.

I’ve started writing again. I’m getting better every day – mind you, maybe not “good” by industry standards – but better if only in virtue of writing something is always better than not writing anything. I do research, I share opinions, I ask questions, I read a lot and I try to write as much, kicking myself for every opportunity I let slip.

And I thought about this little thing here, this very blog. I read a lot of comics – old stuff, new stuff, genius stuff and even some truly baffingly bad stuff – and every time I close the cover, I find I’ve learned something. Either it’s about something I should do or something I shouldn’t.

Now I don’t claim to have any authority into saying “this is gold and this is crap”, but I thought I’d try to put into words that feeling I get after reading a good comic. What makes this particular bit of dialogue click? What makes that scene so poignant? How come this specific plot point flows so well with the rest of the story?

In essence, this is my apprenticeship at the feet of masters, my learning  put into words to share with whoever wanders by.

Here are my notebooks; crib all you want.


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