Comics: Read Them Out Loud

Categories:  Features

Jon Thompson tells the crowd about his favorite myths.

Some of the best mini-comics I own came from a friend of mine who no longer makes them.  It’s a sad truth for comics that when you’re good at art and good at writing and good at storytelling, you’re often good at many other things.  Anders Carlson was just a guy who moved on.

Still, before he exited the comics scene (that never even looked to recognize him — which is why you’ve never heard of him), he let me in on a little secret. “Read your comics aloud,” he said.  “Read them to your friends, like a bedtime story.  Then take their advice.”

It’s a program that really worked for him.  Somehow, it shaped his cartoonist’s voice in such a way that his comics always sounded smart and whole. The pacing perfectly broken up with expressive pencil-drawn imagery that told really excellent, interesting stories.

He was also the first person to tell me it was worth the extra money to get the edges of your books trimmed, so the pages don’t stick out beneath the cover.  More good advice.

At the 2009 Zinefest (I swear this will be the last time I bring it up), authors and artists were encouraged to get up in front of a crowd and read their books to each other.  It’s not quite like what Carlson imagined – there was no critical feedback – but it’ll do. And if you’re ever in the habit of writing comics, I recommend you do the same.

Below the cut, some examples of comics read – live! – without the use of imagery.

Adrean Clark from Sarah Morean on Vimeo.

One of the most interesting performances at the show.  Adrean Clark, a deaf cartoonist, signed her comic The Lemon.

Aaron Poliwoda from Sarah Morean on Vimeo.

The world isn’t ready yet for Aaron Poliwoda. But I guarantee, he is going to surprise you someday.  His books are so honest and unchecked, they’re addictive and repulsive at the same time.

Toby Jones and Madeline Queripel from Sarah Morean on Vimeo.

Toby Jones and Madeline Queripel are, like, totally dating. They are also totally going to MCAD for comics and they also totally contribute to the blog Better Zits – which takes Zits punchilnes and improves them.

Ryan Dow from Sarah Morean on Vimeo.

Ryan Dow writes the wonderfully funny and thoughtful webcomic Introspective Comics.

William Schar from Sarah Morean on Vimeo.

William Schar is an MCAD comics grad currently freelancing as an illustrator, designer and colorist in St Louis Park, MN – home of the Coen Brothers.

Danno Klonowski from Sarah Morean on Vimeo.

Danno Klonowski has been making comics and zines for a long time.  I think he is hilarious.

– Sarah Morean

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3 Comments to “Comics: Read Them Out Loud”

  1. afdumin | August 7th, 2009 at 7:42 am

    It’s terrible how much noise people are making in the background.

  2. Sarah Morean | August 7th, 2009 at 8:51 am

    I know. It’s frustrating, for sure.

  3. Adrean Clark | August 7th, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Didn’t bother me. 😉

    Thanks for posting!