Comics: Read Them Out Loud

Categories:  Features
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
readaloud

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.

Read the rest of this entry »