Art And Writing Combine In Image Comics’ Storytelling Essentials Panel at C2E2

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Robert Goode wrote for Bleeding Cool from C2E2 this past weekend,

Both artists and writers gathered together for the panel IMAGE Comics Presents: Storytelling Essentials at C2E2 on Saturday. The panel was led by IMAGE Comics’ David Brother and included some of their top creators.

Those on the panel included Jordie Bellaire and Declan Shalvey (Injection), Jamie McKelvie (TheWicked + The Divine), Skottie Young (I Hate Fairyland), Greg Rucka (Old Guard, Lazurus, Black Magic), and Donny Cates (Redneck, God Country). The group discussed their process and the importance of collaboration between all aspects of a book.

Greg Rucka said, “Speaking as the writer, I try very hard to stay out of the way of certain aspects” and when discussing how the artist adds to the story, he added, “One thing I learned early when I started working in comics, I doesn’t matter what’s in here (pointing to head). The artist is trained to tell the story visually.”

Declan Shalvey agreed, stating, “I just tell Jordie what I’m thinking.” rather than trying to dictate. Both the writers and artists emphasized that collaboration is key when working on a book.

Next the discussion moved on to the panelist’s individual process. All agreed that it is different for each creator and there is no set format when it comes to scripting comics.

Rucka described his scripting method as if he is writing a letter to the artists. “I spend a lot of time on the emotional beats, what the characters are feeling.”

The panel ended with a short Q&A. When asked what advantage comics have when it comes to storytelling, Donny Cates said, “The beauty of comics is that you don’t have to worry about a budget” then added that it is time, more than money, that becomes the main consideration.

They all concluded that comics have a sense of ownership that other media (such as film) does not have because of the small group collaboration between writers and artists. When describing why he liked working for IMAGE, Rucka stated, “They sell you rope. You can make a noose or a lasso.” In other words, IMAGE gives their creators room to do what they want, but it’s up to them to make something with it.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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