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The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics

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The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics

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The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics
By Dennis O'Neil
Watson-Guptill Publications, New York: 2001
ISBN: 0-8230-1027-9

Reviewed by Sheldon Ztvordokov - Posted March 13, 2012

The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics is an essential guide for anyone seeking guidance on the craft of how to write comic books. Written by Dennis O'Neil, this outstanding resource covers the basics from developing story structures and characters to getting your work published. Be forewarned, this is not a book on drawing comics - rather it focuses solely on the writing aspect of comic book creation.

The book is divided into two main parts. The first part deals with the mechanics of comic book storytelling, and covers topics such as an overview of what comics are, story structure, subplots, adding suspense to your story, characterization and script preparation. The second part of the book builds upon the first half. O'Neil discusses the various types of 'long form' comic book, namely miniseries, maxiseries, megaseries, graphic novels, and ongoing series, and shows you how to apply the information garnered from the first half toward the development and writing of these longer form stories. In the second part of this book you'll also learn about story arcs, the Levitz Paradigm, how to adapt a movie into a comic book format, and the importance of continuity when writing a series. In the book's appendix, you'll also find an interesting essay by Mark Evanier on Writing Humor Comics.

The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics is an excellent reference guide for anyone interesting in learning how to write comics, or who is looking for advice on how to improve their comic book writing skills. O'Neil also provides useful advice on approaching and dealing with editors. This advice is geared more toward helping you gain employment working on an established comic book series, rather than getting your freelanced comic book published. Nonetheless, this advice will also prove useful to someone looking to get their comic book published. Filled with an effusion of illustrations drawn directly from DC comics, this book is as fun to look at as it is informative to read. The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics is a great place to start for anyone just embarking into the exciting world of comic book writing.



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