So. I’m writing a book.
Here’s the scoop on the behemoth: It’s called Comics for Film, Games, and Animation: Using Comics to Construct Your Transmedia Storyworld and will be published by Focal Press (to whose website, Mastering Film, I contribute regularly) sometime next year.
The guiding principle of this book? That as filmmakers, or game designers, or creatives working in other fields, we have access to a different audience than those of comic books – an audience that may have never experienced a great comic book. By using comic books within our properties, we have the chance to be a gateway drug for our audiences to explore other comics. If we turn out shit just because we’re told we should transmedia-ify everything for the sake of half-baked “engagement,’ we’re defaulting on the responsibility we accepted when we decided to bring comics into our creative arsenal. Comics is the most vibrant American art form of the 20th century. It’s got a rich and outlaw history, the wild-child hellion third cousin of film, of theatre, of the more “respectable” forms. It’s ballsy. It’s collaborative. It’s literature. It fucking rocks. And we’ve gotta make good shit. The goal of the book is to help you make the aforementioned good shit by sharing my passion for the medium – both its history and storytelling potential – with you, and then show you how to integrate it into your own story (or not).
I’ll talk about more details later. For now, embrace the keywords in the title: Comics. Film. Games. Animation. Transmedia.
I could write how this makes me feel, getting that email that says “your proposal has been accepted” (no ring necessary). It’s pretty sweet. For the next nine months I get to birth a printed, screaming baby filled with a future of storytelling combination of some of my favorite things in the world. I get to read a lot of comics. I get to share the resultant 22 year build-up of what many (including myself) felt was useless knowledge in a book form. And the idea of that new book smell with my name on it?
Here’s a story.
Tuesday night, I went out and celebrated. I went to this wonderful wine bar (after a beer at a sports bar – ah, adaptability) in downtown Wooster. Great staff. Beautiful patio. Comfortable chairs. Retail display furniture from the old department store (now a hole in the ground) that once was the centerpiece of downtown Wooster, repurposed and revitalized. Malbec. I sat out on that patio, and one of the owners came out and chatted with me. As we discussed things book-y and wine-y, something hit me.
“This place used to be the first comic book shop I ever went to. I was 11 years old.”
This is going to be one hell of an adventure. A grand day out, as Wallace would say.