Images that tell and words that show
In a way, we have been doing it for ages. Maybe now it's a little different, maybe now we're actually doing it in a bunch of pages that, together, will do what we have been doing for ages, but still it's basically the same thing.
We're telling stories.
Like so many other times, the start is basically the same: a blank canvas. It's blank and it will continue to be that way until you do your job. You don't know if you'll do a good job and if the story you have will be the one you'll tell, but only by telling it you'll find out. So get on with your life and let's tell some stories.
Here's a story:
I love comics. That's what I want to do with my life: spend it doing comics, telling stories, creating something that I hope will last in the mind of other people instead of only in my own. You see, I have no choice. I can do a bunch of other things, all related to drawing, that are easier than doing comics and that nowadays pay more, and I do these things in order to make a living and to keep myself always creating, but only on that kind of work, I would never be happy. I can only be happy doing comics. That's what defines the meaning of my life: my undying need to tell stories mixing words, images and emotions. I have no choice but to do comics.
So that's what I'll do. Actually, that's what I've been doing for at least the last seven years. Am I getting paid? At the beginning, I wasn't, but I realized that, if I never did any comics, I wouldn't get any good at it and, therefore, I would never be good enough to get hired to do it. That's something very important that I couldn't emphasize enough: you will only learn how to do comic books doing comic books! And since nobody was paying me to do any comics, I decided, alongside my twin brother, to do it anyway, so we started doing what you can call a mini-comic. We did it, photocopied it, stapled it and sold it for just enough to pay for the copies.
It was so cheap that it was ridiculous for anyone not to buy at least one to try out (we produced forty issues). And we sold it basically at college to our friend who weren't really into comic books, but were our friends and bought it gladly. More then that, they liked, they told us things they thought were cool, what they had learned from it, and we realize another great thing about doing it all by ourselves: there's nothing better for you to improve your work than feedback. Ant the comments we would get referred to the basics of doing comic books, since our readership did not consist of any "comic-book nerd". If they did not understand something, it meant that it was not working on the most basic level, it was not telling the story. If you're not involved in the comic book world, you don't care if the artist doesn't draw like the Batman artist, you just look at it and go from one balloon to the next, looking at the images on the way. The images are nice, sure, but if, by the end of the magazine, you didn't understand what happened, you're not stupid (well, that fellow over there is. Yes, you, with the yellow shirt), it's the story that's not told well enough. There's nothing better for those who want to tell stories than to show your stories to people that never read comic books. They aren't trained in the medium, and they shouldn't. That's your job.
Where's that story going, you might ask?
Well, today is a good day. I woke up, came to my studio and finish inking some pages. They are illustrating this. I think they're nice.
I don't know where the story's going, I'm still living it. It's like when you read a good story, you don't know how it's going to end but you want to keep reading.
I want to keep reading.
Friday, April 23, 2004
Images that tell and words that show
Posted by Fábio Moon at 6:22 PM