Thursday, January 31, 2013

CHAMPION CITY COMICS WRITERS ACADEMY: GOALS

Courtesy Blake Snyder
Welcome back to the Champion City Comics Writers Academy. The purpose of these articles is to aid novice comic book writers. I've learned from my mistakes and I am here to provide some useful tips for your comic book script.

I've already discussed not getting married to your script and having a boring story. Yesterday, I told you that it was OK to have stories that feature superheroes, vampires, and zombies. Today, I want to talk more about your story. Your story needs a goal for the main character. This may sound easy, but you really need to get this right or your story is an EPIC FAIL.

When scripts are submitted to me for review by up and coming writers, I do see some rookie mistakes. A major problem for some writers is that they have not developed a goal for their main character. If you are developing a superhero tale, a sci-fi story, a criminal tale, a fantasy story, or even a horror story, then set a goal for your main character. Most importantly, the goal has to be something that will get readers to turn the pages of your comic book. The goal has to be a major accomplishment.

For example, having Batman race back to the Batcave to turn off the coffee maker before it sets off the smoke alarm is not a page turning goal. Batman racing to an orphanage to diffuse a gigantic bomb planted by The Joker is a great page turning goal. Now add some obstacles for Batman. The orphanage has been sealed by The Joker, making it impossible for anyone to escape. Maybe have The Joker create some flying teddy bears with bombs strapped to them to blow up the Batmobile or the Batwing to stop Batman from getting to the orphanage on time. Batman has a goal and there are obstacles from having him achieve his goal. Perfect.

Readers want their heroes to win in the end by achieving their goal. Placing major obstacles in the way of that goal makes things more interesting for your story. Good luck!

Tomorrow I will discuss the slice of life script.

TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor of Champion City Comics. His webcomics include Dr Death vs The Zombie, The End of Paradise, The Red Devil, and Day 165.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

CHAMPION CITY COMICS WRITERS ACADEMY: SUPERHEROES, VAMPIRES, AND ZOMBIES ARE OK


Welcome to the third installment of The Champion City Comics Writers Academy. This weekly column is for those aspiring comic book artists that are low on funds to hire an artist and lack any artistic abilities. The first article dealt with not getting married to your script while yesterday's article dealt with the fact that your story just might be boring as hell.Today the purpose of this article is to tell you that it is OK to develop superhero, vampire, or zombie stories.

There have been a few moments where writers submit scripts to me and they are somewhat apologetic about the fact that they wrote a superhero, vampire, or zombie story. There is no shame in developing a superhero, zombie, or vampire story. Having said that, you must set yourself apart from the pack.

Do your best to come up with a superhero, vampire, or zombie story that is slightly or vastly different from the rest. We have stories that deal with all three at Champion City Comics: 

Rapid City is a superhero tale that explores the complexities that comes with the job of being a superhero. Kinetic is the main character and we see how he struggles to maintain a normal life while learning the ropes to be a superhero. We have more of a normal guy developing into a superhero story than a cliched tale featuring mindless fights and women with large breasts serving as eye candy.  

Doctor Death vs The Vampire takes the vampire concept but changes them from the Bram Stoker blood lusting variety into creatures that feed off of pain and suffering. Gone is the black cape and fangs, and they have been replaced by normal looking people. However, these new vampires are incredibly intelligent and they hunt their prey by the amount of pain they have from an illness or an addiction.

Doctor Death vs The Zombie is influenced by the West African and Haitian mythos and  is combined with the George A. Romero world of zombies. You have the zombie that loves to eat brains, but must be controlled by the voodoo priest or bokur.

Slight changes will make your story stand out and that will appeal to readers.

Setting yourself apart from the others is not as difficult as you think. Take time and work on your sscript so that you have a superhero, vampire, or zombie story that brings something relatively new and fresh to the table. Have an artist or a fellow writer review your concept to see if it works. Be willing to revise and revise and revise some more until you have a solid story.

Tomorrow we will discuss goals for your main character.


TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor of Champion City Comics. His webcomics include Dr Death vs The Zombie, The End of Paradise, The Red Devil, and Day 165.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

CHAMPION CITY COMICS WRITERS ACADEMY: YOUR STORY IS BORING AS HELL

The Champion City Comics Writers Academy is a daily column where I provide some advice for rookie comic book writers.I'm writing these columns for the writers who have no artistic abilities and do not have the cash to hire great artists. Yesterday, I wrote about not getting married to your script.Today we need to talk about the fact that your story is boring as hell.

A majority of scripts sent to me by aspiring comic book writers are boring as hell and that is very disappointing. I've been guilty of committing the same crime and have learned from my mistakes. I want you to know that when it comes to pitching a comic book to an artist, and eventually to a publisher, then you better bring some action or major conflict to the table.

When you develop a script for a comic book or webcomic, be sure to have a good balance of plot development and action. If your story doesn't require action then conflict is something that will keep the reader interested. You must grab the attention of the reader or else you might lose them quickly. I'll use my comic book Day 165 as an example and it is posted below.    


WARNING: DAY 165 CONTAINS ADULT LANGUAGE AND VIOLENCE.




Day 165 was developed as a war story that included some supernatural elements of The Twilight Zone. Some readers like war stories and others enjoy tales of the supernatural. By combining the two, I believed we had something fun and interesting. I wanted to grab the attention of the reader quickly and had our main character, Pvt. Chris Richland, ambushed on the second page. From there I keep the pace moving by developing story and including enough action to keep the interest of the reader. The action and the plot were linked together, which is important. Also, there were moments of conflict between Richland and the medic.

One thing that all aspiring comic book writers should understand is that action scenes need to move the story along and be part of the overall plot. Never create an unnecessary action scene that doesn't develop the character, introduce another character, or have something to do with the overall plot of the story. I have plenty of pet peeves about action scenes that will be for another article.

Tomorrow's Post: Superheroes, Vampires, and Zombies are OK. 

TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor of Champion City Comics. His webcomics include Dr Death vs The Zombie, The End of Paradise, The Red Devil, and Day 165.

Monday, January 28, 2013

CHAMPION CITY COMICS WRITERS ACADEMY: DON'T GET MARRIED TO YOUR SCRIPT


It has been a long time since I've posted anything regarding writing tips, but I'm back with some more tips for rookie comic book writers. This column is merely advice, so I'm just sharing what I've learned as a writer at Champion City Comics. These posts are going to be aimed at the writers out there who have no artistic skill plus lack any funds to pay for an artist.I'm hoping to make this a Monday to Friday series. Cross your fingers, boys and girls.

My first post deals with the dreaded move of getting married to your script. It sounds silly, but it's true because writers I encounter have a script that is THE script that will change the world of comics. It is the script that will sell 300,000 copies in the first week and will win an Eisner Award plus the Pulitzer Prize.

Some of you writers out there think you are this dude.
 As the owner and head writer of Champion City Comics, I receive on average one to three scripts per month from aspiring comic book writers. The majority of the scripts show a great deal of potential, but a variety of factors weakens the story. I'll go into more detail on the variety of factors with upcoming posts. If an aspiring writer has a bad script, I usually ask for another to see if they have developed a more interesting story. There have been times when I do get another script, but there have been too many instances of writers telling me that I have just read their one and only script.

Look, I had a one and only script from 2004 to 2009, which became The Champion City Fire. I was convinced I was going to be the next big thing in comic book writing due to that script. Silly me. I had six issues carefully planned out and was waiting for that call from Marvel or DC or Image or Dark Horse or anyone interested. Silly me.

The smartest thing I did was putting that script down. I then began working on two more scripts. Two scripts became three and since 2009, I have worked on nine titles at Champion City Comics. Each script has improved due to what I have learned as a writer, but I would not be at the place where I am if I had stayed married to one script.

My fellow aspiring comic book writers, please do not get married to your script. Here are some good reasons:

1. You may think you've just written the best story ever, but you need to realize that you need to pitch this story to an artist who thinks your story is worth their time. I know a large majority of rookie writers do not have the funds to get a good artist, so you must find that needle in the haystack that is the free artist. I've found ten or twelve free fantastic artists over the past three years, so there is hope. That's also another future post. Remember, the artist has to be sold on your script. If they're not then they'll ask to review another script. If you just have the one script and no funds to pay an artist then you will be waiting and waiting to find the right person.

2. An artist who works for free with you will want some creative input with the script. You'll also want to be prepared to negotiate ownership rights as well. Now if you do not allow the artist to have some kind of freedom then you have a 99.999999% chance of pissing off the artist that's willing to work for free. That's not a smart move. Artists want input and they'd like some creative freedom to work their magic. Over the years, I have worked with artists that have provided me with valuable input when it comes to my scripts.

3. Do not get discouraged if nobody likes your script. Put it aside for now and try working on another idea. It worked for me and perhaps it could work for you. If you still love your script, then take into consideration the fact that it may need some revisions.

4. You may not want to hear this, but perhaps the reason that nobody wants to jump on your script is because it sucks. The best thing to happen to me as a writer happened seven or eight years ago. I submitted a rough draft of The Champion City Fire to someone I respected in the comic book business and they HATED the story. They didn't sugarcoat anything, and I was devastated. However, I went back and made some major changes, which made the script better. I re-submitted the script to the person that hated the first script, and they ended up loving the second script.Nobody picked up the story, but at least I know I improved as a writer.

That was my return to comic book writing tips, and I hope you learned something. Come back tomorrow for more tips.

Tomorrow's Topic: Your Story Is Boring As Hell


TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor of Champion City Comics. His webcomics include Dr Death vs The Zombie, The End of Paradise, The Red Devil, and Day 165.






EMMA FROST BY JOE HAEMMERLE


Champion City Comics artist Joe Haemmerle has submitted a drawing of Emma Frost, a major foe for The X-Men. I finally had the opportunity to see X-Men: First Class over the weekend and it was a great movie. I am way behind on my comic book movies for numerous reasons, but I am doing my best to get caught up on a weekly basis.

If you enjoy the artwork of Joe Haemmerle then check out his main web page here

Friday, January 25, 2013

STRYFE AND ZERO FROM X-FORCE


Artist Ryan Cairns has submitted some artwork of Zero and Stryfe from X-Force. If you would like to see more of Ryan's work then check out some of his works like Wonder Woman, Swamp Thing, and Thor vs Fin Fang Foom.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

PRISTINE: A STORY BY DARRIN O'TOOLE

Writer Darrin O'Toole and Anand 'Kav' Kaviraj teamed up for some great projects last year like Tales From The Void and The Amazing Mister X. This year they will release a five page steampunk story titled Pristine, which will be published later this year for a publication titled Steampunk Originals Volume 2. Check out an image from the story below and enjoy.

If you want to contact Darrin O'Toole about greeting your hands on a copy of Tales From The Void and The Amazing Mister X then click here to email Darrin.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

CABLE BY JOE HAEMMERLE

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Check out the latest artwork submission from Joseph Haemmerle. X-Men fans, what do you think of Joe's Cable design?

Friday, January 18, 2013

MYSTIQUE BY JOE HAEMMERLE


Champion City Comics artists Joe Haemmerle has submitted some more artwork for viewing. Today, we have his version of the evil mutant Mystique from the X-Men comics.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

KAV'S ARTWORK FOR ACTION COMICS #403

Resident artist and comic book guru, Anand 'Kav' Kaviraj, decided to re-draw two pages from the 1971 comic book Action Comics #403. Titled 'Attack of the Micro-Murderer', Superman's body is attacked by a strange being named Zohtt.

Kav redesigned two pages from Action Comics #403 and here are the results.






Tuesday, January 15, 2013

HELLBOY BY JOSEPH HAEMMERLE




Champion City Comics artist Joseph Haemmerle has submitted another piece of original artwork. Today, we present his version of Mike Mignola's Hellboy. Enjoy.

Monday, January 14, 2013

CHEW FICTION BY JOE HAEMMERLE

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Star Wars fans should get a kick out of this artwork by Joe Haemmerle where Han Solo and Chewbacca meet Quentin Tarantino. If you want to see more of Joe Haemmerle's work then go here to view more great images.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

DIRK MCAWESOME

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Joe Haemmerle has designed the cover to Christopher Smith's latest short story, Dirk McAwesome and The Giant Fire Breathing Space Ants. This looks like it is going to be a fun read, and if you are interested in reading some of Chris' stories then check out A Killer's Eyes and Purgatory. If you want to see more of Joe Haemmerle's fantastic artwork then click here for his main site.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

WHISKEY GIRL BY JOSEPH HAEMMERLE

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Check out this original piece titled 'Whiskey Girl' by Joseph Haemmerle, the artist for The Red Devil and The Champion City Fire.

Monday, January 7, 2013

COVERS PROJECT: SPYMAN #1

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Anand 'Kav' Kaviraj sends me comic book covers to post and this one is a great selection. Spyman #1 is the first professional work by legendary artist Jim Steranko.

Friday, January 4, 2013

COMICS FROM THE EDGE #139


Bob Toben, the artist for Comics From The Edge, has proclaimed this comic a 'special MENSA comic panel'. Do you know what it is? 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

COVERS PROJECT: ACTION COMICS #101

Anand 'Kav' Kaviraj loves to send me covers of comics to post at Champion City Comics, and a few weeks ago he sent me Action Comics #101 which shows Superman holding a camera while an atomic bomb blast rocks some unknown location. According to Kav, this was the first comic book depiction of an atomic bomb blast. Released October, 1946, this cover ushers in readers to the atomic age. Enjoy.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

COMICS FROM THE EDGE #138

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We hope you enjoy this gingerbread man comic.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

KAV AND JEFFREY BROWN SUPER TEAM-UP 'MEETING KAV'

Anand 'Kav' Kaviraj and Jeffrey Brown (Darth Vader and Son) have teamed up to bring you a comic project titled 'Meeting Kav', which that tells the story when Jeffrey Brown met Kav. Enjoy.

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