The secrets of comic success

It’s one of those jobs most of us only dream of – being a great comic or graphic novel artist.

I love comics as much as the next person, but if I ever wanted to break into comics as a writer or illustrator, I wouldn’t have the first clue how to break in, or get my vision published. And there’s probably a number of young comic mavens waiting in the wings who probably have the same dilemma.

Now The Hollywood Reporter tells us that acclaimed comic writer Brian Michael Bendis, who is a major force at Marvel, is writing a book for Random House that could be a big help to young creators everywhere.

The book is titled Words For Pictures: The Art and Business of Graphic Novels, and it’s due for release in 2013. 

As you may recall, Bendis had his big breakthrough at Marvel when he worked on Ultimate Spider-Man, and since he’s collaborated on many other Marvel titles.


Random House learned of Bendis when he taught a graphic novel writing class in Portland, and Bendis told the Reporter that when people ask him for help, “It would be nice to just hand them a book and go ‘Here is everything I would tell you if we were hanging out.'” 

Yet Bendis added that there’s no one size fits all way to write comics, like how screenplay books boil everything down to three-act structures, and by this page this has to happen – or else.


The book analyzes a number of comic book styles, and how to cover your ass from being ripped off when trying to get out there in the business. Of course no book  or college course can teach you how to come up with great ideas for an amazing superhero that will last for decades. 

But like any good school course, Bendis’s book should hopefully teach the foundations and fundamentals you can build on, and hopefully get your comic visions out into the world.