BIO – Choosing to be a Graphic Novelist

It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I have a letter written to myself from the 6th grade where I wanted to work as an animator for Walt Disney Studios. I got close by becoming a TV animator for the Attack of the Killer Tomatoes animated series. But something I’ve always found frustrating about animation is that I’m not so in love with making things move. Oh, sure, there is immense satisfaction in creating what Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson call “The Illusion of Life”, but I realized I was far more interested in the story of why the character was moving.

It took a decade of working in television animation and video games before I realized that comics was the perfect medium to combine my writing with my art. That’s when I became a dedicated long form comic book writer, or, a graphic novelist. Today, I’m starting my eighteenth book and there is an energy (and a great deal of frustration!) with cracking a new story. It can go any direction, and as I write the words my mind goes to how difficult some moments are going to be to draw.

If your interested, you can buy a ton of my books on Amazon or your local bookstore can order them:

I’m starting this new book with an outline, written out long hand but based on a pile of notecards. The outline will be about sixteen pages of pullet-points and scratched out lines, and I’ll go to script from that. It is hard to believe that this is the most important part of the process because everything seems so… thin. Before a story gets more gravity and meat hung on it, the words aren’t very convincing. The story isn’t thickened with rich characters and I find it bad to put too much writing into a bullet point because a bad moment could look like it’s going to stay when I might just as well need to draw a line through and go in another direction.

With any luck, I’ll start writing the script next week.