An Overview of the Comic Book Creation Process: Make Comics Like the Pros Review

Make Comics LIke the Pros book cover
(c.) 2014 by Watson-Guptill
Title: Make Comics Like the Pros 
Authors: Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente
Published: 2014 by Watson-Guptill Publications

There are many "how to draw comics" instructional books out there --I've borrowed quite a few from the library over the years.  However, Pak and Van Lente's Make Comics Like the Pros takes it a step further, as their sub-title states, "The Inside Scoop on How to Write, Draw & Sell Your Comic Books and Graphic Novels."  This book contains a gold mine of information from veteran comic book creators for those looking into publishing their own sequential art.

The main idea of this book is collaboration.  Open any comic book and you'll often see a list of names credited: writer[s], editor[s],  penciler[s],  inker[s], letterer[s],  colorist[s],  etc.  Throughout different chapters, Pak and Van Lente take you through the entire process of creating a comic book from generating an idea to publicizing and marketing.  They use pages and panels from other indie comic book creators as examples or to illustrate ideas, so it's not a boring, dry, non-fiction book.  On the contrary!  The prose is conversational and concise, with each stage often broken down in numbered lists of guidelines or "commandments." 

One of the things I enjoyed about this book was learning about the process of creating a comic book --it isn't simply drawing out panels and writing in speech bubbles.  There is a lot of thought and work put into every step (and often by many different people).  There aren't any drawing tutorials in this book, as that is not the focus of the title, though there are tips and suggestions for collaborating or working with pencilers, inkers, colorists, and other artists. 

Also, unless younger readers are used to reading mainstream comic books, for my regular blog readers I'd probably recommend this book for high school and up for some stereotypical comic book stylization of women and some mild/borderline language (e.g. fr--king).  But overall this is a great graphic novel creation book and I recommend it to anyone who would like an idea of how the comic book publishing industry works.

About the Authors:
"Greg Pak is an award-winning comic book writer and filmmaker currently writing Batman/Superman and Action Comics for DC Comics, Turok Dinosaur Hunter for Dynamite Entertainment, and Eternal Warrior for Valiant Comics. He directed the award-winning feature film Robot Stories, wrote the epic “Planet Hulk” and “World War Hulk” comic storylines, and co-wrote (with Fred Van Lente) fan-favorite Incredible Hercules for Marvel Comics.

Fred Van Lente is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Marvel Zombies, Incredible Hercules (with Pak), Odd Is on Our Side (with Dean R. Koontz), and the American Library Association award-winning Action Philosophers. His original graphic novel Cowboys & Aliens (co-written with Andrew Foley) was the basis for the major motion picture. Van Lente’s other comics include The Comic Book History of Comics, Archer & Armstrong, and The Amazing Spider-Man.

Pak and Van Lente are both residents of New York City."
*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through bloggingforbooks.org in exchange for an honest review, which I have done.*
An Overview of the Comic Book Creation Process: Make Comics Like the Pros Review An Overview of the Comic Book Creation Process: Make Comics Like the Pros Review Reviewed by The Artist Librarian on 12/29/2014 12:00:00 PM Rating: 5

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