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Comic Con International – Writing For Comics Panel

When it comes to panels at Comic Con, I find myself either at a very standard panel, the DC Nations, the Mondo Marvel's or something to do with TV. But when it comes to Saturday I usually find that the day is more enjoyable if I go off the beaten path and skip the infestation of Hollywood movies and TV shows and go with something different. So when Kevin suggested the Writing for Comic's Panel, I said yes, let's do it.

To my surprise this ended up being the best panel I saw at the convention. The panel was hosted by Andy Schmidt a former editor for Marvel and Senior Editor for IDW Publishing. Andy also teaches an online school from writing comics at ComicsExperience.com, which has several online courses for people interested. Andy invited several writers that he's worked/working with to the panel including Brian Michael Bendis, (Scarlett, Avengers, the Siege), Mike Costa (G.I. Joe: Cobra, Transformers) and Marc Guggenheim (Wolverine, Resurrection).

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The panel mostly consisted of Andy asking questions of the writers and them giving their answer for their personal style. There were however several interesting stories from each of the writers that became the enjoyable aspect of the panel.

When asked what their process for writing, Bendis walked through an average day for himself in which he wakes up at noon (then he thanked the audience for that lifestyle) and writes until he has to pick his kids up from school. After being super-dad and husband he stays up after everyone has gone to sleep to write until he falls asleep.

Costa then walked through his average day saying he too wakes up in the afternoon. Tries to write something but gets distracted by day time television and then after several hours have past finds that he's very hungry and must get something to eat. The next thing he knows it's 9 at night and he hasn't written anything or even played video games yet. He said he really respected Bendis' set formula and that he could never do the same. Bendis countered by saying that when he said writing he meant fucking around on the internet.

Scarlet #1When asked what emotion they invoked when writing, all three writers basically said that they feel intense joy while writing; that it very much so becomes an emotional release for them. Bendis said that he asks himself if he would spend four dollars on the issue and that that plays a factor in the product he puts out. Costa said that he tells himself that what he's written is the best thing ever while he's writing it because there needs to be a certain level of ego when it comes to storytelling. Guggenheim mostly stated that it's a joyous experience for him and one that he looks forward to.

When it came to the Q&A part of the panel there were several basic questions but one gentleman asked how hard it was to get into comics. Costa instantly answered, "Harder than movies" which both of the other panelist agreed to. Bendis followed it up with saying, "Anything you want to do is hard to do. It doesn't matter if you want to be a doctor or a writer you have to work for it. If you wanted to write comics, write them and put them out there. I wrote comics for ten years before Marvel or DC gave a shit about me and one of them still doesn't give a shit."

As a writer I didn't take away anything that I hadn't heard before, but it's always interesting to hear someone else's perspective on it; especially when they're in the field you desire to be in. Again, out of all the panels I saw at the con this one took the cake. Not only in presentation and information but just in the unique experience it offered to the attendees that you can't get any where else.


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