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Alan Moore's Writing For Comics Volume 1 Paperback – June 25, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alan Moore is widely considered to be the greatest comic book writer of all time. With over thirty years dedicated to the medium, his body of work includes Watchmen (the best-selling graphic novel in history), From Hell, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Swamp Thing, Tom Strong, Promethea, V for Vendetta, and Lost Girls, just to name a few.He is the nine-time winner of the Eisner Award for Best Writer, and recipient of a Hugo Award. Avatar Press has published numerous Moore projects in recent years, including his seminal guide to graphic storytelling, WRITING FOR COMICS. His other Avatar projects include HYPOTHETICAL LIZARD, YUGGOTH CULTURES, and the highly anticipated Fall 2011 release, NEONOMICON.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Avatar Press (June 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592910122
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592910120
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.1 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

91 of 92 people found the following review helpful By SPM on February 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a collection of essays Alan Moore wrote in 1985 about writing comic books (with a follow-up essay from 2003 at the end). Actually, it's more about being a creative storyteller, not so much about comics. As you read the text, you realize that the nuts and bolts of panels, pages, and word balloons mean very little in comparison to honesty, inventiveness, intent, and understanding of your own talent. Alan Moore makes this clear as he writes, advising the aspiring writer to consider what he's doing long before he gets to the point of wondering how he can stack ten panels into a page.
Moore uses his own experience as a guide. Although he had not yet written (or completed) some of his greatest comics, by 1985 he had been working in British comics for years. He was also working on Swamp Thing and Miracle Man at the time. He uses Swamp Thing examples more than any other, which is good. That was the first great period of Moore's work, when he turned comic book writers into superstars along with illustrators. He describes one of his more daring stories of the 1980s --- a Swamp Thing issue in which menstruation is tied to a werewolf story --- from the ground up. First he had the social idea, then he came up with a framework for it, then he wrote the pages and panels.
Reading this short volume is a real inspiration for anyone who wants to tell stories. The advice here can liberate a writer from distractions and lead him (or her) toward the creative decisions that matter most. The final chapter adds a wonderful twist. Moore recommends that you avoid a personal style and focus instead of personal growth as an artist. Success should lead to experimenting, not a rut in which you tell the same lucrative story over and over. Alan Moore lives his life this way, so his advice has some well-earned authority behind it.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By J. Thadeus Toad on August 16, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Alan Moore provides some wonderful insight into the creative process. He recommends several outside texts such as The Act of Creation which is a great read in of itself. While no one can tell you exactly how to be creative, Moore does offer insights into what makes him tick as a writer. He gives you suggestions and insights as to how to express yourself and where to look for inspiration in your own life. Moore does not want people to be Alan Moore clones, he wants to encourage a new generation of writers to write what they know and dream about. To write for themselves first, that way a person avoids being a poseur or a wannabe. Moore is truly one of the top writers in the history of comic books. Others that walk the pantheons of greatness are Will Eisner, Steve Ditko, Mark Millar, Warren Ellis, Stan Lee and Neil Gaiman. Read this book, then look inside yourself where the stories and creativity lay. Write from the heart and the subconcious first, and the readers will recognize the sincerity and hopefully come back for more.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By K. Busby on June 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the book mostly, until the last chapter, which he wrote 15 years later and in which he basically says "Forget everything I wrote about 15 years ago. Things have changed, and those observations don't apply anymore." After absorbing the rest of the book, it kind of dampened my enjoyment. I am now left with the thought that he should have just written a new book with his updated views, using the benefit of the years of experience since the first book. It being the first book I have read on this subject, I don't have anything else to compare it to, but I feel sure there are better books out there that don't contradict themselves.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on September 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For those familiar with the field, Alan Moore is one of the acknowledged greats in comic book writing, creating - among other things - The Watchmen, arguably the best superhero graphic novel ever. At least three of his works have been adapted into moderately successful movies: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, From Hell and most recently, V for Vendetta. But just as many of the best baseball players have made lousy managers, we cannot assume that a good writer can provide good instruction. In the case of Moore, however, the news is good.

Alan Moore's Writing For Comics is a short collection of essays that he originally wrote in the mid-1980s. As a book, there isn't much there, only 47 pages. On the other hand, I've read some 150 page books that were stretched out through large margins and spacing to be nearly twice that length; at least you get your money's worth from each of Moore's pages.

This was actually the second book I read on comic book recently. Peter David's take on writing (Writing for Comics with Peter David) is good too, and though Moore and David cover some of the same ground, Moore's version is slightly more intellectual, as would be expected if the two writers were compared (this is no knock on David, just an acknowledgement of two different styles). And in both cases, many of the lessons from this book aren't just for comics but can be expanded into other fiction as well. Plot, setting, characterization: these are the basics of all fiction.

Moore doesn't have much to say, but what he does say, he says well. Nonetheless, even at its modest price, there are books out there that say similar things and deliver more per dollar spent. This is a good book, but I recommend going elsewhere unless you're a big Moore fan; Peter David's book is a worthwhile alternative.
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