The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$18.08
Qty:1
  • List Price: $22.95
  • Save: $4.87 (21%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 7 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics Paperback – June 1, 2001


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
School & Library Binding
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$18.08
$11.95 $5.83


Frequently Bought Together

The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics + Alan Moore's Writing For Comics Volume 1 + Panel One: Comic Book Scripts By Top Writers
Price for all three: $38.22

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on selected titles, including the current pick, "What If?" by Randall Munroe.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill; 1st edition (June 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823010279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823010271
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 7.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

There must be dozens of books on how to draw comics, but even the best artists need to tell a good story. Who can teach them? Dennis O'Neil. A comics writer and editor for more than 20 years, O'Neil oversees DC Comics' Batman titles--one of the most successful comics franchises ever. In addition, he's a bestselling novelist, a screenwriter, and a writing teacher. So when it comes to storytelling, O'Neil knows his stuff. In this guide he delivers his knowledge in a succinct, no-nonsense style.

O'Neil explains three-act story structure and examines subplots, characterization, and methods for developing drama and suspense. He then applies these concepts to comics' specific forms: graphic novels, miniseries, maxiseries, and the rare megaseries (such as Batman: No Man's Land, a year-long über-narrative played out across five comics titles). As in good comics, words and images work together in this book. Every idea is illustrated by panels or pages from great moments in DC Comics lore. Especially illuminating are the script excerpts that come paired with the comic book pages they describe.

Strangely, the book ignores the visual side of comics writing. Modern comics scripts specify shots, angles, and blocking in movie-director fashion, but that craft is never addressed. (DC has a good opportunity here for a second volume.) However, what this book sets out to teach--storytelling--it does quite well. Aspiring comics writers won't just learn theory, they'll be empowered, because O'Neil provides a framework for crafting new tales. --J.B. Peck

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-This witty, clear, and concise guide is tailored to those who want to create comics. O'Neil is adamant that there is no One True Way, although he stresses the importance of practice. He discusses story structure, characterization, script preparation, and other general writing topics. He also covers those more specific to comics writing such as miniseries, maxiseries, and continuity. O'Neil addresses the visual component of the art, the importance of page layout, and the relationship between the writer and the artist. He concludes with a short essay, "Writing Humor Comics," by Mark Evanier. The book is lavishly illustrated with black-and-white examples from various DC comics. In addition, the author includes many pages of scripts, which are usually juxtaposed with the finished page. He provides excellent advice and guidance for beginners. Although the examples focus on DC characters and stories, the content should have broad appeal. This is a nice balance to the many how-to-draw-comics books in most collections. Even for nonwriters, the book is interesting for the background look it provides into how comics are created.

Susan Salpini, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

I would highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to write comics.
goldenrulecomics
In a book about writing for comics, for example, it's just as important to see what a finished script looks like as it is to read about how it's done.
Mike Suchcicki
Whether you write comic books or novels, there are powerful nuggets on the writing process that if applied, you will experience growth in your craft.
J.S. Lewis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 1, 2003
Format: School & Library Binding
"The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics" is author by Dennis O'Neil, who wrote some of the classic Green Lantern and Batman stories (usually drawn by Neal Adams). In this volume O'Neil covers the various methods of writing scripts, procedures for developing a story structure, creating well-rounded characters, and more. Although most of what is covered in here is basic to all forms of writing, O'Neil does keep the focus on how these key concepts apply to the writing of comic books. The book is divided into two parts, with an appendix:

Part One: (1) What are Comics? is answered in terms of a comprehensive vocabulary of comic book terms such as speech balloon, story arc, and inker; (2) A Full-Script Versus Plot-First compares the latter, which is the Marvel method developed by Stan Lee, with the former, the traditional approach for writing film and television scripts, with the strengths and weaknesses of each; (3) Story Structure provides a listing of the basic kinds of structure used in comics, including a detailed look at different examples of "The Hook"; (4) Creating Drama looks at the importance of keeping the action going and offers a key distinction between suspense and surprise; (5) Subplots presents the advantages and inherent dangers of subplotting; (6) Characterization spends as much time talking about dialogue and humor as well as about the hero and other characters; and (7) Script Preparation is about the physical act of writing and producing something that can be turned over to an artist (assuming, for the sake of argument, you are not going to do the whole comic book yourself in the spirit of Dave Sims, the early years).
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
First off, I'd like to do the mini-review for those with limited attention spans: "Buy This Book".
Following is a list of why I think you should buy this book:
1) Although it's about comic books, in my opinion, many of the lessons Dennis O'Neil teaches in this book are valuable for writing in general, especially the point he makes about never letting the reader get bored.
2) It's doesn't cost a arm and a leg.
3) It's well written. O'Neil's style is very fluid and natural, sometimes funny, and always very clear on the lessons he wants to teach.
4) It's full of examples. Almost every page in the book has an example from a comic book or script that clarifies and illustrates O'Neil's points. Half the fun in this book is reading the examples.
5) It's short. 120 pages long, and about half the book is examples.
Reasons you might want to not buy this book:
1) It's pretty basic. It rehashes a lot of material experienced writers may have already learned.
2) It doesn't hold your hand. O'Neil doesn't tell you a single method and have you go through it step by step. The book is very general, and is meant to enhance your existing writing abilities, rather than give you a single recipe. ;-)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michael Swanson on January 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've read about a dozen books on writing and screenwriting, and most have been very helpful, especially J. Michael Straczynski's "The Complete Book of Screenwriting." None of them, however, have just laid it all out like Dennis O'Neil's book. While Straczynski's tome can tell you everything you night ever want to know, O'Neil's book tells what you what you MUST know, and very clearly lays out the basics, without which your story will not work. It's short - and half illustrations at that - but insightful and concise.

It is written specifically for the fast-paced, melodramatic writing style of comics, especially action comics, but it's lessons are useful in any story.

I especially like that it is not about teaching you how to write, but about utilizing tools that will clarify your writing, or help to get you out of a bind.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ryan S on July 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
When I saw this book, I thought it would be a great way to pick up some tips ... and it was, but not as many as I had hoped for. It's great for beginners, but for anyone who has been at this a while (like myself), it seems pretty dumbed down. Another bad thing is that I expected a book and I got what looks like a trade paperback comic. It's fun to read, but I just think there is more to be said. This book focuses more on format & structure than content. And even at that, O'Neil (an outstanding writer) spends half his time saying how there are more than one ways to do anything, and this way may not be the right way for you. HOWEVER, I was able to get a few useful tips and pointers from its 128 pages. Personally I feel that if you can get JUST ONE useful tip from it, then it's worth the .... And I did get several, so I'm happy with it. But don't look for writing tips on how to make compelling characters (there is a breif bit about it, but not much). This book is more about style and format. But at the end of the day, I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who wants to write comics. Format & structure are very important. As I said, if you can get just one tip from it, you've got your money's worth!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ed Cunard on June 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
When I heard this book was coming out, I was very excited. No other book, to my knowledge, was specifically devoted to writing in the comics medium. One nice aspect of the book is the presentation of the printed comic page along with the scripted text. While the book is tight and focused, it is still just an introductory course. Anyone reading this book will still want to do further research, as the text suggests. However, O'Neil's prose is witty and engaging, and the book is an entertaining read. My few complaints aside, this book is a complete pleasure to read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews