Blog/ Comics/ Writing

For Caitlin in Australia: Comics or books?

Hey Caitlin, thanks so much for writing! I couldn’t find an address to get back to you, so I decided to answer your question here.

Caitlin writes:Hi Sara my name is Caitlin 13 years old and live in australia. I would just like to say how amazing your books and comics are they are great! Which do you prefer writing comics or books???

First off, thanks! I’m really glad to know that you like both the books and the comics!

As to which one I prefer: I like them both for different reasons, and I plan to keep on writing both prose novels and comics.

Two things I like about writing comics:

Playing with time. Stretching out a moment over several panels, making a year or a decade pass between pages, everything in between. It’s what Scott McCloud calls “choice of moments.”

Collaborating. I can’t draw, so any comic I write is going to be drawn by someone else, and I’ve been fortunate to work with extremely talented artists. I often know who my artist will be as I’m writing, and I try to shape the story to play to my artist’s strengths.

Two things I like about writing books:

Describing characters and settings. I do this when I write comics, too, but the artist is usually the only person who sees them.

Finding the right narrative voice. I’m not saying that narrative voice isn’t important in comics, but I think that readers experience voice differently, and maybe more intensely, when they’re seeing words on a page than when they’re seeing both words and pictures. What do you all think?

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  • Mark
    November 27, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    I’m not sure I personally experience voice more intensely when I just see words on a page as opposed to both words and images. The image can add tons of intensity if its done well (again, at least for me it does). Maybe I’m just a bigger fan of pretty pictures, though. :P