Friday, April 17, 2009

Books for Writers

Comics writer/editor Paul Kupperberg has an article on books about writing. I'm a process-junkie, so I love this kind of thing. Boiled down to list form, the craft books are:

The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics by Dennis O'Neil
Will Eisner's Shop Talk by Will Eisner and Others
Telling Lies for Fun and Profit by Lawrence Block
Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print by Lawrence Block
Spider, Spin Me a Web by Lawrence Block
Lawrence Block on Writing Fiction by Lawrence Block (not available on Amazon)
Write for Your Life by Lawrence Block (not available on Amazon)
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury (Amazon has two volumes)

Kupperberg also strongly recommends the following books to anyone wanting to "go the comic book route." By which he actually seems to mean "the corporate-owned super-hero route." I get a little cranky when he says, "I don’t want to hear that you don’t know who Midnight is or what comic book company published him in the 1940s. You should know this stuff. These books should whet your appetite to learn more. If they don’t, what’re you doing trying to get into this business anyway?" What does obscure Golden Age trivia have to do with writing comics about giant robots and monsters, gangsters fighting Western outlaws, or vampire cattle?

Still, I do like super-heroes and am interested in their history, so here's that list too:

The Great Comic Book Heroes by Jules Feiffer
The Steranko History of Comics by Jim Steranko (out of print as far as I can tell)
All in Color for a Dime edited by Don Thompson and Dick Lupoff (also apparently out of print)
The Comic-Book Book edited by Don Thompson and Dick Lupoff
Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book by Gerard Jones

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