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Quote Me on Writing Comics: Mike Collins

Mike Collins in the 1980s

Mike Collins in the 1980s

“On writing, I always put pen to lined paper first and always. The computer always comes last.

“I find when I write straight into the machine it results in ridiculous levels of verbosity, but if it’s all written long hand it hurts to waffle on and on…. I also find working longhand, I’m less precious about scrubbing out what I’ve just written…

“It always looks so finished on screen, so untouchable, which it shouldn’t be.

“When I started out (and although everyone’s forgotten, I was more a writer than an artist in them there distant early days) Steve Moore gave me the best bit of advice ever — write out your script and then cross out pretty much every second word. Hone the text to the minimum.

“The artist should be able to make the pictures dazzle and tell the story. On the odd Doctor Who’s I’ve written, I’ve given myself scope to do some insane dramatic no-BBC-budget-could-afford- this visuals.

“Too often as artists, we get scripts from writers who though fine and talented don’t think in pictures. That’s why writer/artists at their finest make the best comics… Gibbons, Miller, Eisner… all storytellers who make the medium all it can be.”

About John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative" who is currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 25 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary, including DEATH'S HEAD II and WARHEADS. At Marvel he wrote strips for THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS, THUNDERCATS, DOCTOR WHO and co-created SHADOW RIDERS with Brian Williamson and Ross Dearsley. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. He has written comics for Marvel UK, Judge Dredd Megazine, Lucky Bag Comic, CGL (an Italian publisher), STRIP Magazine and ROK Comics; and edited some of Titan's British comics collections including Dan Dare and Charley's War. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.
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