Jeph Loeb was interviewd by the supermanhomepage in 2004, and offered this advice to writers when asked if he had any advice for breaking into the comic business, or into writing in general?
” Keep writing,” he advises. “Every day. Write a page. Of something. Anything. Write what you love, what you know. Stay on it. If it’s comics, get to know the editors. They are the ones who can hire you. Not other writers. Don’t be a snob. Work for anyone. Get to know artists. Work for free and work up from there. And never, ever let anyone stop you from your dream.”
How long it takes him to script a comic, he revealed, “depends on the issue, depends on the book. Sometimes they come very quickly — a few days. sometimes it takes a few weeks of thinking, taking notes, coming up with moments and then finally sitting down and doing it. William Goldman who is one of my heroes and who wrote (among many, many things) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was asked how long does it take to write a screenplay. He said that he thought about Butch & The Kid for 13 years and wrote it in seven days. So. how long did it take him? A LOT of writing is done when you’re not writing.
” That’s hard to understand when you ‘re the writer’s wife or girlfriend or boyfriend. It’s hard to explain when you’re on the couch for six hours, counting ceiling tiles that you’re actually working. But, my mind never stops.”
Loeb says he always tries to work with an artist on a book. ” I always talk about the story with my artist at the beginning,” he revelaed, “so he knows what he’s getting into. I try and keep mind his concerns, strengths and the things he loves to draw.
“I write a full script — very detailed description, all the dialogue, just like a screenplay. But — and it’s a BIG but –I tell the artist that it’s there for him to interpret. I only ask that if they can, try to follow the pacing — the rhythm — of the dialogue, that’d be great.
“Even so, when the artwork comes in, I re-dialogue the work to better suit the images. Sometimes that’s a complete rewrite, sometimes, that’s just putting the balloons on the page.
“I happen to work with brilliant guys who always astonish me with their work. It really is FUN!”
• Read the whole interview on a number of projects Jeph worked on here:
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.
Categories: Creating Comics