Saturday, January 26, 2008

Turn your CW MFA (writing) into a comic book career?

I know that the AWP is not holding a comic book convention. Can I throw a paper airplane out there and ask if anyone who has a writing MFA is now working in comic books? I know there are the doubters out there who see comics as pop culture nonsense; however, I think there is something to be said about successful comics leading to hit movies. A fellow contributor, Austin Kleon, previously discussed comic books and the MFA here:

Also noteworthy--NBC's hit show "Heroes" crosses mediums from television to graphic novel or possibly vice versa.


Lizzy said...

As a big fan of Los Bros Hernandez, R. Crumb, Joe Sacco and other graphic novelists/comics artists, I am also interested in this, Vince.

If anyone wants to tell us the story of how you broke into comics after you got your MFA, we're all ears here. Meanwhile, we're putting together a fleet of paper airplanes. Norman Mailer soooo wishes he was us.

Anonymous said...

Hey Vince:

Check out Evan Kuhlman. He wrote a novel named WOLF BOY that has comics (drawn by a team of comic artists) woven into the book, and now I think he's working on a couple graphic novels.

- Austin

Unknown said...

thanks austin. will do.

Andrew Scott said...

Yes, my friend. There are plenty of us. Many others are just now getting into the game of writing for comics. But there's much competition, of course, from Hollywood writers and bestselling novelists. It's definitely not something one can ease into, or "slum" around with. It takes as much work as writing anything else, plus the patience required of any kind of collaboration. There is no stigma attached to self-publishing a comic book; in fact, some of the true masters of the medium are proud self-publishers.

Anonymous said...

While I'm not 100% certain about the presence of comic professionals amongst our alumni, the faculty for the Popular Fiction concentration at the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast MFA include folks who have some experience in the field, and who are more than willing to work with students on graphic novel-type projects (me being one of those students).

Ben Villarreal said...

First off, this is a great blog you guys. As I take a year or two to teach composition with my MA and figure out my next move, this definitely helps.

But as a fan of comics, I'm a little perturbed by the attitude towards comics some MFAers have. I'd heard of this trend before, and it seemed like burgeoning MFA grads were thinking, "Pssh! Anyone can write comics, but I have an MFA, so I'll quickly rise to the top!" They were basically looking at it as a quick way towards writing fame. So it's good do see some information that might bring them back down to earth, so to speak.

Kerry Headley said...

Anyone still here:

I love doing comics! If I see any evidence of a class in comics at whichever program I go to I will take it. I wouldn't want to pursue that as an MFA though. I want to teach, and I don't know how far I could go with that, especially since my artwork is more along the lines of Lynda Barry. Of course, she can actually draw when she needs to. I think art schools are more likely to support a comics artist than an English department.

-- Kerry