Saturday, April 2, 2011

Seeing the Clouds

I've done many stuff, but the one thing I haven't done properly is comics.

Comics is still my first love. I left computer programming in order to go and become a comic book writer.

I read that Neil Gaiman became a journalist for eight years and deemed it as the best training he got, so that's what I did. I became a journalist for more or less eight years. Rather, I spent eight years in the media, trying my hand at as many mediums as I can.

Writing articles, books, short stories, poems, drama serials, animation, travelogues, documentaries, variety shows, talk shows, films all have their own unique requirements and challenges.

I have yet to write a comic book properly, though, and would not pass up a good opportunity doing that.

See, comic books are unique. Imagine taking cells from a movie and having the ability to just map out scenes perfectly. You map the visuals of the storytelling, and the readers' minds make the movie inside their heads.

People say that voice-acting and radio dramas utilise the 'theatre of the mind' - a concept that I have also heard in dances such as lyrical jazz and contemporary ballet, as well as negative space in theatrical modern art. In reality, it is used in almost all art forms.

Comic books is a unique medium because it has so much of the strengths of the film medium, as well as a book, while embodying this pretentious-sounding, conceptual 'theatre of the mind'. It's the perfect marriage of many mediums as one.

I'm sure others have written this more eloquently and clearly than I have right here, but I just want to stress my belief that if one can master comics, he or she can also master printed pages as well as the celluloid world and everything in between.

In comics, you can have for instance, silent screams - the worst kind are ones with 'screaming eyes' - and it does it better than film. The readers choose the voice of the narrator themselves. Instead of miles of exposition or set-up in a novel, a scene can be done in just one panel. The potential for comics is boundless, limited only by what story you want to tell, and how you tell it.

It is the audience that adds and subtracts things from it as they see fit.

This is important as a crucial part of delivering a work of art is when the intended audience receives it and makes something out of nothing. Value is in the eye of the buyer, not the seller. In storytelling, the space that is the most vital, and yet in which we have the least control, is the time between the delivery of a work and the senses of the audience.

I believe that the medium that boasts the most control over this vital time-space, is comic books.