Writing for Animation, Comics, and Games
Cynthia Ward · January 15, 2007 | The new millennium is a polymorphous multi-platform mediaverse. Reality shows spin off cookbooks and fashion guides. Novelists and Hollywood scriptwriters turn to comics, writing decades-old superhero franchises, creating new ones, and extending cancelled TV series with a new season that exists only on paper. Toys become TV cartoons and live-action movies and novels and videogames and comic books, and vice-versa.

For professional creators, this convergence represents opportunities for new work in new fields. However, scripting skills in one industry do not extend automatically to another; nor do drawing or programming skills translate automatically into usable scripts. The conventions are very different. And so are the industries.

Christy Marx is a veteran writer, story editor, series developer and game designer with more than 25 years of experience in the fields of animation, comics, and videogames. Her multitudinous credits include the animated series Conan, X‑Men: Evolution and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; the comic-book series Conan the Barbarian, Elfquest and The Sisterhood of Steel; and the games Conquests of Camelot, Conquests of the Longbow and The Matrix Online. Now, she has penned Writing for Animation, Comics, and Games, a book that shows writers how to enter and succeed in these three related but very different fields.

Writing for Animation, Comics, and Games
Written by Christy Marx
Focal Press, 2006
248 pages

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Appropriately, Writing for Animation, Comics, and Games is divided into three sections, one each for feature and television animation; for comic books and graphic novels; and for computer and console games. Each section is well-organized, divided into chapters and subchapters that focus on script formats, terminology, agents, breaking in, trade shows, unions, jobs, freelancing, where to live, copyrights and trademarks, getting paid, and so on. This detailed, practical book offers much information you can get only from an industry insider—information that few other insiders have publicly shared.

Writing for Animation, Comics, and Games offers some surprises for single-industry professionals. Animation writers, for example, may be shocked to learn that comic-book creators don't have agents, while comics creators may be shocked to discover that an animated series prohibits scriptwriters from introducing new characters or settings.

Though her book necessarily concentrates on business aspects of writing, Marx doesn't ignore the craft aspects. She discusses industry-specific requirements of dialogue, pacing, language, and story structure.

Writing for Animation, Comics, and Games is an excellent guide for the professional writer seeking to cross over to one or more of these fields, and for the artist or other professional seeking to write in these fields. The book is best suited to professionals in the titular industries, but pros in other areas, such as prose fiction or live-action television, will find it nearly as helpful.
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