Let me tell you the secrets of visual storytelling. Again, we’re in the business of storytelling—that’s our number one priority. We’re here to tell a story. What is storytelling? As I was telling you writers, it’s conveying information. CONVEYING INFO. As Frank Miller once said, when he had the epiphany and went from being a talented young artist/writer to being a genius, “I get it. We know the story and they (the readers) don’t, and we’re telling them the story!”
I hear a lot of you thinking, “duh, no kidding.” Listen to me. How many comics have you read in which the artist is more concerned with drawing lots of pin-up shots so he can sell the pages for more money at conventions than getting across what’s happening? How many have you read where the writer is so busy showing how cleverly he or she can do snappy patter that they fail to convey who these people are and why we should care about them?
When you get it into your head that you need a good story to tell, and that telling it—well—is the mission, you’re making the same jump to lightspeed that Miller made that one fine day.
File under: He may be wrong a lot of the time (See Gary Groth’s response to Shooter’s explanation of what happened between Jack Kirby and Marvel in the ’70s and 80s: “Has anyone falsified a moment in comics history more persistently than Jim Shooter?” he asks), but when he’s right…