Jason Rodriguez is a man on a mission. Realizing talking about comics doesn’t make them better, he’s taking action on two different fronts.
1) The Hive: A collaborative brainstorming project to create new markets for comics.
Yeah, in a way, it’s “talking” about comics, but instead of the usual message board whining and gnashing of teeth, Jason’s challenging people to come up with actionable ideas to make comics better. And he’s leading by example, tossing up an idea every two weeks for discussion and debate, with an eye towards creating a viable template for indie publishers to follow to break free of the constraints of the direct market. This week, for the initial installment, he’s starting at the beginning: “Building a better comic book.“
2) Editing Assistance: Parlaying his work on the critically acclaimed Elk’s Run, he’s also offering direct assistance to aspiring comics writers.
The idea is, 40 word pitches for a story, if I like it I request 3-8 pages of script and if I like that we lay down an edit and post it online as a teaching tool for would be writers. Just sort of an introduction to the sequential medium, what works and what doesn’t and how it’ll look on page, how your book should be structured and how to write your scripts in such a way that they don’t scare off artists, publishers, other writers, etc.
The story itself can be a stand alone short for an anthology (which I would 100% prefer) or it could be something longer but under the understanding that in order to properly edit it, at least pieces of the entire story might have to be revealed. But never more than 10 pages of script. Full links, plugs and promotion and when you go to some anthology with your story you can even say “edited by Jason Rodriguez, the guy that worked on Eisner winning Elk’s Run”. Except, you know, wait until we win the Eisner.
It’s a more positive and proactive response to Robert Kirkman’s “You Suck” column last week than I would have come up with. Because I’ve read a few issues of Marvel Team-Up, you know, and Invincible didn’t really impress me all that much.
So, two examples of using the internet for good instead of evil. What have YOU done for comics today?