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18 Tips for Comic Book Artists bt Jean “Moebius” Giraud: #5

Every story begins with a journey, whether physical, intellectual or spiritual (or all three).

5) When you create a story, you can begin it without knowing everything, but you should make notes as you go along regarding the particulars of the world depicted in your story. Such detail will provide your readers with recognizable characteristics that will pique their interest.

It’s all those little details that come to you that will make your created worlds that much richer. I don’t know about you, but I find that if I don’t make notes then there’s a very good chance of my forgetting those details later.

When a character dies in a story, unless the character has had his personal story expressed some way in the drawing of his face, body and attire, the reader will not care; your reader won’t have any emotional connection.

Your publisher might say, “Your story has no value; there’s only one dead guy — I need twenty or thirty dead guys for this to work.” But that is not true; if the reader feels the dead guy or wounded guys or hurt guys or whomever you have in trouble have a real personality resulting from your own deep studies of human nature — with an artist’s capacity for such observation — emotions will surge.

It’s like what English actors often say: There are no “small” roles. Unless you invest every character — even the most minor of them — with a believable, human and interesting history, the deaths in your story will become mere body counts and your reader will not be involved or care about those who died.

By such studies you will develop and gain attention from others, as well as a compassion and a love for humanity.

Love each character you create; it will show.

This is very important for the development of an artist. If he wants to function as a mirror of society and humanity, this mirror of his must contain the consciousness of the entire world; it must be a mirror that sees everything.

Heavy stuff. But I would expect no less from Moebius.

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