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Kickstart This!: ‘Paul Kupperberg’s Illustrated Guide to Writing Comic Books’

As both a writer and fan, it can be distressing to see how many incredibly talented writers and artists are aged out of the industry.  Though they might not be the “flavor of the month”, they know more about structure and storytelling than most editors and publishers working today.

That’s why this book by writer/editor Paul Kupperberg is a must have.

The writer of more than 1,000 comic book stories for DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Archie Comics, Bongo Comics, Charlton Comics, and others. He’s written the adventures of characters ranging from the Atom to Zatanna, including Superman, Supergirl, Superboy, Batman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, The Doom Patrol, Vigilante, Star Trek, the Hulk, The Phantom Stranger, Peacemaker, and is the creator of the series Arion, Lord of Atlantis, Checkmate, and Takion.

He has also written humor for DC Comics Cartoon Network comics line, the Simpsons comics, Weekly World News, and Marvel’s Crazy Magazine, as well as everything else from coloring and activity books to Mad Libs.

Paul has also been an editor for DC Comics, Weekly World News, and WWE Kids Magazine, and is the author of more than three dozen books of fiction and nonfiction for readers of all ages. He is currently a member of the Crazy 8 Press publishing hub and Executive Editor and writer for Charlton Neo Comics.

In other words, he knows what he’s talking about.

“I may not know much,” says veteran comic book writer and editor Paul Kupperberg, “but after writing about 1,400 stories for DC Comics, Archie, Bongo Comics, Marvel, Charlton, and other publishers — not to mention editing hundreds more during my 16 years as an editor for DC Comics — one of the few things I do know I know is how to write a comic book story. More specifically, how I write a comic book story.”

Now Paul shares the methods and processes he’s developed over his 45-year comic book writing career in Paul Kupperberg’s Illustrated Guide to Writing Comic Books, the new book from Charlton Neo Media. This valuable guide provides aspiring writers and working professionals with step-by-step techniques for developing characters and stories, world building, plotting, and writing a finished comic book script.

“No two writers work the same way,” Paul said. “My method’s going to be different than yours, just as yours is going to be different from other writers. But the only way I know how to explain how to write is the way I do it, relying mostly on examples from my own career. They’re the only ones I can fully understand and explain the thought, motivation, and processes that went into writing them.”

Along with his own methods for taking ideas from words to art, Paul also shares professional tips from his colleagues in the comic book industry, including Harvey and Eisner award-winning letterer Todd Klein’s do’s and don’ts for “Preparing Comic Book Scripts for Lettering,” as well as words of wisdom from a variety of his comic industry colleagues, such as editors, writers, artists, and letterers Pat Brosseau, Janice Chiang, Tom DeFalco, Steve Erwin, Danny Fingeroth, Robert Greenberger, Rick Hoberg, Todd Klein, Stuart Moore, Michael Avon Oeming, Rick Parker, Clem Robins, Alex Segura, Rick Stasi, and Darren Vincenzo. Also included is “One Story, From Concept to Completion,” recounting the genesis of a 10-page Charlton Neo Comics story featuring a new character created by Paul, with art by Andrew Mitchell.

Paul Kupperberg’s Illustrated Guide to Writing Comic Books, designed by Mort Todd for ComicFix, also features a foreword by comic book legend — and Paul’s frequent collaborator of more than 40 years — artist Joe Staton (E-Man, the Huntress, Dick Tracy), and cover art by Steven Butler (Badger, Sonic the Hedgehog), over 100 illustrations, as well as instructive writing exercises to perform yourself, along with personal anecdotes of his creative interactions with comics legends he’s worked with.


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