Welcome to another edition of Fill in the Blank. Here, creators enlighten us with their thoughts on the comics industry through the medium of informal questionnaire. It’s a neat opportunity for our favorite artists and writers to share some very specific insights, news, and commentary about the wonderful (and sometimes weird) medium we all adore so dearly.
This time around, writer Carlos Giffoni shares his thoughts on the best writing rules, his creative goals, the power of indie publishers, and hiding weaknesses in your creative efforts. Giffoni is the author of Strayed for Dark Horse Comics as well as Space Riders: Vortex of Darkness for Black Mask. Giffoni also works as a video game producer and musician.
The one rule for writing/drawing I stand by is write about what you know. I mean you can always combine it with something no one knows that comes out of the ether of your mind, but you have to at least mix it up with something you know.
If I were in charge of all comics, I’d work with publishers and creators to create a pool of benefits so that everyone in comics can get insurance, retirement funds, and more standard deals based on merit.
The very best heroes/protagonists share three qualities: they are cats, have spots, and can astral travel.
The secret to creating great stories is to always let creators do what they want to do. Seriously — don’t worry about what’s popular out there, or what is expected from the audience, just have fun and do the best you can. Always create the story that you see in your own dreams.
With Strayed, my goal was to share this astral traveling cat story with the world, get it published by an awesome publisher (thank you, Dark Horse friends,) and create opportunities to tell the other stories that I am working on.
If my stories/art share anything in common, it’s so far they all take place in another world, galaxy, universe, or timeline. I guess you could say I like to escape reality a bit, or a lot.
I’m convinced that independent publishers [are] the best thing to happen to comics in a long time. Without them, comics wouldn’t be as fun.
In creating Strayed, I hope people take away two things: Cats are the superior species and that it is worth it to stand up to fight for what you believe in when you know that something is morally wrong, no matter what you have to give up to make it right.
[BLANK] is the best comics writer because they never [BLANK]. I don’t think there is one writer that is the best. All the great ones innovate, contribute new points of view to storytelling, and have something to say. My shelf is full of amazing comics by many writers. I can’t pick a favorite.
Without sleep, I can’t get any work done. If I am not well-rested I start falling asleep after writing two sentences.
The one weakness I tried to hide in my work is English is my second language, so although I have been in the US for half of my life, I still make grammar mistakes. I fix it by paying someone with an English degree to do an edit pass and give me notes.
The weirdest writing/creative advice I ever received was, “Kill your darlings.” It’s too savage.
I think harnessing the power of electricity is the best invention of all time. Imagine a world without it. Also, food. Food is great.
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