How Do You Give a Comics Reading?

Van Jensen

Van Jensen is a former crime reporter turned comic book writer. In addition to ComicMix, he contributes to Publishers Weekly and Comic Book Resources. He lives in Atlanta, and his blog can be found at

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3 Responses

  1. Howard Cruse says:

    I’ve presented readings from both Stuck Rubber Baby and Wendel All Together with no accompanying visuals and generally gotten positive audience reactions. The key has been selecting scenes that are largely dialogue-driven and then adding just enough newly-written narration to convey any important visual aspects that listeners need to know about while the characters are talking. When digital projection equipment is available, of course, I often use PowerPoint or Keynote to show the comics as I read them, but I have adapted the art so that one panel fills the screen at a time. Showing full pages at one time makes the images too small and tempts viewers to read ahead of me. Controlling the moment-to-moment pacing as I read lets surprises be surprising and allows me to spin out the story’s twists and turns more dramatically or humorously, whichever is appropriate.

  2. Glenn Hauman says:

    Fiorello LaGuardia had no problems reading comics, and that was sixty years ago. And he used the radio, so he couldn't even physically act them out.

  3. Van Jensen says:

    That’s a few decades before my time, but I’m wondering if LaGuardia did the reading as if it were a radio play, i.e. doing voices, sound effects, etc. Because it could be that the art of acting out a story with audio alone has fallen almost entirely out of the cultural consciousness, with only a few remnants remaining on programs like Prairie Home Companion.