Review: ‘Drawing Words and Writing Pictures’ by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden

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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6 Responses

  1. Mike Gold says:

    Ms Abel has long been one of the preeminent practitioners of that which is referred to as independent comics — a misleading term which generally means you own it, you paid for it, please look at it. She's opened a lot of doors for the medium, and I can't think of anybody more appropriate to be so involved in producing this tome.

  2. Russ Rogers says:

    It's interesting that you should review this. I was just thinking that it would be nice if ComicMix did a ComicMix Six on "The Six Best Non-fiction Books About Creating Comics!" What books would you include on the list? Here's a start:1. Understanding Comics, by Scott McCloud2. Comics and Sequential Art, by Will Eisner3. The System of Comics, by Thierry Groensteen4. Drawing Comics is Easy! (Except When It's Hard), by Alexa Kitchen5. How To Create Comics, From Script To Print, by Danny Fingeroth and Mike Manley6. Panel One: Comic Book Scripts by Top WritersLike any ComicMix Six, my list isn't intended to be diffinitive, but just get the ball rolling. Should Drawing Words and Writing Pictures make the list? How do the comics writing guides of David, Moore and O'Neil stack up against each other?

    • mike weber says:

      Certainly anyone who aspires to be a comic creator should read the Eisner; the McCloud doesn't speak to me the way that it does to many, but it's obviously a valuable resource, too.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good list. I've never heard of #2 or 5. I'll have to look for them.I'd also add:7. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creating a Graphic Novel, by Nat Gertler and Steve Lieber8. Perspective! for Comic Book Artists, by David Chelsea (just because it's an entire book devoted to a topic that most of the other books don't emphasize enough: drawing backgrounds)– Bob

  3. Van Jensen says:

    I honestly haven't read many books on making comics. In fact, this one may be the first. I think Drawing Words works very well as a primer, so for people who are fairly new to comics, it's a good bet.I kind of wish I'd had it when I started making comics. Lots of trial and even more error.

  4. Chris Ullrich says:

    Sounds like an interesting book. Nice review Mr. Jensen.