I’m not much for book reviewing. To me, they’re like mini book reports, and I hated doing book reports in school. Summarize the book to tell the teacher that you read and understood the material? Not my idea of a good time.
If I don’t like doing book reviews, you can imagine how I feel about giving recommendations. Especially on books about craft.
I’ve just finished reading Words For Pictures by Brian Bendis, and unfortunately, I cannot recommend this book. To anyone. As of this moment, I’m sorry I bought it because it’s a waste of money.
The book rambles (which anyone who reads Bendis’ work would expect), without saying much of anything. There isn’t much here that anyone coming in cold can learn in reading this book. To me, it isn’t worth the $25 I paid for it.
This book says nothing that hasn’t been said countless other times and in countless other ways all over the internet, generally for free. It doesn’t even do it’s due diligence in going over scripting elements or format and went the long way around in saying what the script is supposed to do.
The highlight of the book, though, is the part on editors and what they’re looking for. While this information can be found elsewhere, here it’s presented in a concise manner from several different editors, at your fingertips (after you pay $25). That’s it. That is the only real, concrete, actionable information that a creator can use that I’ve found in this book.
I’ve found more information, more actionable advice, in other books I’ve found on the subject: Alan Moore, both McCloud books, Peter David, Denny O’Neil.
Some may argue that this book doesn’t purport to be a “how to” book. And really, I’d agree with that. However, I don’t know what it is trying to be. What use does someone trying to break in get with a book that’s basically full of anecdotes? It’s filler of the worst kind. It’s filler that you pay for.
In the end, this book was made because someone had the bright idea that Bendis had something to say. He didn’t. And you’ll be $25 poorer for it. The bit on editors is not worth the price of admission, and really, it could be a book in itself. (I’d be all over that book, as should anyone who truly wants to create comics.) While it’s the only decent section of the book…the price is too steep for it.
Basically, I’ve bought this book so you wouldn’t have to. My advice is to steer clear. There’s no good information here.