Ready for another tip?
Research is important. Really, really important. Readers will tear you apart because they have an eye for detail or simple plot holes.
Research will keep you from making huge mistakes. Here’s a simple example:
A writer I worked with some time ago was attempting to tell a story, and during the course of the story, one of the actions the writer had the characters do was to push a nuclear missile up Cheyenne Mountain in order to blow up NORAD. I didn’t have much of a problem with the idea, I had a problem with the execution. The writer told me that you could just walk up to the base, just like they do on Stargate: SG-1. It was absurd. No research was done.
(Just as an FYI, you can’t just walk up to NORAD like you’re just walking into a house from off the street. There are going to be several gates with guards before you even get to the entrance you see on SG-1. Anyone in the military or with an ounce of common sense would know that.)
Research is essential, not only for writers but for artists as well. Imagination is a fine thing, but imagination isn’t the only thing that will fuel a visual—especially if it isn’t a fantastical story. Guns, houses, cars, knives, animals, people, clothes…all of that has to be researched in order to do things the correct way.
The inker has to study fabrics, textures, shadow and light. Colorists have to do some research as well. It’s all project specific.
The editor, of course, has to know a little bit about everything. Fact-checking the writer, gathering some research materials for the artist, and making sure things are being done correctly by the inker and colorist. The editor has to know what they’re looking at and what they’re reading in order to give the audience the best experience possible.
Research is all around you. You just have to do it if you want to create good comics. Again, a reader would be able to see right through a book that isn’t researched well. Just buckle down and do it. Your book will be better for it.
And there’s your tip.