Interested in connecting with your target audience in a new and engaging way? Have you ever thought of corporate comics? They’re comic strips explaining yourself, your company, product, service or event; written by myself and illustrated by one of the talented comic artists I know.
I attended an interesting business seminar that spent a lot of time investigating each participant’s psychology, who they were, what they were doing, how that connected to their business. One of the most interesting elements was when the person running it asked us to think about our own story and see how it motivates each of us in our particular professions.
I suppose in different ways it’s something I’d been thinking about at various times over the years but I never put it into quite those words before. Why do I do what I do? Well, if you asked me to describe myself in a single word, that word would be “storyteller.” Whether I’m writing comics for Cloudscape, writing copy for clients, even playing role-playing games, I’m telling stories. That’s what I do. Stories fascinate me.
I’ve always yearned for self-expression, always wanted to tell the stories that matter to me and to people who are ready to listen. And I continue to tell my own stories in numerous mediums. As this is my great passion in life, it’s also something I seek to provide other people with. I help other people find their voice, tell their stories, get their voice. I allow them to express themselves, their passion, through their story. Their passion may be a product or a service, a company or a personal identity. Whatever it is, I make certain that it’s being expressed in the most effective way possible.
I tell stories. Sometimes it’s my story, sometimes it’s other people’s. It’s what I do. Because self-expression and expressing ideas, telling stories, is what I love most in the world. I do it because it’s my passion. Why do you do what you do?
So I like helping companies and professionals tell their story and I like comics, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I like using comics to help companies and professionals tell their stories. Comics are a very versatile medium: their combination of pictures and words is concise and engaging, allowing information to quickly, clearly, and compellingly be delivered to a target audience. This can be shown in everything from emergency procedure pamphlets to Larry Gonick’s classic cartoon histories.
I’ve written an underwear ad as a comic, told the history of a comic book company as a comic, and recounted two news events as comics. They were four of the funnest copywriting projects I’ve done and four of the most powerful, as they get the readers involved in the information in a very memorable manner. I’m proud of all my copywriter but my non-fiction comics have an especially soft place in my heart for they’re a beautiful union of my career and my passion. You’ll certainly be seeing much more of them in the future.
Waterlogged: Tales from the 7th Sea, Cloudscape Comics‘ 7th graphic novel anthology, has finally gone to the presses, and in a few weeks the printed hardcover books will be shipped to us. It was a project I was very heavily involved on: I wrote two stories, edited five, organized and edited the “Gallery of Pirates,” and copyedited the whole book. Whew! A lot of fun though also lot of work and by the end, very stressful, when tempers were frayed and I was obsessively hunting over the manuscript again and again to see if there was anything left to be changed (my perfectionism rearing its ugly head).
But now I can stop worrying about it and merely wait for its return with baited breath. I think it’s our best anthology so far, combining the strengths of our two previous books (the professionalism and craft of 21 Journeys with the fun and bonus features of Giants of Main Street). It includes stories by both many classic Cloudscape veterans (Jonathon Dalton, Jeff Ellis, Colin Upton, Angela Melick…) and great new participants (Nina Matsumoto, Sam Logan, Lucy Bellwood…). I’m proud to be a part of it and I look forward to showing it off to everyone I meet.