Making Comics with Gerard Jones

Creating comics as everyone knows, is the integration of words and pictures. The craft of putting words and pictures on the page to tell a story sometimes takes more then one person. Of course comics grow out of the sweatshops of the lower East Side and the factory mentality so no one person is responsible for the ongoing flow of comics you usually see.  In the corporate “comics biz” writers dominate, mainly because they can edit and write since neither involves much time. It takes time to draw a page and artists are usually looked on as dumb laborers.

But that’s the jaded old person view of comics, when I was young and naive and starting out in 1985., I thought making comics was more like this-


This is a back up story from Fantastic Four Annual 5 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. I must have been about ten when I read this in color. It’s probably when I decided to grow up and draw funny books for a living. This really wasn’t far off from the games and stories my friends and I made up on our porches in Cleveland Heights.

I was introduced to Gerard Jones over the phone, that pre-internet mode of communication. He had made a name for himself by making fun of fanboys and the biz in a print magazine, another ancient mode of communication. We talked plot a little bit, and then some football, then some politics, a little jazz, a little more jazz, even modern art . When we started about doing comics with Paul Klee imagery and superheroes,  I think I had finally found someone who had the right ideas about comics.

We didn’t smoke cigars or fight with swords, but coffee and plotting and talking was the bond. So for the pleasure of working together, the careful thinking he’s revealed in his actual books,  Men of Tomorrow and Killing Monsters he really was the first guy I thought of when it came to creating a graphic novel for Privacy Activism. Because I knew that it was a weird project and it was going to be lots of coffee to clarify it so we started drinking and talking and processing; what is privacy?

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About the Author

In comics, Gerard Jones has written Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Man, and other series for DC and Marvel Comics, as well as co- creating and writing Oktane, The Trouble with Girls, Prime and more for other publishers. He and Mark Badger created The Haunted Man for Dark Horse and produced Batman: Jazz for DC. Jones is also the author of several nonfiction books, including Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book, Killing Monsters, The Comic Book Heroes, and Honey I’m Home. His next book, The Undressing of America, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and his screenplay adaptation of Men of Tomorrow is currently in development. He is a member of the San Francisco Writers Grotto. Mark Badger has drawn funny books for Marvel and DC Comics with people other than Gerard Jones. He has also done mini-comics for the El Salvadoran labor movement, a comic on pesticide use for farmworkers, and stories of Nonviolent Communication in NYC. He still believes in “the never-ending struggle for truth, justice and the American way”. One of the first artists to adopt the computer as a tool, Carabella was drawn in Adobe’s Flash on a Wacom Cintiq. He teaches at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and draws and programs in Oakland, CA.

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