If there’s one thing that the comic book greats have tried to do throughout the history of the industry, it’s sharing their knowledge with future generations to keep the comics flame alight. In the last year alone, Scott Snyder has launched a Substack dedicated to sharing the secrets behind comic book creation, while no less than Alan Moore taught an online class about writing for the BBC. No surprise, then, that one more voice has pushed its way to the front in order to demystify the whole process. The latest hero to spill the educational beans? None other than Chip Zdarsky.
Zdarsky, who lists his many credits as a writer in great detail in his new video, this week launched something he’s calling CHIPCLASS – yes, in all caps – to upload the many lessons he himself has learned about the business we call comic to the hungry minds of the internet.
The first episode of what we can only hope is genuinely going to be a series and not just a one-off joke is about ideas, with Zdarsky answering that much-asked question, where do writers get their ideas: “Ideas are when you rip off one thing, and a second thing, making a new thing,” he helpfully explains.
Amongst the other tips that only someone like Chip Zdarsky can share is what might be the clearest definition of comics as a medium – “Some people might call them ‘shitty movies,’ and they’d be right. Smart people, like you and me, see them for what they really are: pre-movies” – as well as explaining that many movies started as comics: “Why is that? Why not? Comic books are great! Fuck you!”
You can watch the full video below Think of it as a must for any wannabe comic creator, or future movie mogul, if your definition of “must” is appropriately broad.
Read more about the fruits of Scott Snyder's comic book education work in this interview with some of his students.