Non-Fiction Comics Go!

A column article, Mission: Professional by: Steven Savage

PSST.  I'd like to give you an idea for your comics career - just a idea for a change or a possibility or a maybe.

What if you did comics that weren't fiction?

There are all sorts of ways comics can (and are) used for non-fiction work - instructional manuals, guides, history, etc.  I've seen manga on Japanese, a comic-book examination of Confucius, and more in my long geeky life.  Maybe, just maybe, you should be looking into that possibility for your comics career.

Think about it - comics are a way to communicate information.  Mostly they're used to tell stories, but if you're good at creating/writing/drawing comics why not take it beyond fiction.

Seriously. There's a world of user manuals, historical books, and whatnot that may be great in comics form.

Consider the benefits:
* You open yourself to new opportunities.
* You keep practicing your comics-related skill.
* You look like a more complete professional comics-wise.
* You can possibly make money, which is really a great motivator.
* You do something different - and that helps you stand out (and it shows your depth to others).
* You broaden yourself.

So, you could go and see if you can apply your comics skill to assorted nonfiction projects if you have the opportunities.  If you don't, or are seeking them, try some "nonprofit" methods of using your comic skills:
* Create a guide for some of your hobbies or other projects - in comic form.
* Help out a convention with a guide in comic form (I've seen this done quite successfully).
* Try doing a blog in "comic form" tied into your other projects.
* Go and create a separate comics project that's non-fiction.  Pitch it.  It can't hurt.

Your future may be non-fiction - or at least part of it.  Give it a shot - because your competition may not be thinking of using comics skills this broadly.

Well, until they read this . . . so get moving!

- Steven Savage

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