I'm going out on a limb and giving more personal info than I'm normally accustomed to by saying this, but I've decided to go ahead with plans that have been in the back of my mind for over 15 years and start an independent comic company sometime in the near future.
What sort of resources are there out there about what goes into this process, and how good are they? I've got a few books that I've picked up over many years, some great, some pretty okay. And a search on amazon.com brings up many others. But brick-and-mortar stores don't typically carry anything beyond the most common or those that reek of "let's cash in on this fad," so I'm a bit reluctant to fork over money for books that I can't look at and which very well may suck donkeys.
I'm not looking for silly "quick fix" how-tos (there actually is a book called The Idiot's Guide to Creating a Graphic Novel, if you can believe it!), but more technical info from seasoned pros never hurts.
So far I have:
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud: This one is absolutely indispensable. I'd rank it right up there with. . . .
Comics and Sequential Art by Will Eisner: The first, and still the greatest, book about the art form.
Reinventing Comics by Scott McCloud: Almost as good as Understanding Comics. I thought his section on the future of comics was pretty ridiculous at first, but thanks to JT pointing me to a cool online comic (www.drmcninja.com), it seems totally feasible now, and I've concluded the man was way ahead of his time.
Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative by Will Eisner: Far more technical than Comics and Sequential Art, and definitely geared toward would-be professionals than casual readers, but no less informative.
How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way by Stan Lee and John Buscema: Got this as a kid, even though I suck as an artist. It's got a lot of cool insights into the thought processes required, if you read between Lee's jargon. Some people complain it's dated; I wish modern artists followed the rules set forth here, like "the cover should not be a pin-up of one character."
The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics by Denny O'Neil: I found this on a clearance rack about 4-5 years ago. I must admit it didn't quite meet with my expectations. O'Neil is one of the greatest writers in the business, and this book, while still worth reading, didn't really provide the insight I expected from this giant among men. Not bad, but far more basic than I'd like. (I once talked to the guy at a comic convention for about a minute, and got more from that convo than from this book.)
How to Self-Publish Your Own Comic Book by Tony Caputo: This is an excellent book, with most of the attention going to aspects other than writing and drawing. But I can't help but wonder why the guy never followed his own advice. He's probably facedown in a gutter somewhere, drunk with Jim Shooter and Rob Liefeld.
The Business of Comics and The Writers' Guide to the Business of Comics by Lurene Haines: One or the other would be worth having. Unfortunately, TBOC came out a few years before TWGTTBOC, and I picked up both of them. She re-used about 95% of the info in the two, so having both seems rather a waste. Still, like I said, one or the other is worth reading.
I just pre-ordered Creating Comics by Scott McCloud, and an upcoming book by Peter David on comic scripting (Writing for Comics With Peter David). I've got high hopes for Creating Comics, since any book McCloud writes about comics is pure gold (though not so much his actual comics, oddly enough). I'm hoping David's book will be worthwhile, too. He's sort of a Claremont now, resting on his laurels and writing subpar stories, but 10-20 years ago, he was the top dog among comic writers.