Monday, December 19, 2011

WORKSHOP GUEST: Terry Moore on the Importance of Great Characters!

In this month’s Comics Experience Creators Workshop Book Club, special guest Terry Moore shared a wide range of knowledge about the craft, art and business of comics.

Moore’s work is known for its strong characterizations, and realistic, vividly-drawn protagonists. During the book club discussion of Echo: The Complete Edition, writer/artist Moore discussed the role characters can play in attracting new readers, and in creating a body of work that will stand the test of time.

"Katchoo is more famous than SiP," said Moore, referring to one of the protagonists of his legendary series Strangers in Paradise. "And that’s the point. Whether you read the book first or hear about Katchoo first, it all leads you to my book. And I want you to read my books."

During the session, one attendee asked if all of Moore’s stories take place in the same universe, and Moore replied that they do.

"The plan is that all my stories happen in the same country at the same time, in the same reality," Moore said. "Any of these characters could encounter the other."

Moore said this idea came, in part, from Robert Heinlen, who wrote more than 100 books all sharing the same universe. Even if the characters didn’t cross paths, Moore said, the events in one book might create ripples that would be felt in the next.

Even as a child, Moore said, he was attracted to serialized work, particularly the books of Ian Fleming, Enid Blyton and Arthur Conan Doyle.

"I realized that if someone can make a cast of characters that people love, those characters last longer than someone who writes 20 unrelated books," Moore said. "Harry Potter is a good example of that. What if JK Rowling had written seven unrelated books? It would be different than seven books chronicling one set of characters."

By leaving behind one huge universe, Moore said, it will be easier for future readers to discover and to enjoy his work.

"I’m just one guy trying to write as many books as I can before I die, and I want the world to read my stuff," Moore said. "If I leave a lot of miscellaneous books in my wake, it’s gonna be very hard for people to ever find one or get attached to my work. If I leave a set of characters, it’s a lot easier for readers to get attached to the characters."

This was just one of many topics in the 90-minute book club session. A recording of the full session will be available to Creators Workshop members for the next few weeks.

Those interested in learning more about Terry Moore and his work (including Strangers in Paradise, Echo and the currently-ongoing Rachel Rising) can go to

Creators Workshop Book Club sessions take place every month, featuring guest writers and artists discussing the craft and art of comics, as well as the business side of the comics profession. Additionally, monthly workshop sessions feature special guests giving members real-world knowledge that will help them succeed in their comics career.

For our next live Workshop session on Tuesday, December 20, 2011, we'll be joined by special guest Michael Alan Nelson! Michael is the writer of the hot new BOOM! comic book, Valen the Outcast, which has been described as an "undead Conan" story filled with sword and sorcery action.

And our next Book Club guest, on Tuesday, January 10, 2012, will be writer Scott Snyder, discussing his work on American Vampire from Vertigo/DC Comics.

Read more about these great upcoming guests right here.

There’s still plenty of time to sign up before the next session. We hope to see you there.

-- Posted by Paul Allor


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