Saturday, January 25, 2014

Book Review: Unnatural Talent by Jason Brubaker

Where to Find Unnatural Talent:
Amazon Paperback

The journey from being a “no name” artist to finding your voice in the world of comics has always been a mystery—especially in the Internet age. While the publishing industry struggles to adapt to the rapidly changing digital world, independent artists now have the ability to build a successful and lucrative brand completely on their own with a little hard work and some Internet savvy. Now there’s nothing stopping you from getting your book in front of thousands or even millions of people. Suddenly you can’t blame anyone for not giving you a chance. You can only blame yourself for not trying. So roll up your sleeves, sharpen your pencils and fire up your Internet because we are about to make and sell comics! Jason Brubaker’s graphic novel reMIND raised over $125,000 in pre-order sales on Kickstarter, won the Xeric Award and made ALA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens List. This book is a collection of his thoughts, strategies and practical lessons developed during his experience writing, drawing and self-publishing reMIND.

Hey all! Now, I know what you're thinking. Huh? Why are you reviewing a book that isn't a YA novel or comic? Well as most of you who follow me may know, I've been an aspiring novel and comic creator. I've been going back and forth between the two so I'm constantly on the look out for non-fiction books which could help enhance my knowledge about the two and to grow from there. Most of the books I usually skim but this book was a complete read through with great quick-to-the-point tips that I had to share. I've been a follower of Jason Brubaker for awhile, I'm not even sure how I found him but once I started reading his comic (reMind) I was hooked. By the way, you can read it for free!

This book is wonderful. I believe this book is heartfelt and realistic. Jason Brubaker tells you like it is with no flowery language to hide what it's like when it comes to being an indie artist. I found this book completely fascinating because this is coming from a professional artist and he's had a lot of experiences to share. I think it's great to share failures and learning experiences because it helps develop who you are as a creative. Also there's something endearing about watching a person and their projects grow even though they have never met in person.

Jason divided the book into three parts: So You Want To Make A Graphic Novel?, Practicalities, and Making Money. Each topic and sub-section is filled with information and you're rarely left wanting to skim ahead. You can, of course, but I wouldn't recommend it, you'll be missing a lot of good tips.

Due to popular demand this book is a compilation of articles from his blog. Jason uses questions he's frequently asked and answers them with precision. Not only does he answer them with clarity he adds a touch of his experience to almost each section.

This book is not your typical how to book, it doesn't tell you how to write a script or how to draw. You'll have to look for a more specialized book for that. Instead it gives tips on motivating yourself to start and finish a project as well as what to do with it afterwards like building a website and how to print. It shares fantastic advice on how to build a fan base as well as what to focus on that's important and why. If you're one of those people looking for those answers then I highly recommend picking up this book. I know it's going to stay on my shelf.

There are little doodles/illustrations in the book for us visually-inclined folks which helps illustrate the author's point. They are entertaining, informative, and helped enhance meaning of the text. The book shares many resources and advice that you will find helpful when it comes to sharing your project online.

While I know this book is targeted towards those who want to make graphic novels I do feel that the information can be roughly applied to indie novelists or indie creators in general. There just may be certain parts that may not apply directly to your craft but it's still an interesting read and there might be hidden tips that might apply to you and your projects.

The ideal audience for this book is for those who are completely new to creating graphic novels. Those who have been wanting to create, like me, but have yet made the plunge may find this book is perfect for motivating yourself. I feel that this book shares more than Jason's graphic novel learning experiences but I believe he pulls from his entire artistic career (probably also a bit of his soul ^_~). I personally think it's great that he shares his experiences, the ups and downs. I think we need more transparency like this in the creator community and am glad someone is finally doing it.

4.8 out of 5 rating for me!

(An ARC was provided by the author for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way.)

About the Author:

Jason Brubaker works at Dreamworks Animation in Visual Development. At night, he puts on his cape and doubles as an independent graphic novelist and self-publisher. Okay, enough of this third person crap. I’ve worked professionally as an artist and animator on commercials and films since 1996. You can see some of my film credits at IMDB.

No comments: