Where Words and Pictures Party

Sign Language

Added on by Jonathan O'Briant.

My book signing at the elementary school  a few weeks back went incredibly well. The students and parents were incredibly attentive. I sold over 30 books. Most importantly, I really felt like a genuinely inspired a lot of young writers to push themselves creatively. That's the part that really left me feeling like the night was a total success. I thought I'd share an abridged version of my talk here tonight.

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When I was in elementary school, writing was not my favorite subject. I was sort of a math and science guy. I was, however, a big reader. One of my favorite authors in elementary school was Shel Silverstein. Author of great stories as well as several books of poetry. I also started reading some T.S. Eliot who was admittedly over my head at the time. He did have one book of poetry that I absolutely adored, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.

Reading these poets sparked an interest in writing poetry and I started to do that for my own entertainment in fifth or sixth grade. Nothing serious, but I'd write something down several times a month. What I really started getting into was playing and writing music, and that's a passion that continues to this day.

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After a few years of playing with different friends, they started to encourage me to start singing some of the lines I had been jotting down over the years. I wasn't much of a singer, but I had several notebooks of potential lyrics at this point. Once I really started attempting this I began writing specifically for songs and that's when I really got interested in honing my craft of writing.

My brother graduated with a degree in Digital Entertainment and Game Design. He had gained a lot of skills to aid him creatively, but had little desire to be a cog in a massive machine. It's hard to commit yourself to modelling footballs for Madden games for a career. His interests lay more with creating characters and worlds. What medium better facilitates telling ones own story than comics? Timothy came to me with this idea and I began converting an idea for an epic poem (and/or) concept album into a graphic novel. While that project has yet to see the light of day it did begin my work writing comics, which has now progressed into a job nearly as time intensive as the teaching.

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I then went on to describe my comic creating process, which most every other Curve is about. I won't reiterate that here. Hope you enjoyed this synopsis as much as the kids did hearing it.

- Jon O