Mosaic / February 22, 2017

Mann seeks to entertain through comics

Senior David Mann discusses his work with comics and how he came up with his ideas. (Julian Blye/TKS)

Since developing a passion for reading and collecting comics during his adolescent years, senior David Mann realized that he could potentially take this passion and turn it into his own product. Mann set out on a mission to give others the same sense of enjoyment he experienced when reading comics. He hopes to develop his skills as a writer and eventually turn his written works into fully illustrated pieces.

The Knox Student: What is the usual subject of your writing?

David Mann: I’d like to write superhero stuff. Most of the scripts I’ve been writing have been more of a general sci-fi kind of subject matter. I generally write scripts for comic books.

TKS: Do you plan on trying to find an illustrator for your comic books in the future?

DM: That would be ideal, however it would also be expensive. But yes, the long term goal would be to find someone to work with who could present something to a company eventually.

TKS: Do you have a specific character or plot that you usually write?

DM: I’ve been working on one character in particular for one of my sets of scripts. But it’s kind of a thing I want to keep close to the chest just because it’s a thing I might want to theoretically actually have published one day.

TKS: How did you first get involved with comic writing?

DM: I’ve been collecting for years. I’ve been reading them my whole life because my dad introduced me to them, and I got really into them when I was around 13 or 14. I guess I started to really think about comic writing as a thing I could do potentially when I was 16.

TKS: Was there a certain moment that inspired you to start writing?

DM: There actually was a specific thing. In my junior year of high school I was taking this specialized biology course, because I kind of assumed that was the field I would end up going into at college. I wanted to write comics, but I didn’t really think that was a thing I could do, thinking practically. We were reading a book by Crick from Watson and Crick, the scientists who discovered the structure of DNA. And Crick mentioned something called the Gossip Test, which says that, ideally, you should work in the field that you tend to talk about the most. I don’t know how practical that advice is in general, but it clicked with me then that I need to do this and really give it a shot. Otherwise, I don’t know that I’m going to find anything else as satisfying.

TKS: What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of writing?

DM: I guess just looking at my work and thinking that I created a thing, a piece of art that otherwise wouldn’t have existed because of me. And that hopefully other people can look at it and think that it’s alright.

TKS: Do you have a specific piece that you think is your best work?

DM: Probably the scripts I mentioned earlier, the ones I’m kind of hoping to have published at some far off unknown point. It’s sort of intended as an all-ages, Pixar kind of thing. It’s about a girl and her dog having adventures in space.

TKS: How do you find inspiration?

DM: Typically it just starts with a germ of an idea, wanting to write about a thing in space, or thinking that having a dog would be fun. Or I start with a theme or an idea and then think about what would be a fun way to illustrate that sort of thing. People have been trying to say where ideas come from for years, and I don’t know if I have the correct answer.

TKS: What do you hope your audience gets out of reading your work?

DM: I like adventure fiction and I’ve been enjoying it my whole life. I hope that, potentially, people could get the same joy out of it that I do. And, same as any other artist, I want to express ideas and, hopefully if communicated right, it could do something good for someone.

TKS: How has Knox helped you pursue this goal?

DM: Working with my advisor, Chad Simpson. He’s been helping me work on my scripts. I’m doing some scripts for him right now. In a lot of ways, the most helpful thing has just been being around people, living life on a college campus. If you want to talk about inspiration, just being around the world happening is helpful

TKS: How do you hope to continue this after Knox?

DM: I absolutely hope to continue writing comics as a career. It’s tough, just on the basis that the comics industry is notoriously difficult to break into. So maybe I could find work at a publishing house for awhile, or just copy editing something. But hopefully I’ll keep working and eventually find someone to collaborate with and at some dim and distant point I’ll start getting work. And we will see where it goes from there.

Sam Jacobson, Co-News Editor
Sam Jacobson is a junior majoring in philosophy and potentially minoring in creative writing or psychology. She started volunteer writing during spring term of her freshman year, and worked as a staff writer during her sophomore year.

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