What If

Lengthy line-ups, bumping nudging trying to get there, over scheduled, waiting, exhilarated, euphoric, exhausted was my Labour Day weekend.

My favourite weekend of the year, our annual pilgrimage to FanExpo.

Fascinated by the top comic book writers and artists. We will endure just about anything to gain those amazing nuggets about writing, drawing and the business from the pros.

A comic book is on average twenty-two pages, and takes a month to draw. The artist works from the writer’s script, and writer reviews the artwork. Then it has to be edited, inked, colored, lettered, printed and distributed before you can buy it for four to five dollars. They are typically serialized stories with cliff-hanger endings published on a bi-weekly or monthly schedule.

DC Comics Panel FanExpo 2017
DC Comics All Star Panel FanExpo 2017

DC Comics showed up in force this year and discussed their plans for the next two years based upon new Batman story that just came out called “Metal”. Listening to Scott Snyder the writer and architect of this arc was amazing. He used the “What if…” question to create some awesome new villains and a whole new universe.

What if Batman killed the Joker? What if the Joker want’s Batman to kill him, so his poison blood will infect Batman turning him into the next Joker? Or, what if Batman was hit by the lightening that gave Flash his speed? Or, what if Batman experimented with the black lantern technology?

These are just a few of the thought provoking questions that Scott dropped on us, as he demonstrated the power of “What if” when looking back on key decision moments. Something we all do when we use when we look back at our own lives and wonder “What if…”.

Want to write something fun for your business. Write the “What if the prospect never bought your service?” What would happen to the person that decided not to buy from you, but instead bought from your competitor. How would their life be different? Write the opposite. What if they become a customer and buy from you how does their life change. What emotions do they have? How do they feel? Write it from the perspective of the customer as the lead character.

Jeff Lemire and Gary Bernier
Gary and Jeff at FanExpo

Jeff Lemire, my personal writing idol, is a writing machine. He writes comics for DC, Marvel, Image, Darkhorse and others. Also an artist he draws and colors some of his own works like the “Secret Path”. I asked him if I could buy a day of his time and he responded with “I’m just too busy.” Nothing I could say to that because, he is cranking out my guess a script or more a week. One day I hope to crawl inside his mind and find out how he manages all the story arcs, character arcs, and voices.

You doodle. You sketch. Then you witness a sketch dual between four amazing comic book artists. The challenge comes from the audience typically a mash up. The concept of two characters mashed together or a character doing something you would never expect to see them doing. Think Female Thor becoming Venom. In fifteen to twenty minutes what these people can draw while answering audience questions is absolutely amazing.

What you wouldn’t expect is that each one of the artists say they are still learning. Each has a struggle they have yet to overcome. The artists are always working to out do themselves, giving the reader a wow moment on every page. They will all tell you the only thing that forces them to say they are finished is the deadline.

What you learn very quickly is the artists are always drawing and the writers are always writing. It is a compulsion, a love, where they loose themselves. I bet the same can be said about what you do.

How can you demonstrate your passion, commitment, and dedication to your craft? Is it YouTube videos? Is it being interviewed? Is it by writing? For those that recognize their talent lies someplace else, witnessing yours is reassuring, comforting to them if they are deciding to buy from you.

What we don’t see as special or amazing others do. Figure that out, show it to the world and customers will come to you.


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