Charles Soule is a New York based comics writer and musician. He is best known in comics as the creator of Strongman, 27, Letter 44 and Strange Attractors. He currently writes Superman/Wonder Woman, Swamp Thing and Red Lanterns and for DC comics and Thunderbolts and She-Hulk for Marvel.
What made you decide to work in the medium of comics?
Much like many (even most) comics creators, I’ve loved the medium since I was very young. Some of the first stories I ever read were comics. I’ve always loved writing, and commenced the idea of doing it as a career by writing a few novels. That was a phenomenal experience, and gave me a great deal of discipline as a writer, but it was also a bit solitary and frustrating. When those novels did not immediately catapult me into the upper echelons of the literary world, I turned to comics because of the shorter turnaround time and collaborative aspects. I began with a few shorts, and then as I gained confidence and understanding, longer works. My first publication deal happened in late 2007, and it’s been onwards and (hopefully) upwards from there.
What part of the process is the most challenging or frustrating to you?
I’m having a hard time answering this one, because for the most part, I have truly enjoyed almost all aspects of the comics-creation process. I suppose I don’t like it when writer and artist are totally out of sync, or can’t come together to discuss or compromise. That doesn’t happen very often, but it’s always a drag when it does. Part of the joy of making comics is kicking an idea back and forth between the various creators involved to make something better than any of them could have done alone (again, hopefully). If you can’t get there, then a lot of the point is lost, to my mind. No one’s idea is so perfect that it can’t be improved.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring comics creator, what would that be?
I have two pieces of advice – first, never stop working on your craft – write, draw, color, letter even if you know what you’re working on at that moment will never see the light of day. It’s all valuable – you can’t ever overhone your skills. And second, don’t rush things. You don’t get to write Batman (or whatever your top tier goal may be) right away. Don’t bring your stuff out until it’s ready – and “ready” is very simple to define, to my mind: ready = “at least as good as whatever other stuff is being published for the audience you want to reach.” And again, don’t stop. It’s a long road, but it’s so rewarding.
More about Charles Soule at http://charlessoule.wordpress.com/