Brian Michael Bendis is the author and creator of the Jinx line of crime comic books put out by Image Comics. He is also a nice Jewish boy from Cleveland, Ohio. In 1999 he won the Eisner Award, one of the highest honors in the comic book world.

His writing is fast paced and realistic; full of emotion and humor, like Quentin Tarantino, but with depth. His writing and his art fall into the category of comics noir, the comic book version of film noir.

He got his first break in comics when he joined Caliber Press in the early nineties, and put out a.k.a. Goldfish, the story of small time grifter David Gold and what happens when you have to face up to your past.

Other {now} big name creators that were at Caliber at the time were James O'Barr, creator of The Crow, and David Mack, creator of Kabuki.

Jinx is the sequel to a.k.a. Goldfish and follows the life of David Gold as it intersects with bounty hunter Jinx Alameda, and fellow grifter Columbia, to become a powerful comics noir The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly with more plot twists than you can shake a stick at.

Torso is Bendis' first crack at reality. He takes us into the life of post-Untouchables Elliot Ness. After his take down of Al Capone , he was hired to head the Cleveland police. His first major case was of one of the first serial killers, nicknamed the Torso killer, for his victims were only found in pieces, usually including their torsos.

Bendis next joined up with Todd McFarlane to write Sam and Twitch, another crime comic starring the police detective duo who play only a supporting role in McFarlane's comic Spawn.He then decided to write Hellspawn, a darker take on McFarlane's Spawn. Since then he has decided to stop writing these two books and focus on his own work, finishing Sam and Twitch on issue 17, and Hellspawn on issue 9.

Bendis chronicles his adventures in Hollywood in Fortune and Glory. It is the story of his attempt to get a.k.a. Goldfish made into a film, and the craziness, red tape, and runarounds that occurred in the process.

Brian Michael Bendis is an unrepentant Egoist whose letter columns generally consist of his bragging about recent projects and his mockery of the letters sent him. He recently published 2 pages of spanish, not because he had any idea what it said, but precisely because he didn't and thought it looked cool.

That said, Bendis is a diehard fan of good dialogue. He's said that there are two kinds of dialogue in comics: One, the majority, simply exists to forward the plot, and aside from character personalities which affect the manner of the conversation, display no actual detail other than that which is required to forward whatever plot is desired... whether that is background detail about the bad-guy, where the next fight is going to be, or romantic trouble between the bad guy, and his girlfriend, who wants equal time.

(This is not a paraphrase or quote, just an explanation.)

The other type of dialogue exists because it's what the characters, or even real people, would say. Space is wasted on pauses, on "um's", and the like. People fabricate and dance around the subject, shoot the shit, and generally live, and let the images which make the comic medium what it truly is help push the plot forward, rather than just being flashy background.

Though Bendis is certainly tops when it comes to flashy background. His Jinx line of comics, Goldfish, Jinx, Fire, and Torso are all a mix between well drawn, semi-realistic characters, and well placed photo work of real images, congruently mixed into the frame to give a somewhat jolting view of a world just distant from this one. Noirish, jumbled, but still somehow strikingly real.

His current projects include several monthly works for Marvel Comics, including Ultimate Spiderman, where his gift for gab serves the Web Slinger rather well, and Powers, for which atesh has already written a rather striking node, which you should visit if you have not already.

Word has it that he will also be writing the MTV spin-off of the Spider-man movie, which will continue from the continuity of the film, rather than the Ultimate Spiderman comics.

What is perhaps most important to remember about Bendis, much like James Robinson, is that he writes about people, (some of whom are superheros) rather than situations, thus elevating the medium a bit more toward the oft refered "Graphic Novel".

'Always stick to your deadlines. I'm six months ahead on mine, which gives me the freedom to work on the projects I want. If you're late, you cost the publisher money and get them pissed off. And there's 800 people behind you who want your job and can do it in half the time and twice as well'.

Brian Michael Bendis, writer of Marvel Comics' 'Ultimate Spider-Man', 'Ultimate Avengers', 'Daredevil', and 'Powers', should be speaking at college campuses instead of comic book cons. When I saw him at Sydney's Supanova Pop Culture Expo (an annual convention dedicated to all things geeky), he was brimming over with friendly advice for writers of all types.

'To write realistic dialog, always listen to how people talk. It drives my wife crazy-- she'll be telling me a story, and she'll know I'm not listening to what she's saying. I'm listening to how she's saying it. Its so fascinating listening to how you Australians pronounce words'.

Commonsense advice, but it had the force of coming from a man who writes some of the world's most recognizable characters (and wins awards doing it). Bendis, bald-headed and friendly, talked like a man who genuinely loves his job and his fans. He repeatedly made reference to the legions of Internet geeks who follow his every move, attacking him for decisions he makes or chatting with him on his message board. He reads what they say, but he doesn't follow it blindly: as he said, 'you'll never make everybody happy', and this is especially true in the world of comics.

The panel was informal, and many of the questions lead to bits of comic book insider knowledge. The best involved Sony purchasing the movie rights to 'Powers'. They especially liked an issue guest-starring Warren Ellis, another comic writer. For six months they argued that they would not make the movie without the character; Bendis argued for six months that the Ellis was a real person, and could not actually be owned by a movie company. It was, eventually, settled, at great expense and great humor.

Other movie news included his impressions of the upcoming Spider-Man 2: 'It's great. I was worried after the first movie they'd make it all action. Its not. Its a Peter Parker movie, not a Spider-Man movie. The new cinematographer is awesome, too' and his agreement with the accepted opinion on the Spider-Man and Daredevil movies ('Spider-Man was awesome, Daredevil wasn't nearly as good').

Of all the big names at Supanova-- George Takai, Star Trek's Mr. Sulu; David Carradine from 'Kung Fu: The Legend Continues' and 'Kill Bill'; various voice actors and special effects techs-- Bendis seemed most in his element. He was a nice guy, sharing his enthusiasm for what he loved. He signed as many comics as people wanted and offered encouragement on this article (having a minor idol promise to read something you wrote is a nice feeling). But above all, he gave advice for writers (and editors) to live by:

'If you think its perfect, then there's something wrong. Its just done' and, once again,


The issue with Brian Michael Bendis'—

There's an issue?


An issue with Bendis?

Yes, with Bendis.

The cartoon writer, Bendis?

Yeah, that's what I said, Bendis. The issue with his writing is

With his writing?


Bendis' writing?

Right, his dialogue writing. The issue with it is that it isn't actually good.

You don't like his dialogue?

I don't like it.

Bendis' dialogue? You don't like it? But they said it was good?

Who said it was good?

The other noders.

They said Bendis' dialogue was good?

Yeah, they said it was good.

Well, they were wrong, okay, because Bendis' soi-disant naturalism is just a stunted mess of repetition.

You can't use that many words in this node without being interrupted, that's cheating.

Cheating? It's cheating?

Yes, cheating.



(O ye of little faith)

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