Watchmen/V For Vendetta creator Alan Moore's Writing Comics Volume One. It's a slender yet wonderfully informative and refreshing tome culled from articles he wrote in the 80s (there has yet to be a Volume Two!) Wanted to read this bit to you, as it applies to storytelling across the board, regardless of media. You ready? Then I'll begin:
"As I see it, a story of almost any kind should be like hypnosis. You fascinate the reader with your first sentence, draw them in further with your second sentence and have them in a mild trance by the third. Then, being careful not to wake them, you carry them away up to the back alleys of your narrative and when they are hopelessly lost within the story, having surrendered themselves to it, you do them terrible violence with a softball bat and then lead them whimpering to the exit on the last page. Believe me, they'll thank you for it".
It's worth re-reading this, I'm saying, even if you've already absorbed it a thousand times. Are we doing enough, with our stories, to paralyse the reader and wrap them securely in our webs, allowing us to devour them? We can always do more.
On a similar comic-centric note, I'll be at the Bristol International Comic & Small Press Expo this weekend. There are still some tickets left for Sunday and it looks set to be a superb event. If comics are your bag, then maybe I'll see you there!