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The Daily Tar Heel

Q&A with award winning writer Alex Wilson


Alex Wilson

Local writer Alex Wilson’s comic, “The Time of Reflection,” recently won an internationally acclaimed comic writing award. Staff writer Maddy Baldwin talked to Wilson about his Eagle award-winning comic, his writing experiences and ideas on illustrations.

Daily Tar Heel: Can you describe what the Eagle Award is?

Alex Wilson: They are British-based awards. They’re definitely the longest running awards currently in comics. They’re one of the big three. There’s the Harveys, the Eisners and the Eagles. The Eisners and the Harveys are both U.S. based. So, it’s a pretty exciting thing. It (the comic) had to be a five-page dark fantasy story, fully-colored.

*DTH: *What other types of writing do you do?

AW: Mainly fiction and comics, I would say. I’ve written some short film scripts. I’m also an actor, so I’ve gotten into writing film scripts as an actor.

*DTH: *Would you say that writing for comics is similar to writing for movies because you have the pictures to help?

*AW: *So, dialogue is always the least important part of both. And when you’re scripting a comic the dialogue is important, but plotting and pacing is probably more important and getting the story right. When a movie fails, or when a comic book fails, nine times out of ten, it’s the story that’s the problem, and when it succeeds it’s because the story and the other things are all succeeding.

DTH: Have you ever had any aspirations to illustrate?

*AW: *I had plans to. It’s always been a dream, but I’m a firm believer in Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours. The philosophy that you need to put in 10,000 hours before you will be good at something. It has always been an adage in writing that you need to write 100,000 words of crap before you start producing good stuff.

DTH: Was the decision to pursue writing rather than illustration a difficult one?

AW: Not really. I’ve always been more interested in story telling. In college, I did a lot of acting. Some of my best friends were working on becoming actors. I wasn’t, I was planning on becoming a writer, and we always joked that they would be out-of-work actors and I would be an out-of-work writer.

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