The TED talk given by Brian Michael Bendis at the TEDx Cleveland event has been released online.
The talk, titled “Little Boxes,” was given at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Bendis tells of how he was inspired as a young man by the “little boxes” in comics that contained the names of the creators who produced such amazing work. For Bendis, those creators became his “rock stars.” He would pursue their work and their wisdom on his own journey to becoming a professional in the comic book industry.
Bendis tells of a chance art lesson he received from the legendary Gil Kane, and the graciousness of other iconic artists like John Totleben and Walt Simonson. Eventually he found himself in art school and producing independent comics until he got the call from Marvel Comics and was offered the job of writing Ultimate Spider-Man.
The message is that creators don’t need to go on that long journey that he went on anymore. Thanks to the internet, creators can release and receive feedback on their work on a daily basis. He receives emails every hour from creators in countries around the world asking if there’s a place for them in the comic book industry and he answers them by saying:
“If you want to be in comics, all you have to do is make a comic.”
You can see the entire talk in the video embedded below.