Years ago, I was asked to come up to do a store signing in Vermont. The short version is the two younger guys who own the store pick me up at the airport and start driving me around Vermont, showing me the sights and the textile mills and the restaurants, and the punchline is there's no store. There is no store!
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One of the greatest sins in any story is false suspense. The kind of 'suspense' that disintegrates the moment you give your reader one second to think about it. And it's an easy trap to fall into, so watch carefully for it. If your story hinges on the question, 'Will Superman be pushed so far in his battle against Lex Luthor that he'll have to kill him?', or if your big cliffhanger moment is, 'Wow, is Spider-Man really dead this time?', then I understand Food Lion is hiring.
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Artists are not helper monkeys; they're not in it to visualize 'your' story, because it stopped being 'your' story the moment you engaged in a collaborative medium. From here on in, it's also the artist's story, and if you're working with an illustrator who's any good at all, you as a writer have to tamp down any control-freak tendencies you suffer under and relax into the process.
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Twenty-two pages is not a lot of space. Believe me. Having written a bazillion comics, I still find myself more often than nine pages into a script and realizing to my horror that I'm only about a quarter of the way through the story I wanted to tell, and the next thing you know, I'm making fresh coffee and tearing up the floorboards to rewrite.
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In a 22-page comic, figuring an average of four to five panels a page and a couple of full-page shots, a writer has maybe a hundred panels at most to tell a story, so every panel he wastes conveying a.) something I already know, b.) something that's a cute gag but does nothing to reveal plot or character, or c.) something I don't need to know is a demonstration of lousy craft.
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In the world of comics, Jack Kirby and Will Eisner may have been more influential artists, but Joe Kubert was its most influential man. Even if he were to be remembered solely for his body of illustration work, he'd still be one of the greats, but by opening the Kubert School in 1976, he was able to personally mentor and educate literally thousands of successful artists who owe their careers to his teachings.
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The most basic definition of a story is 'Somebody wants something and something's in his way,' and I'm more likely to be engaged if I at least think I know what those two 'somethings' are. They can be simple, they can be complex, but - particularly if you're a beginning writer - I'd rather you err on the side of revealing too much than too little.
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What makes a good editor is staying the hell out of the way as much as possible. ... If you're a DC or Marvel or Dark Horse or BOOM! editor who's assigning work, then if you did your job properly to begin with, then the people you've hired can be trusted to do what they do without excessive meddling. The ideal situation you're shooting for as an editor is to groom a collaborative creative team to the point where their work sails effortlessly through production and the most you have to do is fix the spelling and the commas.
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You're a superhero. Shut up and enjoy having superpowers. This makes me crazy. This is why the Marvel movies kick DC movies' asses right and left. Because, I'm not paying $15 for a movie to go watch people being morose about lives that are much more interesting and exciting than mine and they hate them. I'm paying my money to see people sort of revel in doing things that I can't do.
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If you go back and look at the first issue of 'Indestructible Hulk,' if you have a sharp eye, you'll catch something that I totally forgot to put in there. In my horror, I only realized after the fact that I took totally for granted that everyone in the world knows what triggers the transformation.
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