Reading Journal Entry: Writers on Comics Scriptwriting

This is a compilation of interviews and work samples from some of the top writers in the comic book industry: Neil Gaiman, Peter David, Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis, Frank Miller, etc., etc. There are some interesting bits on the philosophy of writing and the process at the major houses. I found the samples of actual scripts and preparation documents most useful.

Grant Morrison is either a total wacko or he has a fantastic sense of humor.

Highly recommended for those interested in the craft.

By the way, I've figured out why Marvel books suck (those that suck. This obviously does not apply to te fancy writers like J. Michael Strazinsky and Joss Whedon who can whatever they want).

The way Marvel works, the writers cook up a plot and send THAT to the artist. A 400 word blur that looks like it came off a book jacket. The artist then draws an entire 22-page comic from said blurb without any direction on how the panels should be laid out, where the page breaks should be, how many pages to devote to which plot points, no idea as to what the dialogue will be, etc. The pencilled art goes back to the writer who writes dialogue for it and maybe sends it back to be changed a bit if he doesn't like it.

Talk about subordinating writing to art! I've found a discussion of the 'words per panel' issue where several writers talk about writing 'around' the art. It depends how much room is left over for those unimportant words. It's bizarre to me that anything decent at all gets produced via this method. Surely it totally precludes any kind of subtlety or depth in the writing.

My husband thinks that the reason Marvel comics suck is the lack of editorial control, but that's a whole 'nother topic.

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