Thanks again guys.
Regarding the splash page, I guess I'd got a bit too drawn into trying to do things the conventional way. Got hooked up on format etc. and perhaps it's damaged attention to detail elsewhere. Given the fact that if I ever get anywhere it's most likely to be self publishing and 20-something page one-offs aren't cost effect I'm guessing the splash page opening is kind of redundant. I can colour myself and letter digitally too so you're only really looking at two credits which have already been covered on the, uh, cover.
I guess the banter in that first scene was to establish Steel as a media constructed working class hero. There was a scene later on which involved him drowning a photograph developer in his own chemical sinks. Maybe that would make for a better opening. I'm definately going to think more about starting on interesting, same goes for the first thing I sent you Forby - it starts off dull. As that's noir, there'd be nothing unconventional about killing issue 1 and starting at the 2nd one with a bit more mystery intact. But that's beside the point.
One thing I notice now looking back is that my initial scene descriptions only really explain to the artist the jist of what's going on, in case, let's say, they have a better idea for the layout. You said nice explanation, but there was no visual data in there, just an introduction to the character's personality and what was about to happen. So that stuff's fine, but anything visual goes in panel by panel, right?
OK, this is probably going to get me beat up since I'm the new guy in town but what the heck.
I'm not sure that I've ever bought a comic based on the first three pages. I simply can't learn enough about the story in three pages. I would have never bought the first Preacher volume if that was the case. The first three pages are three people chatting in a cafeteria. In fact it takes awhile before you really see any action but the story kept pulling me along. I found myself wanting to know more. Even if Mr. Dungbeetle started off with an epic fight scene that knocked my socks off in the first three pages I would still have no idea what the story was about. Maybe I'm just not a normal reader. Come to think of it I have been told that I'm not exactly normal.
Any way I guess what I'm getting at is this. Is it simply not possible for a newbie to begin with a nice setup to bring the reader into the story or do we have no choice but to start our story at the climax essentially? That seems a little disenchanting to me. I love a good complex story.
I do agree that the story may have been a little slow but I did find myself wanting to know more. Maybe I just tend to be more curious than the typical reader.
So that's pretty much it. Let those punches fly. POW! BAM!
Oh almost forgot to say thanks for this column. Lots of great info here and lots of smart people. Mom told me once “If you want to look smart then you should hang around smart people and keep your mouth shut”. I'm still not sure what she meant by that.
Last edited by Xanderol; Sunday, August 02, 2009 at 09:12 PM.
Thanks for joining the discussion and following the rules, Brian!
And I don't beat up on new people. That's discrimination. I beat up on everyone if they deserve it. This is a level playing field.
As to your comments, most of the stuff people buy are done by established creators--even if you haven't heard of that creator before. Believe me, Ennis was established, even if he seemed to come out of "nowhere" with Preacher, or else he wouldn't have gotten to tell that story. No publisher is going to let a newbie do an ongoing series. You have to prove yourself, first.
So, unless you buy a LOT of independent comics, most of what you buy isn't going to be from new creators.
It's possible for a newbie to start out with a nice setup, but that setup has to be damned interesting. If you're not interesting right out the gate, you're not going to grab the reader. If you're starting out with a conversation, let it be pithy. If it's action, let it be relevant to the story. Do something with the situation that turns reader expectation on its ear, so that they're pulled in.
Again, you're not really writing for the audience. You're writing for yourself, first, and your editor, second. Third comes the retailer, and finally, the audience. This is traditional comics. If you're going to try to self-publish, you're writing for yourself and then maybe the audience. But I'm going to tell you right now, no matter which route you go, if you're not interesting right out the gate, you're going to fail. If you're submitting stories, you have to be better than all of your competition in order to win the chance to get your story published. In order to do that, you have to be interesting within three pages. (And I'm being generous. LOTS of editors will tell you to be interesting on the FIRST page as a new creator.)
And you're welcome for the column. This place is literally yours. It lives and dies by reader contribution.
And your mother was right. If you don't understand it now, hopefully you will later. My parents said lots of things I didn't get at first, but went off in my head like a bomb when I was old enough or experienced enough to understand it.