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Thread: Week 59- Fantasy Overview

  1. BarriLang Guest

    1 word (Well it's a name)

    "Slanie"

    It's rock an roll for the Fantasy genre. :-)



  2. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by DJKeawekane View Post
    1. I think time has a lot to do with it. Forby mentioned world and character building- In a novel which is broken up by chapters, there's a lot of time that can be used to build up the worlds- what makes them special. you can have a few paragraphs here and there just describing a certain place, or backstory of a character.

    In comics you have 22 pages, or go the GN route. But people want to know within X amount of pages who's who and what's what, just to get on with the story. But in a novel there's more time for it.
    This argument applies to all books vs comics. With prose there's more time to describe a place, but with comics you can show the place (and skip all that description). With backstory in a comic, that can be worked into the story (which is how it should be done in novels too - endless exposition falls just as flat in prose). All the who's who and what's what has to be compressed with any comic over what it needs to be in a novel. But if that's a valid reason for not doing fantasy comics, it's also a valid reason for not doing any comics.

    2. Nothing can beat the imagination. In a novel the writer describes things to you but your imagination fills in the blanks. So it's taylored to your personal tastes.

    In comics the artist does that for you. And I must admit there are a lot of fantasy comics that don't do the books any justice.
    Again, this applies to any comparison of prose and comics, almost regardless of genre. I will allow that the world-building aspect of many fantasy stories (though not all, because many are set in a close facsimile of the real world) increases the relevance of the argument, but no more than for science fiction - so does science fiction also not work in comics?

    This is the most compelling argument I've seen for fantasy working better in prose, but I still don't think it holds up all that well - except in the case of adaptations, which are almost always a lesser experience than the original because of the forced comparison to a prior expectation. So I'll happily grant you that existing fantasy novels work better as novels. But when looking at an original work of fantasy in comic form, there's no prior expectation to compare to, so I can't see why it would be better in prose if it was never intended for prose in the first place. In that case, your imagining of the world shouldn't get in the way, because the only world your brain has to work with is right there in front of you.

    3. And this is important. I think fanatsy can work if you have a specific story to tell. Not just being a writer and wanting to throw your hat into a specific genre, which is what writers want to do. Not saying they can't. But I think alot of comics writers just don't like it.

    4. It has to come form the heart and overcome the medium.
    These two apply not only to all comics, but to all fiction. Recycling old crap is recycling old crap, no matter the medium or the genre. And if it doesn't come from the heart, what's the point of writing it? If someone doesn't like fantasy, they shouldn't be writing fantasy. And if they don't like crime fiction, they shouldn't be writing crime fiction (or any other genre you could insert).

    And I don't understand why it has to "overcome the medium" (unless you're talking about adaptations again). The medium is the medium. Any original work of fiction has to work within the medium. You only need to overcome the medium of comics if you're trying to draw in people who don't read comics, or push the boundaries of what comics are - both of which are noble goals, but not ones I think all good comics must attain.

    5. Just get some good artists for the projects. Not the up and comers who really can't hold it together.
    You've got a good point with the art, but it's still a point that applies to all comics. Ideally all comics should have good art. If not, they're not good comics (even if they might contain good stories).


    I also can't help but think that some of the folks claiming fantasy doesn't work well in comics haven't read much fantasy in any form. I mean, things like claiming, "the format for most every fantasy story- the hero goes on a quest," don't make sense, because it's simply not true. A sizable percentage of fantasy stories follow that formula (possibly one could claim too many), but it's far from "most every". It's just a common trope, not a defining element of the genre. It's like saying most every science fiction story involves space ships.



  3. DJKeawekane Guest

    Um yeah I think I forgot to mention what I was specifically talking about. It's the adaptations. Madelf. I think a lot of them are weak.

    Basically what you're saying to me is my point(s) refer to all comics in general. But it does apply here.

    What I mean by overcome the medium is- Not only do we have have different rules in comics but if you're going to adapt something it shouldn't have to be a literal translation. I'm not saying go overboard with taking liberties. But take them when the limitations comics have hurt the over all story. And thus you've overcome the limitations of the medium. Not conform to them.

    And I seen a lot of comics with great art and sucky stories.



  4. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by DJKeawekane View Post
    Um yeah I think I forgot to mention what I was specifically talking about. It's the adaptations. Madelf. I think a lot of them are weak.
    Well, that changes the whole argument on me. All that typing wasted.

    You're right. A lot of adaptations are weak. And that's true of all genre's, but it will be more true of adaptation of things with a unique vision of the world (like scifi or fantasy) than of things with real-world settings.

    And I seen a lot of comics with great art and sucky stories.
    You're not alone there. Good art definitely won't save a bad story. But (and this is my personal feeling - I know folks differ on this one) a good story won't overcome bad art either.

    Comics with sucky stories suck.
    Comics with sucky art suck.
    Comics with good art and good stories are good.
    Last edited by CalvinCamp; Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 09:28 PM.



  5. Sliverbane Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinBrandt View Post
    But Seb, why does Fantasy work in the Orient?
    *waiting* Maybe he'll notice in a little bit...

    I can speculate. Oh, boy I can go on and on...but I want to hear some other perspectives. (If there are any out there about fantasy manga vs fantasy comics)

    It sells in America - fantasy Manga. I can't avoid the manga-readers when I visit my local comic shop. An interesting fact: I see more people buying Manga than comics during my usual visits. Maybe I'm missing the prime time for the comic buyers in the area or this store does better business with manga. I dunno... But FANTASY 'comics' are selling.

    To a slightly different market. A market that is hungry for more.

    At least that's what I'm hoping.
    Last edited by Sliverbane; Friday, September 25, 2009 at 01:20 AM. Reason: My bad spelling!



  6. CalvinCamp Guest

    I really need to find some good Manga and study it. I know there has to be something different about it than just the page size and reading order (and art style), but I have no idea what. Unfortunately everything I've picked up at random has been some varying level of awful.

    Any recommendations?



  7. venusianfurs Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by BarriLang View Post
    1 word (Well it's a name)

    "Slanie"

    It's rock an roll for the Fantasy genre. :-)
    One all-important word and you spell it wrong! Slaine was great tho, even if it did follow a fairly predictable Conan mould and still went off on sci-fi tangents sometimes. I've nothing else to add other than I am trying to write at least one straight Fantasy script right now and avoid the cliche-traps, so wish me luck.



  8. DJKeawekane Guest

    You're not alone there. Good art definitely won't save a bad story. But (and this is my personal feeling - I know folks differ on this one) a good story won't overcome bad art either.
    At least the art is good though. I remember following artists and buying whatever they'd put out just for the art even if the story sucked. The problem is I didn't know it at the time but when I go back and try to read them- boy they're bad.



  9. gwilliams Guest

    I agree that any good comic requires a good story and good artwork, but I think fantasy in particular requires very good artwork. People today are really spoiled by great looking fantasy-visuals, be they single images or video games or movies like Lord of the Rings with all of its impressive, epic-scaled scenes and architecture. It's not impossible to create powerful visuals for fantasy in comics, I think people just need to take advantage of the special things in comics more rather than try to appeal to a movie or book sensibility.



  10. AdamH Guest

    Here's my half spun theory: When Americans think Fantasy, they don't think comic books. As savy as the average comic buyer might be, when you ask them to name famous Fantasy examples, they aren't going to name any comics. Lord of the Rings, Dungeons and Dragons, Conan the Barbarian (whether Conan fits in the broad category of fantasy is best left to another post) etc. Personally when I think about Fantasy the first things that come to mind is Lord of the Rings.

    When you ask American people (comic buyers or not) what comes to mind when they think about comics, I'd venture a guess it's most likely going to be superheros: Spiderman, Batman, etc or old school comics: Archie, Donald Duck, etc. Even if they come up with something else old school like horror: EC comics, etc. it's not going to be any fantasy comics.

    Until something comes along that gets enough press, gets word of mouth, is accessible to everyone, and on top of THAT, has great art, great story, and could be considered "genre-defining" you're not going to get people to read fantasy comics in America.

    Just a theory.



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