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Thread: TPG: Week 47 - Steven Forbes

  1. ChrisLewis Guest

    Wow, I'm such a horror-hater that I didn't even realize who we were reading about until Calvin's summary! I guess I'm not the best person here for an objective critique, so I'll just come out and say that I cannot possibly take something like this seriously (although I loved the throbbing machete). Maybe it would help if I could read the whole script, but a machete-HOLDING killer having a therapy session? A post-coital skewering? As a story demanding serious reflection, I would say no thanks, although I also think it could work as a satire.

    BUT, there is a market for this kind of thing, and we should just be discussing the script here. The others have commented enough on the panel discriptions (or lack thereof) and just wanted to add that I think it's ok to leave out some information as long as the artist wants that, and as long as the writer is going to be ok with any potential disappointments with the result. I have left out exact descriptions and been completely blown away by what the artist came up with, but of course the opposite has happened and the artist has been completely blown away by my ineptitude. It's all a matter of trust and communication.

    Heck, add some more victims and you could keep the visual focus mostly on action with the conversation superimposed over it, and just have the occasional jump to the office for context.
    I think that splitting up the therapy with some gruesome action is the way to go, but I would get fed up with the (mostly) static scenes after the first 2. I think the quote above points out what would be best for the story. But once again, I think this is just subjective. There are plenty of people who love (or at least buy) what is now commonly thought of as a Bendis thing, and as long as the dialogue is good (which it is by the way) I think it can work.

    One comment about the "mistake" that Calvin first references on page 4 panel 2: I assume you (Calvin) are objecting to the fact that the first speaker is on the right, as this is generally thought of as a no-no in "how to write" guides (Bolts & Nuts?). The fact is though, you find this in plenty of mainstream comics, even from the big two. As long as the first balloon on the right is higher than the one on the left, I think our eyes figure it out no? And if Steven is doing the lettering (that also includes the balloons yes?...I still haven't started my "must learn lettering" regimen) then he would be capable of handling the layout. Please let me know if I'm wrong here.



  2. ChrisLewis Guest

    On a completely random topic here, I get logged off if I'm not constantly clicking on something here. Does that happen to anyone else?



  3. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisLewis View Post
    One comment about the "mistake" that Calvin first references on page 4 panel 2: I assume you (Calvin) are objecting to the fact that the first speaker is on the right, as this is generally thought of as a no-no in "how to write" guides (Bolts & Nuts?). The fact is though, you find this in plenty of mainstream comics, even from the big two. As long as the first balloon on the right is higher than the one on the left, I think our eyes figure it out no? And if Steven is doing the lettering (that also includes the balloons yes?...I still haven't started my "must learn lettering" regimen) then he would be capable of handling the layout. Please let me know if I'm wrong here.
    You're not wrong. That's what I was getting at. And you're also right that it's a minor flaw, and one that can be overcome by a half-decent letterer. It's not ideal, but it's workable.

    But the problem with this particular script (which is not your average script), is that the only thing we have to indicate the location of the doctor, is the doctor's dialogue always being on the right. So when Mr. V's dialogue is forced to the right as well, because the doctor spoke first, the reader will (I feel) loose a little of that visual indication. It introduces more vagueness into something that's already kind of vague. It's still not a disaster, but (because of the nature of the script) it's a needless complication that could have been avoided by structuring things so Mr. V was speaking first in all the panels that showed him in the office.

    I saw it coming in the first paragraph of the script, and I knew, right then, to watch for it. I think Steven should have too, because I'm sure he knows this stuff. (He might even have been watching for it, because I'm kind of surprised it didn't happen more than it did.)

    So... major disaster? No. Worth pointing out? Yes, I think so.



  4. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisLewis View Post
    On a completely random topic here, I get logged off if I'm not constantly clicking on something here. Does that happen to anyone else?
    No... I've walked away for hours and not had to log back in. Maybe it's something in your user settings? I don't know what to tell you, other than try posing in the Questions and Comments section of the forum to see if anyone can help.



  5. jamesfairlie Guest

    Wow. When I first read this I though it was pretty rubbish, but the more I think about it the better it gets, so I now really really like it.
    I think the main problem with it as a script is that it places a huge amount of responsibility on the artist, but if you have an artist in mind already then I guess you trust they can do it justice, and its not really a problem at all. If they can then it I think it would be an intriguing story that I for one would like to read more of.
    I think its a mistake to think of something like this as either a satire or a serious piece though. Satire is only any good if it makes a point, and serous stuff will loose its audience if it doesn't have any levity in it. This exists in a gray area in-between the two. Its clearly absurd that Jason would go and see a shrink, but the subject matter is pretty dark, and intelligently looked at. This could cause a clash, but I think you handled it well enough to exist in its own reality.
    Oh, and you succeeded with the gender thing. I always thought of the doctor as a woman.



  6. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisLewis View Post
    we should just be discussing the script here.
    I've been thinking on this, and I don't believe I agree with it.

    It's true that stories are highly subjective, especially a story as “experimental” as this one seems to be. Some will like it. Some will dislike it. Some will change their minds about whether they like it or not after it sinks in for awhile. And some may simply not get it (which may well be the case for me, in this instance). It's pretty much impossible (in my opinion) to discuss a story completely objectively. It’s also nearly as hard to discuss the effectiveness of a story completely objectively. So any critique or discussion of the story itself will be inherently subjective. (And, let’s be honest, there’s a good deal of subjectivity involved in addressing the technical aspects as well. It can’t be avoided.) But I don't think that's a problem, or that it should stop us from discussing the story.

    I say we should talk about whatever comes up, and let the writer decide what helps them move forward, in the direction they want to go, and what needs to be left on the side of the road.

    After all, if a writer can’t take one of us (or even all of us) telling them we don’t like their story, or how they executed it, what will they do when their pride and joy is out there in the real world and the ravening hordes are tearing it to shreds and cursing the day the writer was born?



  7. StevenForbes Guest

    Thanks for your thoughts on it, everyone. I really appreciate it.

    And for someone to go from thinking it was garbage to really liking it...really, you can't get much more of a wider spectrum than that.

    And to know that I was successful on some level with "hiding" the doctor makes me happy.

    I have a plan with this vein of stories. There's always a plan. (I believe you should always have a plan when you create something.) It's just taking longer than I wished for the plan to come together.

    When I finally get the pages in, I'll put one up. It'll be a non-nudie page. This IS a family site, after all.

    As for just discussing the script....

    Putting on my editor cap for a little bit, and speaking as the former master of TPG...

    Calvin is absolutely right in that it is almost impossible to just think about the script as presented. That goes for any script here. Most of the time, I would harp upon technical aspects to get you to think about what you were doing. Most of my scripts are NOT this loose. (Loose, but not THIS loose.) Why would I harp upon the technical aspects so much? Because a lot of you don't follow anything resembling a structure when you first start out, or the structure is "wrong" in the sense that you're not getting the most bang for your buck.

    However, always understand that the story you write is coming out through your personal filter. I read and edit stories through my personal filter. We send out and receive information through our personal, ever changing filters. Know what that means? It's ALL subjective. Personal tastes clash, and what one person thinks is an unpublishable mess, another will love and try to get it in as many bookstores as possible.

    You can't just concentrate on the script, because the script is telling a story. So, you also have to concentrate the story that is being told, and seeing if it is being told in a way that will produce the best results possible. The two cannot be separated.

    One of the beautiful things about comics is that there is no set structure to it. A script can be anything: formal and rigid, generally like what you'll find here; to the Marvel style, which focuses more on the plot than a rigid script; to anything and everything in between. (Hell, Neil Gaiman wrote a script of The Sandman as a letter to his artist.)

    If I had my druthers, I'd rather an artist learn the rigidity of full-script first, before tackling other formats. I'd rather you learned how to put down what you see in your head correctly before branching out to other ways. I believe it will help your storytelling immensely, forcing you to slow down and actually think about what goes where. Otherwise, you'll learn to be loose and sloppy.

    Loose and sloppy won't get you published. And hopefully, getting published is the goal.

    Okay, I'm done for now. Thanks again, all.



  8. ChrisLewis Guest

    I've been thinking on this, and I don't believe I agree with it.
    You can't just concentrate on the script, because the script is telling a story.
    I agree with both of you here. My comment was more of a way for me to get out of a non-constructive "I hate horror" rant, and start to discuss Steven's work/story/script. We should definitely have the freedom here to be as subjective as possible, but I didn't want my comments to begin and end with "I didn't like it."

    BUT, there is a market for this kind of thing, and we should just be discussing the script here.
    I think if we remove the "just" and replace it with "also," then we're on the right track. My review is coming up this week and I want all your objectivity, all your subjectivity for sure, and maybe even a little loveability!



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