Have a drink. It might help that mortis attitude of yours.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Thoughts for Thursday

O.k. I won’t lie to the public out there. I want to write for a living and more importantly I want to write comics. I’m about as far from that goal as possible right now but I feel that on some level there has been a little movement. So I thought I’d do a post on If I Were A Writer this is what I would do and so on.

Over the last year there has been a lot of retconning, relaunching and introduction of new characters from both DC and Marvel. Some could see this as a sign that the major industry has gone stale. That the Big Two are scrambling to come up with something, anything that might prove novel and turn that quick buck. I chose to see it a little more positively. We are in an age where writers are controlling the business more than ever before. Writers who grew up on the weird characters of the late 70’s and early 80’s, heroes and villains who have just kind of faded away over time. Well, now those writers want them back, want to give them a mini to shine in or an ongoing to delve into.

I would say that some of these endeavors have been fantastic. Daughters of the Dragon was awesome totally bringing Misty Knight and Colleen Wing into the 2000s with a vengeance. I must admit though the new Heroes for Hire is falling a little short. Mystery in Space, Shadowpact, and Seven Soldiers all have brought back relatively obscure or unused characters with great success.

So the next logical question that pops up in my writer’s mind is what would propose to write if I were writing comics. Well I would do a mini-series along the lines of Ultimate Hulk vs. Ultimate Wolverine, seeing a battle from two sides, but it would be a showdown between the Pied Piper and Mirror Master – kind of an unresolved issue in my mind. See Mirror Master killed Piper’s parents, after the latter went legit, and had him sent to jail for it. After escaping from prison Piper joined a task force whose mission was take down still active Flash Rouges. Who was on that list? You got it Mirror Master. With grudges on both sides I’m telling you this could be a knockdown drag out.

It would be more than a fight though. Look at the two characters that would be going at it. First, Pied Piper, a bored socialite who was bad then went good but then maybe just maybe his good was only part of some brainwashing. Oh and he’s out for vengeance because the guy killed his parents. We could have a “Am I good? What does it mean to be good?” storyline, similar to Catwoman right before the OYL jump.

On the other hand you have Mirror Master, an ex-Scottish hitman with some serious powers coming from his mirror control. Add to that a cocaine addiction, connections to not only the Suicide Squad but also the Society, and issues for killing his own parents and you have a self-destructive bad guy. Maybe he wants to lose. Maybe he wants Pied to take him down. He would never go easy though; make Piper earn his vengeance.

You have so much going on with the characters that I think a story involving the two of them could be an emotional but action packed story. Maybe the Pied Piper working his way through lower thugs and cheesier thugs and members of the Society to get to Mirror Master. Maybe Mirror Master sees Piper as a gnat until he messes up one big job and then it's on. I don't know. I see a you-get-me-I-get-you type deal. If I was in a place to write it I think it would be alright.

Monday, October 23, 2006

My pic for last week

There were a lot of good comics out this week; everything seemed way above par. Or maybe it was the first time in a long time that I put a lot of effort into my reading. I must admit recently on Wednesdays I’ve been handling my comic reading like a chore. “I have a stack here. Better get through them.”

This week though I was really excited about reading everything and it paid off. Of course, I’ve also trimmed my submissions by fifty percent, so that might account for why I really liked everything I read.

This week saw the re-launch of Wild C.A.T.S., which was very enjoyable. I really thought Zealot and Majestic’s new digs were pretty sweet. Without giving too much away, it touched on every character and left us with a big, driving question. What is Worldstorm? 52, 100 Bullets, Birds of Prey, and Wolverine all paid off well. So it was a good week. The cake-taker this week though, was Runaways #21.

Writing: Okay, I’ll just say it. Brian K. Vaughn could write a story about a guy blowing his nose and I would still read it. So I might be a little biased when it comes to choosing this comic as my pick of the week. Maybe. A little. The thing that so many comic writers forget—good writers but especially bad ones—is that change is really important to a character. Not just busting out a new costume change but real growth and evolution. That is Vaughn’s specialty: organic character development. Issue #21 is a perfect example of this. Before you read on, there are some spoilers ahead. I try to avoid doing this but it’s been four months so I assume everyone who wants to read the story line has.

Since Gert’s death Chase has been making some bad choices. He’s playing with dark voodoo, taking hostages, and various other unsavory things. While it pains me to watch this character unravel, I understand that story-wise this is the only thing that could happen. See the beauty of Vaughn writing is that he defines character by both heroic victories and terrible choices. By letting the grief overwhelm the character and drive his actions he becomes almost human. Not only is this one of the greatest accomplishments of the writing craft but as a reader it never ceases to surprise me.

Art: I like Mike Norton’s art here. It has a nice, crisp, not-too-heavy feel to it. I wouldn’t say it’s the most fluid of art, but there is something there. I especially like the pencils he does on the Gibborim. Add in the colors and inks of Strain and Yeung—there is a sort of pastel to the inks that I’ve always though suited the feel of the comic nicely— and you have a winning combination.

All in all, Runaways #21 was the best of the week. It closed the first stage of grieving after the death of a teammate, yet it left plenty of plot threads to continue through the series. When Joss Whedon takes over in a few issues, you know he’ll have a lot to work with.

My First Review

Exciting news folks out there in Internet land. My first review for Big Monkey Comics is up and online. I'm really excited. Special thanks to Devon for giving me this chance.

Click here to take a look.