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A thread on storytelling...


#161

As stated, the editors or powers that be of a comic company can inhibit the writer and the storytelling. So all a writer can do is make some changes and then undo the changes back to the status quo for the next writer. The next writer for example won’t have to deal with a married Batman or a dead Elektra. I get it but I don’t really like it.

One other thing: REMINDER The rules of MW have always been not to bash creators but to write a critique. So if you are reading this thread for the first time and want to post, please don’t bash any “creators” by name… Just saying.


#162

Is this still about Blade Runner? Do you feel like you need more of an introduction into that world before the actual plot starts?

Either way, what you described does not make the difference between good and bad writing. Quite often, it is the opposite way around - bad writing tends to be overexpository, wanting to explain too much to the reader/audience. Which is why “Show, don’t tell” is such a popular rule in creative writing courses.
(I should add that like all of these “rules”, they are made to be broken.)

Especially in the genres of sci-fi and fantasies, where you create worlds the reader doesn’t know yet, the important thing is that you flesh out that world in the details. It doesn’t really matter if you start with introductory/background scenes or straightaway with the plot; both can work fine. Blade Runner does the latter, and does it very well.


#163

No, not about Blade Runner anymore…

My point in that post was more related to some movies like the Spiderman movies or a comic like Doomsday Clock where a lot of time (or issues) is spent giving background. With Doomsday Clock a lot of the issues were introducing the new characters and settings, and many readers were asking when is the action going to happen.
I was just saying that a writer/creator has to do it first and not cut to the chase.

I get your point nonetheless and agree…


#164

These days it is hard for me to get into a title that is way too wordy or the plot is convoluted and confusing. Not mentioning any names of writers mind you…

I just don’t have that much time to devote and figure things out.

If the story loses me I drop the title, book, or program


#165

As for comics storytelling, it has changed as society changes…

Batman is a much darker character, Joker is more twisted, Wolverine and his action panels is more graphically violent and bloodier etc. Now there is full frontal male nudity these days.

Those campy Silver Age stories from yesteryear don’t work as is today without some tweaking.

I don’t know what to make of it all, I am just saying…


#166

If I had the money, I would commission reprints of older comics without! all the unnecessary! exclamation points! Because for me that’s the hardest hurdle to overcome with them.


#167

That reminds me of one of my favourite Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed:

The answer is quite amusing.


#168

Comic! Books?


#169

Remakes, revivals, reboots…

Bringing back an old story comes with mixed reviews. If the original story was very well done, it can’t really be topped and the remake will be seen as just a rehash, like the original Robocop and the criticism made with its remake, or even Star Wars #4 and the movie #7 borrowed way to much from it that it was seen as a light remake by the audience.

Then you have dramas of an genre that the original did so well and exhausted all it future possibilities, like try to follow the Sopranos with a mob drama. or follow up Game of Thrones. Execs of movies and TV will do copycats but a smart audience won’t bite.

It works however if the original is dated and flawed like Battlestar Galactica where the remake was so much better and presented something new and interesting.

Interestingly, it was Brian K Vaughn who thought about modernizing Flash Gordon, but ditched the idea because we already have Guardians of the Galaxy and that would flood the market with another story of a guy in space with misfit alien crew etc.

So a remake has to provide something new for the audience, not like King Kong. :smile:


#170

I think this came up before…


#171

I really don’t know about that and I for one, want to see what Jordan Peele will do with the Twilight Zone for example.

As for Starlight, I would have to see Netflix do it to pass judgement.

TV has a lot of new takes like MacGuyver, Hawaii 5-0, Magnum PI, Dynasty, etc. but they are just disposable TV episodes.

As for movies, even MM said why bother redoing King Kong and I would add for example do we need a remake of Back to the Future? All I am saying about remakes is that if the original was so well done and exhausted all the possibilities, you can’t really redo it and make it better so therefore you shouldn’t even bother.


#172

The history of storytelling is all about “remakes,” about retelling and revising and adding new elements. The art of storytelling is about how you tell it, not what you’re telling. So if you’re worth your creative salt, you can tell the most familiar story in the world, and tell it interesting.


#173

I kind of get what you are saying but whatever happened to originality?


#174

When I first read some older Silver Age comics reprints, I noticed that every sentence ended with either an exclamation point (or question mark if a question was being asked) whether it was appropriate or not. No sentence ever ended with a period.

I think this because periods wouldn’t always show up on the newsprint with the letterpress printing process they used at the time.

I’ve often wondered when the overuse of the exclamation mark ended and regular periods became the norm. I’ve always meant to go back and check, but never have.


#175

Yeah, I agree with you, Al. I think Tony’s right in that a remake can still be a great movie, if it is done well enough - just like any other work, really - but it will always be slightly lesser to me in the sense that it by nature copies something else to some extent. In the same way, I love interesting cover versions of songs, but the original gets the credit for the actual creative act.

There are cases in which the remakes are so different from the original that they are very much their own thing and I can’t really see them as remakes, like Cronenberg’s The Fly or the current Planet of the Apes series. Those just took an original work’s central motives and built their own unique stories around them.


#176

Tough call. I think in US comics, it started with the Bronze Age. In earlier Judge Dredd comics, exclamation marks were quite frequent, and I read recently Judge Dredd Complete case files 05 and it’s apparent bland fading away of exclamation marks. But Dredd is such a character he yells quite often.


#177

The first movie remake was The Great Train Robbery. The original, historically-significant version was written, directed and produced by Edwin S. Porter and released in 1903. The following year, in 1904, Siegmund Lubin released a near-identical version of the film, but with more violence, also called The Great Train Robbery.

Porter is widely praised as a pioneer of film making. Lubin is recognized as “one of the foremost early practitioners of film piracy” (from Wikipedia).


#178

The idea of originality is a myth. What most people are thinking when they mention it, I think, is original characters, who will make a lasting impression on them, that didn’t previously exist. Every story has been told and retold a million times. Break down any story, any “original” story, and you’ll discover that it’s basically something you’ve seen before. Guaranteed. And there are too many ways to explain that.

But the funny thing is, the oldest stories we have, the ones we keep telling, we want to remain the same, despite constant retellings. Who wants a Robin Hood story where he isn’t butting heads with the Sheriff of Nottingham? But you can see where the story continues to evolve anyway. I’m not sure, but the concept of Robin having a Moorish companion originated in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and that’s a relatively recent development that’s cropped up in a very old story, and it’s stuck to the extent that it’s turning up again in this year’s latest remake, which is itself leaning more heavily on the “hood” concept than any other version I can think of. So again, something new despite a very familiar story.

Who wants to see Peter Pan fight anyone but Captain Hook? What would be the point of Harry Potter battling something that had nothing at all to do with Voldemort? And that’s really why Star Wars always seems to be telling the same story, because if it isn’t, it isn’t really Star Wars. That’s not a lack of imagination, it’s what Star Wars is, inextricably. Any other story, and it is any other story. It isn’t really Star Wars anymore. So when you have fans complaining that it’s the Skywalker saga again…!, you can tell that they have no concept of what Star Wars is, and what originality means.

History will tell you all about this, too. I can guarantee you that most Americans have a flimsy grasp of most presidents in their country’s history. Most of them are “presidents” in the generic sense. Regardless of what Rutherford B. Hayes meant at the time, to Americans today he’s just a dude with a colorful name. That’s not a poor grasp of history, but rather the fact that to stand out, you have to really be memorable. That’s what you’re looking for, something that stands out, that doesn’t compete with your old favorites so directly. You don’t want the pesky problem of having to put aside an old favorite for a new version of the same story. You want to be able to continue cherishing that old favorite, and have something else to love, too.


#179

It was used previously in the UK TV show Robin of Sherwood in the mid 80s.

According to the creator of Robin of Sherwood , Richard Carpenter, the character of Nasir came about somewhat accidentally. Nasir was originally scipted as a character named “Edmund (or Edmond) the Archer”, and was originally meant to be killed off by Robin Hood in the pilot episode, but, seeing as the cast and crew had taken a liking to actor Mark Ryan during the filming of this episode, his nemesis was taken out of the script and it was decided that he should stay on as a regular character. There having been no Saracen in Robin Hood’s band in any of the original legends or previous film adaptations, there was some worry about how the audience would receive this new character. Nasir did in the end, however, turn out to “create his own legend.” Later filmed versions of Robin Hood, such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and The New Adventures of Robin Hood , have all featured an “Arabic” merry man in their respective stories - obviously inspired by the Saracen character in Robin of Sherwood .


#180

I get what you are saying somewhat as it can almost be compared to Jung’s archtypes but that maybe beyond scope.

An example is Star Wars Skywalker. His arc is essentially about an innocent boy who comes of age. In that sense he is similar to the Matrix Neo, an uninvolved guy who learns his path in life and fulfills it.
In fact both characters are of the same thing about coming of age.

There are so many stories about a bunch of misfits on some quest/ long journey, others are about good v evil,
fulfilling some ancient prophecy, etc.

Perhaps it all comes from original religious writings I don’t know. Early society has a lot to say about that.

If you are interested the late Joseph Campbell had a lot to say about mythology and as mentioned before the works of Carl Jung and his archetypes of society.

Wow we are getting deep… :grinning: