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The Perfect Length (tee hee)


#1

Inspired by the Rachel Rising disagreement on the non Marvel/DC comics thread, what book(s) do you think have been the perfect length over the years?

It can be a run, or a whole series.
The only caveat has to be that it has been consistently great throughout.

For example, I love Preacher, but it doesn’t strike me as fully planned out as a bunch of story beats from start to finish - although I love the tangents as much as the main plot itself.
And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, as a writer discovers more ideas as he grows to know and love his creations, the side paths can be vital discovery into what makes those characters tick.

But this thread is for those books that you think were planned note by note and the structure adhered to.
If you think a tv show then The Wire would be the perfect example.


#2

Big, big kudos to Mark and St. Frank for Jupiter’s Legacy. Yes, sporadically published, but the arcs in the story fit together just sweetly.

As for TV, Hill Street Blues did a good job, as did STTNG and DS9. Off top of head, for now.


#3

Y - The Last Man. Sixty issues of awesome. Excellent pacing. IMO


#4

Ex Machina and Scalped are what immediately comes to mind.


#5

Yeah, I would agree on Ex Machina - I thought the structure of that was one of its many strengths - BKV really nailed it with his approach.


#6

300 pages for novels. 90 minutes for film.

Not sure about comics but I suspect similar to the novels which at 22 pages each would be around 12 issues. That is probably best for a volume size. The two volumes of Ultimates probably did this best.

Though I do like ongoing comics too.


#7

It’s hard to gauge a perfect length for comics.
It depends on the end product.

I think Young Liars was the perfect length for it’s live fast, die young attitude…but the Groo Epic Run was perfect length for its era.

Sounds about right for these though.


#8

Agree on 90 mins

Anything 2hrs plus has to be extra special and tightly tuned to justify that extra run time, it usually goes against the movie in most cases for me. Biggest problem with most superhero movies. I often find myself checking my watch to see how long is left.


#9

Comics: Watchmen. From Hell. Wanted. Old Man Logan. The Dark Knight Returns. Red Son. Identity Crisis.

Millar, Moore and Miller come to mind immediately.


#10

Now, y’all just hang around here in life, old son, and wait until the Bladder Fairy starts with the Surprise Parties! :laughing:

:slight_smile:

:cry:


#11

I don’t think many stories can go on beyond 50 issues. They’re always the victim of padding as the creators milk the story for more cash.

I think the best books tell the tale in a handful of issues. 12 issues should be enough to cover what the writer wanted to tell.

Planetary is probably the closest I can equate to The Wire for comics.


#12

I love Azzarello and Chiang’s Wonder Woman. A three year run, six trades. It’s one epic story but each year feels like a different phase.
My eyes tend to gloss over if a run is more than six volumes (unless it’s by creators that I love, matched with a great concept).


#13

Chew was planned out for 60 issues plus some specials. While I enjoyed it and had a coherent story, I think it could have been shorter. John Layman has even said that if he had to do it again, it would not be as long.

i really think the length of the series depends on the story and the skill of the writer. Some stories could benefit from being shorter while others might work better with a few extra issues.


#14

Every issue is roughly an hour of TV. Many TV shows don’t fave 50 hours of content in them either.


#15

Astro City remains too short.


#16

Stray Bullets remains too short and too long.


#17

I like the 12 issue stories. Ultimates and All Star Superman.


#18

Yes, I recently re-read Planetary and the thing that stood out was how it’s brilliantly structured. It’s not my favourite book of all time but Ellis handles that aspect perfectly.


#19

Ex Machina and Planetary are good choices. Ultimates too - both volumes feel like they’re paced like a great action movie. Watchmen maybe a bit obvious but definitely up there.

I think I’d maybe add Promethea to the list - I like the way it builds from a relatively conventional comic to something quite strange and different, and the ending works in a way that not many other series could get away with. I know some people felt the middle section with the journey through the Kabbalah was a bit overlong but I thought it worked.

I would also nominate the recent Vision series - the way it builds up the various strands of the story and brings them all together at the end is perfectly paced.


#20

That Vision series is absolutely packed, and the narration really sets a disjointed but perfect pace.