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Write Off 6: Origin of Spider-Man - Pick a winner


#42

He did?


#43

@JRCarter

"For example, if I was going to write one, it would be something like a bunch of young hoods breaking into a warehouse at night and they each tell their version of what they heard was the origin of the “Spider-Man” and each story gets creepier - like Spider-Man is Slender Man1 - until at the end, when Spider-Man actually shows up to foil their robbery, the one young man who believed his older companions is terrified that Spider-Man is going to suck out all his blood or lay eggs in his flesh.

Spider-Man: “Jeez, kid, what do you think I am? Man, I need to change my PR agency.”

Then end with the kid posting his story on a Creepy True Stories Website under “Who… or what… is The Spider-Man?”"

Okok not exactly, but it’s close enough to where i felt deja vu reading this story…Haha I may just hang up writing critiques…I stink at this, clearly.


#44

It’s my favorite script. I loved it.


#45

That is true. I still was thinking more about this being about the perception of Spider-Man than about the characters. I just knew I didn’t want them to be a bunch of generic white kids (like Peter, actually) when New York is very much a mixed city. So, Hector (Latino), James (Black) and Jing (Chinese). I did want to add a subtle attraction growing being James and Jing, though.

True again, but in this case I couldn’t figure out how Spider-Man would be in any place to criticize these kids. He’s essentially a kid himself running around in secret at night, wearing a mask and getting into deadly fights. Who’s he to tell these kids not to do what they’re doing?

The review was great. Thanks for reading.


#46

I didn’t think there was a need to give them more story than they already had. Clearly they’re friends. There’s such a thing as asking too much of a story.


#47

No, you don’t “stink”. Peer reviews are a huge part of this. Keep doing what your doing.


#48

I also learn from the “back and forth” dialogues people have here. :wink:


#49

Good point


#50

@Shawnmilazzo

“The Amazing Archno”
Shawn Milazo,
Satire is very difficult to critique properly. If a joke falls flat, if a line of dialogue doesn’t ring true, you can hide behind authorial intent. I can already hear the response: “oh, that? That’s totally a parody of the Silver-Age Marvel aesthetic. Went right over your head, huh?” Satire is not critique proof. I’m really going to try and silence the voices in my head and push forward.
There’s a lot in here that made me laugh. Ben’s great responsibility line/the Brian Banner as Hulk fake-out/the ‘to be continued’ ending all landed just fine. It made me think of Marvel’s long-lost comedy/parody books like Howard the duck, and What the…?. Maybe Chip Zdarsky taking over Spider-Man will bring back that feeling again. You show us it’s possible anyway. That being said…
Page four/panel 4 is the moment you lost me. Those gratuitous breast/ass shots really took me out of the story. Those panels are followed by Gwen winking? I THINK it’s just Gwen flirting with Peter in his imagination? I’m not sure, because you also say she’s “hovering over” the reader, which makes me think she’s winking AT US. IF this is the case, I don’t get it. I absolutely do not get this page. Who’s the target, and what is the punch line? What joke are we in on? Is Peter being afraid of girls the punch line? A third reading shows that Gwen doesn’t say anything, either. So, she’s a silent sex trophy for the super-hero? Is that what we’re going for? The" real"Gwen had a social conscience, a heart, and a brain. This mute sex object doesn’t ring true at all. I tried to understand this page. I really did. Sorry.
While I like the approach, I can’t help but wonder what is being parodied here? The soap opera drama in comics? The aesthetic? There is a LOT of fertile ground in Spider-Man. Stan Lee’s goofy captions, and the non-stop internal monologue. The very idea of square-ass Peter Parker knee-deep in swinging 60’s culture, and yet, he can’t enjoy it…Either because of the comics code or his own hang-ups…all this stuff is ripe for parody. But maybe this is due to space constraints than anything else…You do hit the nail on the head as far as this idea of an expendable supporting cast. I think you just didn’t go far enough. Comedy rule of threes anyone? Maybe just one more death in the bunch? Could the dying kid could be part of the tour? Tim Harrison? No? Too soon?
Mostly, you seem to be parodying comics as a whole, painting with too large a brush. Focus on something specifically unique to Spider-Man. Get something worthwhile in your crosshairs and take your shot.
The nitpicky stuff:
Page three/panel one caption reads: Later that day
Page five/panel one. Caption reads: Later.
ONE of these has to go, and I think it’s the second one. We know it’s later. We know, chronologically, the field trip follows the bus ride. It just seemed like maybe you missed something during a re-write. Very minor, very easy to fix. I feel bad even mentioning it, but it had me stopping cold and going back to see what I missed.
Flash Thompson’s bullying bit doesn’t add anything to the proceedings. I would lose it.
And finally, Page seven/panel four. X-MEN MOVIE REFRENCE. Didn’t someone else do this with The Avengers 2 and Sokovia? It I think you could simply say, “arms raised” and move on. It hurts you more than it helps you.
Overall, I really did enjoy your entry. You’re a funny guy, and you are a clever guy. Thanks for sharing this with us. Thanks, Jason. AKA Hazardpay.


#51

@JRCarter “Sting”
JRCARTER,
First and foremost, I’d say you deserve a gold star for following “the rules.” (See: first user post, dated March 1st. “…We are not re-inventing how Peter Parker became Spider-Man…”) You followed the instructions to the letter, and I think you deserve some recognition for that. I spent a lot of time trying to think of an interesting way to depict a very familiar story, and you pulled it off. You ran where I stumbled. Good job.
Really this is a hypnotic experience. It’s cinematic and immersive in a way that comics usually aren’t. I can’t fault this five pager, but at the same time, the piece is so short that I’m having a hard time critiquing it. It does what it’s supposed to do and it does it well…what else is there to say?
I am really curious what you’d do with ten pages… Failing that, I think you really could use a sixth page. It feels truncated, like the there is no proper ending. We, the readers, need an escape from this Being John Malkovich scenario. I am craving a big, crazy, action-y splash page or even a half-splash page. Imagine something like, Spidey fighting someone who is 10x stronger than he is like the Rhino, the Hulk, or the Thing. My point being, I feel confined in this piece. I want something more kinetic.I think, maybe, also, it comes off a little dower. Yes, the pain of Ben’s death is important, but the fun side of Spider-Man is being underrepresented…
Overall, I feel like you are trapped by your own concept. It’s a very creative, and yet, also feels really limiting at the same time. There’s no YOU in there! It’s all Stan n’ Steve and very little JR. You’re a very imaginative person, and I hope you get to spread your wings a bit in the next write- off.
Thanks, Jason. AKA Hazardpay.


#52

Jason, thank you for such an in-depth critique. I’m not really sure if you would like me to explain why and what I did. I wouldn’t be trying to justify my actions. If you don’t understand something, then I failed on my part. That’s how I take it, really. You’re an amazing editor, catching my errors! But thank you soooo much man for taking the time and critiquing!


#53

How about just the Gwen part? :slight_smile:


#54

@Hazardpay Peter was imagining it all. When she hovers over us, the reader, it’s pov perspective of Peter. Probably should have clarified.


#55

Ok thanks. I worry I’m not catching ceartin things and binge reading these entries was not a good idea…


#56

@Hazardpay When I write, I imagine everything. I guess, I was caught in the moment of a silent/slow-motion fantasy of Gwen Stacy for personal use…


#57

@Hazardpay Thanks for the critique. In hindsight, I probably did paint myself into a corner. Maybe I’ll go back to this and refine it. Maybe punch it up some. Thanks for reading and taking the time to critique it.


#58

I love that someone went in and gave no-holds-barred reviews, and seems to have done them with more tact than I have in the past, and their thoughts have been respected.

For what it’s worth, the premise of the challenge allowed plenty of wiggle room. I don’t think anyone strayed too far from the basic origin story, which is good enough for me.


#59

Jason,

Thank you very much for your thoughts on my attempt. I don’t disagree with any of your criticisms and totally agree with all the stuff you liked about it! I appreciate you taking the time to read my piffle and put some thoughts down for me to ruminate upon. For my rumination. Anyway…

I should have put a title in there; honestly i had thought of using “Down Time” or something similar, but my penchant for laziness sort of got in the way, there. There’s always next time!

WRT the intro; since this was really just a sort of once-through exercise, I didn’t really think about the weight of the opening in the modern “grab 'em by the nethers and don’t let go” parlance. It was easy for me to visualise the opening shot, so that’s what I went with. I suppose in hindsight a shot of Luke Cage in his 70’s regalia decking Mr. Fish - a real villain, for those of you who are unfamiliar; see Luke Cage, Power Man ish 29 - might have been more “grabby.” Or just better expository copy.

In reviewing that Luke Cage issue, I see that Msieur Fish is not actually wearing a suit. Sigh. I suspect it would have been funny regardless but this is the sort of thing an editor is for and I regret nothing


#60

See, I thought the handling of Mr. Fish was spot-on, an excellent way into the Avengers conversation. And if you altered the character a little (suits make every character better), don’t sweat it.


#61

You are a gentleman and a scholar sir, with a discerning eye, fine taste and in all likelihood a full head of lustrous hair befitting a man half your age