Comics Creators

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


We could call it Altered Egos!

And yes, I would be happy to host again.


Something to remember here, though. For the pros, they do have to pitch the story first. So that means they have to then deliver what they pitched. The term “development hell” came about because first people hear a pitch they like, but then when they read the finished script, it doesn’t seem “fresh” to them. So they demand changes rather than have faith in their initial reaction. Same for writers, too. You come up with a great story, but when you write it, it seems old by the time you’re in the middle of it. Sometimes, that leads to breakthroughs, but most often it leads to a period where you lose interest in the story and want to move on to other things. The pros - often because they are monetarily obligated to do it - grind through that period and stick with it because they remember liking it from the first time it struck them.

However, in this regard, it is important to be choosey with who you get feedback from. You don’t really want to share too many drafts with the same person because it will get old for them. You won’t be getting the initial reaction you need to judge how someone will respond the first time. Also, that reaction will give you what you need to keep with it.


Do they pitch scripts or series? Maybe I’m naive, but I imagine once they get a project approved it becomes a matter of editors giving finished scripts the okay. Then again, the New 52 Static Shock apparently had the writer, the artist, and the editor coming up with ideas (to the constant headache of all involved, infamously). It seems in the past, at DC, the editor was heavily involved (read: meddling), which caused a lot of creative friction, possibly because the company wanted certain results and some writers didn’t agree with them.

Anyway, probably overthinking this. Hopefully a good critique partner likes reading your stuff regardless of whether or not they’ve read multiple versions of it.


A lot of times ideas are these vague things, some parts visualized better than others.

Point being, not all specifics are worked out.

Could it be all agree on the general idea and problems appear when each has a specific vision of how the story or such should play out and parties can’t agree?


Well, hopefully any nebulous ideas will be worked on and become something. A mature writer ought to be able to work with someone else’s ideas, because in the end the worth of a writer is the ability to present a unique voice, not some generic one anyone could have. Any writer who thinks differently is probably not mature, or has no perspective.


A lot of it is the nature of the business side of creativity - you want to put out something people want to buy. Even writers will get swayed by something they’ve seen that was good and successful.

Like somebody pitches a story where puppets are a real class of people in the world - sorta like Toons in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. So the basic pitch is that three of these puppets, a Badger Berzerk, Sandy Salamander and Gila the Monster get fired from the kid’s show where they were bit players for getting caught smoking on camera. Broke and needing cash to keep out of the trash bin, they take a job from a local criminal to kidnap a rich man’s daughter for ransom. Since she loves puppets, it’s easy for them to lure her away, but while they keep her on ice until the real crooks to pick her up, they end up falling for her. So, they don’t want to turn her over and go on the lam with the kid. They want to give her back to her parents, but they don’t want to go to jail, and because they come up with a super complicated plan to give her back, it all goes wrong and they lose her in the middle of the city.

So let’s call it STITCHHEADS and say that pitch gets approved for development. Everyone is like, it’s THREE GODFATHERS meets ROGER RABBIT but with muppets. It’s an easy concept to grasp.

Then I go see PLANET OF THE APES, and I’m thinking… what if this was a story about an uprising of puppets who are tired of being kept down by the human race? Or someone else sees a zombie movie that hits big and wonders - maybe the puppets could be monsters. Like CHUCKY meets GREMLINS, instead, and it’s really a horror movie? And somewhere in there the original idea gets completely buried because we can’t develop these stories without the entire world of stories around us influencing it.

In some cases, it’s a good thing. GREMLINS, BEETLEJUICE and THE MASK were all originally gory horror movies and the moment someone said “what if it was really a comedy?” the movies became what we saw on the screen.


Sometimes it’s hard to spot but that’s basically the secret origin of every story. We have so many stories floating around in the modern age that there’s this myth about the need for originality, when there’s always been a limited number of basic archetypes that are endlessly riffed on, and we differentiate mostly on the basis of how distinctive the lead characters are.


Congrats @BeingHenning. Really enjoyed your take on Spider-Man, especially impressed with how well defined each character’s personality was in such a short space.


Congrats, @BeingHenning. Surely, we could crowd-fund the making of Stitch heads?:thinking:


Congratulations @BeingHenning


@Tony_Laplume @BeingHenning when’s the next write off offically begin? I just started something new.
Thanks, Jason.


Do we want to start sooner rather than later? Just let me know what you’re thinking, people!


I want all entries on my desk by 9:00 AM Monday morning!


Seriously though, since I think this exercise will be more about crafting comedy, a shorter deadline will probably be better since - like discussed above - the more time you have to rewrite something you find funny, the less funny you’ll think it is.

Is that the exercise here? Take a known superhero and write him (or her) as a basically selfish, irresponsible prick… but a funny one.


That sounds good. I’ll probably open the new round on Monday, then, and maybe make it a month-long contest, unless there are objections.


I have my idea “locked and loaded”. If this is the topic, I’ll pull the trigger and start wriittiinngg…NOW. :smile:


Have a look at the new thread!