Sunday, July 29, 2007

Blogathon 46: Writing v. Brainstorming

To keep me awake, I've stuck Big Shiny Tunes 2 in the discman. Details can be found here.

Last week, I spent way too much time listening to all five parts of the most recent Bendis Tapes podcast from Word Balloon and sometime during the whole thing I realised what's wrong with comics and creators promoting upcoming projects: all the creators know are the ideas.

The creators go to these retreats and think up all sorts of cool shit and get pumped, and then the comics come out and people go "Well, shit, dude, that sucks" and everyone is baffled when the answer is simple:


And this is the point where everyone goes "No shit," but it has to be said. Any writer worth anything will tell you that ideas are nothing, but that's what is constantly being hyped in comics: ideas, not writing. We hear about these upcoming storylines that are going to blow our minds, except they're not actually written yet, so how do you know?

Look at Civil War: fantastic ideas, shit execution. I'm serious, the writing on that mini-series was some of the worst garbage I've ever seen. And if you want to know why, go read Tom Brevoort's blog post of Millar's initial ideas. He doesn't construct a story, he lines up a bunch of fanboy orgasm moments, which Millar admits is his strategy. Now, that is one way to write a story--a really shitty way to write a story. And yeah, the book sold huge, but try reading it as a complete story. I did that and THAT IS SOMETHING I CAN NEVER FORGET! "You can't unread what you've read!"

That's why I don't believe any hype at this point. You haven't seen a script? Your opinion is worthless. Cool ideas don't make a good comic and I wish creators would stop talking to us like they thought they do. And, honestly, anyone who places the idea above the actual writing? Hack. Total fucking hack. It's not too hard to spot them, either. Sadly, they tend to sell a lot of books when all people need to realise is that if all that's there is ideas, you can get just as much enjoyment from reading a message board post the day after it's released. Which is one of the reason why Civil War is so horrible to read: once you know the fanboy orgasm moments, there's nothing there. The wad is blown.