Complications Ensue:
The Crafty Screenwriting, TV and Game Writing Blog


April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014

December 2014

January 2015

February 2015

March 2015

April 2015

May 2015

June 2015

August 2015

September 2015

October 2015

November 2015

December 2015

January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

January 2017

February 2017

March 2017

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

August 2017

September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

December 2017

January 2018

March 2018

April 2018

June 2018

July 2018

October 2018

November 2018

December 2018

January 2019

February 2019

November 2019

February 2020

March 2020

April 2020

May 2020

August 2020

September 2020

October 2020

December 2020

January 2021

February 2021

March 2021

May 2021

June 2021

November 2021

December 2021

January 2022

February 2022

August 2022

September 2022

November 2022


Monday, December 12, 2005

Part four of my interview with John Rogers (Blue Beetle, Zombie Tales, oh, and some movies and tv shows too) on transitioning between screen and print.
CTVW: How'd you learn to write comics?
JR: I wrote them, sent them to friends till they stopped sucking.
CTVW: You started with Zombie Tales.
JR: A bunch of us were sitting around talking about why zombie movies are so popular. Zombies are a metaphor for this, they're a metaphor for that. And my friend Ross realized, all these takes on zombies are an anthology. That's why Boom! did Zombie Tales. And it was a challenge. You've got eight pages. Five panels. Try writing a short story in 40 sentences. As soon as I started writing my first comic, I called all my comic writer friends and said, "I am so sorry - this is the hardest writing I've ever done." You have to do all the work yourself, too. You don't just write the dialog. You have to say how the artist should draw this. Essentially you have to be the writer and the director and the actors.
CTVW: And the editor.
JR: And it's amazing what someone can do in that time if they're good. That said, screenwriting is good practice for writing comics. By the second run at the thing, I started to get it right more or less. But there are still things I write where the artist comes back and, "there's no way you can do it in that many pictures." You can't do it in one panel.
CTVW: How do you not read a comic in 5 minutes? The thing that I find difficult is you buy a comic, and it takes maybe 5 minutes to read it, and you're done. Okay, maybe your local library has the trade paperback. But how do you slow down the read?
JR: I have an eye for the art. I think, "that's an interesting way to get that in the page." But they're meant to be consumed in bite sized chunks.
CTVW: In other words, you don't slow down the read.
JR: The big boom in comics was the GI's during World War II. They had maybe 5 minutes to kill. It's a matter of enjoying that as it goes.
CTVW: What stories lend themselves to comics?
JR: Well there are genres. True life. Confessional. Soapy story. The capes. Indie crime. Monster stories. But you can also become your own genre. Steve Niles created 30 Days a Night and now there are people who are just looking for the next Steve Niles.
CTVW: Why so much with the big mythic stories? Is it just because you can destroy the world for nothing on paper?
JR: I think that's partly the tradition in comics.
CTVW: But okay, then, why did it become the tradition? What is it about comics that lend themselves to the big myth?
JR: It's a cultural thing. I have British readers on my website, they just don't get the capes. They like Judge Dredd, 2000AD -- spy stuff, cop stuff, sf stuff. Superman learning to love again? Ugh. That's entertainment?
CTVW: But--
JR: Okay, I think you just come to different media with different expectations. Comics sell a hundred thousand copies max. That's a tenth of a ratings share. Comics readers want to see something out of this world. That said, there are shows that have the big mythos. Buffy was magnficently mythic.
[CTVW: And Joss is a huge fanboy and writes comics.]
JR: A lot of people are desperate for a big over the top metaphorical story. Look at Lost--
[CTVW: Also written by fanboys]
JR: —and Desperate Housewives is about sin, and fantasy fulfillment. Comics are our modern myths. For every gritty story you can tell, there are more illuminating ways to tell it with a fantastic bent. [And comics make it easy to show something fantastic.] Look at Bill Willingham's Fables, watching him unfold the story and reference something that you think, "I should know what that is!" until you figure out what it is. As many people I know who have had transcendent religious experiences, I know at least that many who were genuinely moved by the idea of the Global Frequency.

Okay, kids. That was John Rogers, speaking to us about the comics writing experience. Now get thee to Meltdown and buy thee a couple of issues of Blue Beetle, so John can get his fix ... of story telling.



That was fantastic, Alex. Thank you very much for sharing the interview with us.

By Blogger Kelly J. Crawford, at 12:53 AM  

"It's amazing what someone can do in time if they're good." That's probably a no-brainer, but it needs to be said now and then!

By Blogger MaryAn Batchellor, at 9:55 AM  

Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.

This page is powered by Blogger.