Making the Rules Part 3: To Thine Own Characters Be True

There are a lot of different elements that make up a story, and if you ask a hundred different literary scholars, you’ll hear all of them, I’m sure. Setting, theme, atmosphere, plot, metaphor—there are essays on it, each written by a person, who according to themselves and possibly the person who taught their lit class, is totally correct and who has worked very, very hard to assure themselves is not a matter of opinion.   Me? Well my favorite part of storytelling is building the world and if I looked hard enough, I could give you a lot of reasons why it’s the most important part too. In fact, the place I read instead of literary essays,, just recently ran an article making just that claim.   And I totally disagree.   While it’s my favorite thing to do and will always be the big draw, especially in movies, I don’t think setting is the end all and be all of a story. No matter how many interesting concepts I introduce, no matter what kind of society I draw, or set-pieces I describe, they won’t mean anything without someone to move around in them, experience them, and … Continue reading

Dawn of a New Age

Every two weeks, I drive thirty miles to the nearest quality comic shop to pick up my pulls. The place is a little cluttered, a little crowded, but a far cry from the dank pick of the unwashed and socially maladjusted anti-nerd types (most of whom are other nerds, but that’s a different blog post) like to paint them as.

I don’t get much time to hang out there, but I usually end up having one conversation while I’m there; usually about non-comics topics, oddly enough. But this week, it dawned on use just how unbelievably good comics have been lately.

True, there have been some face-plants: DC’s debut of Red Hood and the Outlaws, comes instantly to mind, but in general, there’s been a sudden, inexplicable rise in quality of late. Where before, many of us found ourselves hanging on to multiple series in the hopes that they would get good because we like the setup or the characters, suddenly we’re excited about the titles themselves again, talking about how great the writing and story and characterization is.

Normally, I would arrange my comics so I get the comics in danger of being cut from my pulls out of … Continue reading

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