MOORE, ALAN – WRITING FOR COMICS. 2003 The Avatar Press.
The author of V For Vendetta, Watchmen and Tom Strong, offers shrewd advise to would be a comic book writer. He points out that many such writers use cinematic terms for comic book panels, with words like zoom, close-up, etc. In some ways, he sees this as a problem in that it makes comics read like a static or slow moving film presentation. Moore goes through the writing process, from basic ideas, to development of style. He has nothing but contempt for clichés, and simple her V Villain punch ups, especially ones with a predictable good triumphs over evil moral message on the end. He cites Issue #40 of his Swamp Thing comic where a female lead’s villainy is due to complications in her menstrual cycle to show that the plot needs a greater depth and psychological insight into how a comic book character needs to operate convincingly. Later he talks of writing a Superman tale in which Mongol has convinced the Man Of Steel that his home world, Krypton was not destroyed, and that he is happy there. This is introduced from page one to readers who already know Krypton has been destroyed, so the readership becomes intrigued by how this state of affairs has come about (they only learn of Mongol’s influence later). The story gets into parallel track with the efforts of Batman, Wonder Woman and Robin to rescue Superman from the trap Mongol has set upon him. The two strands of the story have to be made to work towards one another for the conclusion. Moore shows that he knows how many panels of comic and how many pages he has to work with, which helps him set a pace of so many pages for certain elements of this plot. It is all about balance and timing. He goes on to advise writers to take risks and even to disregard all of his advise if need be. The advice is actually very sound, and the strong use of text shows what a fine writer Moore is. . www.avatarpress.com
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