laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree posting in [community profile] scans_daily


"I think that anthologies and especially black and white ones are probably vital if we wish to retain – or, God forbid, improve upon – the basic values and standards upon which this entire art-form, let alone this entire industry, are founded. The anthology title is of tremendous value, simply because it will contain a number of strips that vary in length from a half-page to perhaps six or eight pages. The importance of this necessary limitation, to fledgling comic writers and to the writing standards of the field as a whole, cannot be overestimated. For one thing, anthology titles were once the near-universal proving ground for new writers entering the industry, based on the sound commercial logic that if you give somebody a trial shot at writing a four page story and the results are less than riveting then it will be no great disaster and no great loss. And of course someone who has learned their craft through the vehicle of the short story (where you have to establish the characters, world, premise and structure before resolving all of these satisfyingly in a handful of pages) will certainly possess all of the skills and discipline necessary to scale up their narrative into a tautly-written 24-page book, or an ongoing series, or a ‘graphic novel’ as the occasion demands. The same is not true the other way about, however, and writers who have entered the field via a monthly book with a potentially endless continuing story seem to find the short form unimaginably difficult and restrictive. For a lot of comic book writers it seems like the idea of resolving a storyline ever is an anathema, let alone resolving it within eight pages or less. Simply put, while mastering the short anthology story is certainly harder work for the creator, the rewards to the individual concerned and to the field as a whole are immeasurable." -- Alan Moore





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