Practice Makes Perfect

…And also serves as a convenient distraction from household chores. But here’s the thing. I’m doing a webcomic with a friend of mine, in between the times we each have allotted for real-life activities — don’t worry, you’ll know when it’s ready — and when I gave her the first installment of script for the first story we’ve planned to do, I suddenly found myself writing it in full-script form. And this was unexpected : up until that point, I’d thought it’d go more like panel, caption, caption, panel, that whole thing. Maybe some word balloons. But, no. Apparently in my head I’m seeing JRJR draw it, or something.

And Merrie doesn’t have the experience that JRJR has, so I figure I better get a bit handier with the full-script format. Therefore…

Some of you have read, and in a spirit of what I can only assume to be kindness, tolerated, my little Ray Palmer experiment. Others of you have heard me expound upon how I think writing for (superhero) comics is probably harder than it appears, given that you actually have to come up with stuff. Now I think, maybe I should do another little exercise in this area. But considering that the last idea about superhero comics I had was about how the Yellow Claw thinks the Super-Soldier Serum was a stupid idea, maybe…

I should just pick a character at random, and try to dash off a few pages about that character, whoever they are.

Well, it couldn’t hurt, right?

But if blogs are for anything they’re for substituting the whims of strange people for randomness, so I’m opening the floor to suggestions: what character do you think I should take a run at, one-shot solo adventure style? Don’t give me Batman, or Mister Miracle or Flash or anything…nothing that ambitious. The Human Torch is okay; Spider-Man isn’t. See what I’m saying? Wonder Man, sure; Iron Man or Daredevil, no. Captain America is right out. Superman? Ridiculous.

Oh God, now I’m really interested in what insane thing you might propose.

So…your thoughts, Internet?

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39 responses to “Practice Makes Perfect

  1. Random supporting heroes that entered my brain first:

    Doc Samson
    Iceman
    Tigra
    Songbird
    Brainiac 5
    Wonder Girl
    Speedy/Arsenal/Red Arrow
    Karnak
    Hank Pym

    Oddly enough, I don’t have much interest in half those characters. Good luck!

  2. Hmmm … let’s put our Mighty Marvel Bronze-Fu into play.

    How about Wood God or The Scarecrow (not the Batman villain, but the short-lived Marvel super-hero who jumped out of a painting).

    Or, we could always use an untold tale of the Elf With A Gun.

  3. HAHAHAHAHA! Wow, this is great, don’t stop! What wonderful suggestions! Me on 3-D Man? Me on freakin’ Machine Man?! No, I’m really not worthy…

    You’ve got me thinking, though. In fact one of these above suggestions already seems to have caught onto something in my head, so I’m definitely mulling it over…in the meantime, no, seriously, don’t stop! It’s alarmingly stimulating.

  4. Oh — I’ve got it!

    The guy on the far right part of the cover to Fantastic Four #1. A huge monster erupts out of the groud, and HE decides that he doesn’t want to lose his hat? Now THERE’S a story springboard for ya!

  5. So a robot from the future who drinks a lot and refers to people as “fleshy” is autobiography?

    … Awesome.

  6. …And stop calling me Crazy Kidney Lady!

    Actually, you know, that’s a pretty neat idea…unfortunately I’m not Steve Gerber.

  7. When I found this on the Making Light site just now, I knew I had to send it to you.

    “As the damaged space station…”

    http://xkcd.com/c254.html

    Greatly admire your stuff. But what character to suggest to the thoroughgoing analyst who wants a simple, complete in one issue story? It has to be somebody who’s *somebody* without any load of backstory, or major built-in ambivalence.

    Cannonball Guthrie.

  8. Ah, now it comes. You got me thinking about old Tommy Tomorrow 6-pagers in the back of Superboy comics. Or Congo Bill, or Captain Compass. And I know just who I want to see in that format…

    Any one (1) of Morrison’s Original Newsboy Army, in the platonic kids’ eternity one knows they deserve. Say an Ali-Ka-Zoom 6-pager, in four colours for a dime.

  9. Hilarious! Thanks, Jonathan!

    And, hmm, Ali-Ka-Zoom…you know, that’s rather intriguing. So now I have two characters to mull over…

    Three, if you count Sam Guthrie: just because I hate Lila Cheney so much, you see.

    Alas, must go proofread a paper now. Back tomorrow.

  10. When in doubt I always suggest Nightwing. Or Metamorpho.

    Marvel side – it’s hard to say, they’re all in comics it seems. How about Cpt. Britain? Psyloche?

  11. Sadly, both radioactive, I think.

    Well, actually there’s nothing sad about Psylocke being radioactive, in my opinion. May she stay that way!

    Nightwing…now there’s a challenge. I must remember to check Marv’s work on him…

    Still awake and proofing! Ai ya…

  12. We haven’t seen much of Morbius lately.

    Actually, the Nightstalkers have all been kind of awol. That would be awesome.

  13. Oh wait I looked him up and found out about the Blade thing.

    But Hannibal King is still cool!

  14. I’ve always found that writing characters whose philosophies I don’t personally agree with is a good bit of practice. It’s easier to see your personal tics and biases creep in that way. Peacemaker or The Question at his most Objectivist are good for that.

  15. But…but if I give up my personal tics and biases, I’ll have nothing left, Penguin!

    Okay, couple things to address. One: Hannibal King is, indeed, very cool. Also, Morbius has been out of touch for a while, and I’m tempted to write him just because I actually don’t have any ideas on what to do with him at all. But…a slight problem there, is that I actually don’t have any ideas on what to do with him at all. Metamorpho’s cool, but he’s being used too much lately…I refuse to do Woodgod on the grounds that when I was a kid I imagined so many, many, many Woodgod/other Marvel character team-ups that I don’t think I could ever choose just one of these, and yet how could I choose none of them? Kind of tempting to do my old Woodgod vs. Iron Man thing, because Woody beats the snot out of IM…but no. Love to do Triathlon (where is that guy, anyway?) or for that matter Alicia, and of course I’m still straining to think of a good 3-D Man story…3-D Man vs. Triathlon? Nah…

    It’s gonna be Karnak. Weirdly enough. Because I saw “Karnak” and thought “wow, how do you come up with a Karnak story? What’s there to say?”, and then about one second later I was thinking “hmm…yeah, Karnak…”

    Though I am still mulling over what an Ali-Ka-Zoom story might be like, I confess. Oh well, if I think it up, I may put it up! But for now: Karnak. That’s screwy. I’m gonna do that one.

    Uh…in a little bit, that is…

  16. Pingback: Blog@Newsarama » Don’t you want more than my sex?·

  17. Wow, weird…this is already one of the most-read things I’ve ever posted, and now I see Shane’s just linked to it from Meanwhile…

    So I’d better not say it’s all sewn up just yet. Wait another day…

    Karnak and Ali-Ka-Zoom are still way out in front, though.

  18. Well, if Woodgod is out then how about The Torpedo?

    Sure, he may have been brutally murdered by Dire Wraiths but that hasn’t stopped a good hero before!

    Ooo! Ooo! A story about Torpedo The Zombie!

  19. Glad I suggested Karnak. He’s one of my favorite Z-listers.
    If you haven’t read the Ann Noccenti/ JR Jr Daredevils where Karnak & Gorgon show up, or the Paul Jenkins/ Jae Lee mini, those are my favorite interpretations of the character (beside the Lee & Kirby stuff, of course).

  20. Keeper, I’m working on something special for you to make up for my passing over Woodgod…

    And Mike, wow, I have never read those.

  21. Yeah, they both pretty much leave you open to tell any kind of story you want from Science Fiction to Alternate History to Biography. The possibilities are limitless.

  22. Weird. I sent a comment in the other night with a whole list of Who’s Who in the DC Universe characters. I guess it didn’t go through.

  23. Karnak is awesome! He’s such a dick! That’s even his power. “I have the ability to sense your weaknesses.” He should work in management.

  24. I must admit I have no idea who Karnak is. The only phrase that comes to mind when I hear the name is ‘mysterious visitor from the East’.

    Other ideas for you:

    Blue Shield
    Roy Raymond, TV Detective
    Stingray
    the Flying Fox (if you don’t, who will?)
    Nightowl
    Aquagirl

  25. “And, Shane: no, I didn’t get that, WordPress must’ve swallowed it.”

    Ah, it was probably way too much to process anyway. Next time you do something like this I’ll redo it.

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