Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Comic Authors

Comic book authors should be required to read the entire series of a title that they have been assigned to before they begin writing; so at least when they completely change something to fit their need, they can explain the continuity errors they've created.

One series I read as a kid, had this great thing called a "no prize." The entire series was written by one author, so continuity errors were few; however, they did creep in occasionally. This author had a great since of humor about it, and created the "no prize." At the end of most comics they have a couple of pages where they print fan letters, and responses. So when people wrote in to point out continuity errors, this author encouraged the fans to write an explanation that resolved the error. He would then pick his favorite, print it in the letters to the author section, and give them the "no prize." The name was because, you didn't actually get a tangible prize. What you did get was a chance to be a part of the process, and the writer agreeing with you, thus giving some canonical credibility to an explanation that resolved a continuity error. This also gave a positive spin on the whole "point out the author's mistake" thing.

DC comics has run into continuity errors on a much larger scale. This is due to long runs of titles, constant changes in authors, and crossovers beyond anything that could easily be managed. Their solution was\is limited run cleanup series usually having the word "Crisis" in the title. In the first one, they proposed the idea of multiple universes, where most things are the same, but where there are subtle differences. These universes would cross occasionally, combine in some cases, and end up with people from one universe staying in another. This gave them the ability to explain away ageless characters, changes in origins of characters, and bringing dead characters back to life. Cause lets face it, nothing sells comics better than killing off a major character; while nothing kills comics better than a major character no longer being alive.

1 comment:

Carol said...

I used to get all the comic books possible. There was this one little store that had everything possible. My brother and I collected them. Then our mother dumped the lot, including Conan's rare episode where Belit comes back to save him. I had the entire limited series of Korak, son of Tarzan.
Duke Nuke'm? It has been ages since I've seen or played it.