The next generation of comic book writers get their turn
in the spotlight. With in-depth contributions from those responsible
for some of the biggest selling comics titles on shelves,
and including behind the scenes info, anecdotes and untold
on Comics Scriptwriting 2 is a book of long interviews
with story scriptwriters who work (or have worked) in the
comics industry. It's cited as a sequel to the top-selling
original version, but not having seen that one I can't compare
the two. What I can do is weigh it up against Comics
Creators on Spider-Man,
also from Titan Books, which I reviewed in June. In that book
Tom DeFalco, a major page in the character's legend himself,
put together interviews with most of the comics writers involved
with the webslinger. There was continuity, background, and
story reactions. Furthermore, there was a guaranteed audience,
because Spider-Man has a huge following. Herein lies
the main problem. Writers on Comics Scriptwriting 2
has nothing on the cover other than a lot of names, most or
all of which nobody will have heard of. I recognised five
of the seventeen names, but I think I might be in a minority.
writers collected here come from different walks of life,
work for different companies, and have written for or created
many various characters, so you get the impression of disconnection,
sporadic mutterings instead of various slants or interpretations
of the same subject. That is not to say this won't be a valid
reference book for those in the trade or avid fans of the
comics in question, but this won't appeal to the casual reader.
A much better idea might have been to keep the character continuity
and interview many of the writers who have worked on Batman,
Superman or the X-Men, but only one of the characters
at a time.
Of course, this might prove priceless to anyone wishing to
get into the business and learn more about their chosen trade.
As someone interested in the mechanics of writing, I found
the most intriguing parts to be the discussion of layouts
and plotting, but with no definite context for what is briefly
being explained it soon lost its appeal. I loved the Spider-Man
book, but couldn't get on with this one.
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