In the spirit of trying to learn and be receptive rather than hidebound and ranty, I have a question for all creative types: where do you draw the line on using certain words/images/phrases that could be inflammatory?
I ask because a couple of times over the past few weeks, I’ve been brought to task by bloggers over the casual use of the word “retard” in the LUTHER short story. I admit to being annoyed that both times, those who were offended either ignored or didn’t understand that the entire point of the story was that (spoiler) in the end, the narrator comes to realize that maybe he ought to be a little more careful about how he uses that word…
…but to some people, the lesson learned is outweighed by the use of the word in the first place. Now, I could go off here and windmill my arms and bombast about how words like that get their power precisely because we whisper them, or about how language should never be off-limits in stories meant for adults, or how the whole impact of the story is lost without that word, but the truth is…
And now, after all of yesterday’s analysis of how you can make chapters work in eight to ten screens, you’ll find on May 1 that you have every right to say to me, “So then how come the first chapter of Insufferable clocks in at 23 screens?” This is why, and it’s a reflection of my long-held philosophy of what a first issue should be.
One of the earliest decisions made regarding THRILLBENT was that it would feature serialized stories. That seemed like a no-brainer; after all, I’ve been writing serial fiction all my adult life. Easy transition, right?
When it comes to story installments, all my storytelling rhythms are set to comics’ standard 20-22 pages. Yes, I can write much shorter (or longer) one-off stories–but in my entire career, I’ve never taken up the challenge of serializing a story in bite-size pieces, and the secret to it eluded me until I finished Chapter Three of Insufferable.
Jeremy Rock is a crazy-talented young artist I worked with at BOOM! Studios when I was EIC. His style is expressive but not unrealistic, he has storytelling chops, and he has that clean linestyle that I’m personally very fond of, like Steve Dillon and Dave Gibbons. When I decided to do “Luther” as a proof-of-concept, I reached out to him, and he’s graciously volunteered to guest-blog here and take us through the steps of creation. Ladies and gentlemen, Jeremy Rock: