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Re: was Re: mulch and fanboy now - Comic Book Block

On Sat, 8 May 1999 12:39:56 -0700, "Ken Fritts"
<kfritts@earthlink.net> wrote:

>You know that reminds me of a question I always had about comic books and
>how they are developed.
>I hear about "writer's block" all the time when it comes to novels or
>scripts for movies and TV. But
>does the same to apply to comic books? If so how? What are some methods used
>to solve or beat the block?

ME: Any writer can get blocked at times.  Happens to all of us, some
more than others.

I usually work on a number of projects at one time...so if I find
myself blocked on a comic book script, I take some time off from it
and work on a TV script or one of my columns or something.  That
usually works for me but, at times, deadlines don't allow this luxury.
So what I do in those cases is to just keep at it until I solve
whatever problem is hanging me up. 

One of the reasons Sergio and I work so well together is that we have
very similar work habits.  We're both very fast and very prolific and
quite willing to work very long hours.

>Also, was there any major story of Groo with major blocks in it? I imagine
>probably some of the
>Minstrel's poems and songs must have been tough to do with the amount of
>rhyming to be done.

ME: The rhyming just takes time.  I just spent about three solid hours
writing a poem that will be a frontispiece in the BOOGEYMAN trade
paperback.  You think of and discard dozens of couplets for each
position until you come up with the right one.

The issues of GROO that have been problematic have been those where we
get near the end of a story and then decide the ending isn't right.
Sometimes, Sergio has an ending in mind and I decide I don't like it;
sometimes, it's the other way around.  Sometimes, we both realize
we're in trouble.  So we just talk it out and come up with something
else.  That's not really a "block," though.  A block is when you can't
write anything.

>I try to imagine how would be like to have to write for anything with a set
>of characters. Eventually
>everything is told and every setting is done from what I see, yet they
>continue to keep finding new
>ways and stories to throw at the characters. To use a non-Groo example (uh
>oh), The Simpsons.
>They keep making episodes and its all about the basic key characters and
>such, but they are able
>to keep telling stories and it never seems to get dull.

ME: I find it a great challenge to keep coming up with new ideas for
the same characters.  One of my all-time favorite comic books is THE
FOX AND THE CROW, which was around for more than 20 years without a
single regular supporting character.  They kept finding new things to
do with one fox and one crow.

Mark Evanier's e-mail address is: me@evanier.com
OFFICE: 363 S. Fairfax Ave., #303 - Los Angeles, CA 90036