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Can't We Let It End?

A column article, Mission: Professional by: Steven Savage

With the latest DC Reboot, 52 (which I think is the number of times DC and Marvel have done giant world-shaking crossovers/reboots), I wanted to speculate on something important for comics and indeed all media.

Sometimes, it has to end.

Giant non-ending plots, endless restarts and semi-starts, episodes and books that just keep growing. There's something daunting and diluting about things that Just Don't End. Where do you start? Where do you end? How the hell do you get people into it?

Comics are infamous for this (and infamous for "kind of restarting things" as well). It's almost a running joke about death not mattering, changes not mattering in comics - and of course, there never being an end.

So I want to toss out a bit of contrarian speculation for people working in comics and webcomics: consider an end to your story/comic/project.

Oh we've seen it before, and it has been done, but I want to raise it again because I don't see it nearly enough. There's plenty of advantages.

  • First, you get a selling point. I don't mean to be mercenary but you'll stand out by noting the series will end at some point.
  • Secondly, it changes the value proposition of the series. The series will end and people realize characters, places, etc. are not guaranteed. It makes it more compelling.
  • Third, you get a chance to plan your merchandising and marketing around appropriate events - including the end.
  • Fourth, you can plan your next projects. Think about what you can do with an actual timeframe!
  • Fifth, you have a way to promote your new projects anyway.
  • Sixth, well, you're guaranteeing it won't get diluted and become meaningless.

Besides, remember that just because a story ends the characters, world, etc. can go on. Sometimes you can't step away in the large - but can in the small.

But story-wise? Maybe you should consider letting your projects end, it could be quite a beginning.

- Steven Savage

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