Creating Comic Books: The Director's CutA column article, Busted Knuckles by: Beau Smith
I was watching a DVD the other day - LOST: The Final Season - going through the special features and axtras. Most of the time I enjoy the extra features and director's cuts on DVDs. Some of the bonus features are very informative and others are just flat out fun. The worst a special feature can be is boring.
While watching the DVD I related it to comic books and how occasionally there are extra features when a series is collected or when a new original graphic novel is produced. I usually enjoy those as much as the main content itself when done right. Most of the time you get to see some unpublished art, so prelim stuff and a few times they throw in the writer's original script. It's always fun and educational to see another writer's script and the format they use. I know when I was a budding writer, I would've loved to have had access to published writer's scripts. After all, I learned from reading the Robert Kanigher scripts he sent me from Sgt. Rock, Metal Men and some Batman stories. His scripts were a major influence on my script formatting and timing. I will always be in Bob's debt for that.
What I would like to suggest is that Marvel Comics and DC Comics produce an oversized book reprinting a classic story like Fantastic Four#48 or Green Lantern #59 for example, and not only show the story with some behind the scenes art, but also break down each page as far as storytelling, reasons for editing, explaining the art, pacing and other angles of the story.
I'm not talking about having the original writers and artists detail it. Some of them are not with us today, so that would be impossible. But it would be amazing to have truly iconic and educated creators or editors like Denny O'Neil, Walt Simonson, Marv Wolfman, Len Wein, Roy Thomas, Neal Adams, Dick Ayers and others talk about and point out what made these stories great. Guys like them have worked on comics from all sides. They have worked on comics from as far back as the Golden Age, like Dick Ayers, through the Silver Age, like Denny O'Neil, through the Bronze Age, and even through today. I know this kind of bonus content would thrill those wanting to create comics, folks that read comics and creators that have been making comics for decades.
That's just the germ of the idea, but I think you can see what I'm thinking about. I think an oversized format would be a perfect way to not only show the story, but to breakdown and point out how the story is told panel to panel, page to page. Speaking from my 24 years of marketing and writing comics, I can tell you that in this format, there are a lot of people that would not only pony up the money for such a book, but would also request more giving other milestone comics this important treatment. All eras of comics could be covered, from the Golden Age to the comics on the shelves right now.
It's something to think about. I hope that I've planted a seed in your head. Next time you're at a convention and see Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, Joe Quesada, Axel Alonzo or Dan DiDio, suggest it to them. Send them an email, write them a letter, post up on their site.
Tell 'em Beau sent you.
Busted Knuckles Manly Cover of the Week: Giant Classic King Kong
Whitman/Gold Key Comics
Painted Art by George Wilson
What kid of any age doesn't love giant apes? I know as a kind when I saw this cover I thought this was the moment when my pointy little head would explode in the aisle of the drug store and splatter my immature brain matter all over some blue haired old lady that was sadly in my childish line of fire.
The great artist George Wilson did a bang-up job taking inspiration from the original King Kong movie to make this cover his own and still tribute the great film, if you ever see this comic or Whitman version at a convention, in a store or online, then snap it up, read it and then frame the cover. Maybe your head will explode as well.
Busted Knuckles Babe of the Week: Brooklyn Decker
Brooklyn Decker...yeah, be still my rusty old heart. You can't tell me that you haven't seen the trailers for Adam Sandler's new movie Just Go with It and haven't felt your eyeballs pop out a little when Brooklyn Decker is shown on the screen. While watching The Chicago Bears defeat the Seattle Seahawks this past weekend at my son's house, the trailer came up during a break in the game and I saw my son and his buddies all let their tongues collectively hit the hardwood floor at the same time followed by the kinds of groans and moans of the hormonal nature that all young men in their 20s make. Of course through my vast maturity I was able to contain my carnal thoughts under the radar so not to hear the chants of "Gee Dad, You perv, she's young enough to be your daughter!" Kids just don't understand that every man remains 16 years old in his own mind. They'll learn. They'll be old like me one day.
Brooklyn has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated and in such movies and TV shows as Chuck, Royal Pains and the upcoming Battleship. Maybe she would like to star as Wynonna Earp! Enjoy!
Yeah, it's still winter here in the Mountain State of West Virginia. We've had a couple of days where the snow wasn't covering the frozen ground, but never fear. A day later it comes back and everything turns white again.
I'm still out spending my fair share of time in the elements. I get out and do a couple of miles in the morning and then let the dogs drag me around in the afternoon. What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger and more stupid.
One good thing about the winter weather is that I've got to dig in to some really interesting books. I know that every week I get email from "Knuckleheads" asking what I'm reading or what I suggest they read, so I thought I'd list a few that I've got going or have read recently. Maybe you look 'em up and find something you like. Here ya go:
- Devils, Not Men: The History Of The French Foreign Legion by Roy C. Anderson
- The Day We Lost The H-Bomb: Cold War, Hot Nukes and the Worst Nuclear Weapons Disaster In Historyby Barbara Moran.
- Deadly Kingdom: The Book of Dangerous Animals by Gordon Grice
- K Blows Top: A Cold War Comic Interlude, Starring Nikita Khrushchev, America's Most Unlikely Tourist by Peter Carlson
- Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City by Greg Grandin
- The Athena Project by Brad Thor
- The Gilded Dinosaur: The Fossil War Between E.D. Cope and O.C. Marsh and the Rise Of American Science by Mark Jaffe
- In Fifty Years We'll All Be Chicks by Adam Corolla
- Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
- American Assassin by Vince Flynn
- Seized: Battling Scoundrels and Pirates While Recovering Stolen Ships in the World's Most Dangerous Waters by Max Hardberger
- Armageddon Science: The Science of Mass Destruction by Brian Clegg
- The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt & The Fire that Saved America by Timothy Eagan
- Beneath The Dark Ice: A Novel by Greig Beck
- Ancestor by Scott Sigler
- Atomic Awakening: A New Look at the History and Future of Nuclear Power by James Mahaffey
- KOOK: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life and Catching the Perfect Wave by Peter Heller
- Broken Genius: The Rise and Fall of William Shockley, Creator of the Electronic Age by Joel Shurkin
- Manthropology: The Science of Why the Modern Male is not the Man He Used to Be by Peter McAllister
- Deeper: A Novel by James A. Moore
- Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks and Big Pharma Flacks by Ben Goldacre
- Tough Guy: My Life on the Ice by Bob Probert
- The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogue Freaks by Susan Casey
- Abominable: A Novel by William Meikle
Okay, I hope you find something good to read. Keep your nose clean and out of other people's business.
Your bookworm buddy,
The Flying Fist Ranch