Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Excitement, halfway through

I heard Terry Gross interviewing Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez on Fresh Air the other day. Terry was asking about the extremes of violence in the books and in the movie, throwing stars that could chop a man's arm off--saying she was glad such things didn't exist in real life. Frank said he didn't believe in holding anything back in fiction, that he wanted a distinct difference between FICTION and REAL LIFE.

I like that idea, of telling stories where you throw everything you can think of into something. Of writing something like it's the best story you'll ever write, so you might as well include as much as you can in it. Why stretch out for six issues what you can tell in one? It's one of the reasons I have such high hopes for the Morrison/Quitely ALL-STAR SUPERMAN. Grant has said in a few interviews that Superman's origin takes up about a quarter of page one, and the rest of the first issue is kick-splode Superman action. When I've written stories lately I knew I was on the ball when I wasn't holding anything back--I was making time jumps, I was fitting in as much STUFF as I could. Maybe a little more than should be there shows up sometimes, but that's fine--it's easier to trim something down than fill it up when there's not enough there.

It's one of the things that I enjoy and am most frustrated by when it comes to DC's COUNTDOWN TO INFINITE CRISIS. On the one hand--and if you don't want it spoiled for you, you might as well stop reading now--killing Blue Beetle was awesome. Huzzah to DC for shaking things up! It didn't strike me as a shock for shock's sake kind of move, and if they've upset/startled as many fans as they seem to, then good for them. If you're not upsetting people with a story, then it's too tame.

Then again . . . I just read 80 pages worth of comic book, and all I get is one thing? Because that's basically what happened. 80 pages of comics, teasers for four upcoming mini-series, and Blue Beetle shot in the head. Granted, they probably felt they needed to build up the characters of Blue Beetle and Booster Gold after leaving them out of the limelight for so long, and it IS titled the COUNTDOWN to the Infinite Crisis, and not the Crisis itself . . . but still. If you only need one-fourth of a page to blow up Krypton, you don't need 80 pages to kill off Blue Beetle.

I guess I'm bitching about not having enough kick-splode-changes in one issue, which isn't what I want SEQUENTIAL HEART to be about--I want to celebrate comics, not complain about them like this was an internet message board. And sure, serialized superhero fiction is always going to move sloooowly--be here next month to see if our hero survives!--so all in all, COUNTDOWN is a good first step. I suppose my point is that I want it harder, faster, now--throwing stars that cut off a man's arm, planets exploding on page one, holycraphowaretheygoingtotopTHIS--and there still 20 pages to go!

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