Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Game Logic

Hey Juan, do you think we could get Warren Ellis to start posting here? I don't always like his work these days, or even his Bad Signal emails, but from time to time he says something in them that leads me here to write something instead of just finishing my Red Bull and getting on the train, like I should be doing.

Today he sent one out about "Game Logic." The idea is simple--when something happens because it happens, it's game logic. It can be a jokey moment or a cute moment, but it's something that's not real-world-safe. A good example he gave was from a comic I'm not familiar with, where the hero raises his fist to the audience and exclaims, "Dude!" while his sidekick is shown with a thought balloon, exclaiming to herself, "Dude!"

Warren says, and I'm not going to go into a quoting spree here, but Warren says, "There's no self-consciousness, no irony, no distancing." What happens, happens--and you either buy in, or you don't.

To me, it's a sense of play. It's comics that are FUN and exciting, both to the people making them and to the folks reading them. It's comics where coincidences happen because it serves the story, because it IS a story, and it knows it, and the author knows it, and we know it, too.

I don't like the term Game Logic, but I like the idea behind it. Warren says two good examples of it are SHARKNIFE and SCOTT PILGRIM, so if those titles are as new to you as they are to me, go to the comic shop this week and take a chance on them. And go to Warren's site and sign up for Bad Signal, if you don't mind the occasional email about how he's cranky and tired. It's worth it when one like this comes through.

1 comment:

Juan Navarro said...

I read his blog everyday, it's true his griping is justified but dam he gripes about his ass a lot. Which we all do.
Anyway, I've check out Sharkknife, at least the preview, and yeah the art is just fucking out of this world as is the story telling. Is has manga like structure, but now given any breath ability in an American printing format and so it comes at you like a train.
Do you dive right in?
I did I dug the comic and the story and the characters. Did I dive right like say, Watchmen or Top Ten, where there is build up and a bit explanation, not just this, wham! Here a story process. Hmm.
It's hard to say because almost all stories have that, look at fucking Garfield; for some reason you suspended belief, and really think a cat has all these complexities, for the sake of jokes and getting along the story. Because he's also drawn funny, then yeah it's fucked up and we don’t understand, but what if Garfield was a novel and you had to sit there and explain how he walked across the table to kick the dog, over all with words? Every would have a different version of this cat in their mind and it would make for an odd thing and it would be "Sci-fi"
Now As the whole Game Logic thing, I can understand where he's coming form and if anything it sheds light into my own project. You do at times want to do away with any and everything going on and just throw every into the bookend story. I did that with VIGIL. In the first 2 chapters I never introduced a thought bubble or a narration block bigger than "Meanwhile" or "Over here". I let the reader observe and get to what is going on, and see what they want. I don't think I'm that successful, but it is a good exercise.
This of course is a mechanic I think works good in comics and even suffers in other mediums. But that a whole other motherfucker...
Would be cool to have Warren here by the way....