Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Permanent Damage Brings the Pulp

From Steven Grant's PERMANENT DAMAGE column on CBR:

"Anyway, we never did talk much about the nuts and bolts of "doing" a graphic novel. (The phrase evokes thoughts of soft pore corn, dunnit?) It's a short answer anyway: the way to do it is to do it. Period. Everyone's looking for "The Secret" but there ain't no secret. The way to do it is to do it, and every story, particularly if you're creating your own work from scratch and not working with an established, formulized franchise, generates its own needs. Those are the needs you have to serve. Rules are for schmucks and businessmen. A few people were looking for "the secret" to putting together a comic story/graphic novel " someone asked a question about structure, but, as someone on the panel mentioned (not me; I basically just grumbled about the word because you can have the greatest grasp of structure in history and still churn out totally crap stories " see: George Lucas) structure is something you learn, internalize and forget about. Like a lot of elements of storytelling. It's worth familiarizing yourself with them and putting them in your toolbox " less so that you know what rules to break because, let's face it, you don't have to know rules to break them, but if you don't know what's already been done you're far less likely to break the rules that to waste a lot of valuable time reinventing the wheel, and that's strictly a mug's game, know what I mean? " but the moment you let any one element, even structure, rule your life you're done. Look at Hollywood: it's been obsessed with structure for the last 30 years " prior to that the town spoke not of acts but of reels, though technology has obsolesced that term anyway " and look at all the crappy, well structured films it has produced in that time. The best you can say about them is that without structure they might have been crappier, but in most cases it's hard to see how.

Bottom line, they may not get Oscar noms, but Hollywood has always preferred the crappy, badly-structured film that makes gobs of money to the impeccably-structured, meticulously crafted and intelligently presented film that doesn't. And it always will."

Read the whole thing to find out what happens next. It speaks to what we try and do here -- that is - just do it.

Grant's latest work 2 GUNS - a graphic novel published by BOOM STUDIOS -was recently optioned as a motion picture.

No comments: