Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday Morning

Various stuff today. I really don't know what I'm going to write about as I start typing. We'll just see where it goes.

First, I am really bummed about the fire at comic book writer Len Wein's house. Len is one of the real greats, having created Swamp Thing and Wolverine, and generally produced some of the finest scripts in our medium of the last forty years. I'm glad that Len and his family are safe, but I can't get a visual out of my head: Len watching his dog run back into the home to die, and knowing that a fortune in comic book art is being destroyed while he watches helplessly. According to HARLAN ELLISON, Len lost some truly irreplaceable treasures: art original art to the first Wolverine story, the cover to Giant-Sized X-Men #1, and a lifetime's worth of comics, hardcovers, awards, and other things that are just gone forever.

As far as I know, Len does not participate financially from the Wolverine franchise. With the Wolverine film about to hit, that's not e-fucking-nough for one guy to deal with? Jesus. I'm not a religious man, really, but I will be doing my own private version of praying for Len and his family. They will be in my thoughts over the next several weeks.

Next up on the agenda is the item of car chases. Car chases on film are cool. In comics, they seem dull. The two mediums are different- they have different strengths and weaknesses, and the motion of a car chase is a strength of film and, in my opinion, a weakness of comics.

I bring it up because I have reached a spot in the Ciudad script where the outline calls for a car chase. I'm not going to delete it, but I'm going to minimize it somehow. In the film, this would be a key sequence. In the comic, it's going to be a few pages that are filled with enough dialogue or narration that the reader doesn't get too bored too quickly. Maybe I'm wrong... maybe a car chase can be executed in comics that rivals the thrill of a great film sequence. I haven't seen it, though, and I've read Alex Toth's Hot Wheels comics.

That's all for today. I'm off to work!



h.moyer said...

Re: Carchases in comics...this one works particularly well...

Ande Parks said...

That's not bad. He had something I don't, though... super-people flying around and using cool powers.

h.moyer said...

ahhh, true.

It was the first thing I thought of when I read your post. :D

Mad Ernie said...

It seems to me Gene Colan did a car chase in a daredevil comic in the late 60's/early 70's, but I can't recall the issue. I think it lasted for a page or more.

mellon said...

Man, I gotta completely disagree with you on the Toth Hot Wheels book not being great car chase stuff.


But you're right, it's really tough to pull off, and I think it requires a level of thought and discipline on the artist's part to execute dynamic panels from layout to finish that don't become staid and stale.

Good luck, sir.

Ande Parks said...

I didn't say Toth didn't do it well. I said it doesn't rival great film car chases. Read Hot Wheels (as good as you can do it in comics), and then watch French Connection. I don't think it's half as effective on paper.

That's not true of everything. There are many things comics can do better than film. I don't think this is one of them.

Gordon Harries said...

Have you thorght of looking at Manga? some of that stuff (Sanctury, for example.) is good at conveying motion.

For that matter the artist on Garth Ennis' 'Unknown Soldier' (who's name I forget, I'm sorry) was AMAZING at conveying movement on paper.

And arguably, the movies haven't done anything to equal the French Connection's car chase since!