Monday, February 13, 2012
Sketch A Day #21 - Ambrose Chase from Planetary & writing for the trade
I've never run into Warren Ellis at a convention, but will someone tell him "thanks" for me? I love this rich series and I'm having a blast doing the characters from it.
So here is the question: are stories like Planetary and Sandman things that we would consider "writing for the trade", a term using with increasing frequency in a derogatory fashion to explain the lack of enjoyment with reading the current pamphlet?
In both of those cases, I say an emphatic "No." Both of those series make sense in a single issue context, and also reveal, onion-like, many different layers upon repeated readings. They are truly the best of both worlds when they're on their game, providing both the good single issue experience and the great re-reading experience.
Now I don't believe that writing for the trade is a bad thing. For one thing, it means a longer shelf life for the work if it does read well when its collected. In many ways, it may also hasten the transition from the single issue malaise that has long affected American comics and get creators to continue to think in long form, and the inherent complexities that can are native to that (when done right).
It does mean that perhaps we can do away with the example of ultra "decompressed" comics. Catagorically, I'll state right here and now that I don't want to constantly read ultra "abbreviated" comics paced like the mid-60's DC Comics, nor do I want everything to read like Bendis' Jinx or Goldfish or Powers. Personally, I'd love to see the pace change through out the work, slowing down and speeding up when necessary. And I want my story to take me somewhere.
Is that too much to ask?