Saturday, July 19, 2008

Authorial Voice Hits THE SPLASH PAGE

How much of his or her own voice should echo through when a comic book writer is working on a comic? Is it the obligation of the writer to act as a steward for the character, maintaining consistency from the character's previous appearance to the next one? Or should a writer express a unique, idiosyncratic voice, thus making his or her own mark on the character?

Chad Nevett and I ponder these questions as we take a remark Daniel Way made in regard to Deadpool and blow it completely out of proportion by turning it into a fierce debate about the merits of authorial voice.

If you never thought a Rob Liefeld creation would spark such intellectual discourse, think again, my friend!

And this Skottie Young Cable & Deadpool cover is nice, isn't it? He should draw more comics using this style. (And, really, isn't style just the artistic equivalent of voice? We raise that question in our discussion as well.)

Read all this and more in the column your mother used to talk about when she asked, "if The Splash Page jumped off a bridge, would you do so too?"

Or, click HERE, because you can.


Chad Nevett said...

I love it when we take small things people say and then blow it way out of proportion. I mean, I spent six years of university doing that... it's what I'm comfortable with.

Timothy Callahan said...

Well, it's the American way!

Possibly Canadian as well.

Chad Nevett said...

I'd say it's the "douchebag academic" way, which transcends all borders.

Timothy Callahan said...

Hell, I don't know about you, but I didn't pay all that money for a Master's degree for nothing! If you can't be a douchebag, then you have to ask yourself if it was really worth it.

Chad Nevett said...

Damn right. Hell, I'm still tempted to end arguments with "Yeah, well, have you read Ulysses? No? Fuck you."

Kris Krause said...

Interesting discussion. Personally, I'd say as a writer I'd aspire toward a 55:45 ratio between my voice and the character's established history if I'm working with a character I didn't create. Anything more than that and I might as well have just created my own new character. Watchmen is a good example of this. All the characters were based on pre-existing characters, but DC told Alan Moore that he wasn't allowed to use those characters in that way so he ended up making the characters his own and what followed is probably the most celebrated comic to date. The writer gets himself a nice new intellectual property and can maintain his voice; the pre-existing character maintains their integrity. I'd say everyone wins on that route if your changes have to be radical depatures.