Anonymous said: I'm trying to break into comics, but one criticism/concern I've already been getting in the early stages of the drafts of my current story is how difficult or tricky political commentary can be for the reader and publisher. The political commentary of social justice through the character's and their lives is the defining attribute to what I believe makes my story truly shine. What advice do you have for any writer who is writing a story with an unconventional political message?
if that is the critique are getting from your friends then I bet your characters are lecturing.
The trick with political messages or commentary is to make it so subtle that most people wouldn’t even notice it. people hate being lectured to. even when people are being lectured about things that they’ve heartily agree with. most people, when they are reading their comics, are looking for escapism or something fun or moving that makes them appreciate the world.
and just like you wouldn’t want to be stuck at a party with someone lecturing you with their political commentary, you don’t want to sit and read it.
that’s why most of the world hates Bill Mahar :)
now a lot of comics, and a lot of my comics, do reflect the world around us. most of my issues are social but I would be lying if I didn’t say that they influenced my work. and often I am writing characters who have the opposite opinion of what I believe socially and politically and I’m writing them to kind of discover how someone could think that way.
but what I don’t do is lecture.
It may just be that I’m noticing it this week, but between this post, and Si Spurrier’s recent comments, it feels like we’re getting to the nub of what I think of as one of a writer’s key roles/obligations, to the reader but most of all to their stories and characters.
Basically, if your character or story is just a direct mouthpiece for your own opinions, unless you’re really, REALLY inventive, you’re better off writing a blog post than a fictional story.
(Si Spurrier’s comments approach this area from a different angle, but the core message I took from it is the same: You shouldn’t be able to infer that the opinions that come out of a character’s mouth are always those of the writer, and the writer shouldn’t always be putting their opinions into the mouths of every one of their characters.)
@12 months ago with 41 notes
"This is story of my life inside wallet."
@2 years ago
Some indulgent silliness.
Imagine that it is the mid Nineteen-Nineties. You are an intelligence officer working universities for potential talent; your aim is to recruit those that will continue the work of the establishment; the cold activities of defending the country and advancing her influence. Murky, deceitful work well beyond the simplistic allegiances of left and right.
Control of the left is merely one facet of this; it also happens to be part of your section’s responsibility. Oxbridge is a traditional source of recruits, and among the candidates there is a girl there with a suitable background for this kind of role. Extremely bright, idealistic, middle class, and from parents with a gentle socialist leaning. A student already active and influential within left-leaning student organisations.
Recruitment is merely a patient matter of flattery, advancement and material reward, with one eye on the greater good. “You’re already at the top of the intellectual tree. Why not make a difference from the inside?”
Post-graduation, with a sandstone university behind her, and some appropriate references from the faculty, placement within a leading magazine publication is easy enough. She must be self-styled as the ‘voice of her generation’. The writing style - virtually every article framed within a simplistic sixth-form ideology - has to be clear and repetitive, if well below the quality of her academic output. It doesn’t matter if the tone resembles from cold war Pravda, with a contemporary influence. Few reading will be old enough to recognise that anyway. The goal of this particular approach is empathy and access to groups of interest. With press as a platform, inconspicuous movement between targets is easy.
Of utmost importance - it will not be noticed - is that she does not engage in any actual investigative reporting. Especially not in the direction of friendly places. An exposé on immigrant labour in the Middle-East - truthfully sourced or not - would be counterproductive for interests in those countries. Write about Palestine all she likes - she is expected to - but stay away from looking too closely at internal issues within Israel. Stick to domestic networks. She should write about her friends. Tell her handler about her friends. Tell her handler about their friends. Tell her she’s making a difference.
My buddy, keeping his brain ticking over, mining a seam of genius.
@2 years ago with 1 note
Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness
@2 years ago with 7 notes
My Elephant Words story for this week. Please feel free to comment on the Elephant Words website, as feedback is always very welcome!
Go read Elephant Words, you guys. The writers there always do such great… word… things.
…in case you missed them:
Corporate Whoring: Graze Free Box Code
Because I love Graze boxes, they gave me this code for people to get a box free, and I get a discount if you use it.
Review: Too Much Sex & Violence #1 by Rol Hirst et al
Self-published small-town weirdness and intrigue, with a variety of cool artists providing support.
Review: Dark Judgement #1-2 by Richard Macauliffe and Conor Boyle
Horror shorts throwing a spotlight on the Dark Judges, set during classic Judge Dredd continuity.
Commentary: …Meanwhile, at MCM Expo
Wherein we at MOMBsite give David Wynne a platform to discuss his truly horrid Sunday at the event.
Self-Indulgent Bloggery: This Is How My Day Panned Out
In which I talk about MCM-Controversy induced paranoia, and encounters with a very old friend and JM DeMatteis, one of my comic writing gods. And chicken biryani.
Charity Faceweird: Movember 2011
@2 years ago
I throw my hat in the Movember ring - with photos! - because, well, I like prostates, it winds my wife up, and it’s way easier than Nanowrimo.
@3 years ago with 24 notes
Keep track of story time. It doesn’t take a week to drive across two states, and funerals don’t usually happen the day after someone dies. Make a timeline if you have to.
@3 years ago
Why Why Not? by Nicolas Papaconstantinou
I wrote the above story in response to this image. I’m quite pleased with the story. It is short and full of whimsy.
I would like you to read it, tell me what you think, and share it. Please?