Once in a while, I’ve noticed artist/writer Jimmy Palmiotti say something fairly sensible, and lately, it’s this:
Do not write a comic in hopes of it becoming a movie.
Write a comic that will make a great comic book.
Your audience will appreciate this.
— Jimmy ” Support my Kickstarter” Palmiotti (@jpalmiotti) December 17, 2020
On this, he’s right. Too many mainstream comics, if anything, are being written not only for the trade, rather than going straight for the format itself instead of 6-7 pamphlet issues, they’re virtually being written to serve as groundswork for a future screenplay for filims in development. In the past, most film producers would assign a professional scriptwriter more from the movie and book industry proper to work out a story in their own way, and that was the case when Mario Puzo, coming off of his success in getting the Godfather and its sequel adapted to screen, took charge of writing the 1st major Superman movie in 1978.
Nowadays, it’s gotten to the point where, instead of a screenwriter actually doing research and determining what are the best past storylines you could draw inspiration from to craft a movie tale, the stories are entirely written up for them to take their cue from, suggesting, in addition, that this isn’t exactly a realm of creative freedom, if the screenwriter can’t come up with his/her own ideas for how to write a story, or where to draw from. Even video games, somewhere along the way, were affected by this approach, recalling Capcom’s X-Men fighting game from 1994 may have drawn from the X-Men’s “Fatal Attractions” crossover, and Marvel Super Heroes from the following year built on elements from the Infinity Gauntlet crossover.
And when too many comics are written in hopes of becoming the groundwork for a movie, it leaves less for an audience in the medium proper to find that they consider entertaining, thoughtful and escapist in its own way. That’s got to stop, and if the Big Two are going under, it probably will anyway. Yet even independent creators would do well to avoid putting out a product in hopes it’ll get noticed by Tinsel-town, considering that with the way things are going now, chances are they’d fail to do justice for the comic it adapts.
Originally published here.