Monday, March 16, 2009

Newsarama, CBR and Comics on Comics on Unthinkable; and On Decompression

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Particularly now, with the announcement of Unthinkable, I should be posting here like it was Twitter (which, incidentally - I'm on under "marksable"...that's been quite a drain on my time). But I've not only been writing Unthinkable and writing/managing the ARG (Alternate Reality Game), but doing everything I can to promote Unthinkable. From interviews to podcasts to cold-calling retailers.

Speaking of interviews, You can see Mark Waid interview me at Newsarama and read a great interview with Jeffrey Renaud at CBR. Finally...I did an audio podcast with the funny folks at Comics on Comics. I say audio because they also do video podcasts, one of which I was lucky enough to do last year.

The Newsarama piece features the 1st five pages of Unthinkable #1 (of 5). To keep to our exclusive arrangement, and take up the entire blog, I'm just going to show you Page 2:

Why not Page 1? Well, it's a splash, and you've seen those before. But the first 3 pages - 2 and 3 especially - are part of a really amazing opening sequence. I basically asked (Unthinkable artist) Julian Tedesco to cram pages worth of material into a variation of the nine-panel grid. He was able to do so without sacrificing detail. It's probably the single hardest thing I've ever asked an artist to do and he pulled it off effortlessly.

One thing I haven't talked about in the interviews is that Unthinkable is a really dense book. Not dense in the "inpenentrable" sense of the word, just dense in that, I wanted to tell a lot of story in 22 pages. For better or for worse, we're living in an age of decompression. But this is an epic, even if it's told in 5 issues, and I want it to feel that way.

Quite frankly, I don't believe the majority of comics right now are giving you the bang for the buck that other media are. Most comics don't tell a complete you wind up paying $3.99 for what would be an act of a 4-act TV episode...when you can get an entire TV episode for $1.99 off itunes.

At the same time...decompression happened for a reason. While the comics of 2o or more years ago told a complete story...much of it was filled with redundant exposition.

In the past, I've written my creator owned books at closer to 32 pages than 22 pages, and I've done so at great expense to myself - both in terms of paying my collaborators and giving up ad space.

I'd think to think I've found an artist who can help me deliver the kind of density of great books from The Dark Knight Returns to The Wintermen, without heavy handed exposition. Ultimately, that means more story for you.

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