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  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvn View Post
    Sure, especially if they took out all those pesky pictures. Heck, they could be told in a paragraph, if you want to read a plot summary or character descriptions instead of a fully realized work of fiction.
    I am sure if we got everything as Brett wanted it, we would have other people complaining about how rushed and needlessly condensed the story was.

  2. #122
    U dont need my user title brettc1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvn View Post
    Sure, especially if they took out all those pesky pictures. Heck, they could be told in a paragraph, if you want to read a plot summary or character descriptions instead of a fully realized work of fiction.
    The problem is hardly taking more pictures out, but rather of putting more frames in.



    This is from Thor 342. In this issue, Thor interacts with his mortal coworkers [seen on this page]. He also flied to Antarctica and finds an ancient Norse village, and a maze of traps he must battle his way through. At the end he confronts Eiliff the lost, last of the Norsemen alive there, who seeks death in battle with Thor. He also learns his entire backstory of how he and his people came to be there when Harald Harrada was defeated in 1066. Meawhile, Fafnir the dragon returns to begin reeking havoc on New York, Lolrelie is plotting something, and the mysterious shadown being we later learn to be Surtur continue to plot and make ready for war.



    All in 22 pages.

    And no, it didnt feel rushed at all. It felt grand and rich. People say they dont need lots of words to imagine what is going on - well I have a pretty good imagination too and I dont need every other page have pictures that take up half the space to understand the message being conveyed. For example, in the panels immediately above where Thor enters the maze modern tellers would probably have used an splash page as he entered, and spread that whole scene out over two pages or more. Quite unnecessarily, as Simonson here demonstrates.

    And no, I dont really need Thor to explain that all those spears are aimed right at him. But like River at the end of Serenity, I just like hearing him say it ;)
    Last edited by brettc1; 12-03-2012 at 05:49 AM.
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  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outside_85 View Post
    I am sure if we got everything as Brett wanted it, we would have other people complaining about how rushed and needlessly condensed the story was.
    You mean... other people might not like what I like?

    That hardly seems possible...
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  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by brettc1 View Post
    And no, I dont really need Thor to explain that all those spears are aimed right at him. But like River at the end of Serenity, I just like hearing him say it ;)
    Well, maybe someone can photoshop a page from Wonder Woman 13 for you and have her exclaim "A thousand knives are being thrown at me!"

    If a page of Wonder Woman had a shot of Wonder Woman's feet, a panel with nothing but "whram!" on it, and a close up on part of Wonder Woman's face, wouldn't you say that it was wasting space? Especially if the text on the page consisted largely of sentences like ""Lasso in hand I will boldly enter," which tell us very little that we can't see? Couldn't that second Thor page you posted have been done in two panels taking up half a page or less? Is this significantly more compressed than a page of Wonder Woman #15 that tells the story of the First Born (a page which has a couple fewer panels than the Thor page, if you count "whram," but probably at least the same number of words. And the words add a lot more that we couldn't get from the pictures).

    I like the first page you posted, but, in terms of characterization, I think I see as much or more of Wonder Woman's character and personality (and the character and personality of her houseguests on the page in 13--a page with nine panels, as compared to six on the Thor page--where she tells Zola she would never advise a friend to kill, or the page in 14 where she calms Siracca and embraces her as a sister, than we learn about Thor or anyone on that page.

    It is indeed impressive that Simonson was able to pack all that story into one issue, especially if he was able to do with any kind of dramatic pacing and texture, but let's not forget that he had 36 pages to play around with. I wish comics were longer, too, but we can't blame Azzarello for that, right? I don''t think we can even blame DiDio for that one; it's market forces. And sure, comics in general are more decompressed (and, I might add, less verbose) today; but comparing the pages you posted to the latest issues of Wonder Woman suggests that the difference may be a bit exaggerated or overgeneralized.
    Last edited by slvn; 12-03-2012 at 07:14 AM.

  5. #125
    U dont need my user title brettc1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvn View Post
    Well, maybe someone can photoshop a page from Wonder Woman 13 for you and have her exclaim "A thousand knives are being thrown at me!"

    If a page of Wonder Woman had a shot of Wonder Woman's feet, a panel with nothing but "whram!" on it, and a close up on part of Wonder Woman's face, wouldn't you say that it was wasting space? Especially if the text on the page consisted largely of sentences like ""Lasso in hand I will boldly enter," which tell us very little that we can't see? Couldn't that second Thor page you posted have been done in two panels taking up half a page or less? Is this significantly more compressed than a page of Wonder Woman #15 that tells the story of the First Born (a page which has a couple fewer panels than the Thor page, if you count "whram," but probably at least the same number of words. And the words add a lot more that we couldn't get from the pictures).
    The difference between what you suggest and what Simonson executes is that the two panels you argue for would still take up a whole page.

    Also its the clever use of language. If you look at the panel you get the impression that a lot of spears are flying at Thor. However, language has its own power to compel. Where some would argue that Thor's statement is merely redundant, I think it adds emphasis. Its not just "a lot of spears aimed at Thor." Its "a thousand deadly spears" The words also allow Simonson to now have to draw a huge panel three quarters full of missiles.

    I like the first page you posted, but, in terms of characterization, I think I see as much or more of Wonder Woman's character and personality (and the character and personality of her houseguests on the page in 13--a page with nine panels, as compared to six on the Thor page--where she tells Zola she would never advise a friend to kill, or the page in 14 where she calms Siracca and embraces her as a sister, than we learn about Thor or anyone on that page.
    As to the panels with the folks talking in New York, while the number of panels might be the same the actual use of the space is not. Simonson here has more than one person talking in the same frame [though Diana last statement certainly warranted its own individual panel for dramatic emphasis]. The point is that his pages like this are the rule, not the exception, and when you do get a splash page it really hits you hard because its not what is on every other page of the book.

    It is indeed impressive that Simonson was able to pack all that story into one issue, especially if he was able to do with any kind of dramatic pacing and texture, but let's not forget that he had 36 pages to play around with. I wish comics were longer, too, but we can't blame Azzarello for that, right? I don''t think we can even blame DiDio for that one; it's market forces. And sure, comics in general are more decompressed (and, I might add, less verbose) today; but comparing the pages you posted to the latest issues of Wonder Woman suggests that the difference may be a bit exaggerated or overgeneralized.
    What are you talking about? The issue is 22 pages. I said that. Simonson had the same number of pages. He and the contemporaries of the time simply used them for more than 2 or 3 frames.

    Reading the pages of the old Byrne/Claermont X-Men I find the same thing.
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  6. #126
    Moderate Moderator Javier Velasco's Avatar
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    I hate de-powered Wonder Woman stories.
    I hated Trevor Barnes.
    I hate stories where the lead character has amnesia.

    But the (brief) Simonson run on WW was a great reminder of the difference between creating a comic and... publishing storyboards with dialogue.

    A page of graphic fiction should take the same amount of time to take in as a page of written fiction. The details in the artwork should inform the dialogue and add interest. And the dialogue shouldn't depend on the art as a crutch for drama and interest.

    Too often, I feel like certain comic talents use the medium as a visual "shorthand." Leaving the reader feeling as if they just read cliff notes. Azzarello and Chang have a bit of this in this run.

  7. #127

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    Quote Originally Posted by Javier Velasco View Post
    I hate de-powered Wonder Woman stories.
    I hated Trevor Barnes.
    I hate stories where the lead character has amnesia.

    But the (brief) Simonson run on WW was a great reminder of the difference between creating a comic and... publishing storyboards with dialogue.

    A page of graphic fiction should take the same amount of time to take in as a page of written fiction. The details in the artwork should inform the dialogue and add interest. And the dialogue shouldn't depend on the art as a crutch for drama and interest.
    I just can't agree on any of these points.

    Dialogue is a fine tool that never acts alone, whether it's in comics, the stage or movies. It can act in concert or counterpoint with the actor/artist---they are NOT crutches...they are co-equal partners.

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by brettc1 View Post
    The difference between what you suggest and what Simonson executes is that the two panels you argue for would still take up a whole page.
    I'm not following you there. I suggested that the panels could be done in half a page (maybe I wasn't clear about that--I meant a half page total, not a half page each). Perhaps there could be one quarter-page panel showing Thor approaching the door, one panel showing the door slamming shut, and one showing the spears, all occupying the top half of the page. What makes you think that this has to take a full page? I don't actually mind that it takes a full page, but when it comes to Azzarello's Wonder Woman, you seem to be saying "condense, condense, condense."

    Also its the clever use of language. If you look at the panel you get the impression that a lot of spears are flying at Thor. However, language has its own power to compel. Where some would argue that Thor's statement is merely redundant, I think it adds emphasis. Its not just "a lot of spears aimed at Thor." Its "a thousand deadly spears" The words also allow Simonson to now have to draw a huge panel three quarters full of missiles.

    I'd love to see some compelling language, but "a thousand deadly spears" is about as clever as my saying "I have a million things to do today"--which is to say, not clever at all. The art adequately conveys that the air is full of too many spears to count (at least while they're hurtling at you); there's no need for Thor to state the obvious. If you look at Wonder Woman 13, you'll see that it emphasizes the number of knives in a more original and less flat-footed way via creative graphics on the onomatopoeia "fwoosh" (which is also a nice way of suggesting that the knives are propelled by the wind). And it does that in a quarter of a page at most. In the last panel of the page, there's actually a slightly more clever use of language than Simonson's; Wonder Woman's "Show yourself, Sirracca," in answered by the girl's weak whisper, which is an ironic lead-in to the revelation that Siracca is already showing herself in the form of the girl

    As to the panels with the folks talking in New York, while the number of panels might be the same the actual use of the space is not. Simonson here has more than one person talking in the same frame...
    So what? The sum total of what they say doesn't show me about the characters than a few words on the page in Wonder Woman. There is a great deal of compelling power in language, but it can reside just as well in a few well-chosen words as in a long discussion.

    What are you talking about? The issue is 22 pages. I said that.
    Sorry, then. I was going by http://www.comics.org/issue/38576/ , which says 36 pages--but looking at that again, it seems to be part of the volume description, so maybe it just means that earlier issues were 36 pages each). I see Comixology has the issue (and the correct page count of 22); I'll read it and see if I agree with you.

    People say they dont need lots of words to imagine what is going on - well I have a pretty good imagination too and I dont need every other page have pictures that take up half the space to understand the message being conveyed. For example, in the panels immediately above where Thor enters the maze modern tellers would probably have used an splash page as he entered, and spread that whole scene out over two pages or more. Quite unnecessarily, as Simonson here demonstrates.
    It's an interesting point. If I were reading a non-graphic novel, I'd be more than happy to use my imagination to view the maze or to view Siracca's empty palace. But in a visual medium, the artist is going to show us the maze or the palace, so it might as well be interesting to look at. Could the pages of Diana entering the palace be tightened up? Sure. But I'm not sure that it would be better. Those pages build suspense; even though the page in which the descends she descends the stairs is light on words, it's split into 6 panels that create mounting drama as the wind (an extension of Siracca, as we now understand) "swooshes" through blows the door shut, the girl shrieks and Wonder Woman comforts her. To me, there's a lot more dramatic tension being built up here than in the page of Thor in the maze. And the Wonder Woman pages are more interesting to look at; there's more detail, like the design on the walls. The detail doesn't seem to me to be anything like excessive exposition; there's plenty left to wonder about, like whether the design has any symbolic meaning or where the palace came from.
    Last edited by slvn; 12-03-2012 at 04:14 PM.

  9. #129
    Moderate Moderator Javier Velasco's Avatar
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    But the thing is that if many of today's comic writers were writing short stories rather than comics, they would put much more "interest" in the dialogue they write for their characters and the descriptors that go along with them. I often feel when I read a comic that the writer is feeling that he doesn't have to say much because the art will do the heavy lifting. And I feel the artist is feeling that he doesn't have to explain things because the dialogue will do so. In some cases you get a 50/50 split. But the joy of graphic fiction is that you should be getting a 90/90 split. A generosity in the story telling.

  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvn View Post
    I see Comixology has the issue (and the correct page count of 22); I'll read it and see if I agree with you.
    Brett,

    I just read it. Not a bad story at all! There's a fair amount of what seems to me now like pompous verbosity, but I used to enjoy that when I was a Thor fan, and maybe I'm just jaded now. The premise the Eiliff wants to die in battle and is trying to trick Thor to make that happen is interesting. I liked the glimpses at what the other gods were doing, and I liked the global scope--and I got a laugh out of reflecting that if it were a Wonder Woman story, some fans would complain that 8 pages, including pages 1 and 2, lack Thor.

    But I don't think telling the story of Eiliff with a few interludes is really much more than what Wonder Woman 14 does--spanning Olympus and Libya and New Genesis and time periods from 7000 years ago to 1919 and today, and showing the origins of both Siracca and the First Born, giving us the falling out between Ares and his Olympian siblings and setting up Ares' renewed interest in Wonder Woman, having Diana soften the heart of the sister who was trying to kill her, sending Diana to New York to see Milan, introducing Orion and Highfather and a threat to all time and space.

    Certainly the characterization of Diana seems richer in 14 than the characterization of Thor here. It's nice that he responds to a prayer, but then what does he do but defeat an old man who just wants to die and then seemingly get mad at him? (Does he end up taking Eiliff to Valhalla, by the way? And why was Eiliff still alive, anyway?) Reading it gave me a pleasant 10 or 12 minutes, and I might have enjoyed it even more if I had the context to understand more about what Balder and Fafnir and Lorelei were up to, but to be honest, there's nothing here that I'm dying for Azzarello and company to emulate.

    ETA--forget to mention my favorite part--the tease for next issue, which promises all kinds of things and then jokes "but of course it will all have to be very tiny" (or something like that). Seems like they were light-heartedly aware that a danger of their style was possibly cramming too much in.
    Last edited by slvn; 12-03-2012 at 06:35 PM.

  11. #131
    U dont need my user title brettc1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvn View Post
    Brett,

    I just read it. Not a bad story at all! There's a fair amount of what seems to me now like pompous verbosity, but I used to enjoy that when I was a Thor fan, and maybe I'm just jaded now. The premise the Eiliff wants to die in battle and is trying to trick Thor to make that happen is interesting. I liked the glimpses at what the other gods were doing, and I liked the global scope--and I got a laugh out of reflecting that if it were a Wonder Woman story, some fans would complain that 8 pages, including pages 1 and 2, lack Thor.
    LOL yes, I had forgotten that. For me Simonsons run on Thor is like The Lord of the Rings - you can read it over and over and never get bored. But I have not read it for some time.

    By the way, answering one of your questions above about panels - you said you could have shown Thor entering the maze in two panels instead of the larger number used. What my reply was meant to communicate was my belief that you are essentially correct, but even if modern writers did that they woudl still have used up the whole page. Essentially you would get no extra space - just less in what was used.

    But I don't think telling the story of Eiliff with a few interludes is really much more than what Wonder Woman 14 does--spanning Olympus and Libya and New Genesis and time periods from 7000 years ago to 1919 and today, and showing the origins of both Siracca and the First Born, giving us the falling out between Ares and his Olympian siblings and setting up Ares' renewed interest in Wonder Woman, having Diana soften the heart of the sister who was trying to kill her, sending Diana to New York to see Milan, introducing Orion and Highfather and a threat to all time and space.
    So you agree it is more.

    Certainly the characterization of Diana seems richer in 14 than the characterization of Thor here. It's nice that he responds to a prayer, but then what does he do but defeat an old man who just wants to die and then seemingly get mad at him? (Does he end up taking Eiliff to Valhalla, by the way? And why was Eiliff still alive, anyway?) Reading it gave me a pleasant 10 or 12 minutes, and I might have enjoyed it even more if I had the context to understand more about what Balder and Fafnir and Lorelei were up to, but to be honest, there's nothing here that I'm dying for Azzarello and company to emulate.
    A short while ago you pointed out that much characterization of Diana had been done in the WW run that I was not acknowledging. I think you might be guilty of the same thing here with Thor.

    For example, here we see Thor acting as a god, not just a super-hero. His last statement to Eiliff is not as much meant as a chastisement as an act of mercy - he will grant this old man the chance to fall in battle as a true warrior and so earn his way to Valhalla. Thor claiming this mans life seems completely at odds with our 20 century [at the time] thinking, but its who these two are. Asgard is NOT a democracy and Thor is this mans god! And he will act in that manner.

    That said, he himself refrains from killing him, which also shows that Thor is not just a beserker killing whatever is in his way. We discover that he can hear the prayers of those who call on him [the first time this is mentioned]. In his statement of who Eiliff has grown frail with age we are reminded that he himself is immortal or thereabouts. He goes headlong into the cave; Reed Richards would probably have scanned the entire interior before entering, but that isn't who Thor is. But then pauses to reconsider if that was wise, which shows he is both impulsive and yet able to reflect on his actions.

    This issue is really setting up for the next one which is the big fight with Fafnir, but its such a fantastic read I wont spoil it for you

    ETA--forget to mention my favorite part--the tease for next issue, which promises all kinds of things and then jokes "but of course it will all have to be very tiny" (or something like that). Seems like they were light-heartedly aware that a danger of their style was possibly cramming too much in.
    I think this was the kind of self-deprecating humour you see in circus performers who are about to perform a trick which is extrememly dangerous, but which of course they have down to a science
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  12. #132
    Senior Member Superdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brettc1 View Post


    I can say I am sincerely happy this style of writing is gone, we don't need characters narrating their every action and everything that is happening to them.
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  13. #133
    Junior Member flottanna's Avatar
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    The current series is one of the best wonder Woman series of all time I love it.

  14. #134
    They LAUGHED at my theory SteveGus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brettc1 View Post
    And no, it didnt feel rushed at all. It felt grand and rich. People say they dont need lots of words to imagine what is going on - well I have a pretty good imagination too and I dont need every other page have pictures that take up half the space to understand the message being conveyed. For example, in the panels immediately above where Thor enters the maze modern tellers would probably have used an splash page as he entered, and spread that whole scene out over two pages or more. Quite unnecessarily, as Simonson here demonstrates.

    And no, I dont really need Thor to explain that all those spears are aimed right at him. But like River at the end of Serenity, I just like hearing him say it ;)
    It's the bad influence of trade paperbacks and manga. When you get 250 pages of story in a book, or even 50, you have the leisure to have large, mostly empty pages whose chief purpose is to establish atmosphere, like some art film with long scenes of curtains blowing in the wind. When you have 22 pages, and are expected to produce a monthly instalment of a story that's satisfying to read as a single issue, you do not have that kind of space.
    Superhero comic books only become art to the extent that their banal, unrealistic fantasy and garish styles go too far and become interesting. Attempts to ground them in reality can only ruin them.

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    U dont need my user title brettc1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superdog View Post
    I can say I am sincerely happy this style of writing is gone, we don't need characters narrating their every action and everything that is happening to them.
    It is not just that, but rather the use of space generally by writers and artists.

    Compare these two pages from X-Men: the first from the Claremont/Byrne run a few years prior to the Thor panel above, the second from a much more recent issue. Each is representative of the normal page layout of its time, IMO.
    [I wll also try to find some examples from Wonder Woman ]



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