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The Editorial Voice

Banes at 12:00AM, Sept. 1, 2016
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Recently I watched Crystal Lake Memories, an extensive behind the scenes documentary about the Friday the 13th movies (yes, I know…it's not even October yet and I've managed to shoehorn Friday the 13th into the conversation again).

What I found interesting was the role of Frank Mancuso, Jr, a guy who joined the crew during the first film and became the executive in charge for the next several movies.

Even though the series stayed quite cheap and gave its directors a lot of freedom, Mancuso would step in to say yay or nay to certain story decisions. He didn't seem to be the typical annoying executive with uncreative ideas; he seemed to often have the story's best interests at heart, and nixed several ideas over the years that would definitely have been mistakes. When Mancuso stepped out of his position, the movies went downhill. Hard. And fast. Even for that series.

It was interesting to see, in the midst of some high-profile, big budget catastrophes in comic book movies lately that seemed to be a result of studio interference and indecisiveness, or bad creative decisions that were not reigned in.

See the fascinating stories of the Fantastic Four, Suicide Squad, and Ghostbusters movies if you want behind the scenes tales that are probably more compelling than the films themselves! The channel called Midnight's Edge covers these stories: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvrd6VtgWF7CwaZH1S0N-Qg

George Lucas was thought by many fans to have gone off track on his Star Wars prequels because his great success allowed him too much freedom from other people's opinions, and he was able to proceed with a lot of half-baked ideas.

Meanwhile, the Marvel Cinematic Universe seems to be working out REALLY well, with the executive in charge, Kevin Feige, guiding the whole thing.

As web comics creators, we are allowed freedom from executives, studios, and those “editorial voices”. This is liberating, and allows us to do our wacky stories however we want. The downside is we're not getting piles of cash.

But we're also enabled to move forward with ideas that are underdeveloped, or ill advised, or not as good as they could be.

I generally sit with my ideas for a long time before turning them into comics, but I've definitely put up some pages and stories before they were completely ready. I do find that comments on my comics can give me a sense of whether what's happening in the comic is working.

Do you bounce your ideas off of anyone or ‘vet’ your stories and ideas before posting them? Or after posting them? Do you wish you had an executive over your shoulder, keeping an eye on you?

Have a good one!

-Banes


comment

anonymous?

PaulEberhardt at 9:43AM, Sept. 2, 2016

I actually plan a long way ahead - it's a very long way ahead now, since I haven't updated for a long time, but even when I'm in full flow I'm already tinkering with what will happen one or two dozen episodes from then. This constant revising and thinking about things tends to even out most mistakes, though there are one or two things I wish I had done differently in retrospect. If pressed hard enough I'll discuss my ideas with friends or family, but as a rule that doesn't avail to much. As my ideas tend to develop fully while I draw them it's hard for me to get across what exactly I have in mind at any previous stage.

bravo1102 at 5:46PM, Sept. 1, 2016

I can't get anyone to read my stuff before, during or after the creative process. It's just me and my muse. My wife is an excellent proofreader when she can find the time. That is not very often.

Dragonaur at 5:39PM, Sept. 1, 2016

Mine is a solo adventure. Everyone else is too grown up! :-(

Bruno Harm at 11:20AM, Sept. 1, 2016

I have to echo other's here. My wife is definitely my editor. If she doesn't laugh, I crumple it up and go back to the drawing board. I also have a couple of people in a Facebook group(called "Bruno's unpaid interns") that I kick Ideas around with. It's great to have some help, but I am glad that I have the final say in weather to use Peanuts or pistachios.

KimLuster at 9:13AM, Sept. 1, 2016

Firstly, Banes, I just want to commend you on these articles, one after the other - excellent stuff!! For my story, my co-pilot is my husband... we're really a team, hashing ideas, nixing bad ones (well, maybe not all...). He just refuses to take any of the credit, and won't let me give him any, saying it's my story... *sings* 'you are the wind beneath my wings...!'

usedbooks at 7:30AM, Sept. 1, 2016

I have a whole committee of idea-bouncers. I have two yes-girls, who think everything I do is amazing and are not helpful for anything but ego stroking. Then there's my sister who does nothing but complain that I kill off too many people or that I torment my characters. (She would remove all plot from my story.) She helps me tone down the tension and move relationships forward, prevents me from falling into trope-pits. She's really helpful with relationship arcs. There are also two excellent plot-writers (DDer and kinda-former DDer) who help me organize and redirect my plans (and one plays devil's advocate to my sister and insists on everyone dying). Most of the time, conversations just get me thinking in new directions. Without them, I become too focused and obsess over why something doesn't fit, trying to force the square peg into the round hole rather than looking for a new peg. My friends help me find the pegs.

Ozoneocean at 5:15AM, Sept. 1, 2016

I need an art director to ride me... preferably a hot sexy female one... But seriously, it would be helpful.

bravo1102 at 2:07AM, Sept. 1, 2016

Think tactically and examine a problem from multiple points of view before making an action plan. And make certain that plan can be adjusted as the situation develops. Give me a big armor hoo-rah and move out. Fired up, FIDO!

Teh Andeh at 1:46AM, Sept. 1, 2016

I usually bounce ideas off my bro or the small group of muses whom we call team Harem. but a lot of times i'll just run with ideas half-cocked/ im a act first think later kinda guy, after all lol

Gunwallace at 1:14AM, Sept. 1, 2016

My wife. She's my muse, my editor, my censor, and my common sense. Also she don't take no shit from no-one. (Currently I'm drawing her as a werewolf.)


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