Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#247) -- Comic Book Arcs

What determines the completeness of a comic book story arc of any length?

The same thing that determines the completeness of any story in any publishing format -- does it have a beginning, a middle, and and end, and does the central character experience change or growth, or at least the opportunity to change or grow (and refuses)?

This is the basic standard for any story. And it can be done in 4 pages, 8 pages, 22 pages, 4 issues, 6 issues, or 100 issues, but that's the concrete you mix to set a story.

What isn't a complete story, again in any format, from TV to comics to books, is a soap opera-like meandering in and out of the lives of characters without any real plot development or growth arc for the character(s) going through the experience.

(Yes, massive, marketing-driven crossovers, I'm talking about you.)