Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#88) -- Story Arcs

How long should a 'typical' comic book story arc be? I ask for various reasons but the main one is that it used to take an issue or two to tell an origin story and I think DCnU is on issue 6's and not sure if they've finished any origin story arcs yet.

For starters, I don't believe that anymore there is such a thing as a typical comic book arc. The days of the single issue story are most likely long behind us. The marketing opportunities that have come with the trade collection and the graphic novel (which are not the same thing) have perhaps forever changed the playing field.

However, I don't believe that should change the nature of both a story arc and an individual issue having a solid beginning, middle and end. I'm still a big fan of good stories, regardless of them being eight pages, ten pages, three issues, four issues or six, just as long as they clearly pace themselves in a way that keeps me reading and give me a solid sense of beginning, middle and end.


  1. I don't know about all that goes before the end. There are a lot of different ways and patterns we can use to tell our story. But I am always really bummed out when what I'm reading or watching doesn't have resolution.

  2. I agree. I had to see unresolved stories UNLESS the lack of resolution is somehow the resolution itself. (If that makes sense.)

    1. That does make sense, and is acceptable...wandering into the mist, letting readers decide for themselves what happens next.