Four-color funnies are on the brain

Comic books. I used to love ’em as a kid, but the entire industry seemingly took a walk down a back alley (located on the other side of the tracks) and went mega-dark during the ’90s. Batman had his spine snapped. Shadowhawk broke criminals’ spines while battling H.I.V. Supes bit it. Image was one large gun-and-pouch fest. And who didn’t snarl or angrily drool? It was all very depressing.

My day job, PCMag.com, is what recently magic-lassoed me back into the comics game. I met a friend’s husband while I was out west covering the insanity known as E3. Over a few brews, the good sir gave me a much-needed comic book boot camp that covered not only new titles and hot creators, but the challenges he faced as a Black man in a circle that’s even more homogeneous than the tech field. Upon my return to the office, I pitched three comic book related stories which the editors dug. I’m looking forward to see how it plays out. Could be quite fun.

More importantly, my Los Angeles experience reignited my writing passion. That may be difficult to grasp considering that I write for a living, but creating characters and worlds is something I haven’t done in a very long time. I dreamed of being a comic book writer during my junior high school and high school years. That obviously didn’t pan out (I let an opportunity escape, unfortunately), but I have a script in the works that’s tapping a purely creative side of the brain…and it’s been a marvelous experience. Honestly, I don’t have Marvel or DC desires. Typical capes-and-tights stories aren’t my thing anymore. Dynamite, IDW, Dark Horse, and other publishers have more varied catalogs that would prove a better fit for an action-comedy, methinks.

But I’m getting ahead of myself a bit. Plotting and story structure don’t come naturally to me. I tend to think in dialogue and individual scenes more so than big picture. It’s challenging, but I’m coming around. Still, if I could get away with two characters yapping away in a single scene with no true subplots, I would do just that.

It worked for Clerks.

Image courtesy of Marvel Comics.