You know what’s great about Comic Books? Everything. I know what you’re thinking, “That’s quite a statement, Zack. Oh and by the way, who the f*#k are you?” You don’t know? I’m one quarter of the writing team that brought you Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog that internet sensation that swept the basements of America eighteen months ago. Never heard of it? You need to stay in more.
In the wake of that TV on the Internet show, I wrote some online comics (how future is that?) that tied in with the project. They were, if I must be completely objective, absolutely pretty good. On Wednesday, November 18th a Dr. Horrible comic that I wrote will hit stores. My first real print comic. You can buy it if you want to…
I bring this up not only to plug my product and coyly bait you into purchasing it but also to talk about the things that I love about comic books but only discovered once I started writing them.
1. Comic books are truly a writer’s medium. Not since actual books has there been a medium so well suited to the writer. I work in television primarily and getting to tell stories the way you want to can be an elusive experience in Hollywood. Sort of like how finding a pet dragon that poops chocolate can be an “elusive experience.” When I got the completed pages back from the artist, Eric Canete, on my first comic it was the first time something I wrote came out exactly as I had imagined it. It was a bit of a revelation. It scratched an itch that had been nagging me for years.
2. The art. I have had the opportunity to collaborate with amazing artists. Their contribution is obviously huge and cannot be overstated. Canete, Farel Dalrymple, Jim Rugg and Joelle Jones have all taken my comic scripts and made them funnier and more interesting with their artistic talents. So that is nice.
3. They don’t cost a ton to produce. The more expensive something is to make the more people you will have looking over your shoulder and usually making it suck. When fear of financial ruin is not a factor the few people who do work with you have only the story’s best interests at heart. Sierra Hahn and Scott Allie are the editors I’ve worked with at Dark Horse Comics and every note they’ve given me has been totally right. That never happens. Ever.
4. The opportunity to tell stories you would not otherwise be able to tell. I am currently working on a six issue Terminator series for Dark Horse. I just turned in the first script and I’m very excited about it. I love Terminator. I think that movie is so good. Holy Toledo is it good. Now I get to play in that universe and make up Terminator stories of my own that people will get to read. I am not a big-time, famous dude and yet now I am choreographing action sequences set in a post-apocalyptic future overrun by evil cybernetic organisms hell bent on destroying the human race. How is that possible?! I’ll answer your question, Made-Up Person. It’s possible because in comics it doesn’t cost 150 million dollars to tell that story. They can put an idiot like me in charge!
The thing that draws me to writing comics is the same thing that has drawn so many writers, my brother Joss included, to making internet content. Control. It makes perfect sense that Felicia Day, the self-made (not self-proclaimed) Queen of the Internet, is now writing a comic for Dark Horse. Her fantastic web show, The Guild, was born out of a desire to control her career and her comic will be an extension of that pursuit.
I’ve always loved reading comics. Alan Moore, Jeffrey Brown, Craig Thompson and Brian K. Vaughan are just a few of the writers whose work I’ve connected with and adored. What I’ve discovered over the past couple of years are the joys of writing comics and they are considerable.
I also like porno.