J.R. - Question about story length

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Thanos6
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J.R. - Question about story length

Post by Thanos6 » Tue May 01, 2007 3:00 pm

I saw that you disliked Maximum Carnage, for one reason at least, because of its length. 14 parts across 4 titles for 3-4 months in which there wasn't any other Spidey story.

Now, in Avengers a few years agom there was a story involving Kang the Conqueror. It was anywhere from 15-18 parts long, depending on which issues you count. And since there was only one Avengers title back then, it was literally a year and a half long. As you can imagine, the "Kang War" caused a big split in fandom between those who loved it and those who hated it.

I was just curious what you would think of that. A story which (unlike MaxCarn) is high quality in every way BUT is very massively long. Just wondering, thanks. :)

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Re: J.R. - Question about story length

Post by MadGoblin » Tue May 01, 2007 4:36 pm

Thanos6 wrote:I saw that you disliked Maximum Carnage, for one reason at least, because of its length. 14 parts across 4 titles for 3-4 months in which there wasn't any other Spidey story.

Now, in Avengers a few years agom there was a story involving Kang the Conqueror. It was anywhere from 15-18 parts long, depending on which issues you count. And since there was only one Avengers title back then, it was literally a year and a half long. As you can imagine, the "Kang War" caused a big split in fandom between those who loved it and those who hated it.

I was just curious what you would think of that. A story which (unlike MaxCarn) is high quality in every way BUT is very massively long. Just wondering, thanks. :)

That's a good question.

I hope to touch on Maximum Carnage when I resume the Venom series later this summer - but the main problem I had with Maximum Carnage is that not only was it 14 parts but it seemed that there was Part 1, 12 retellings of Part 1 - then Part 14 - the same thing issue after issue after issue.

Obviously, a good story will be given much more leeway - and I'm not familiar at all with that Avengers story (Is it one sequential story - or one overreaching arc or theme, but comprised of several smaller stories - kind of like the Clone Saga?) - but I just think that's very dubious editing. For one, not everyone is going to like the story, and you take a huge chance on alienating a large percentage of readers who won't come back until you're done with that story and the longer the story goes on - the less likely they'll come back. And it becomes even more problematic when it becomes clear after awhile that a story is simply not working (Get Kraven, anyone - which Marvel did cut from 7 issues to 6 when it became apparent people hated it)

It's the same rationale I used to reverse an earlier opinion I once held that multiple character titles should be written by the same person. Then when Howard Mackie did both Spidey titles after the relaunch - the fallacy of that belief became apparent - because even a good writer is not going to be "on" 100% of the time and turn out some crap - an if all titles are written by that one guy on a losing streak....

And on a personal level, it's also why I temporary pulled the plug on my Harry Osborn series after 10 parts and wrote some other stuff for awhile - because even though it's Pulitzer Prize stuff (sarcastic self-deprecation sense tingling!) - who wants to read about the Green Goblin for months without end when the Spidey universe is so vast?

Plus, again, I don't know about the Avengers story - but I think we can safely say that the excess of the Maximum Carnage story was not a natural outgrowth of a complex story - but deliberate and manipulate excess with little regard for quality on Marvel's part. In other words, that story was simply told in bad faith.

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Post by Thanos6 » Tue May 01, 2007 9:53 pm

and I'm not familiar at all with that Avengers story (Is it one sequential story - or one overreaching arc or theme, but comprised of several smaller stories - kind of like the Clone Saga?)
Kinda in the middle. There's 3 issues or so of Kang appearing and declaring his intent to conquer Earth, why he's doing it, and also--anyone on Earth who helps him will get to rule whatever they takeover as viceroys after he wins. Kang knows that if he can fracture Earth's loyalty, it'll be much easier to take over.

The next 5 issues or so are about the Avengers splitting into groups and criss-crossing the world to put down the various uprisings in the name of Kang (supervillains, rogue Atlanteans, that kind of thing).

There's about 3 or 4 issues after that when Kang finally makes his move and attacks, conquering the world (only time that's happened in Marvel) and we see the consequences.

Then we get the last 4 issues or so of Kang getting overthrown and the denounment.

As to why it was so long, well, it was Kurt Busiek's final Avengers story (not counting the JLA/Avengers crossover) and he wanted to go out with a bang; also, after the 12-part AVENGERS FOREVER miniseries, a lot of fans clamored for something as epic or moreso in the main title.

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Post by Russe » Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:29 pm

As a writer myself -- I have to say that if you have a good story, it shouldn't matter how long it takes you to write it. My book, after published, is 85 pages, therefore it makes it more of a novella.

Anyway, my take on things like this is that there shouldn't be a page or episode length, as many episodes as it take to tell the story, than thats what it takes.

Though, how long do most comic sagas go?
I am the AMAZING TUTU-GUY! -- Tutu-Guy
What are you going to do? Pirouette me to death? -- Spider-Man

(This is from my fan fic Spider Man and the Amazing Tutu-Guy!

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