Monday, March 03, 2014

Ask Me Anything #37

As always, the first Monday of the month means it's time for "Ask Me Anything."

You can ask me any questions you'd like, whether it's about my work, opinions, influences, favorites, least favorites, or anything else you think I might have an answer for. Questions can be posted in the comments section below, and I'll either answer them there, or in a separate post sometime later in the month.

Please take the time to view the previous questions so that we don't wind up with a lot of repetition. I've been asked a lot of good, thought provoking questions in the past as well as some really banal ones, all of which I tried to answer. You can see the previous questions by visiting Ask Me Anything  #1#2 ,  #3#4#5#6 , #7 , #8#9,  #10,  #11,  #12 , #13#14,  #15 , #16#17 , #18 , #19,  #20,  #21#22,  #23#24#25#26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35, and #36.  Answers not found following the questions can be found in the archives section for each associated month under Ask Me Anything.

Now ask away. 


dasdas said...

My name is William Luiz,and would like to ask some things...First I would like to say that I have not found answers to my questions on your blog, sorry if you already answered, I would also say that I am not very good at English, so I apologize for any grammar error.

I was watching the movie Justice League War and I noticed a small appearance of Virgil Hawkins(from Young Justice) in the background, I always liked this character so I went searching about where he's been after being he was canceled in the new 52 timeline(which was terrible). I was sad to hear that that DC lost the rights to Milestone characters, and the only articles I found about it were old and mentioned your name. So my question is...this small appearance means something? DC got the rights to the character back? If not, what is being done with these characters now? Do you have any other kind of information about this ?

And taking advantage that I am already here, I wonder if you have any tips for those who dream of writing comics(like me)? Once in a while I catch myself daydreaming about fantastic stories in which I would love to write a comic book about it. But I do not know where or how should I start this career. I'm also not very good at the time of passing the idea to the paper, I still do not know the right way to write a comic book.

I would love if you give this any kind of answer, Anyway, Thanks for your time.

Joe said...

Joe here like usual with a few questions (A bit longer then normal so i thank you ahead of time for reading them.)

1. Recently there have been rumors about the TV show "Arrow" Being added to the DC movie universe due to its success. Marvel did something like this with Agents of shield but it was made after the movie and my understanding is the show hasn't been doing so well. Do you think Having successful show first, bringing those characters into the movie and back to the show would be a better way to do it or it wouldn't really have any effect on anything?

2. How do you go about coming up with a series? Do you think "in the now" or do you think like 7 or 8 issues down the line when making stories? This i ask for two reasons. 1) Its kind of weird when i finish a comic and then i pick up the next issue and it seems that they aren't really connected. 2) As i said i was making up a script for Static and i found myself thinking about what i wanted to do in the second or third movie when i don't have anything really set in stone for the first one and i feel that is probably detrimental to the overall quality of what i am making.

I wanna say thank you for every month answering my questions. I must say that i am with william when it comes to the curiosity of Static. I know i asked a while back and you would said you would let us know if you found anything out. I am not trying to annoy you or anything like that but the curiosity for my favorite characters status is a big thing to me lol. So just looking for an update on that. Also i am not sure if you saw but the first question i asked in September or so actually got on some website and Michael Davis commented on it. Figured if you haven't seen it you may be interested in that.

John Rozum said...

Dasdas - Thanks for asking. Unfortunately I don't know anything about what is going on at DC and don't know what is going on with Static, or any of the other Milestone characters. I haven't been involved with DC in a couple of years and haven't been following any of their current books. I'd love to see Static and the other Milestone characters make a big comeback, but it's out of my hands.

The best way I can suggest you start writing comics is to just start writing comics. There's no preferred way to do this. Just write a strong, clear narrative with good characters that your artist can draw, or simply draw it yourself. Once you feel confident with your abilities, you can then start approaching publishers, or now, you can just publish it yourself, even if it's just online. It's a lot easier to get your work seen than it was back when I was starting out.

A lot of creators feature some of how they go about making their own comics on their websites and blogs, you might want to look into a few of those. I started a blog for elementary school and middle school kids a few years back (it's not been touched in a while by me) about different aspects of creating comics. The material is directed at kids, but there are still a lot of things there that could help aspiring comic book creators of any age. You can find it here:

John Rozum said...

Joe -

As to your first question, I don't think it makes much of a difference as long as the stories are good. What I think happens with something like Arrow, is there's a lack of confidence on the attraction of DCs 2nd and 3rd tier characters (which is everyone beyond Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman) to generate interest in audiences unfamiliar with them to get them to rush out to see a movie. The Green Lantern probably had a big impact on that, and by introducing them to audiences who don't have to pay to watch them first on tv, there's at least some familiarity when they show up on some hypothetical Justice League movie. I don't think characters first introduced on tv would make the successful leap to their own movies though. As cool as Arrow may be, not many people are going to rush out to see a non-effects driven superhero movie about a guy who fights crime with a bow.

Marvel, wisely, began generating a shared universe in their movies with Iron Man (which was successful despite him being a second tier character that most people probably weren't familiar with) and that Universe, as diverse as it is feels cohesive, and by introducing characters less reliant on big budget special effects to television, they're simply expanding on that big franchise. The problem with Agents of SHIELD, IMO, is that it was boring. I couldn't finish the third episode. It's a show that calls for big action and effects and can't afford to deliver them on a weekly basis. The stories and characters are also really uninteresting. But, I doubt that an Agents of SHIELD movie would have been a big draw either. They work best as support for the big heroes.

Unlike Marvel, DC's shared universe, at least cinematically thanks to the recent Batman trilogy's insistence on making it something that could happen in the real world with current technology and no superpowers, is that none of the other characters now fit with Batman, and by trying to shoehorn them into that same real universe, you're taking away what makes them who they are. Arrow, I think is successful on tv, because of it's small scale and lack of dependence on special effects, but outside of being part of a group, he won't carry a solo movie.

Introducing Vision and Scarlet Witch in an Avengers movie and making them really cool supporting characters would probably get a lot more people excited to see them starring in their own tv show, but not so much their own movie.

John Rozum said...

Joe - on to your second question. My preferred method is to plan as far ahead as possible, so that I know how I want the characters to develop over time, I can build relationships, expand ideas, and everything else that comes along with telling a successful story. I always try to have an imagined end point in mind, even if it's an ongoing series, so that it feels like the story is developing towards something, rather than just stagnating with a rotating roster of guest villains, etc.

I'm developing a stand alone miniseries right now, and part of what I've done is figured out what had been going on with all of the characters long before this story starts and imagining what would happen with them after this story ends. This will hopefully add some weight and credibility to their relationships and their base of operations, since there will be a history informing it.

I think, in your case, focusing on what you know you want to do with your 2nd and 3rd installments will help you figure out what you need to do with your 1st, so just go ahead and take care of what you have now, and worry about what you don't have later.

Joe said...

Once again thank you very much for responding so quickly and answering thoroughly. With your response to the second question i like the answer and i feel it helps but i do have a slight thing i want to ask on that. Now i would like to note that i have not prior to this project written any type of story or script, Just kinda doing it because i want to lol. With that being said my question is, How do you think you can flesh out the characters in a film or script. Even though i assume the concept is the same, with a film you are limited on time as to where with a comic you can think (i would assume) 5 to 10 issues down the line and still have a story arch that is in development and still fleshing things out. (I am not sure if i worded that correctly so i hope you understand what i am asking)

dasdas said...

First,call me William "dasdas" was me being lazy to create a nick name,second, thank you for the answers, I've already tried to writing for indie publisher, it only had one vague, but I failed the test =/.I really liked some of your blogs so I might have some more questions about that and other things in the future. Anyway do you happen to know someone who could give me an answer about Static/DC situation?

John Rozum said...

William -- I don't really know who to direct you to. You may want to ask DC directly through their facebook page, or at a convention. Sorry not to be more helpful.

Joe -- With movies, the best thing to do with characters is think about all the aspects about them that you think are important, or important to the story you want to tell, then find ways to show off those traits in a way that moves the story forward. The best advice I can give you to figuring out what to do is to watch a bunch of movies and pay attention to this particular element of the storytelling. Pay attention especially to the first ten minutes. Everything that's presented to you will come into play by the end of the movie. Using Static as an example, if you want to show why he's such a whiz zipping around on his trash can lid once he gets his powers, have him show off to the girls with his skateboard skills at the beginning of the movie.

Both of you are always welcome to ask more questions in the future.