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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

JIM SHOOTER TAKES ON WONDER WOMAN

Jim Shooter recently made some lengthy comments on the "New 52" version of WONDER WOMAN here:

http://www.jimshooter.com/2012/01/wonder-woman-4-review.html

Here's a telling excerpt:


OPEN MESSAGE TO AZZARELLO AND DC COMICS:


EVERY ISSUE SHOULD BE AN ENTRY POINT!

This one isn’t.

Azzarello, don’t you understand that you’re excluding people? Lots of people?

I know that your editors and their bosses don’t understand that or give a damn. They’re lazy and/or stupid. But you seem like a clever fellow, bright enough. Don’t you want to reach more people? Don’t you want to entertain more people? Don’t you want more of an audience than however many read your previous issues (assuming that those issues explain what the Hell is going on) plus the few remaining steeped-in-comics-lore people who might be able to pick it up on the fly?


Or are you really screwing over the periodicals buyers and writing for the trade paperback buyers. Hey, it worked for Moore on Watchmen. He gave barely a nod to the initial, serialized presentation, and it didn’t sell all that well. But it has done wonderfully well as a collection in various trade formats. Is that what you’re going for?

Really?



The only point that interests me here is his concept of "entry points..."

As a reader I'm turned off by tons of exposition, but I'm also turned off by lazy storytelling in which the writer is deliberately obscure and/or offers the excuse that it'll all make sense somewhere down the line.


For me Shooter's idea of "entry point" suggests not the attempt to explain everything so that any new reader can get it, but giving the reader some core appeal to the story, something that makes him want to know more as to what's gone before.

When I was about 12, I picked up FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #5 off the stands. I barely knew who the main heroes were, having seen them in a few reprints, much less the complicated histories of the guest-stars Black Panther and Inhumans. But I loved getting into the story because it offered me a lot of "entry points," meaning things with which I could identify strongly (the villain's power to mess with heroes' minds, for example).


I didn't pick up the first issues of Priest's BLACK PANTHER, but I happened to be thumbing through an early issue-- seven or eight-- and read some of the dialogue he wrote for Queen Divine Justice. That dialogue was an "entry point" for me, pulling me into the story.

I saw absolutely nothing in the Azzarello WONDER WOMAN that worked on that level of appeal.

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