Part 2 of the Gillen, Spurrier and Williams interview has been added today.
It can be found tagged on the bottom of the interview here.
Small confession: it seems I didn’t ask Kieron Gillen this question, so only answers from Simon and Rob, but interesting none-the-less.
Rob compares a 100pg story versus a 5pg strip, while Simon discusses the difference between writing a novel and writing comics.
For all of you who’ve read part one, here’s part two to save you trawling through the whole interview:
QUESTION 02: DOES THE PROCESS CHANGE DEPENDING ON THE PROJECT’S END FORMAT?
Rob Williams compares a 5 issue 20pg US comic arc vs a single-issue 5pg 2000AD story:
It does. But I usually try and break the story down to a rough three act structure whether it’s a 5 pager or a 5 issue arc – 100 pages in total. Act One is the inciting incident, our hero wants something and must set the world back to rights. That takes up about 25% of the page count. The Second act is the protagonist trying to get that thing and obstacles increasing in difficulty as we go. That’s about 50% of the page count. There should be a twist at the start of the final act, which is then the culmination of our story – our hero either gets what they wanted or doesn’t, and this resolution will be influenced by the theme. It either confirms the theme or denies it. The final act is about 25%.
So, for a 5 pager in 2000AD, Act One is Page One, Act Two is pages two to four, Act Three is page five, usually with a cliff-hanger on the end.
Simon Spurrier compares novels vs comics:
It’ almost not possible to relate writing comics to writing novels, it’s just such a different art. I have an analogy: they are a different as being an ambulance driver and being a mechanic. Both are vaguely related to engines.
At the moment I’m trying to write a novella. I haven’t touched prose for a year, and it’s really, really hard going back to it. It’s especially hard changing gears. Prose requires momentum. Prose requires that you wake up on a Monday and you know the last thing that you wrote on Friday, and you know where it’s supposed to be going, and you’ve got all day to write 2000 words.
Whereas if you’re writing an episode of something on Wednesday and waking on Thursday to try to get back into the novel you’re not going to do anything valuable until the next bloody week! It takes such a long time to get back into the groove.
I can be a bit of a tyrant when it comes to control of the work. I like collaborating with people I know, and that’s very rare. If you’re working for Marvel unless you’re really big and you get to say ‘I want this guy’, they will assign for you. With prose, not a problem. No one is to blame except you and that is quite seductive for a tyrant like me.