I was reading through some old Amazing Spider-Man issues by Gerry Conway and found that the stories are so compelling compared to a lot of modern comics. I picked right up in issue 139, and though Peter Parker had a lot of drama he was juggling in his personal life, the info was all there, I caught up fairly quickly, didn’t feel lost, and the issue both had a satisfying personal element to the story and a super villain battle.
The serial nature of it is what’s coolest, however. it’s not designed for a 6 issue arc where the beginning is in one issue, the middle goes on, they don’t do too much in the 5th because they’re trying to save the big battle for the finale and draw it out, and then it ends. That style of storytelling really doesn’t work well for an ongoing character. The serial where personal items are set up, some side things are set up for future issues, and it kinda rolls along with a single issue story that’s a bigger part of a whole is very exciting stuff.
There’s actually a charm to the structure in and of itself that you can just show up, pick up an issue, figure out what’s going on, and start the series from there without having to hunt down the beginning of the arc or run. You might want to because of the quality of it, but you don’t -have- to.
I tried to capture that feel myself when I made Flying Sparks. Because it was originally a webcomic, I didn’t write it with the intention of having a collected version, but I did individual stories in 22 pages that built up into something bigger, which was slowly getting revealed by the time we had to stop production. Reading over the series again in preparation for my crowdfund rerelease next month, I was a bit worried about the first issue, which I’d read several times. But the beauty in it is when the story starts to open up in 2 and 3 and these little seeming throw away items in issue one actually end up being very important to the overall context of the story.
That’s the kind of stuff that the old comics used to have, and why I’m so excited to get Flying Sparks back into the world. If all goes well, I’ll be making a lot more of it in the months to come, and i’m excited to build up to the story that’s been in my head for a long time, but I’ve never had the resources to complete. Either way, it will be an interesting experiment to see if the old serial style resonates with comic readers as much as it does with me.
We’re working hard on the logistics now so we can have a smooth launch. I’ll be talking a lot about comics process on the blog for the next couple of weeks as I’m working on more of it than ever before.
If you are looking at checking out my comics, but want to see my writing style/work first, check out my award winning novel, For Steam And Country. I’ll be bringing that quality of storytelling to the dialogue revisions for the remastered version of Flying Sparks.