April 14th, 2001

Phoenix

Interesting Point

Something a bit more profound than I've done in awhile. I like to toss something like this out there every so often. This is from an excerpt of an interview with Chris Claremont.

OShea: Fair or not, some reviewers have complained that in some of your stories there is too much text for this visual medium. Of course, conversely there is an outcry over the upcoming Marvel wordless promotion in December. What's your response to those critics and do you believe too much exposition can interfere (as one interpretation) with the flow of a comic story?

Claremont: What's the classic scene in AMADEUS? The Emperor loves Mozart's new composition except for -- too many notes! The number of notes doesn't matter, only their quality. If the story is well-told, all the elements should flow together into a seamless whole, action, exposition, what-have-you. If not, then there's trouble. The books need to be judged on their own merits, not on readers' or critics' or editors' or publishers' preconceptions, good, bad or indifferent. Done right, the absence of text is not a liability because the writer's primary task is to tell the story! It may include text, it may not, that is solely the writer's call; if successful, the tools and tricks of the craft required -- or discarded -- to accomplish that task don't matter.