Wow, I gear up for another instalment of my now 'weekly' blog posts and I see Red Room has had a total facelift!
I have to admit it's quite an interesting portal. Kudos to the Red Room crew! Now onto the news. I will be heading out to the lovely city of Baltimore tomorrow afternoon to prepare for 2 days of nerd excitement at Baltimore Comic Con.
This is going to be a big first step in my attempt to clear out the cobwebs and return to a career I sort of let falter after some hard personal setbacks. The fear I spoke of last week is still there. As we near the event it gets stronger.
"Do I still deserve to be a writer after all this time?" "Is the industry the same as the one I fell in love with all those years ago?" "Will anyone even remember me?"
Now the answer to 1 and 3 is still to be determined. The answer to question number 2 is "Yes. and No. in equal parts."
The landscape has changed since my youth. Not always for the better, but there are some things out there that grab me and remind me what a great place storytelling is. It exists outside of the shocking moves done not for creative effect but for shock value, and headlines.
The "lets kill someone off, then bring them back in 4 months time negating any emotional impact the death of the character had, but hey it got some attention and the return will increase sales for 2 months before people stop caring again."
Or the. "Lets throw out another event on the heels of our last event, not allowing time for the readers to breathe, or come to grips with the climax and so called new status quo before we shake things up again."
In both these regards, its lazy storytelling at best, and sad one upsmanship at worst. Once upon a time, books used to compete for an audience's dollar with solid stories and art, things that made you happy or angry or excited. Stories that elicited some sort of reaction other than a jaded "meh. x character will be dead for like 2 months tops." or "even if they relaunch y it'll just go back to normal in 6 months so I'll stop reading until it does."
If we are going to step up our game to get back the mass audience we are bringing in, in droves via movies, cartoons, etc. We need to actually be stepping up our game. New readers won't put up with the crap that us long time readers will. If you have a character, lets say, Thor that just had a huge movie that did phenominally well for a second tier character, why would you replace him in the books with some other guy?
Sure WE all know that "our Thor" will be back in like 6 months, just like when they did it with Thunderstrike and Beta Ray Bill, but to people going out next week and getting the DVD then trying one of the comics to see that the guy in the book Thor had nothing to do with the world they discovered in the film won't be waiting those six months for the return, they'll forget about it until Thor 2 comes out in 2013.
When I walk into the comic con in 2 days, I will be greeted with a host of images. Some reminding me what I loved so dearly that I wanted it to be my entire life, and some showing me why I got jaded and disaffected and wandered away for so long.
The adventure itself will be grand. This I know it to be true, I will be traveling with those I love, and experiancing something great. But I hope to come out, the other side with revitalized hope and find the part of myself that disappeared, the part that I miss. The part I have been searching to get back.