Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

June 22, 2015

Go, Read: Jaime Weinman On Comics And Continuity

imageI had fun reading this Jaime Weinman article on continuity in comics, which I think is fairly and pretty deeply engaged with that phenomenon as its exists within a lot of those comics, particularly superhero ones. I particularly like the section on Don Rosa's Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck using continuity a tool to create a personally meaningful and fun comic book story, and I think looking at Jonathan Hickman's comics as really only interested in Jonathan Hickman-created continuity is a smart way to go.

Continuity as it is used in comics is such a weird thing that there's a lot of stuff only somewhat touched on to outright passed over in the Weinman piece that could make for their own articles. This includes but is not restricted to: the way that these characters resist continuity just from sheer story density shoehorned into a character's timeline that can't progress too far, continuity as a way to upgrade a character's modern appeal, the creative appeal of re-visiting old and potent storylines, no-continuity as continuity where comparison between versions is part of the point, lightening up on continuity as a way to lessen the burden placed on editors (and get better value from them), lightening up on continuity as a way to maybe get creators with options elsewhere to work on characters not their own, and continuity as something to be corrected in order to better realize a larger corporate goal. Corn products are to processed food what Continuity is to conceptions of mainstream comics.

I liked continuity when I was invested in Marvel Comics. It was one of the things most appealing to me, this idea of a story that was unfolding over several years and the commitment on the part of the company that they would try to make it one story. Then again, I was near enough to the beginning of that company's modern existence that the overall story sill sort of made sense with only a little compression of time needed, and there were really good concepts that sold well enough to stick around but not well enough they couldn't be played with (Daredevil, the X-Men), so I got some new in there, too. Since I love the Rosa and really love the Jaime Hernandez Locas comics, I would assume that most of any objections I make to comics that seek a sense of continuity is when corporations are the one in charge of it.
posted 12:55 am PST | Permalink

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