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Old 06-25-2006, 07:36 PM   #1
Lovecraft13
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Comics with several chapters per issue

This question is for the comic book savvy. Are there a lot of comic books on the market today that use chapters within their issues as a story-telling device? Also, if you read any, did the method work for you, or would you prefer a linear method? I ask because I'm currently writing a six-issue miniseries that has about two or three chapters per book, and each chapter is treated like its own self-contained story in one larger plot.
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Old 06-25-2006, 08:04 PM   #2
Icaruss
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There aren't a lot of comic-books who use several chapters within a single issue, except if you're talking about your 80 pages long specials. I think the reason for this is that it's easier for the reader to take on each issue as a chapter. I wouldn't mind having several chapters in an issue that's 50 pages long, but it starts to be kinda annoying if there's a new one every eight pages.

What if your reader doesn't care about the characters introduced on chapter two? They would want to get to see what's happening to the character they liked in the first place, the one that got them to buy the story. Or worse, what if your reader doesn't like the things happening in Chapter 3, and what's to see how the situation introduced in Chapter 1 is holding out?

You gotta make sure you keep every chapter, in every book, interesting for everyone. And that's tough.

You can do it though.
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Old 06-25-2006, 08:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icaruss
What if your reader doesn't care about the characters introduced on chapter two? They would want to get to see what's happening to the character they liked in the first place, the one that got them to buy the story. Or worse, what if your reader doesn't like the things happening in Chapter 3, and what's to see how the situation introduced in Chapter 1 is holding out?
If your audience is turning away from a comic because of four pages dedicated to a character you have bigger problems than structure.
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Old 06-25-2006, 08:24 PM   #4
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If your audience is turning away from a comic because of four pages dedicated to a character you have bigger problems than structure.
Agreed.
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Old 06-25-2006, 08:26 PM   #5
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Outside one shots you usually don't see the multiple chapters in a single issues, but I wouldn't let that stop me from doing it. Most comics don't bother to finish a story in one issue, but that doens't mean it shouldn't or can't be done.
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Old 06-26-2006, 08:16 AM   #6
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There's a way to make everything work, you've just got to work hard enough to nail it. I mean (OK, this is a movie, but) Pulp Fiction, on paper, would have been a bit of a risk but Tarantino made it not only work, but kinda kicked off a whole new way of storytelling. Disclaimer: I don't know if anyone else did it first, but certainly not on the same scale.

Every single issue is a chapter, so you already write in chapters naturally. It's all about balance when you condense those chapters.
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Old 06-26-2006, 11:08 PM   #7
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\Disclaimer: I don't know if anyone else did it first, but certainly not on the same scale.

Every single issue is a chapter, so you already write in chapters naturally. It's all about balance when you condense those chapters.
Yes, many people did it first. It's just that they were in Japan ad most of us Americans never heard of them. So, Tarantino was fresh to the US scene, but not the global.

As for chapters, check out some of Allan Moore's stuff. Not sure if he used Chapters in the original monthlies, but he uses them in some of his Trades and GNs.
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Old 06-26-2006, 11:18 PM   #8
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Early issues of the Batman Adventures did this too. I actually thought it was kind of clever... About every eight pages, they'd have a chapter or an "Act Break", set up like the cartoon show was. And they were usually kind of fun and clever. Of course in a 22 page story, it served no other purpose than style, but it was still fun... Which at the height of "Knightquest" was a welcomed relief.
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Old 06-27-2006, 09:50 AM   #9
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If you look back at a lot of Kirby's 70's work (mostly the Post-New Gods DC material) he did a lot of chapter/act breaks. THe ATLAS one shot and his JUSTICE INC. issues are great examples as are the KAMANDI issues before he returned to Marvel. Not sure if it was a stylistic choice, habit going back to his days when he and Simon were packaging anthology material or just something that developed as he tried to stay interested in the material he had to knock out due to his contract.
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Old 06-28-2006, 03:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Reynolds
Early issues of the Batman Adventures did this too. I actually thought it was kind of clever... About every eight pages, they'd have a chapter or an "Act Break", set up like the cartoon show was. And they were usually kind of fun and clever. Of course in a 22 page story, it served no other purpose than style, but it was still fun... Which at the height of "Knightquest" was a welcomed relief.
Yeah, I dug the Batman Adventure breaks as well.

Make anything fun or interesting and it will work.
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Old 06-28-2006, 03:52 PM   #11
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Chris Priest used to do this sort of chapter thing in Black Panther.
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Old 06-28-2006, 04:15 PM   #12
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Fables by Bill Willingham uses it from time to time. Though I don't think it serves any function what so ever most of the time.
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