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Elliott Serrano Presents:

Recently, Matt Fraction made this announcement on Twitter:

@mattfraction just wrote the last page of WORLD'S MOST WANTED. 18 months I've been trying to get to those last two fucking pages.

If you’ve been reading Invincible Iron Man (as I have) you’d understand what an arduous voyage it has been. Fraction has been stripping Tony Stark down; almost literally, to his very core and as tough as it’s been on fanboys to read, I can only imagine how hard it’s been on Fraction to write.

Now, I’m not even going to try and say that I even approach Fraction as a writer. In fact, I have a hard time just mentioning the two of us in the same sentence. But in a small way, I think I know how Fraction feels.

See, I just had my own struggle with the last 2 pages of a story I was writing, and damn if it didn’t drive me bonkles.

The last 2 pages were for the script to Army of Darkness: Ash saves Obama #4. From the very beginning of the story, I knew how those last two pages were going read. I knew where the story would end, and with the exception of one particular character, who would survive.

Considering it was a 4-issue mini-series and I only had 22 pages per issue, I had to work within the boundaries of the book and try to serve the story and the characters as best as I could. But, as I got into the actual writing of the story, the characters started taking over. As they went from situation to situation, as improbable as they may be – this was an Army of Darkness story after all – the characters demanded more screen time. They asked that I give them more chances to process what they were going through. And damn if they weren’t demanding more dialogue!

And as I tore through that last script, my brain overheating as I furiously tried to arrange pages, panels and dialogue in a way that would make sense to my editor and the artist; ticking off the page count as I went…page 17…page 18…19…20…21…

It hit me…

I ran out of pages and goddamn if I wasn’t through telling the story yet.

The ending that I initially found myself writing was rather abrupt and hardly what I had originally envisioned. The story had concluded, but there was no closure. And it had left to many unanswered questions.

So I had to go through the painful process of rewriting the pages and asking some characters to make sacrifices and give up some of their moments; moments that I loved, mind you, but that got in the way of moving the story along.

After completing that unsavory process, you’d think that typing those last two words, ‘The End’, would grant me a sense of relief. But in reality, you’re then left with a sense of sorrow. I never believed those writers who claimed that when they finished a story they felt something akin to post-partum depression. I always felt like that was some high-brow self-aggrandizement. But wouldn’t you know it? That’s how I felt. I felt as if a part of me was now born, out in the world, independent of me.

Out in the world for people to read or ignore, enjoy or deride.

And judge.

Oh yeah, it will be judged alright.

No matter, at least I can now say I think I know how Matt Fraction feels. We both had a helluva time getting to the last two pages of a story.

Guess that’s good company, eh?

Elliott Serrano is a writer/columnist/blogger who is pretty sure that the acquisition of Marvel Comics by the Walt Disney Company will not result in Mickey Mouse getting adamantium claws and joining the Pet Avengers. But he does have a pitch for that.

Read his blog and check out his YouTube Channels for more of his misadventures in comics.

E.R. Serrano

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