Home Page
Contact/Advertising
Jess Knows Best!
Full Bleed
Omnium Gatherum
Comic Culture Warrior
Anything Goes!
Nine Panel Grid
CWR 2.0 Review Archives
Rogue Element
Aisle Seat 2.0
CWR TV
Total Party Kill
Miller's Crossings
Beyond Borders
Guest Columnists
Go Axe Alice
Saurav Mohapatra Presents:









 

K.I.S.S. Me A Purple One

My fingers tap on the typewriter keys – a staccato clattering like a spastic with a tommy gun, in perfect cadence with my stuttering thoughts. There it all is – a symphony made out of the slow start building into a crescendo as I feel clarity and then the pregnant pause as my mind lulls.

Blah Blah Blah!

Well, I could’ve just written, “I’m typing as I think.” Somehow couldn’t resist the temptation for “Purple Prose”. When I started writing comic books, my first break was INDIA AUTHENTIC, a retelling of Indian myths and legends preceded by a foreword from Deepak Chopra (yes, THE Deepak Chopra). Given the subject matter and Deepak’s reputation my first few issues I veered towards high and haughty sounding words and phrases. The pieces were caption heavy and I tried my best to make sure they sounded lofty.

During that time I had the good fortune of working with Ron Marz (GREEN LANTERN, WITCHBLADE, SAMURAI : HEAVEN & EARTH) and as I’ve mentioned before I learned a lot about the craft. Ron is a great believer in K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid!). One of my titles that he edited was THE SADHU, about a British soldier in colonial India in the 19th century who has a spiritual awakening and becomes a mystic warrior. My story took James Jensen, the protagonist beyond the realms of the physical on a journey that eventually ended within himself. I used James as the narrator of the series and my first draft carried on the style of my first few INDIA AUTHENTIC books and I thought myself to be the Cat’s Pajamas.

But after a few discussions with Ron on the first draft, I realized that I was actually making a title that was kind of alien to the American reader further obtuse by my purple prose. Obscurity is often mistaken as profundity in the world of ours, and frequently dropping words like Karma, Dharma, Cosmic Synergy does not equate a tale well told.

Less is always more. A comic book in particular has the assist of the visual storytelling of the artist, so the writer can counterpoint that by using simpler language that don’t cause the reader pause breaking his suspension of disbelief. Simple doesn’t equate to flat storytelling. Hemingway wrote magnificent works of literature and perhaps the best display of dialogue based narrative. He rarely used the so-called Million Dollar Words. His language was simple, accessible and had a cadence of its own. Elmer Leonard’s novels and the narrative techniques he uses are based on simple building blocks, yet he crafts a masterful body of work from those ingredients.

In comic books, perhaps the best example of simple language creating an unforgettable mental image is the opening of ALL STAR SUPERMAN by Grant Morrison. We’ve been told the origin of Superman so many times in different media, but Morrison is down right majestic in the way he uses four simple phrases to sum up eight decades of mythos.

“Doomed planet, Desperate Scientists, Last Hope, Kindly Couple.”

Try and beat that!

Till we meet again,

Toodles! 

mohaps

Visit CWR at Unsungheroes

 

 

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com


The Important Stuff!!!

Comics News!

Comics Reviews
CWR 2.0 Review Archives
Happy Nonsense: Pop Culture Confidential
Marc on Twitter
CWR on MySpace
CWR Forum on UNSUNG HEROES
CWR Atom Feed
CWR RSS 1.0 Feed
CWR RSS 2.0 Feed
Friends, Family, and Other Cool Places To Visit
The Beat
Comics Reporter
Journalista
Comic Foundry
Comics Continuum
Quick Stop Entertainment
Kevin Smith
Comic Book Galaxy
Chris Allen
Beaucoup Kevin
John Jakala
Matt Maxwell
Elliott Serrano
Saurav Mohapatra
Art Baltazar
Naomi Nowak
Danielle Corsetto
Bill Sherman
Elayne Riggs
Mark Evanier
John Layman
When Fangirls Attack
Peter David
Steve Lieber & Co.
Valerie D'Orazio
Evan Dorkin
Nat Gertler
Dorian Wright
Savage Critic
Spoilt!
Comics Worth Reading
Laurenn McCubbin
Warren Ellis
Steven Grant, Hannibal Tabu, Rich Johnston and More!
Comics 101
Newsarama
Copyright 2006- 2010 Marc Mason/Comics Waiting Room. All rights reserved

Website Builder