Last time I discussed plot and I’d like to expand on that a bit. I mentioned that our story does not follow a typical format, but let’s examine why. Primarily I’d say it is because Black Snow is a character driven story which is a major anomaly in the superhero genre, which is normally very plot driven. Usually it is about the action and most of the other parts are just what gets you to the action.
Black Snow is about the people and the journey, the action is secondary. Alex is of course the primary writer, and I don’t think he cares a lot about plot, per se. In fact I think he finds it really hard to plan out and write. He is always pretty reluctant to plot things out too thoroughly or write anything out fully beyond the next few scenes. I don’t actually know what kind of writing classes Alex has taken since I’ve never asked him, but I do know he was already writing stories as a young tween before we met. He even wrote several plays as a child.
I also know that I’ve lent him at least one of my screen writing books, so I’m sure he at least has knowledge of the general principles of storytelling. He just has his own very distinctive way of writing.
And taking on a full length graphic novel is no easy task, especially if you are bold enough to try an original idea. If nothing, I like to think we are original. It must be weird to be a writer for an artist. I’ve done some writing, but almost always for myself to draw (or film). And if I wrote for someone else I would at least have my drawing experience to help me guide them. Alex does not draw, at all, so I wonder what it feels like for him to write what I will ultimately produce. It’s a strange symbiotic relationship.
What does any of this have to do with page 56 here? I don’t know. He wrote it and I drew it. I really don’t have a lot to say about this page. I like the way it turned out, it’s got a nice medium shot of Black Snow and it has some of that trademark awkward silence. You get a good sense of the tension between Black Snow and Brad. We also get a little Black Snow back story that we’ve never really explored before, but I’ve wanted to for some time.
It is important to understand that Black Snow started out as an optimistic man with good intentions, but he’s had his share of problems and failures which ultimately turned him into a sad, angry, jaded brute of a man. With the revamp I was almost tempted to start with the story back in his optimistic youth and show his decline, but that was a little too boring and straight forward.
It can be much more interesting to slowly reveal a character’s backstory, so we thought it better to just kind of throw the reader into the story and let them figure things out in due time.
A couple weeks ago I talked about the whole anti hero phenomenon, but not why Black Snow has it on his costume. This tends to confuse casual fans who think he is called anti hero. As I mentioned before, it was partly to be satirical by having such an overt label right on his chest.
But why would the character where it? I don’t think he originally did, but added it to his costume as he became more jaded with the whole idea of being a superhero. It’s his way of rebelling against a system that holds him down and people he does not respect. His way of mocking everyone else.
On a final note I thought I’d share something interesting about my meeting with Thomas Jane at the convention a couple weeks back. It was something of a fated meeting as he is best known (especially in the comic world) for playing the Punisher. I was a big fan of the movie, and the character of the Punisher was one of my direct inspirations while creating the look of Black Snow. I wasn’t a huge fan or anything, and I didn’t go out of my way to copy or parody him, but I was familiar enough with the character that I knew he was the ultimate anti hero and what he looked like. So he was in my mind when I first envisioned the character.
So it is kind of funny that Thomas Jane would end up looking over my comics which had a small connection to him based on his most famous role. I wonder what he makes of Black Snow. Of course I was so underwhelmed by his aura of Hollywood nonsense that I gave him I’m Famous! instead, as I thought the humor of it would hit home with him. But I do think he’d make a fine Black Snow if it ever came time for the movie.