Thursday, August 29, 2013


So, over on Talent Not Guaranteed, I just unleashed unveiled the new project that will take a year or so to complete: a panel-for-panel re-do of Justice League of America #200, similar in spirit to Gus Van Sant's shot-for-shot remake of Hitchcock's Psycho, but maybe closer in skill and execution to the legendary Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation.

This project is actually an off-shoot of a thought experiment I have had for some time; it focused on JLA #200, but only because that was the comic I had to hand when the idea came. Regardless of the source material, I think it would be an interesting exercise.

The first step is to take a comic book story and have a third party write a (DC-stye as opposed to Marvel-stye) full script -- sort of reverse-engineering the script from the finished product. This in itself would be a useful exercise in exploring the conventions of comic scriptwriting and the nature of the collaboration between writer and artist. The next step is to take the finished script and give it to a new artist, one who has never seen the source material. That artist then illustrates the story according the full script, interpreting the writer's words and direction and actualizing them. Finally, we compare the second version with the original version, examine the differences, and try to see where the influence of the writer and that of the artist can identified.

I'm not sure that this experiment isn't already being done somewhere, although perhaps it has more appeal to critics than creators - adaptation is often a useful lens for literary analysis, but maybe the talent is less interested in this than the audience.

In any event, it is that thought experiment that inspired my latest exercise. We'll see how it goes as I slog through. Probably something like this.

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