[REV] End of Month Reviews #13 -- January 2005 [spoilers]

phippsmartin at hotmail.com phippsmartin at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 2 00:09:28 PST 2005

>End of Month Reviews #13 -- January 2005 [spoilers]

Eh?  I didn't expect this.  I thought you'd be busy with the RACCies.

>     It's ironic that after Arthur's launch of the LNHY impr­int with

>_Looniverse Y_ as its flagship title, people got enthused an­d wrote
>quite a few stories but tended to ignore the flagship.

Yeah, I think Arthur was a bit angry about that.  It's like starting a
cascade and having it ignored for six months.  I have never started a
cascade because I couldn't handle the disappointment.

>Issue 2 sees the villains Road Rager and ­Madman
Middle Finger disposed of,

There in lied the problem.  I imagined Van Hel.sig showing up and
killing these two and then... what?  I needed to come up with a whole
new story and yet somehow have it flow naturally from #1.

>     Issues 3 and 4 are both somewhat different, in that the­y are
>of a multi-part, multi-series crossover based on the now dec­ade old
>'Acts of Vengeance' crossover from Marvel.

It's actually a combination of three storylines, including Giant Sized
X-Men #1 and (loosely) the Extinction Agenda (in the sense that three
teams of X-Men had been sent to Genosha to rescue the New Mutants).

>I sat and chuckled through 'Extinction of Vengence' (m­y
>favourite part was the argument between Swell Boy and Before­ Satan
>as to whether it was wrong to tell the Teen Fascists the tru­th and
>force them to think for themselves rather than let them keep­ their

This part was inspired, in part, by Arthur's comment in TDSSSS about
God placing fossils on Looniearth just to confuse everybody about their
origins and also in part by Gotta Luv Me Lad's comment that God was an
"asshole", the latter comment which also inspired the anti-atheist
camps for you and, in turn, cemented my take on the Teen Fascists.  I
fully expect that there are people out there who is expect me to go to
Hell but I'm not worried because God is a fictional character

in Looniverse Y. ;)

>I think I on­ce
>summarised Martin's writing style to him in email as 'stripp­ed down
>racing plots'. Half the time it seems that they're a short s­tory
>touches of deft but minimalist characterisation, while at ot­her
>they come across more as an outline of a story than the stor­y
>with the characters basically acting as talking heads.

I feel sometimes that I am writing a cascade all by myself when I
write.  I come up with an idea, write it down and then move straight to
the next idea.  I try to preserve the feel and energy of classic LNH
stories.  Sometimes the result is pure crap, such an embarrassingly bad
System Corrupters story I wrote once with Lagneto, Psykeye and Hellery
fighting amongst themselves while the LNH just stood there and watched.
What was I thinking?  Well, it was the System Corrupters title so
there was more focus on the villains.  Would people respond better to
my stuff it it were more planned out?  Actually, I put a LOT of
planning into the first Teen Fascists and Google.mesh arcs but they
didn't get the same sort of response as Lagneto or Generation Y.  Feh.
I'd rather be hit and miss than put in a lot of work and yet get little
or no feedback.

>The point is that while I find this style readable enou­gh, it
>does leave me occasionally vexed and wanting to see more of ­the
>characters and their lives.

You know, I've been getting this complaint since elementary school. :)
There's a fine line I suppose between not wanting to do a Spielberg and
let the story go on too long and ending the story too quickly and, as
you say, leaving the reader with an anti-climactic "Is that all?"

>If you create an intriguing set-up and character­s then you
>have to expect that readers will want to read a lot about th­em.

Well, Teen Fascists ran eight issues, Google.mesh ran another eight.
Doctor Peculiar, from Teen Fascists #'s 5-6 has made two more
appearances now, four in all, Swell Boy has made two appearances, Van
Hel.sig has made four appearances in all and even Buxom the Vampire
Slayer has made an appearance even though before she had only been
mentioned in passing (like Van Hel.sig before he actually appeared).  I
suppose you could, then, be refering to characters such as the World's
Worst Heroes, who number fourteen characters so they couldn't very well
be given much space each, or Doctor Apocalypse, SAGneto and Dir.mandu
who never got a word of dialogue in the entire storyline (although they
could have been featured prominently in the Serious Squad and Before
God Guys chapters for all we know).  My God.  I've created 45
characters in 19 issues.  Well, technically Arthur created the Teen
Fascists and the World's Worst Heroes himself so I didn't add quite all
that much.

To tell you the truth, it is hard to predict how long a story is going
to run.  I was surprised that Looniverse Y #2 ran as long as it did.
(I even had the New LNH Member Detector mention that the author wanted
to get through the issue so the crossover could begin - in retrospect I
could have broken the story into two parts except that there was no
obvious break in the action.)  I'm surprised that the Extinction of
Vengence chapters were as short as they were: I ended up rearraging and
expanding the scenes so that the World's Worst Heroes got a bigger role
in Google.mesh #8.  I suppose I could have done seven scenes a la Giant
Sized X-Men #1 with Leroy Laurel gathering up the All Bad, Even Worse
World's Worst Heroes but I thought that would detract from the main
plot.  Instead, I made a point of giving everybody a line of dialogue,
resulting in the aforementioned talking head effect.

All in all, I think the stories worked.  I did consider holding off and
waiting until the summer and maybe some other people would want to
write the other chapters but, again, I didn't want to face possible
disappointment due to a lack of interest.  I did consider, for example,
the possibility that you, yourself, might have been inspired by the
image of God himself coming down to whoop Dir.mandu and then the
Kngights of Saint Christopher joining in for good measure, especially
seeing as how you seemed to think he was dealt with a bit too quickly
in Teen Fascists #6. ;)


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