I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels
. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories
Are there any circumstances under which a highly inactive protagonist would be more promising dramatically than a more active protagonist? E.g. a main character that is weakly unenthusiastic about participating in the plot*, or opts to do nothing in situations where almost every protagonist in the genre would have taken some sort of move (like a superhero story about someone that develops superpowers but doesn’t want to be a superhero/villain or otherwise interact with superhero activity).
*Weakly unenthusiastic: not all that promising. In contrast, I think someone who’s being coerced into doing something but actively rebelling/sabotaging is helluva more promising.
Preferably off the top of your head, which 1-3 Superhero Nation articles have helped you improve the most as a writer? (If you need help refreshing your memory, please see our list of writing articles). Thanks for your help–I’m putting together a short list of our best articles and I’d like to know which ones you would include.
Guest answer from English professor and superhero scholar Chris Gavaler:
“I would say there is a slow building of graphic novels in classrooms. My daughter, for instance, read Maus in 8th grade English last year. But I emphasize the word “slow.” It took the NYTimes weeks to notice that Maus was a memoir (even though it had talking animals) and move it to the appropriate best-seller column. I would say the graphic memoir has reached a level of cultural legitimacy (again, look at the NYTimes Book Review for evidence), but comic books as a genre are still weighed down by their past and, frankly, their present. Only an “innovative” teacher is going to introduce a comic to a syllabus, and then probably only a memoir because it balances the stigma of the form with the aura of fact. It’s those guys flying around with capes that drag the genre down. Though there are several superhero graphic novels deserving classroom study, the vast majority do not, and those that do are worthwhile because they subvert their pulp genre so interestingly.”
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Feel free to discuss anything related to love interests. For example, which love interests have you found most interesting? What do you think distinguishes interesting love interests from forgettable ones? If you’re familiar with a few superhero stories, how do you think their romantic love interests stack up against love interests in other types of stories?
What do you think? Is Superman still an A-lister?