I like comic books – Always have. Always will.
The surface reason is pretty straight forward. I really appreciate a good narrative, and because I’m fascinated by visuals, comic books can’t be beat when it comes to pulling off a spectacle of visuals and for providing that sense of satisfaction. Correction, I probably shouldn’t call it satisfying, instead I should call it gratification, because the nature of the comic book is a continuing story. Gratification is something we are thankful for, while satisfaction is a feeling of enough.
You see, dear readers, the comic book by its very nature never finishes, so you cannot experience the fullness of pleasure, you’re left wanting.
This is great for sales, when a book has a strong story and great visuals. Less so when the book isn’t picked up. After all, the comic book industry is perpetually dying.
The Batman Writer We Deserve
If you haven’t seen Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight yet, I’m sorry to hear that. It came out almosta decade ago and it’s probably one of the best comic book based movies of all time, if not the best… possibly sharing the limelight with Iron Man no.1 and the first The Avengers movie for my top picks.
Anyways, there is this great scene at the end of the movie wherein the newly appointed Commissioner Gordon gives a speech at Harvey Dent’s funeral. He describes Batman as a dark knight, a watchful protector, what the city of Gotham deserves, but not what it needs. The city needs a white knight in shining armour, flawless and serving as a beacon of hope. The city doesn’t deserve a flawless hero, but Batman is willing to become the villain in order to help his community rise up out of the darkness. In fact, Batman is flawless in that he is a true hero, he loses his parents and the love of his life, but he continues forward as a warrior for justice. But Harvey Dent is very flawed, and when the chips are down, he reveals that he is capable and willing to go to The Joker’s level, becoming Two-Face.
Now, let’s talk about Scott Snyder.
Scott Snyder is known for his comic book writing skills, having worked with DC and Vertigo on various books – American Vampire, Detective Comics (part of The New 52 relaunch), Batman, and Swamp Thing.
A lot of people have said that Snyder’s work on Batman has been exemplary, and I would tend to agree. I recently read the hard cover volume of The Court of Owls, and was pleasantly surprised at how well he was able to combine new storytelling with flourishes of what came before.
Scott Snyder is the Batman writer we deserve, because he spent five years working with artist Greg Capullo to give a new perspective to Batman, respectful of what preceded, but willing to explore. This is something that all comic fans really want to see, and it’s a difficult line to walk.
I think he was able to accomplish this by building upon key moments and seeing the story through to whatever direction it took. Kind of amazing when you stop to think about it. Even his twists and turns on The Joker is one to remember.
Disney and Stephen King VERSUS Detective Comics
Scott Snyder attributes a lot of his writing to an early exposure to horror writer giant Stephen King and later when he was able to work for Walt Disney World after he graduated from university. He describes it as such
All the things I ended up writing about, those things that are deeply frightening to me—fear of commitment and growing up, fear of losing loved ones, the wonder and terror of falling in love—all of it was constantly being played out all around me in this weird, cartoonish, magnified way at Disney.
Which tells me that he deserved to write for Batman, and we deserved to have him. Not to sound like a broken record, but yeah – a labour of LOVE is what it comes down to friends. And this is why Scott Snyder is this month’s featured author for my 5 L’s of Language post. His massive love for the subject material he writes about comes through no matter what. And this is something you too should take to heart.
No matter what the occasion or the reason, always be headed towards you purpose and be authentic in your feedback, if you can do this, you’ll be like Batman. But that’s just a theory.