Writer. Creator. Large mammal.

Author: Jim Shooter Page 3 of 25


Here I sit, drinking seltzer and grapefruit juice out of my classic Wonder Woman Toon Tumbler. How perfect.

An Interesting Analysis 

This comment came in, thank you, Ms. Carol A. Strickland.  She has interesting things to say. I recommend checking out her views on the New 52 WonderWoman.

Carol A. Strickland has left a new comment on your post “WONDER WOMAN #4 – A Review“:

I didn’t look at the book as an individual work. I’ve been following Wonder Woman for about as long as I can remember. I’ve been looking for her since issue #600, but she hasn’t shown her face except in a 90s RetroActive issue.

This is not Wonder Woman; nor is it an engaging story. From what I’ve been able to gather, DC is publishing “(Xena and) THE NEW OLYMPIANS.” Certainly in the past couple years DC has done its darnedest to strip any of the specialness from its number-one heroine, the lady whose licensing makes them so much money.

I discussed the reboot on my blog: http://carolastrickland.blogspot.com/2012/01/illusory-wonder-woman.html

Posted by Carol A. Strickland to Jim Shooter at January 19, 2012 11:37 AM

I did not read her analysis until after I completed my own.

Start at the Beginning

WONDER WOMAN #4 – A Review

My Review Procedure

First, I read the issue like anyone who buys it off the rack. I don’t make any notes, I don’t try to analyze on the fly. I just try to read it. Easier said than done, often. Some comic books these days are unreadable.
Some are such infuriating garbage that after a few pages I throw them in the trash to lie in disgrace amid the crumpled junk mail and wads of cat hair scraped off of the lint brush.
Some are so abstruse, incoherent or unfathomable that I bog down partway through. I check my e-mail. I heed the siren call of Solitaire. Checking the Weather Channel seems like fun. I never quite get through them. My attention drifts away and never comes back.
Assuming that my first attempt to read the issue in question succeeds and I make it to the end of the story, then I give it an editor’s reading, slowly and carefully. I do this several times, and do a lot of flipping back and forth, analyzing, comparing things, making notes and diagramming the story.

RE: Action Comics


I received these questions from Twitless:

Twitless has left a new comment on your post “Action Comics“:

Jim, I love your thoughts on the comics industry as well as the history. I have learned so much that I feel like your blog is akin to an academic class.

A couple of minor questions though:

1) The impression I got from Gail Simone at a convention I attended was that DC comics ran things in more of a full script than Marvel did, which in my mind would make your Legion script more par for the course. Is there more to it than that? What are your thoughts about full script versus more general story working. I’d imagine your style would fit the former and discourage the latter.

2) I am interested in knowing more about why these two examples you offer in the blog entry are poor storytelling. I see where the artist deviated from your script (and conversely, where it was followed, more or less), but I would like to learn more about why these particular sequences are failures.

Posted by Twitless to Jim Shooter at January 13, 2012 1:42 PM

Action Comics

This comment got me into full honking mode:

srp has left a new comment on your post “Regarding What Has Gone Before and a Modest Propos…“:

With regard to the earlier discussion of writing and decompression (much of which I agree with), I would like to emphasize a particular pet peeve about modern superhero comics: Lousy action sequences.

To me, action sequences in a superhero comic are like musical numbers in a musical or fight scenes in a martial arts movie. They are not disposable interludes that can be kissed off to advance the story. You’d think, in a decompressed environment dominated by fanboy aesthetics, that the action sequences in modern comic books would be awesome. But they aren’t, in what I consider a lamentable lack of craftsmanship.

Typical fight scenes now lack clear spatial relations, identifiable figures, logical and continuous flow across panels, and any semblance of consistency in who wins and why. All the characters are superimposed on each other in melee fashion with no sense of perspective. Mutant comics seem to be the worst offenders these days, but it’s a pervasive problem. (Something similar has happened in the movies, with many action films using quick-cut close-ups during fight scenes that make it difficult to tell what’s going on, but it doesn’t always happen.)

Lack of attention to superhero action scenes undermines sales to both the youth/new-user market and the established older market, since what is cool about superheroes, especially of the Silver Age type, is their distinctive visual and kinetic properties. I don’t mind the later “realistic” style that stressed winning with the first blow and mostly portrayed mismatches (e.g. Ellis and Moore) because a) there’s a certain logic to those choices, since even super people wouldn’t tend to pick fights they might not win and b) they usually depicted these swift battles in a clear and compelling visual manner. But if you’re decompressing, a long, high-quality set of battle scenes seems like a legitimate mode of storytelling because one thing superheroes are ABOUT is the skillful exercise of their powers under stress.

I suspect that modern creators take a somewhat “adolescent” attitude toward action sequences–they don’t want to be seen as “childish” by playing up the fantasy aspect of the characters, preferring to dwell on various extrinsic shock stimuli to seem more “adult.” But getting to see Iron Man use his resourcefulness to figure out and defeat the Raiders for an issue (to take a typical mediocre example rather than a classic) was a lot more entertaining and satisfying than much of what gets printed now.

Posted by srp to Jim Shooter at January 11, 2012 7:44 PM

The Web of the Snyder – Part 1

First This
Sorry it’s been so long between posts. Harsh reality sometimes asserts and fun has to wait.
Now This
In an answer to a comment regarding “What Has Gone Before and a Modest Proposal” I said this:

In any other medium besides comics, the person who has and reasonably develops the original idea is the creator. Usually the writer. Ask 1,000 people who created Star Wars. George Lucas, not the army of designers, artists, even re-writers who participated. Ask 1,000 people who created Jurassic Park. Michael Crichton, not the designers and filmmakers who developed the visuals, or even David Koepp who wrote the shooting script for the film. In comics, however, even a work-for-hire artist following a design made by the writer, a description given by the writer or instructions from the editor is given co-credit as creator. Does anyone else think this is unusual?

That sparked some debate, people weighing in on who deserves creator credit and under what conditions. And that’s fine. It’s an interesting topic. However, I suspect that some people thought I was asserting that the writer should get credit as creator. Nope. I said:

Note, everyone, that I’m not offering a position, here, I’m just asking questions.

Merry Christmas!

January 7th is Russian Christmas.  May your days be merry and bright, and let nothing you dismay.
A Gift From Fatale
This is a gift I received way back in 1995 from Fatale actress Traci Adell:
Perhaps she noticed my abiding interest in photogenic women. It’s a terrific book, by the way. One of the photogenic stars featured is Julie Newmar:

Traci Adell, the WWF, Fatale on TV, and the Web of the Snyder – Part 2

First This

When Fatale is brought up, occasionally I am accused of ripping off the concept of Chris Claremont’s power-stealing character Rogue, created in 1981. For anyone out there who subscribes to this nonsense, I would like to point out that I created the first (as far as I know) power-stealing character, the Parasite 15 years earlier in 1966. If I ripped off anyone, it was “my own, personal self,” as a former boss of mine used to say.

WWF Comic Battlemania

Traci Adell, the WWF, Fatale on TV, and the Web of the Snyder – Part 1

First This

It occurs to me, duh, that I have not yet wished everyone a Happy New Year. Sorry. So, without further ado,
Happy New Year!

The last year has been a tough one for most people I know. Many are unemployed, almost everyone has struggled and only a very few have done well. Here’s hoping that 2012 will be better. And that planet Nibiru doesn’t crash into us on December 21st.

Thoughts for the New Year:

Nike, Inc. “Just do it.”

Jimmy V:  “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”

Winston Churchill:  “Carry on, and dread nought.”

My Grandma Elsie quoting a mummers play:  “Take a drink from my bottle, let it run down thy throttle; rise up and strive again.”

B.G. DeSylva and Lew Brown:  “Keep your sunny side up….”

John F. Kennedy:  “All of this will not be finished…even perhaps in our lifetime on the planet. But let us begin.”

Me, at DEFIANT:  “Just don’t quit.”

I hope your holidays were groovy. Press on regardless.

More About Broadway and Fatale

On this, the eighth day of Christmas I have no use for maids-a-milking. These items, on the other hand….
Murder weapon as Christmas gift:
A gift I gave to a psycho-chicken Elf who remains at large. “Slay” bells ring….
The tentacles of power:
A gift I gave to myself. Power mad? Yes, I am.
Fatale was an experiment in many ways. Fatale was created to be Broadway Comics’ answer to the “Bad Girl” trend, popular in the 1990’s. Being me, I wanted to do a Bad Girl who was every bit as extreme as those pneumatic vixens who led the charge but less puerile and more real.

Regarding What Has Gone Before and a Modest Proposal

Marvelman has left a new comment on your post “And So This Is Christmas Plus More Sex <http://www.jimshooter.com/2011/12/and-so-this-is-christmas-plus-more-sex.html

It’s a small world. I came on this blog to recommend that Jim take a look at Azzarello & Chiang’s Wonder Woman. I highly recommend it. However, I’m not sure that each issue contains as much exposition as it should. I think it’s possible a new reader would find herself lost. Which brings me to two questions…

1) Jim, how do you feel about the “what has gone before” pages which are now printed on the first page of many comic books?

2) Do you think it is alright for some books in a line to be directed at a general audience and others to be intended for comics-savvy readers? Or, would that just lead confusion about what a brand (e.g. Marvel, DC…) represents?


RE:  “…how do you feel about the “what has gone before” pages which are now printed on the first page of many comic books?”

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