Author Archives: Ron Edwards

What medium and idiom hath wrought

lemien sketch 2020Now for my next trick, which is to express or interpret Intruder via the concepts and mechanics across many role-playing games. It’s not a trivial comparison, as he’s based on very situational and preparatory concepts: “did it thirty minutes ago,” “crazy prepared,” “knew all about that,” “investigated and surveilled it all better than you did,” “stole your power,” and that potential mud-stomper of all dramatic conflict-of-interest, mind control. So it’s not just about whether he wields gravity or lightning powers, or how many guys he can take out with one zap. How does role-playing logic deal with this kind of content across games, or rather, what different forms of logic are employed across them?

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Oh noes

OK comics 1You got politics in my superheroes, shock! … and superheroes in my politics, too?! Shock and outrage!

Too bad, sweet pea. That’s just how things are and always have been. I’ll tell you why: because comics are political, either via implication due to their junk-product nature which is forced to be close to life to be consumed at all, or explicitly because you can get away with it when no one vets them (or barely). So it’s not “superheroes” I’m talking about necessarily, but rather, superheroes in comics. Political. Put it up your ass and smoke it.

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Rough and ready

Intruder is 14 (now 15 + cover) pages of fun between me and Scott LeMien. It pleases me and that’s all it’s for. Rest assured, the horror and blasphemy to follow in the next paragraphs shall not singe a hair upon the wisdom of comics creation that everyone knows. (As for the many how-to’s and about-comics accounts that do correspond to what I’m saying, shhhh!)

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Forms and features

ai sketchLet’s talk about making the characters for Intruder. I have an agenda with this topic. It is to shoot, chase down, finish off, hang up, and gut the typical discussions, usually framed as traumatic controversy, over who “really” created this or that famous comics character. Read the rest of this entry

“I Am I”

Here are the 14 pages we did for Intruder! The prior post, Intruder alert, told you about the very beginning of this collaboration between me and Scott LeMien, and this one is about the very end. After this, I’ll show you the guts about how it was done.

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Intruder alert

I spent quite a bit of 2019 with this guy, and this is the start of a series of posts all about it. Briefly: he’s called Intruder, his given name is Jay LeBeau, he is a joint creation by me and artist Scott LeMien, and we did a twelve-page comics story strictly for fun. The first two posts here will present the beginning of the process and the end, and then I’ll natter on through a bunch more about hows and whys and whatnots. For something done on a non-commercial whim, it prompts a remarkable number of thoughts through several different media.

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“Nova” means “explodes and dies”

Nova closeupIn writing about webcomics and the development of superhero characters through use, I had a weird flashback to 1976.

So we’re cuttin’ alllll the way back to my tween-teen transition and the siren call of a new title at Marvel: The Man Called Nova, by Marv Wolfman and John Buscema. I bought it, and if memory serves, stuck with it for about a year.

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Metaltürk

Mr. Ianus cMy pick for the most banal possible phrase to lead with in any writing about comics: “I have always loved the interplay between words and pictures.” However, right now I’m struggling to lead with anything else, because this post is simply about pictures that have emerged from playing (words).

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Living comics

salamander 4I’ve been thinking about when and how superheroes are “alive” in the culture. Swing a stick right now, and you’ll hit someone telling you that all is roses. Superheroes are in! They are arrived! They are (gasp) cool at last! … whereas all my little eye sees is that they are in the cage. They have “arrived” in the sense of at rest. They are tamed at last.

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Batpulp

batman hanging 2I encountered Batman oddly.

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Doctor Venn’s circle strike

image by Alexandra Petruk

It’s true that a lot of Venning is nothing special, an unnecessary display of things that do just as well in a comparative table. It also risks reifying, thereby generating categories as “things” when none exist just because you depicted a circle or box.

But here I am working on a game system which lets people make their own superhero groups for their own creative purposes, rather than aping existing ones, and yet also which relies on inspiration from and appreciation for the comics. How does one describe and inspire superhero groups without just skinning existing ones? I started thinking about what superhero groups were and why they existed – not the in-fiction reasons, but reader and publication reasons.

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The Stan I knew

Here’s a picture of the Man, i.e., the persona, that I knew well from my initial comics madness years. You could find cartoon versions everywhere as well, whether affectionate as in FOOM or derisive as in the New Gods.

This blog has turned out to be mainly about the births of characters and the deaths of people. A lot of ink’s been spilled about which one Stan was, or which one we should like or loathe or analyze or criticize.

This isn’t the time for that. Maybe in about a year.

 

 

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