by: Tyrone Selby, creator/writer of the Elements of Light comic series.
Okay, here’s a little rant for you guys. Hopefully no one takes offense, but uses this as a teach tool for future projects.
Scenario: All of your friends have been raving about a particular television series. “It’s so great, you have to watch it!”. Around the water cooler at work, everyone is talking about the latest episode where so much drama ensued, and when you try to understand the plot, everyone tries to explain to no avail…finally giving up saying “It’s hard to explain, you have to watch it for yourself and see.” You finally catch the show on the air, and you are completely lost in the newest episode. You have no idea who the characters are, what the plot is, nor why/how the characters have gotten themselves in this particular situation. Now you feel lost and that you’ve completely wasted your time. But you know what would have fixed this problem? Two minutes worth of: “Previously on…” or “Last time on”
One of my biggest pet peeves as a reader of comic book series’ is when I’ve heard really good things about a comic series, or asked to review something, and there’s no blurb saying what has happened thus far. This, in my opinion, is extremely important for comic book/television series to gain new avid readers.
For those who don’t know, I’m a big fan of X-Men. I grew up on watching them, and the comics are just as great! However, with my busy schedule, I don’t have time to keep up with reading the story plot as it continues. What I like about the series though is with every new issue and volume, they always write a “So far in X-Men…” blurb, so I’m always caught up and I never missed a beat. Sure, there might be little details where someone died and came back to life or some craziness, but that’s what google is for!
All in all, whether you’re mainstream or indie comic series creators, for the love of Pete, please add that little paragraph in your book to catch up your readers. I guarantee you will make more money that way!