A hundred, thousand years ago when I decided to write “Blaze of Glory”, I went back to my basic comic book roots.
Which, admittedly, were real old-school. Contrary to the current surge of violent comic books that seem to thrive on how many horrible images and shocking stories they can put out, I decided to go back to my past and write a story where the good guys were good guys and the bad guys… well, bad.
Now, don’t get me wrong – people die in “Blaze of Glory”. When I was growing up and saving up pennies to buy the current issues of “Alpha Flight” and “New Mutants”, people died. But it wasn’t the loud, gory and graphic stories that you see more and more of these days on the comic book racks. In fact, I find it horrible that retailers now have to have different racks for children than adults in the stores, labeled “All Ages” to make sure that little Jerry doesn’t pick up the latest title where heroine X is dismembered and eaten by villain Y in an attack on hero Z’s reputation. Or some such thing.
I firmly believe that you can write a story and get your point across without being crude or graphic. I know that comic books differ greatly from novels, since the graphics are a major selling point for the comic, but I still don’t agree with this current movement towards bigger and badder, faster and more graphic deaths and dismemberments. Death happens – but there’s no need to splatter their innards across three pages, including an ad for the next issue. Really.
In “Blaze of Glory” people do die. A lot of them. And there’s brawling. A lot of them. And supers die and civilians die and yet I don’t think you’ll find the book lacking in emotional content because I didn’t stretch a death scene out over ten pages with graphic descriptions of every torn muscle and broken bone. I like to think I can use words to a better purpose to evoke the emotion and I’m hoping for a good comic book future where artists return to that world where less is more.
Of course, I could be wrong. But I’d like to be able to pick up a comic and not have to worry about steeling myself against what’s inside.