Storytelling Specter 8 – Your Universe Isn’t Marvel


Just like the title says, you aren’t Marvel. You aren’t DC, either. Image doesn’t have a shared universe and the best analogy I have is you’re like Dark Horse… you have the basis of a shared universe, but you still don’t have a publisher. In the simplest terms, stop thinking you have something as interesting to others as interesting as you find the idea.

As with my last column, I let you know that I have been working on a comic book shared superhero universe for the better part of 20 years. I have created things that, in my head, are epic and ready to make the leap onto the big screen in some awesome movie magic. That’s all in my head, though, and I need to stop thinking that anyone is even going to be interested in what has been rolling around in my noggin for the past 20 years.

I need to make a single monthly comic that tells the story of my entire universe from start to whenever I decide to finish it… that means telling the origins of every single character, creating epic villains that are more epic than just being in my head, and making sure that I am building towards something that I find interesting. Is that something you’ll care about? I don’t know, I haven’t written it yet.

Following the Marvel Cinematic Universe model of superheroes, I wanted to have a monthly title that led into several “graphic novels” that would be like the MCU movies. Well, the reason the MCU movies are awesome is because those characters have decades of interest behind them and people know where they come from. People are interested in seeing motion pictures about those characters. People have a known commodity. They don’t know my heroes. They won’t care unless I write something interesting.

The single monthly is where I need to go.

Now, don’t let me “downing my own work” deter you from checking out my stuff. I’m trying to make myself understand that in order for anyone else to care I need to make something worth caring about. For that to happen, I need to write a compelling story. I need to create compelling characters. I need to make you look at my universe and say “yeah, that looks cool.” I need to make you care.

Right now, you don’t care.

Forget the road map that I had built up in my head as the way to go. Forget the stand alone stories that I was going to tell in graphic novel form to make my own version of “movies” that would punctuate my universe. You don’t know where these characters have come from and you don’t know where they are going. I can have a grand plan, I just need to roll that out in steps rather than hoping you know where all their history is hidden.

I am the only one who knows their history. I’d like you to know, too.

Thanks for reading.

Write on.