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Old May 5 2012, 11:45 PM   #251
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Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
indianatrekker26 wrote: View Post
while at the same time, you could still read each issue independently from each other, and get a complete story in one issue.
Sure, but the counter argument to that is that it's so easy to "jump ship". I made a promise to myself once, after originally buying a single issue of "Fantastic Four" (to create some costumes for a convention), and getting hooked on the ongoing arcs, that I'd drop "Fantastic Four" when the Thing finally resumed his place on the team and the She-Hulk left. But she never really had a farewell issue. Years later, I was still finding compelling reasons to keep buying every issue!
And that's just it -- classic Marvel comics struck a balance. On the one hand, each story told a complete adventure with a beginning and ending; while on the other hand, the characters' lives kept evolving and there were ongoing personal arcs that continued from issue to issue. So even though you got a satisfactory answer to, say, how Spider-Man defeated Doc Ock's latest scheme, you were still motivated to come back next issue and see whether Gwen would forgive him for missing their big date, or whatever. Too many people today think that serialization requires one big extended plot, but a lot of series in comics and TV have done quite well by combining episodic one-and-done plots that make each installment satisfying with ongoing, evolving character threads that make you want to come back for more.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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