Discussion Board

Topic: Hard Sci Fi Comics

From: Trey Howell
Location: Lexington, VA
Date: 07/28/2008

Hi Greg,

I'm the co-editor, along with three other guys, of a small--very small--free magazine here in the Shenandoah Valley, called Gone Magazine.

In addition to writing and editing and supplying artwork here and there, I'm also trying to develop a little one-page comic strip. I've been a fan of hard sci-fi all my life (and therefore a fan of yours for equally as long), but never a reader of comic books.

The first thing I discovered is that trying to stick to some sort of verisimilitude is incredibly tough! It's so easy and tempting to simply cut corners and go for what looks cool without worrying whether or not it looks right. I guess that's why Hollywood forever disappoints me.

Rather than tell you what I'm working on, I thought it would be fun to ask you what you would want to see in one full-page science fiction strip, probably laid out like comic book art, probably black and white unless money for color printing falls out of the sky. What does that one page have to have? What can't it have?

(I'd be happy to tell you all about my little opus, but I'll bet you're bored with people pitching at you.)

You're quite welcome to post this question. Perhaps your other readers have interesting ideas, too. Thank you in advance for your comments.


Re: Hard Sci Fi Comics

From: Greg Bear
Date: 07/29/2008

I think comics have their own boundaries and requirements, so a truly hard-sf strip might be a real challenge! But I'd focus on really memorable (and unexpected) characters, and meaty plots with lots of action to keep the ideas moving. Since it's all about pictures, tech talk would have to be kept to a minimum, and pithy. There have been excellent sf comic strips in the past, so good luck with your venture!

Re: Hard Sci Fi Comics

From: Vangelis Kritikos
Location: Athens, Greece
Date: 08/05/2008

Hard SF strip, uh? I don't know... any hard sf story I think of as an example could not be adapted for comics without much, very much, explanation "clouds" (is this the correct term?, anyway).

I am reading Greg Egan's incadescence now and for sure it would be much boring as a comics (although it could work as a movie). Darwins series, would need much, much, talking... I also think of the rather failed Jack Kirby's 2001 comics adaptation...

A space adventure like EON though might be more suitable...

Ok, I hope I confused you enough, I go back to work!

(I would be interested though to read this when its done!)


Re: Hard Sci Fi Comics

From: Greg Bear
Date: 08/05/2008

Certainly the Heinlein juveniles could be adapted well as comics, and THE FOREVER WAR begs for comic adaptation--if it hasn't been done already! The level of action is key. Think of CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED.

Re: Hard Sci Fi Comics

From: patrick
Date: 08/06/2008

I disagree. I always hated the short, four-pane strips in the paper when I was a kid, cos nothing HAPPENED, but a page is enough to do something. Action will kill it being substantive, but there are examples of hard SF with action that are. Look into people such as Robert Silverberg and Hal Clement, and pic simple themes that mimic those in their stories.

Re: Hard Sci Fi Comics

From: Greg Bear
Date: 08/15/2008

SF demands a Sunday color treatment, no? Or maybe a full page, like Little Nemo...

Re: Hard Sci Fi Comics

From: Stuart
Location: Lakewood, WA
Date: 08/21/2008

Check out online comics - several complete stories


Re: Hard Sci Fi Comics

From: Greg Bear
Date: 09/01/2008

Thanks, Stuart! Here's a portal to both Denvention photos and a wealth of entertainment.

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