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Author Topic: Decompressed Storytelling - Yes or No  (Read 506 times)

Frank

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Decompressed Storytelling - Yes or No
« on: 18 August, 2019, 08:02:52 pm »

.. or somewhere inbetween. Every week's prog review features several readers saying they think something will read better in the trade.

Just in case anyone's lost regarding definitions - that means stories like Thistlebone or Brink, where atmosphere and tension are key and events play out over the course of the entire series, rather than each episode working as a self-contained story in its own right (i).

Examples of series employing compressed storytelling are the most recent Absalom, Skip Tracer, and all the strips of the classic era.

Obviously, everyone thinks 2000ad should be more like The Golden Age, but it's stuff like thought bubbles and Pat Mills captions explaining how each member of Slaine's tribe had their own stall in the main hall and went into battle skyclad that we're talking about here.


(i) With an inciting incident, some action and either a resolution or a cliffhanger that's resolved at the start of next week's episode.

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Decompressed Storytelling - Yes or No
« Reply #1 on: 18 August, 2019, 08:17:33 pm »
I’m not sure I can include Brink in this definition. Whilst it’s true that any randomly-selected episode will probably lack gun/fist fights and/or shit getting blown up, there’s a definite sense of the plot advancing in almost every episode. It’s to Abnett’s credit that the plot is sufficiently compelling that this is enough to sustain narrative momentum, and to Culbard’s that even entire episodes of people talking about stuff don’t feel like a tiresome succession of talking heads.
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Colin YNWA

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Re: Decompressed Storytelling - Yes or No
« Reply #2 on: 18 August, 2019, 08:56:36 pm »
I think there a danger of conflating things here too. I can only speak for myself but the desire to read things in one go (in my case rather than trade but it carries) isn't to do with decompression or anything like...

Just in case anyone's lost regarding definitions - that means stories like Thistlebone or Brink, where atmosphere and tension are key and events play out over the course of the entire series, rather than each episode working as a self-contained story in its own right (i).

rather then way I digest story and the fact my old noggin will see things fresh when read like that rather than week to week. Its not about the format, structure or nature of the story at all.

That said decompression Yes or No doesn't have a simple answer outside of - It depends on the story and as ever the mix and variety is the thing.

Greg M.

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Re: Decompressed Storytelling - Yes or No
« Reply #3 on: 18 August, 2019, 09:57:54 pm »
To me, something like Brink does seem decompressed - I may be wrong, but the lack of incident is one of the main reasons I find it completely impossible to get on with or take any interest in. (The other is lack of visually-interesting, distinctive-looking lead characters – I can’t be done with all these 2000AD stories where the main character is just a normal-looking, comparatively-regular person. I want Kano, Johnny Alpha, Rogue Trooper, that sort of thing.)  I’m not saying Brink hasn’t got a plot, or that every 2000AD story has to be Nemesis Bk V, but Brink’s style of storytelling is not one I normally enjoy. My loss, I know.

pauljholden

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Re: Decompressed Storytelling - Yes or No
« Reply #4 on: 19 August, 2019, 09:21:58 am »
N
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pauljholden

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Re: Decompressed Storytelling - Yes or No
« Reply #5 on: 19 August, 2019, 09:22:07 am »
O
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IndigoPrime

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Re: Decompressed Storytelling - Yes or No
« Reply #6 on: 19 August, 2019, 10:48:27 am »
I’m not sure I can include Brink in this definition.
Nor Thistlebone, really. It might read better as one block of content, but it still adhered to the typical 2000 AD structure. As for what’s “better”, I’d say variety is. The “shot of rocket fuel” era of 2000 AD was a good idea at the time, but also penalised strips that would have been better off with more space. Also, we don’t want the Prog entirely full of meandering slow-burners. Matt Smith for the most part gets the balance right, which is an astonishingly tricky job with an anthology that has so many moving parts.

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Decompressed Storytelling - Yes or No
« Reply #7 on: 19 August, 2019, 11:38:51 am »
The “shot of rocket fuel” era of 2000 AD was a good idea at the time, but also penalised strips that would have been better off with more space.

[Insert my standard post about the 'rocket fuel' memo not being the same thing as the restricted page count edict here]
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IndigoPrime

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Re: Decompressed Storytelling - Yes or No
« Reply #8 on: 19 August, 2019, 12:08:36 pm »
Point. But the post still stands, just with a different problem regarding the nature of what should or shouldn’t be done for storytelling purposes. A good editor looks at a pitch, and makes suggestions based on that specific material. Less good is forcing everything into a similar box or template.

Proudhuff

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Re: Decompressed Storytelling - Yes or No
« Reply #9 on: 19 August, 2019, 12:16:31 pm »
It takes allsorts, and can depend on the writer and or artist too.
But everybody else is overwhelmed by indifference and the promise of an early bed

sheridan

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Re: Decompressed Storytelling - Yes or No
« Reply #10 on: 19 August, 2019, 01:02:35 pm »
N


I'll read your answer in trade when the instalments are collected ;-)

broodblik

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Re: Decompressed Storytelling - Yes or No
« Reply #11 on: 19 August, 2019, 04:10:22 pm »
I really do not mind how a story is told - compressed, uncompressed, one-shot, double header etc. What I have a bigger problem with is that we sometimes have to wait a few years before we get the next chapter (I am looking at you Helium).