Mark Twain once said “There is no such thing as a new idea.”.
It sometimes seems the same with comics – all the super-hero powers have seemingly been done, well, all the good ones. Smelly-shoes isn’t really a super-power that anyone would actually want to have. All the good plots and backstories have been so overused, that you feel terrible for even thinking them. I mean, how many times can a teen be bitten by a radioactive spider and suddenly become a superhuman hero, and the resulting backstory of murdered uncle, a crush that will never go anywhere, and a run of the mill job?
But Mark Twain then goes on to say “We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.”
In other words – we don’t try to come up with original ideas. We use what has been successful before us, because they have proven their method works. It’s the reason that DC and Marvel are as successful as they are – they have a process they follow for their characters, their story, their backgrounds, for every facet of their comic creating team, that actually pulls in the audience.
And that’s what we want to create. We want to follow their processes to replicate the same popularity for our stories and our characters.
I am very curious, and would love to hear your hints and tips about how you’ve created a successful following of your comics or stories, and why people love reading them, following the characters and backstories you have created.
Comment below with your thoughts.