Comic Review: Nuff Said, Marvel. Must read for aspiring comic-book writers and artists

Nuff Said, Marvel

Writer(s): Michael Straczynski, Paul Jenkins, Gran Morrison, Peter Milligan, Bruce Jones, Steve Dillon

Artist(s): Various pencilers and inkers.

Publisher: Marvel Comics (September 16, 2002)

The Plot:

This is a collection of stories that appear in different Marvel mags, and are totally exempted of dialog. Silent comic done the Marvel style.

The Review:

Attention aspiring comic-book writers and artists in the making:

Get this book and study it!!! (There will be a quiz tomorrow! Nah! Just kidding…. or am I??)

Back in 2002 Marvel produced a TPB compiling various stories published in the previous years as complements to different books, such as Amazing Spiderman#39 or Punisher#7.

So, the idea is to get great artists, pair them with great writers, and have them create a short silent story, without dialogs nor narrative boxes.

Have you ever read silent comics? Yep, so have I.

Don’t you absolutely love them and wish all comics where more like that??? 

No, not really. For me “Silent Comics” are more like a one-trick-pony. You enjoy when the trick is a cute one, and in moderation, in sparse quantities.

But what I think makes this TPB special, and the reason why I make it mandatory reading for aspiring comic book artists and writers is the fact that after each story, you get a printout of the script, properly peppered with graphic notes and images from the page it represents, so you don’t have to flip back and forth to compare results.

Pulling off a “silent story” in a successful manner is a rite of passage for any professional team of artist and writers. It is also a device you can’t abuse, because it rapidly looses novelty and it can get tedious. Well, unless your audience hasn’t managed to pass a third grade level of competency in reading and comprehension, it would get tedious.

Silent comic books also dispel the notion that if you draw a silent comic, you can do without the script.

Nothing could be further from the truth, and this book shows us that “silent” comics may actually require more scripting and more planning that regular comic with dialogs and narrative boxes.

The stories themselves are solid and entertaining, but they are not (nor I think they were intended to be) staples of Marvel mythos, cornerstones on the Marvel Universe.

They range from the comfortably melancholic, to the outright topsy-turvy, and the characters involved are Spiderman, Hulk, X-men, and Thor, among others.

The art is very solid, and it gets us (the readers) deeply involved in the voyeuristic pastime of reading the written page, and then comparing it to the artist interpretation. There will be plenty of times when you are reading a part of the script and upon looking at the artist view you will exclaim “Holy Moses! I would’ve done completely different. I would’ve used a lower angle, or done this character more in the frame, or use shadows to convey the drama!”

As a stand alone book, picked up from the shelf from a plain readers stand point, I would give it 5 stars.

But as a curious insight onto the creative process, for everyone who ever wishes he could write a script for his favorite character then I would have to go higher . And since my reviews are not intended so much for casual readers, but for true comic lovers, I will have to make that my criteria.

So, on my Critics rating, Nuff Said, Marvel gets

7.5 STARS

For letting us peek onto great scripts and great art, and how it all comes together.

Thank you for that one, Marvel. We owe you one!!

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