Comics, Screenwriting and Superheroes

 Posted by on August 17, 2009
Aug 172009

It’s All Words And Pictures:



Throw a rock out your bedroom window in this town and your chances of hitting a budding screenwriter are pretty good.  Here at Meltdown, we see many people looking to write for the movies and also many people who want to do superhero comics.  Every year, more and more comics get not just optioned, but actually made into films.  The past year saw Iron Man, The Dark Knight, Watchmen, and Wanted. There are also movies that have been done over the years that have clearly been influenced by superhero comics: Hancock, The Matrix, The Incredibles, and My Super Ex-Girlfriend, just to name a few.  Even the Indiana Jones and James Bond films use the archetypes of the comic book superhero.  September will be the first anniversary of our successful school for comic book artists and writers, Meltdown University. This August, Meltdown U teacher and program director Jim Higgins is taking his experience as a writer, comic book editor, and film teacher and presenting a workshop for screenwriters interested in doing a superhero story.  It’s All Word and Pictures is a one-day boot camp for movie scribes who want get a fresh take on their approach to writing and also take on the engaging task of writing a tale of people with extraordinary abilities.

The first part of the seminar will be an overview of the super-powered character in comics and in history, from its trajectory through pulp fiction and 70 years of comic books post-Action Comics #1 (the first appearance of Superman), to it’s earlier origins in hero myths and legends like Hercules, Robin Hood, and wuxia kung-fu stories.  We’ll then look at how superheroes have been handled in contemporary comics, film, and television, from “heroes in the real world” models like the Watchmen, Batman: Year One graphic novels, and the Heroes TV series, to more fantastical takes like Hellboy and X-men (both the comics and films), and The Matrix.

The last half of the day will involve learning a step-by-step story structure with a slant toward the superheroic.  The structure is the core of the writing part of the Meltdown U comics classes and can be used to put together a fictional tale in any medium: comics, films, TV series, novels, etc.  By the end of the day, you’ll have gotten a primer on superheroes and a framework to tell a very good version of that kind of story (and other types of stories, too).

There’s no need to prepare a script or have an outline ready for the day.  This will be a seminar where you’ll learn the ins and outs, take away what you want, and then tackle that story of more-human-than-humans in your own time.  But don’t expect a dry lecture – the day will be interactive and full of discussion and lively conversation.

Attendance will be limited by space so sign up now so you don’t miss out.  The cost is only $100 for a day of material you’re not going to find anywhere else.  Once you’ve paid and signed up, you’ll receive a list of comics and movies to read and watch beforehand so we can examine a common set of examples during the seminar.  The movies you’ll find and see on your own.  The comics and graphic novels will be available for you to buy at Meltdown (book costs are not included in the price of the seminar.  But we think there are worse things in the world than being required to read a bunch of cool comics.)

Date: August 29th

Time: 12 to 7pm with an hour break for lunch

Cost: $100, payable in the store or over the phone by credit card

That’s it!  Any questions, e-mail us