07/17/13

Creating Characters For Children’s Graphic Novels

While the world of book publishing has been experiencing all sorts of staggering jolts of late-stores closing, staff cuts at major publishing houses, the conversion to eBooks and e-readers-one of the few bright spots has been the emergence of the graphic novel category. Despite what some misinformed parents may believe, graphic novels are not books focused on salacious activities. Graphic novels are basically comics in book form. They can be collections of classic comic strips, or comic book series, all-new comics stories, or even non-fiction in comics form. Until recently, bookstores had just two sections devoted to graphic novels-the clearly labeled Graphic Novels section and the Manga (collections of Japanese comics, usually in thick, black and white paperback editions) section. Since graphic novels are created for readers of all ages, a mightycon.com comic section is the newest space being carved out on the bookshelves.

Writers and artists of comics, especially the formula-driven super-hero variety, looking to find new work in this new category often assume that editors are simply looking for simpler, or dumbed-downed versions of existing comic book titles. Fortunately for us, they’re sadly mistaken. Comics and graphic novels for children are perhaps just as demanding, if not more so than most mainstream superhero titles.

 

07/17/13

Teen Fantasy Adventure Books For Young Adults – The Triple Threat Approach

Modern literary and cinematic hits like Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games targeted at teen and young adult audiences have translated into huge profit for authors, publishers and film producers alike, but their success may boil down to good old fashioned escapism and what could be called a triple threat technique of appealing to a significantly wide range of readers. Arguably, the success of young adult fantasy books can be accredited to a writer’s and publisher’s ability to manufacture brands that resonate with the needs and desires of this most impressionable and diverse coming of age demographic, and it appears that what this audience wants most is to escape from reality in a big way. Further, a triple threat approach is emerging, wherein authors use a combination of unusual worlds, extreme battles, and complicated romance that crosses traditional marketing boundaries of age and sex.

The weirder the world, the better. There’s nothing like magic to instantly transport the reader out of the realm of the ordinary, and all three series make the most of drawing the reader into foreign territory from the start. The wizarding world of Harry Potter is now legendary in its appeal to readers of all ages, while the idea of vampires and werewolves living among us makes every small town a possible setting for adventure. Surviving in a dystopian society like that of The Hunger Games seems to tie in with the doomsday prepper mindset sweeping popular culture.

Everybody wants to be a hero. While a world of magic may have universal appeal, throw in an unlikely hero and the pull of the story increases exponentially. The thrill of Hogwarts is heightened when seen through the eyes of a prepubescent Harry; a vulnerable Bella Swan fending off vampires and werewolves through the power of her mind is a fascinating take on the damsel in distress motif, and Susan Collins puts a twist on the hero theme and draws in a slew of readers of both sexes by making the noble protagonist a tough minded fighter and a girl.

While J.K. Rowling holds off on the romance until later in the Harry Potter series, complicated romantic relationships figure prominently in both Twilight and The Hunger Games from the start. The love triangle is historically a staple of romance novels, but is proving to be a force to be reckoned with in modern adventure books for young adults. All three series’ present romantic relationships with a high level of complexity and progression, not as just asides to the action in an adventure novel.

There appears to be a growing movement toward writing stories that combine quests, battles and romance not as singular plot elements, but as full fledged stories within novels, something of a return to the epic sagas of the literary past.

For example, debut author C. Grant employs a vivid imagination and pretend adventures from his childhood to produce a coming of age escape novel with triple threat appeal. He fuses fantastic adventure, heroic battles, and fiery romance against the backdrop of a vast and mysterious world of staggering heights and unfathomable depths in Sons of Caasi: Battle for Time, the first book in an epic other worldly fantasy series for young adults.

“Today’s authors seem to consciously write for more than one audience at a time, and the combination of adventure, battle, and romance lends itself to reaching a broader set of readers. I also think taking a multi-audience approach deepens the story and stretches my creativity – I have to write convincingly in more than one vein to make my stories credible. It’s almost like writing three books at once.”

07/17/13

Closer Look at Batman’s Villains For Batman 3

With Batman the Dark Knight still fresh in our minds, we now focus onto who could be the next villain/s to star in the unnamed TDK sequel that has been called ‘shadow of the bat’ by many fans however this isn’t an official name. Mytvtalk.com will take you through a list of possible villains of the 3rd movie in the franchise.

The Penguin

The Penguin was born as a deformed child named Oswald Cobblepot, and was bullied as a child because of his lack of height and bird beak shaped nose. In several stories of the Penguins origins he was made to carry an umbrella as a child by is over protective mother because his father died of pneumonia after being drenched in a downpour.

However Christopher Nolan has gone on record and said that some villains of the Batman universe wouldn’t work well on screen, the penguin being one of them.

Catwoman

Originally know as Selina Kyle a woman who turned to the life of crime because of her love for diamonds, however over the years she has been known to have been a beaten housewife, a dominatrix and a prostitute. The later would fit more into the Dark Knight’s universe as her attire would be easily explained in this way.

Having said all that David Goyer as expressed that both him and Nolan would rather use a villain that has not yet been seen before on screen in any batman franchise, however I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Catwoman making an appearance, as TDK made references that Batman’s suit would be able to take an attack from a ‘cat’.

The Riddler

Forget Batman forever and Jim Carrey’s portrayal of the character and let’s start fresh. Edward Nigma also known as Mr E or E.Nigma started solving puzzles as a young child when one of his school teachers announced that if one of the pupils were able to solve a certain puzzle then that person would win a prize. Later that night young Edward broke into the school and figured out how the riddle worked. When he won the prize by cheating, Edward grew up needing to feel this satisfaction again and again, over time his thrill of the challenge escalated to the point that he felt the only person worthy of challenging him was Batman.

Fans have already started name dropping stars such as ‘Casey Affleck’ to play the green menace, however this is just speculation and no names have been linked to the project as of yet. Another point that I haven’t seen many people pick up on is the employee Coleman Reese which could be looked at as Mr. Reese (mysteries) maybe just a coincidence maybe not.

Harley Quinn

Dr Harley Quinn a villain not as popular to the non fans of comics would be an excellent addition to the Batman 3 franchise, but we would drop the Dr and just have her as Harley Quinn. For obvious reasons the Joker will not be present in the third movie of the franchise but that doesn’t mean the events of The Dark Knight wouldn’t inspire an copycat killers, just as Batman Begins inspired normal civilians to dress up as the caped crusader.

Deadshot

Fans of the comics will also not recognise this name, however Deadshot once a good guy turned hired gun could be an excellent choice for a villain. With Batman now on the run from the police and pretty much has destroyed the mob it would make sense that the best hired gun in the business to be called in to assassinate The Batman.

Could he work in Nolan’s world? Defiantly as Batman has inspired people to try to become heroes but Deadshot would just use this angle to gain everyone’s trust and then gradually try to take out Batman and then become king of the underworld like in his previous incarnations in the comics.

Two-Face

Yes he died in TDK, but if Nolan wanted to bring back the character via anyways possible we wouldn’t object. However it seemed the character has lived its purpose, but I’m sure if Nolan wanted, two face could still be an interesting nemesis to the dark knight.