DENNIS O’NEIL: On Writing Comics

Dennis O'Neil

Dennis O'Neil was born in 1939, the same year that Batman first appeared in Detective Comics. It was thus perhaps fated that he would be so closely associated with the character, writing and editing the Dark Knight for more than 30 years. He's been an editor at Marvel and DC Comics. In addition to Batman, he's worked on Spider-Man, Daredevil, Iron Man, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern/Green Arrow, the Question, The Shadow and more. O'Neil has won every major award in the industry. His prose novels have been New York Times bestsellers. Denny lives in Rockland County with his wife, Marifran.

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2 Responses

  1. Elayne Riggs says:

    I'd say it's entirely dependent on the writer-artist team. If you have a team that meshes well, where the artist has a clear storytelling vision and the ability to execute it, I'd go for "Marvel style." I'm a big believer that comics AREN'T just the script, but the script AND the art, and fully-scripted comics often lead lots of readers (and, sadly, reviewers) to believe the art is secondary. On the other hand, there are a lot of artists whose storytelling skills aren't as well honed and/or who need explicit direction, and for them full-script is the way to go.

  2. Steve Atkins says:

    That is an interesting question, Denny. I wonder what all those Hollywood writers, television writers, and novel authors, who are used to the screenplay/script formats, thought when they took jobs writing and/or adapting works for Marvel.——Which method did Kevin Smith use? Despite the fact that he was working for Marvel, he could not have been using the Marvel Method. There are people who are STILL waiting for his next issue of Black Cat.—-As for my own thoughts on the subject, I agree with Elayne. It depends on the team. An undisciplined/unenthusiastic artist can ruin a book just as fast as an undisciplined/unenthusiastic writer can.——Back in the 1990s, I had to wade through countless splash pages of storylines that bordered on random thoughts strung haphazardly together (that was from teams as well as the artist/writers of the day who decided to "wear two hats").——Speaking as someone who worked at both DC and Marvel, as well as someone who had successful runs with several titles at BOTH companies……….Which method was better for you?