DENNIS O’NEIL: On Writing Comics, Part Two

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.

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. Elayne Riggs says:

    I think full script is also popular with editors who have a tendency to hire unproven artistic talent, then need to suddenly give the book to other artists when the initial ones don't pan out. It seems more for the editors' production than anything else. If you have a full script it gives you more freedom to hire and fire in an effort to meet your schedules. And the readers, at least the vocal online ones, have already shown they primarily talk about characters and plot and writing, so if there's little discussion about the artistic storytelling I'm sure many editors figure "why bother?".

  2. Elayne Riggs says:

    Sorry, I meant "editors' protection," not "production"… although that word fits as well, doesn't it?

  3. Rick Taylor says:

    There are also some writers that prefer to write full script. This gives them more of an opportunity to suggest elements that expand the story. Location, point of view, dialogue, detail, etc.

  4. John Ostrander says:

    I prefer to call it "Plot First" rather than "Marvel style" since it has become used everywhere. I think which gets used depends in part on the artist — I've known experienced artists who DO like the full script method. And some editors prefer it simply because they don't visualize the results as well with Plot First. They don't 'see" the story as they do with a Full Script. I think a Pro should be able to do either well according to the needs of the artist or the editor.

  5. Mark Torres/MFC Stud says:

    I find that when a writer writes a full script, and the penciler/artist doesn't follow it (by adding/leaving out elements) it's extremely frustrating to the writer. However, Peter Palmiotti once told me "as long as it doesn't affect the overall story, it really shouldn't matter."

  6. Matthew Ceplina says:

    How can Doeg Moench's plots run 25 pages long? Does this include before or after he sees the art? My curiousity is piqued. Elayne, I agree about the lack of artistic storytelling discussion as opposed to characters/writing. I think it has something do with fans being less visually literate. It takes a lot of effort to fully grasp visual storytelling's concepts as opposed to character/dialogue/plot.