Emotional stakes, not bank robbery

Posted: September 21, 2010 in All, Comic Books, TV
Tags: , ,

Two thoughts about emotional connections.

Alan Moore wrote about trying to reach your reader by thinking about what you love, hate and fear. Then, I was watching “What Would You Do?” on TV. This is a show where they get actors to perform certain things, like kick kids out of a car and tell them to walk home, and leave. Then they record the reactions of passersby. The parenting expert they were interviewing said most people reacted to that situation because of how they were raised. There was an emotional connection to the victims.

Now, let’s apply that to comic book stories.

The token plot in comics is that the villain robs a bank. But how many of us have been in a bank robbery? How could we have an emotional connection to the victims? Unless, of course, we feel for anyone in a bad situation.

The writer could do this broadly, and almost cartoony, by just making obvious ploys to our humanity by showing a shivering old lady, a crying baby. Whatever Odessa Steps baby carriage they choose. But it’s almost a formula.

Instead, the villain’s plot must put at stake something we all care about.

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