Seven Soldiers Envy

Like many of you, I’m sure, I marvel at the breadth and sweep of Grant Morrison’s new *Seven Soldiers* project — seven four-issue miniseres, bookended by extra-length prologue and epilogue chapters, all released over the span of about a year. And that’ s not even the total of Grant’s output for the year. Incredible. How can any one writer…?

Uh, wait.

My life, circa 1975: Dialogue current *Defenders*. Plot next *Man-Thing*. Dialogue current *Man-Thing*. Plot next *Marvel Two-in-One*. Dialogue current *Marvel Two-in-One*. Plot next *Tales of the Zombie*. Dialogue current *Zombie*. Dialogue new current *Defenders*…etc., etc., etc.

*I* used to write about four books a month. Forty-eight freaking books a year. *I* did. Not “any one writer” — *this* one writer!

None of which is meant to disparage Grant’s achievement. Rather, it’s meant as contrast to the following:

My life, circa 2005: Finish *Hard Time* script. Collapse for two days.

I’ve got an existential problem here.

6 Responses to “Seven Soldiers Envy”

  1. Ryan Speck Says:

    I would imagine that you didn’t watch the Man-Thing movie that they dropped onto Sci-Fi Channel. It was mildly amusing as a crap monster-in-the-woods (in this case, swamp) flick, but if you begin to pay attention and think about it, it’s a real turd.

    I believe the last time I read anything Man-Thing-oriented was back in 1994 and that was re-reading the serialized bits in Marvel Comics Presents #1-10. I know so little about Man-Thing that I really have no room to talk. But I figured that it would be a very striking character if given a little room to shine in CGI glory. And the movie does have some decent effects, but it makes M-T into a supernatural killer. Which seems like a waste.

    Ah… At least Marvel won’t be doing in more licensing. I think.

  2. Cory!!Strode Says:

    I think it all depends on what comes easy for the writer and what is more work. I take part in the National Novel Writing Month ( every year, where you write a 50,000 word novel during November. With working a full time job, I thought it would be next to impossible, but when I pick an easy plot that allows the characters to find their own voices and do the work for me, it’s easy. The novel I’m working on now is more “plot intensive”, and is MUCH slower to write, and each chapter done causes me to collapse.

  3. Bart Lidofsky Says:

    Hey, consider how much verbiage the prolific Gerry Conway used to put out. Did that man EVER miss a deadline?

  4. Richard B. Says:

    First, I want to get my political statement out of the way. There would be no Grant Morrison today without Steve Gerber having done it first…and having done it at a time when the obstacles were greater and the rewards fewer. What was his Doom Patrol after all but The Defenders for the next generation, on nicer paper? This isn’t meant to disparage Grant, who’s a terrific writer and a considerably nicer person than he wants you to know. It’s just the simple fact that he and Alan Moore and Warren Ellis and the rest all enjoy so much leeway and creative freedom because folks like you and Steve Englehart stormed the barricades from the inside and showed a generation how subversive and brainy comics could be while still being fun.

    That said…what you’re talking about here is your stamina for work decreasing with age, and the best way to understand this is probably to view writing as a form of physical exertion. Writing is more like playing a competitive sport than any other art form is. Painters or musicians can produce at the same rate for decades. Writers, like atheletes, find it harder to keep up with their younger competitors as they age. Painters or musicians are engaged in a highly repetitive physical activity in which steady practice enhances performance, and patience for that sort of thing increases with age. Writers have to sit still for hours on end and tap away at a keyboard while our brains are burning the calories. The physical act of writing is as draining as running a sprint, but without the exercise or the endorphins; we just end up with a pot belly and bad posture.

    I think the writers who manage to keep going strong decade after decade are those who keep their writing muscles in shape the way a marathon runner would.

  5. Bart Lidofsky Says:

    I can recall when FOOLKILLER was considered to be groundbreaking. Not to mention pitting Hawkeye against ordinary criminals armed with guns, and ending up as swiss cheese.

  6. Dan Coyle Says:

    Ah, Foolkiller. You know, Squadron Supreme is considered Mark Gruenwald’s lasting achievement, but I think getting Kurt Gerhardt into print was far more important.