The Jim Shooter Files: Too Much Continuity and Ongoing Storylines

Last month's MCM London Comic Con had Jim Shooter as a guest, and at his table were a number of folders, binders, full of memos, sketches, artwork from his long career at DC, Marvel, Valiant and more. He graciously allowed Bleeding Cool to take shots of a few of them, but these are just the tip of the iceberg of the folders he often brings to shows. But for Thanksgiving, Bleeding Cool will be sharing a few of them, and you can check the rest with this handy dandy tag.

Jim Shooter

This memo from then-Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter from September 1983 to the editors was headlined 'The usual' which suggests that the content was a bugbear of his. He wrote

Too many continued stories, too many run-on stories, too much pathological continuity, too much confusion. Come on, guys. One-Part stories! Please! Clarity! Understandability!

Do we have to do something as dumb as having me approve all continued stories?

These days, one-part stories are more of a rarity rather than anything close to the standard. Both Marvel and DC Comics have emphasised the concept of 'connected tissue' across a shared universe this year. And arguably it was stories like Jim Shooter's Secret Wars a couple of years later that led the way for superhero comic books to make story arcs the standard across superhero comic books. More to come. Aren't these fun?

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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