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?

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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