Sunday, October 23, 2016

MEMO FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF COMIC BOOK PLOT INTEGRITY by Jeremy Daw



If you listen to this week's podcast, you will know that our man, Jeremy Daw, sent in this hilarious document that he "intercepted" from the Department of Comic Book Plot Integrity.  Instead of reading it with my stupid voice (which was crazy hoarse this week), I wanted to present it her, in all it;s glory.  I hope Jeremy doesn't mind me putting it on the site and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!  -Jim

Check out Jeremy on his twitter page, @DawJeremy 




MEMO FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF COMIC BOOK PLOT INTEGRITY


TO: JIM WERNER, WEIRD SCIENCE DC COMICS PODCAST
FROM: P. PSMITH, DCBPI (CODES AND VIOLATIONS BRANCH)
DATE: 20TH OCTOBER, 2016
RE: NONSENSE


Introductory Remarks
It has come to our attention that you have been voluntarily providing a valuable service to comic book readers around the world by alerting them to the dangerous levels of nonsense in some DC Comics comic books. In order to aid you in your efforts, we hereby provide both a precise definition of nonsense and a useful guide to the department-approved levels of nonsense that can be found by unsuspecting readers of poorly written, plotted or otherwise produced comic books.
Nonsense (official definition)
‘Nonsense’ is simply defined as poor characterisation, plotting or scripting. More specifically, it is an inconsistency in comic book writing that leaves the reader scratching his or her head, tempted to swear or looking around for something heavy to throw against a nearby wall, window or person. Minor continuity errors are not generally regarded as nonsense, but anything that jars the reader out of the story and makes him or her aware of the writer’s clumsily ineffective attempts to construct a coherent narrative can be construed as nonsense and should be treated with caution.
The Werner Scale of Nonsense
The five levels of nonsense (known as the Werner Scale) are as follows:
Level One: “This makes no sense.” There is a strong suspicion of nonsense at this point in the story. Further panels and pages should be read vigilantly in case of further nonsense contagion.
Level Two: “It’s nonsense.” Nonsense has been definitively identified but the nonsense containment fields are holding steady. A mild sense of disorientation may be felt, but the story may still be enjoyed in most of its entirety.
Level Three: “It’s a bunch of nonsense.” The nonsense has spread and is threatening to break through the nonsense containment fields and leak out into the rest of the comic book. Enjoyment of the story is compromised, although some aspects of the comic book that are not directly related to plotting (most obviously artwork) may still be enjoyed.
Level Four: “It’s fucking nonsense.” The nonsense has broken out of the nonsense containment fields and is now threatening to completely undermine the reader’s enjoyment of the story. Levels of irritability are significantly increased and the appeal of even excellent artwork is proportionately reduced. Abusive or unpleasant language in response to the nonsense may be widespread. Comic books in which ‘fucking nonsense’ is found should probably not be read in public.
Level Five: “It’s fucking nonsense. It makes me so mad/angry/furious.” The nonsense has overwhelmed the comic and transformed it into a mostly incoherent mess of poor characterisation, non sequiturs, jarring transitions, appalling pacing and many other flaws. Writers associated with level five books should be actively avoided or, at the very least, their future works should be subjected to the most rigorous scrutiny. Level five books should not be read in public, nor should they be read alone. It is highly recommended that level five books only be read in the presence of close friends who don’t mind being verbally or physically abused. Or Eric Shea.
Conclusion
Thank you for your sterling work over the last couple of years in this increasingly dangerous field. Your recent work on ‘The Night of the Monstermen’ and recent issues of ‘Earth 2: Society’ was particularly noteworthy. I and the members of the DCBPI (Codes and Violations Branch) salute you. Keep up the good work!

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7 comments:

  1. Awesome, Jim! I am honoured! Here's to more 'nonsense' in podcasts to come! (Although not *too* much more, hopefully!) Thanks so much for putting this up.

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    Replies
    1. i talk about it on the podcast...which I haven't even started editing!!!

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  2. Brilliant! You had me at, "Or Eric Shea."

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  3. Can the werner scale now be a thing we do for all reviews? XD

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  4. Level 5 includes: "Identity Crisis" and "Countdown to Infinite Crisis"

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