“This ends now!”
“It’s show time!”
“This time it’s personal.”
“It’s payback time.”
“And now you die.”
Like me, you’ve read these lines of dialogue way too many times in comics. You’ve heard them even more times in the movies and on TV. These are just a few of the overused and tired lines that lazy and bad writers lean on like an old man on his walker.
Sometimes the writers don’t even realize they’re using them. The lines are so embedded in their brains that they type em’ out before they even think.
That’s the problem. They don’t take the time to think.
Dialogue is the most important part of writing. When writing a script you have to stop and ask yourself “Have I heard this before?” More times than not, you have. If so, then try again. Anything you can do to put a different slant on it would be good.
Ask yourself if you or anyone you know talks like this in real life? Say the words out loud after you write them. Listen to how they sound. If your feel like a dork when you say these words out loud then that means you probably are and so is the character you’re writing. Is that your goal?
As much as I love the guy, let’s look at the way Doctor Doom talks. Let’s face facts; he’s like Richard Burton on thespian steroids. For those of you too young to remember the late actor Richard Burton, he was a scene-chewing actor that put the “over” in the phrase “over the top.”
Sit and read some Doctor Doom dialogue sometime. It’s a scream. Here’s the thing, Doctor Doom has always been a character that talks like a mad scientist/Bad British actor. He kinda wrote the book on it as a supreme comic book bad guy. It’s like he’s supposed to be the cliché of all bad guys.
Bad dialogue has been the burden of all comic book bad guys for years. They fall into two categories: The first one is the brainy madman like Doctor Doom where lines like: “I shall crush you like the meaningless insect you are!” and “You and your kind will all bear the shackles of submission when I rule the world!” These lines are facts. I looked em’ up in issues of The Fantastic Four. The second category of bad guy dialogue goes to thug/bruiser bad guys that all talk like they have a moron I.Q. or are out of an old Bowery Boys movie. They say stuff like: “I’m gonna kill you!” and who can forget “Now I’m really gonna kill you!”
Squeal Like A Pig, Boy!
When it comes to bad guys there are only three locations where they seem to come from. The brainy madman is always from some foreign country. The moron thug is always from Brooklyn and we can’t forget that if you’re a bad guy and you come from anywhere south of the state of New York then you talk like the Ned Beatty-Butt-Lovin’-Hillbillies from the movie Deliverance. Say it with me?.“Squeal like a pig, boy.”
I’ve heard all the lame excuses from my peers in the writing world. They tell me that sometimes when you write three or four monthly books like they do that you don’t have the time to check every bit of dialogue. Others say that it’s the way the characters have always been written. I was stunned when one of my peers looked me in the face and told me that yeah, he did it. It was an easy way out and he didn’t care. It was the only truthful, manly answer out of the bunch. It was the wrong answer but unlike his written dialogue it had honesty to it.
So what I’m trying to tell y’all is this, if you’re a writer, wanna be one, gonna be one or even thinking about being one, think about your dialogue before you click on the save button. Say it out loud. Believe in it. Be proud of it no matter how few words it is. Make sure it’s true to your character and that you did your best to make it mean something. Even if it means giving that character a whole background history to make his words seem real, then do it. You’ll feel better for it and others will notice it when they read your finished work.
You can always hear those that have something to say. All the others just get tuned out with the rest of the bad noise.
Manly Comic Book Cover Of The Week
Man Comics #27 Atlas Comics 1953
This is possibly one of the best comic books you never heard of. Bob Brant and The Trouble Shooters fighting off Commies from taking over not only the Earth, but the moon! To beat all it takes place in Australia. It doesn’t get any weirder than this. A bunch of teenagers and little kids giving the Commies a fistful of trouble in the wonderful decade known as the 1950s. People always say that the 50s were a simpler time and this proves it. It was the last decade where it was ok to call bad guys terrible names, make fun of em’ and kick their ass all at the same time. Best part was, nobody cared. Well, the bad guys did, but then who cared about them and their red menace feelings being hurt?
This is a real manly gem from the vault here at The Flying Fist Ranch. While the rest of you Nancy-Boys were at the convention looking for back issues of The Young Avengers and some constipated Batman books, I was swindling some poor dealer out this testosterone treasure. Feel the guilt and don’t pass up the chance to get this comic book next time you go looking through the Golden Age box.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s manly Comic Book Cover. Come back next week for one that will set the Politically Correct Police after me with a vengeance.
Forget ipod. Embrace The iBeau
For those of you that have asked here’s the songs on my iBeau playlist right now:
- Never Been To Spain By Blue Dogs
- Main Title Theme To Billy The Kid By Bob Dylan
- King Of El Paso By Boz Scaggs
- To Love Somebody By The Chambers Brothers
- Wild Dogs By Tommy Bolin
- Texas Skies By The Freddy Jones Band
- Bad Little Doogie By Gov’t Mule
- Forty by John Eddie
- Home By Marc Broussard
- I’m The Lucky One By Mark Selby
- Dreaming My Dreams With You By Patty Loveless
- Once In A Life Time By Talking Heads
- Fat Tuesday By Tommy Malone
- They Sold Me Out By Van Morrison
- Mescalero By ZZ Top
As you can see it’s a little bit of everything, but all manly. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Bob Dylan fan. Never have been, but his soundtrack to the great Sam Peckinpah movie Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid was a great piece of work. Probably because he didn’t sing too much on it.
So, what’s playin’on your iBeau?
Let’s Hear That Screen Door Slam As You Leave
Sorry this week’s Busted Knuckles was a little late. After 3 months in the hospital we finally hauled my mom back home. Granted, she has 24 hour care there from a team of special ops agents that make sure she doesn’t fall into Commie hands while she is still weak, but I’m sure mom will be back to trying to dye the Red Menace into a nice shade of red , white and blue in no time at all. She wants me to send her personal thanks to all of ya that have put her in your prayers and good wishes for the last few months. She really appreciated me reading your words to her in the hospital.
It’s a good thing to have my mom on your side. She can swing a mean bed pan when the urge for violence hits.
The next Busted Knuckles you read will be #100. I’m gonna try to have something special for ya. Then again, aren’t all of em’ special?
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507
Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!