COMICMIX: Okay, Wil, as a writer and reader of comics, what makes a good story to you?
WIL WHEATON: Comics are a visual medium, so the artwork is extremely important to me. There are tremendously talented writers who occasionally get paired up with artists whose art I don't like. And I won't read those books.
There are artists and writers who collaborate together. Matt [Fraction] gives Casanova artist Gabriel Ba as much credit for Casanova being awesome as people give Matt for making Casanova awesome. Ed [Brubaker] does the same thing with Criminal. And I think that says a lot about the importance of a good team-up. I'm lucky.
I've gotten to work with some great artists when I've done manga for TokyoPop.I don't know if the stories I've written would have the same emotional impact with the reader with different art. That really, really important combination of peanut butter and chocolate is really important to making comic books great.
Um. Wil? How about you answer the goddamn question?
What makes a book -- just a standard book -- very good, is the story and the dialogue and the interaction of the characters. So what makes a comic book great is those ingredients all put together, matched up with good pacing and really good artwork. A lot of the Alan Moore comics have all these wonderful elements that make reading comics fun, too. Top Ten is like playing "Where's Waldo," because after you've read the story you can go back through and read it again. Or if you read Watchmen and see the issues, there's the Rorschach issue that's in the middle where it mirrors itself -- that kind of stuff. A book like Sin City that uses positive and negative space really creatively, that's a great book, too.
Of course, I should disclaim all this stuff. I recently wrote that I was worried about the new Star Trek movie being good, and I was vilified by Star Trek fans for having the temerity for expressing an opinion about this. Like I don't deserve to have an opinion about this.
This is the end of about 2 hours of me and Chris talking, and this final part feels rambling to me, which is probably how I felt when we'd talked for about 2 hours. I got to talk about technology a little bit, though, which was kind of cool:
CMix: What about the one piece of technology you can't live without?
WW: The technology I can't live without? Does encryption count as technology? It would have to be encryption. Think about the Internet without encryption. Absolutely no shopping online at all. None. Ever.
Not a single financial transaction would be possible without encryption.
Sure, there are things that I like that are fun. But can't live without? I could not live without encryption -- and to make it clear, I'm talking about open source public encryption. R.S.A. standards.
Yay standards! Yay for stating the obvious! Yay for Neil Gaiman writing Batman next year!
Oh, my favorite part of the interview is when I go on and on about my creative process. It's really too long to excerpt, but I promise it's worth the effort to go read the whole interview at Comicmix.
See what I did there?