Gunslinger Spawn copyedited, part 3

Todd McFarlane is a mega-millionaire with success undreamt of. I’m just some guy. But as I’ve been buying and reading – and enjoying! – Gunslinger Spawn, I’m struck with how the dialogue and captions are something of a mess. Hence, here’s my attempt to copyedit Gunslinger Spawn.

Previously, Gunslinger Spawn traveled from the Old West to the present, where he befriended teenage Taylor and battled enemy angels. Then he learned Taylor’s father is working with the angels. Issue #2 begins with another fight, and another awkward sentence:

There are several ways to tighten this, but how about this:

“Gunslinger has the element of surprise, but he knows that’ll only allow him to ambush the first one.”

The second caption might not be needed, as Brett Booth’s art conveys the idea of the angels taking advantage of their opening.

The fight continues, and we get this caption:

Remove the first “Unfortunately.” Also, we see the captions going from present tense to past tense and back again. Streamline the sentence like this:

“Heaven’s warriors react a second too slow.”

This isn’t a big change, but shorter captions can keep the action moving.

Gunslinger threatens to tear an angel’s wings off, and we see he’s not just a stoic Clint Eastwood type of cowboy. He’s got an animalistic rage to his fighting style, making him feel dangerous and unpredictable. Good stuff.  

The angels flee, except for the wounded one. Gunslinger questions him, and we get exposition about how this story ties into the main Spawn series.

This dialogue can be cut into two sentences, for easier readability:

“Hey, s*** for brains, we both know you’re dying. Things get a whole lot worse for you if you don’t tell me what I need.”

The interrogation continues:

The phrase “come in contact with” is a little too wordy. And it doesn’t strike me as very cowboy-like. My suggestion:

“Why is every faction I run into acting like they’re on fire? Something big is going on!”

Taylor’s dad interrupts their talk by shooting Gunslinger in the chest. Taylor and his dad have this dialogue:

Rearrange Taylor’s line for simplicity, then break up the dad’s line into two sentences:

“Didn’t you see he was helping me?”

“Outta my way, boy. This is all your fault!”

What to make of words being bolded at random, such as Taylor’s dad’s “ALL” above? I’d say it’s unnecessary, yet comics writers and letterers have done this for decades. I’m willing to accept it as a stylistic exercise, more in line with the art than the writing.

It’s been pointed out to me that someone could through my own blog posts or even my novels and do the same thing I’m doing to Gunslinger Spawn. I never said I was perfect. Remember that I’m doing this because I like Gunslinger Spawn and I want to see it succeed.

Come back next week for the second half of issue #2!

* * * *

Want more? Check out my new ongoing serial, THE SUBTERKNIGHTS, on Kindle Vella. A man searches for his missing sister in a sprawling city full of far-out tech and secret magic. It’s a sci-fi/fantasy hybrid full of action, romance, mystery, and laughs. The first three chapters are FREE! Click here for a list of all my books and serials.

About Mac McEntire

Author of CINE HIGH.
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