Gunslinger Spawn copyedited, part 7

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.

Continuing issue #3, Gunslinger and Taylor dig up a hidden stash Gunslinger buried back in the Old West.

First, remove the “So,” from Taylor’s dialogue, as it isn’t needed. Then, simplify and rearrange some of Gunslinger’s lines for efficiency:

“Not just guns. I got two dozen of these hidden treasures. Always knew the enemy was coming. Had to be prepared.”

The characters next contemplate Taylor’s future:

“Come to your senses” is a cliché, but I kept it in this case, because we need some kind of explanation for why Taylor hasn’t run off yet. Just a short edit then:

“You come to your senses about finding a place to hide?”

In the second panel, it’s confusing when Gunslinger says “they” because it seems he’s talking about Taylor’s family at first. I’ve also deleted what look to me like redundancies. My edit:

“It can’t be near your kin. The enemy will look there first. Your dad and his family’s been a part of their scheming for centuries.”

Gunslinger gives Taylor some gold from his stash, and now it’s time to say goodbye:

The caption could be shorter, as we’ve seen Gunslinger’s seriousness all issue long:

“The two men finalize their plan.”

We learn Gunslinger’s real name.

This dialogue must be shorter, to give this moment some real emotional punch.

“If it matters, call me Javi.”

Next, I suggest splitting Taylor’s next word balloon into two smaller ones, to further that emotional punch. “How you’re going do,” is strange phrasing. My suggestion:

“I guess this is it, Javi.”

“How are you going to get by if you can’t read or write?”

Gunslinger says he’ll be fine, and they part ways. Unless I missed something, I believe this is the last time we see Taylor in the vol. 1 trade. Except we can’t be done with the character, right? Because the angels had his picture?

Next there’s a sequence of events where Gunslinger sleeps in “the prairies” (where is this?) and then rides his bike to a field where he waits an entire day for his enemies to arrive. Why not skip a step and have him leave Taylor, drive to the field, and then wait? The idea is to build suspense by showing a passage of time, but even that can be done more efficiently.

Speaking of efficiency, here’s my suggestion for this panel:

“He’s met enemies on this field before.”

Is the “isolated from prying eyes” detail needed, or does the artwork convey that? It’s debatable.


Just a small edit:

“A day passes before he sees their dust trail.”

I recommend cutting the second caption, as the “dust trail” line says it all.

Dakota and her goons confront Gunslinger.

Remove the caption, as Dakota’s body language already gets that across. Separate Dakota’s big word balloon into two for the two panels. Dakota’s “straight to the point” line is a cliché. The word “very” can almost always be cut. My suggestions:

“We’re making plans, and you could be useful.”


“Problem is, I’ve seen plenty of ‘heroes’ that didn’t live up to their hype. You the real deal?”

The “real deal” line could be a cliché, but I kept it to go with the comic’s Western vibe.

 This is Gunslinger’s response:

The “doesn’t utter a syllable” line is awkward. My edit:

“Gunslinger holsters his weapons.”

Dakota’s “strong silent type” line is a cliché. I’m thinking we can delete her line from this panel and let Gunslinger’s actions build suspense by themselves. It works, because he’s about to fistfight the goons when we turn the page. But we’ll get to that… next time.

* * * *

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About Mac McEntire

Author of CINE HIGH.
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