Gunslinger Spawn copyedited, part 9

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.

Issue #4 begins where the previous left off. Gunslinger was losing his fight against Dakota, only to be saved by classic Spawn villain the Clown. How can I copyedit Clown’s dialogue? He’s supposed to be an agent of chaos, unpredictable and outrageous. Best to look at when Clown is being serious versus when he’s being, you know, a clown.

The “looking into a man’s eyes” phrase could be considered a cliché. From there, we can righten this up to show Clown’s not joking.

“On your feet, cowboy. I’m about to make you an offer that’ll get you everything you want.”

Clown continues:

“Whether you like it or not” is an unneeded phrase. My edit:

“You’re about to become partners with the Clown!”

Next, an expository caption:

I get that McFarlane wants to emphasize how this is Gunslinger and Clown’s first meeting, but this is so wordy.

“Al Simmons has faced him dozens of times, but not Gunslinger.”

Clown is less jokey in this scene and more serious:

Some of this could be cliche, but it’s also Clown’s way of toying with Gunslinger. Just clean it up a little:

“I’ve seen many men walk away from their better interests, but you strike me as smarter than that.”

Dakota confronts Clown with this dialogue:

Dakota was working with angels last issue, but here we learn she’s working for or with the Clown? But she’s also fighting the Clown? Also, the single quotes are unnecessary to the point of distracting. My suggestion:

“Do you want me to soften him up for you or not?”

More details emerge as Dakota and Clown fight. She says:

Again, look for opportunities to makes sentences more concise, especially during action:

“If you’re taking over, why’d you send me?”

Dakota leaves. Clown jokes (or not?) about recruiting Gunslinger in a plan to take over the world. Gunslinger says this:

A simple edit can make this line more intense:

“I’m losing my patience!”


“I’ve lost my patience!”

Clown swipes Gunslinger’s hat, which infuriates Gunslinger:

Avoid semicolons. Better to break those sentences into shorter, punchier ones:

“Excuse my pets. They’re not housetrained.”

Then we learn that Clown and Violator are now two characters, and not a transforming werewolf type:

This is a tricky one, because there’s a lot of information to get across. In addition to shortening it, I also rearranged sentences to showcase Clown’s sarcasm:

“Think I don’t have protection? Let me introduce my loyal companion, the Violator! We go way back.”

Gunslinger goes for his hat, and a fight breaks out. We’ll get that next time.

* * * *

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About Mac McEntire

Author of CINE HIGH.
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