View Full Version : Backstories in comics?

04-26-2013, 02:08 AM
So, I'm new to all of this and a friend and I only recently decided we wanted to create something as a project.

The question I want to ask is: we have a post-apocalyptic world where it's all desert and stuff, there are mutant creatures and people wandering around and there's some technology stuff that might need explaining.

Do I put something about it in the first issue? Is it more of a back-page thing for those who are interested? Do I write it into the story itself or just let the readers work it out for themselves?

We're planning it to be a fairly big, hopefully rather long project with lots of little saga's and a big blanket story to keep it all together.

Also, any tips for just anyone trying to start out would be much appreciated. So far we're two writers with some, but not much, drawing ability who are both working casual jobs at a decent pay.

04-26-2013, 02:19 AM
I'm a big fan of "find the human element".

If one of your characters is talking to another, and it's likely they'd discuss a backstory element, go for it.

However, be careful to avoid "he should know that already" moments.

For example:

"Ever since the mushroom cloud went up over Glass City, I've been a wanderer."


"I'm a wanderer. Glass City exploded, and millions were displaced."

For a character in that world, the info would be already known, so the second quote begs the response: "I knew that, it was kind of big news around the desert."

Seeding the story with clues can be fun for the reader, it lets them piece together the mystery... but of course it's easy to play with that a bit too much and cause readers to "rage quit" when they either can't figure it out or feel it's being spoon fed to them.

If this is a soaring epic, maybe prioritize the background elements according to what you DEFINITELY need to know in order to understand the book at all... then the stuff that's wonderful FLAVOR you can dole out over time to answer questions.

04-26-2013, 02:25 AM
Sweet, that seems logical. So, don't try and give it away, but don't try to assume, at any given time that everyone has worked it out.

That works, there's a twist that will say that it wasn't radiation that mutates everything, but rather it was all the scheme of the main villain.

So we don't need to explain everything, but the essentials should be discovered?

Thanks for your input. :)

04-26-2013, 11:26 AM
Introduce the back elements of your story as you go. You'd actually be surprised how little explanation you can get away with. Force the reader to catch up by shoving them in the middle of the story. That way, you'll keep them hooked.

If you absolutely need to get information across, put your characters in situations where the information is revealed organically.


04-26-2013, 03:19 PM
Read Orchid. A great example of how NOT to do it.


04-27-2013, 11:18 PM
Thanks guys, I think I have a good idea now, you've been very helpful.