Hi friends! Hope the week has been treating you well.
As promised, our very own Michael Moreci - the acclaimed writer of comics, movies, novels, and more - pops in to talk to us a bit about co-writing our book, which you can subscribe to here for a small fee. Hope you enjoy and talk soon!
Take it away, Michael -
One of the things I love most about writing The Awakened is its simplicity. Don’t get me wrong, simplicity doesn’t mean simple—it’s not an easy book to write, nor is it, I hope, a book so simple that it’s obvious or unsurprising. What I mean is that it’s a book that The Awakened is the kind of book where Alex, Dean, the team, and I get to have our cake and eat it, too. Meaning: we can tell a superhero story without the baggage of the superhero tradition.
Tradition is where things get tricky. When you write for Marvel or DC, as I have, there’s this buzzing excitement of being able to play with some of your favorite toys: Batman, Flash, Thor, whomever. It’s thrilling in so many ways. But then you get to the nitty-gritty: You have to figure out a story that A. hasn’t been done before, despite hundreds of issues already been printed; and B. you have to craft a story that allows the character to be absolutely true to things we know and love about them while also being fresh and original and the same time (and also, more times than not, you have to ensure that by the end of your story, your character must return to the place they started from at the start of the journey).
It's not easy, to say the least. And that doesn’t even account for what else is going on in the larger universe—God forbid there’s a crossover or event, because then you’re really in trouble.
The Awakened allows us to circumvent all of that. While Alex and I plotted out rich backstories for all of our characters—origins, wants and desires, weaknesses—these stories haven’t been told dozens of times across different forms of media. They haven’t been told at all, in fact, giving Alex and I the wonderful freedom to decide how, if, and when we peel back the layers of our characters.
The beautiful thing is, again, how we can keep things simple. We can focus on the character and how they exist strictly within the boundaries of the story we’re telling. We don’t have to worry about what happened in issue #145 or issue #789 or the crossover or whatever. We can let them exist in a more organic state, developing who they are—exposing who they are—in relation to what happens to them in the story.
I, for one, am someone who loves simplicity in storytelling. I value clarity above almost all other things. There’s no greater ambition and achievement than being able to take the story that’s in your head and being able to get it across clearly to an audience. It’s why I love artists like Guillermo del Toro, Steven Spielberg, and Ed Brubaker. They convey, in dynamic, entertaining, and expert fashion, everything you need to know. This isn’t to say I’m not one for ambiguity, but I do love, and always have, a simple story well told. It’s harder to execute than more people think.
I hope you’re enjoying our story so far—things are about to turn up a notch, so get ready!