March 26th, 2014

Writing Mary Worth

by Karen Moy and June Brigman

Hi.  This is Karen Moy, writer of Mary Worth.  Welcome to the Mary Worth site.

When I tell people that I write Mary Worth, sometimes I’m asked how I do it. The answer, to quote Edison is, “One per cent inspiration, and ninety-nine per cent perspiration.”  The truth is it’s hard work.  It’s gratifying and wonderful, but it’s also time-sensitive, deadline- oriented, and 50% dependent on the artist I’m working with. Thankfully, I’m working with a great artist, the legendary Joe Giella.  It also helps that I love reading and telling a good story.

I read as much as I can to keep the strip fresh, and for new story ideas. Books, newspapers, magazines, the internet, television, personal conversations, casual observations…are some places I go to for inspiration. It’s been said that real life is stranger than fiction. So there’s plenty of fodder for a good story. Art mirrors life, and vice versa.

I try to give my stories happy endings, because that’s what I want to read. And if the story is meant to have a different kind of ending, I try to write one that imparts a soft blow and not a sharp pain in the gut.

SPOILER ALERT: Take, for example, one of the more popular stories that I’ve written: “Aldo Kelrast” (which is currently featured in the book, “Love and Other Stories of Mary Worth.”). The ending may not have been the happily ever after that comics readers are used to, but there was a deep reflection afterwards on the part of the characters involved. Sometimes that’s what’s needed. An inner meditation by the characters that makes them grow after a catalyzing event. Art mirrors life indeed.

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