Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Comment Line

o Newsarama's Matt Brady talks to DC Comics publisher Paul Levitz about the company's new web comics initiative, Zuda Comics.com. Levitz displays a degree of self awareness ...
I certainly think that DC’s not always the first to move in the industry.
... as well as a spectacular case of tunnel vision, in his comment on making DC's existing periodicals available in an online format.
I haven’t seen a lot of evidence yet that people want to read 20 pages of a comic book on their computer screen, so I don’t think the form of what we mostly do has yet found a home there.
A look at a random torrent site reveals that this is laughable, of course. Levitz really needs to do his homework, if he doesn't have people who do it for him.

o At The Pulse, Jennifer M. Contino asks Justin Gray about his Countdown co-writers Sean McKeever, Tony Bedard and Adam Beechen. Gray's response is an instant classic.
They’re all great guys and talented writers… I don’t care what the internet says about them.
I vote for adding that last line to any comment on anyone. "Joe Schmoe? Lovely chap. Don't care what the internet says about him."

But I'm curious now. What does the internet say on them?

o On a more serious note, Comic Book Resources' Robert Taylor interviews Matthew Clark, penciler of DC Comics' Outsiders, about a year after Clark suffered a heart attack. Among other things, the artist discusses how his health is affecting his working hours.
It's a tough balancing act. I now put in my time eight hours a day, six days a week. I now take one day off a week and relax. I know my editors wish I was the old me, working 14-18 hour days and pulling all-nighters. Unfortunately, I can't and won't do that anymore. No matter what, when the clock hits 11:30pm it's quitting time. I make no apologies for it because I won't put myself back in the hospital.
Clark also gives his thoughts on the recent crossover storyline running through Outsiders and Checkmate.
Jesus [Saiz, Checkmate artist] had left just before, and [artist] Joe [Bennett] was wrapping up 52, so I was working on my issue of Outsiders, then Joe comes in and starts working on Checkmate. Then he changed the costumes on characters, which I understand. He wanted to make a mark. You want to make them your own, but really--during the middle of a crossover? Wait 'till its finished then make the changes. Several of my pages were penciled and inked with the Saiz costumes for Checkmate. So, that part was frustrating.

It was one of those projects that had moments of good times and bad. In the end, I'm proud of my pages and how they came out. There were several pages I wanted to draw for story purpose as I thought it was the best part. But had to pass them over. Life during a crossover--sigh.
o Let's shoot fish in a barrel. John Byrne. Via Blog@Newsarama's Graeme McMillan comes news that John Byrne has read Grant Morrison's New X-Men.
So when the Beast asks Professor X "Why did you have us dress like superheroes?" what is really asking? Could he be deconstructing that which requires no deconstruction? Could he be seeking his own "yellow Spandex" line? Is he speaking on behalf of the writer, and really asking "Why do I have to work with these silly concepts?"
Apparently, the issue is a source of great inspiration for Byrne - shortly after, he starts another thread.
Comments in other threads got me thinking. Here's a short list -- not in any way intended as definitive -- of what I consider Warning Signs that maybe you should not be reading, writing or drawing superhero comics:

A need to…

• … "justify" the wearing of costumes (or)

• … get rid of the costumes altogether

• … make, or have the characters make, snarky remarks about the established idioms and conceits of the genre

• … focus as much as possible on the civilian identies of the lead characters, sometimes to the complete exclusion of the "alter-ego"

• … emphasize psychological problems (often sexual) as a dominant driving motivation for the superhero

• … tarnish as much as possible the whole "heroic" mythos, the idea of doing "the right thing for the right reasons"

• … project an image of being in all ways superior to the material
What's Byrne currently working on, anyway? He is still working in-between being cranky and out of touch, right?

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