Friday, March 26, 2010

The Wash: 03/26/10

o Picking on Mark Millar

Douglas Wolk is at it again, tearing that Nemesis book a new one in a lively dialogue with fellow Techland writer Evan Narcisse.

I think it's tremendous that comics criticism in the year 2010 has people who say things like, "knowing that you're perpetrating a cliché doesn't mean you've earned it."

And because he's a lot more prolific than I, here he is again, about Phonogram: The Singles Club, a book that you should own.

o "DO *NOT* WRITE A CROCK OF SHIT."

Not comics, but quite: That Awesome David Mamet Memo came up on every single one of my channels from all kinds of people who thought it was pretty awesome, because it is. He should probably rename himself David Memo, the Awesome Memo Man.

Honestly, Mr. Mamet elaborates a bit on the above in his message and it's about the most succinctly composed kick-ass style advice on any kind of writing that you're ever likely to get.

o "Marketing scheme. Yeah, right."

There's a comprehensive, circa 2006 interview with long-time comics writer Roger Stern at the Marvel Masterworks Resource Page, conducted by George Khoury, that I hadn't seen yet.

It has some nice bits.

For instance, Stern discusses some of Marvel's policies under Jim Shooter back in the 1980s, in conjunction with his brief run on Captain America along with John Byrne:

"In those days before royalties, Marvel had what was called a "continuity bonus." If you wrote or drew six consecutive issues, you got a bonus. And so on for the next six, and the next. A fill-in before [Captain America –ed.] issue #258 would set all of our bonuses back."

He also talks about his work on the "Death of Superman" storyline from the early 1990s:

"Marketing scheme. Yeah, right. We’d been trying to get DC’s marketing people to promote the Superman books for years. They’d promote the dickens out of Batman, but Superman? It was as though they didn’t know the character existed. Thank heavens for Martha Thomases. She’d just started working at DC around that time, and she didn’t know that you weren’t supposed to promote the company’s most famous character. She put the word out to the media and – BOOM!"

Sounds very similar to the account by the Man of Action guys, who were working on the Superman titles about ten years after Stern.

But who knows, maybe DC's finally changing its tune on that end.

o They Ain't Out

Eric Powell provides an update on his upcoming comics, including the rest of Chimichanga, with lots of pretty Eric Powell pictures.

o An Awful Lot of Money

I briefly review Indomitable Iron Man, by a bunch of people.

o Where Monsters Dwell

I'll be out of town for a few days, and after that it's the Easter holidays, so there probably won't be any posts until the week after next. (Yes, we've got Easter holidays.) Be hearty.

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