Friday, December 21, 2007

Cause and Defect

Let's have a look at some quotes and see if we can spot a common thread.

[Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man] has only been the book I wanted it to be since issue 11. Up to now it's been a little bit frustrating, but I can't blame anyone at Marvel because, like I said, I knew the job was going to be dangerous when I took it.

-writer Peter David, January 2007


I think my Marvel time is winding down. That's not to say there are no properties, but right now, everything is so connected that I can't get my head around it.

-writer Joss Whedon, March 2007


I think [the "cohesive universe" approach is] restrictive. Personally, I think it’s been going on for too long, but that’s just me. I think at the end of the day, you have to tell the best story you can, not to do as many stunts as you can. I think when you keep building everything the way Marvel has done and the way DC is doing you make the books obtuse. You make them impenetrable and you generate this false sense of hype.

-writer Greg Rucka, November 2007

(Providing a degree of contrast to the "Creator X Exclusive with Publisher Y" press releases that have become so frequent lately, Rucka recently announced that he was not going to renew his exclusive contract with DC Comics.)


In the current storyline, there's a lot that I don't agree with, and I made this very clear to everybody within shouting distance at Marvel, especially [editor-in-chief Joe Quesada]. I'll be honest: there was a point where I made the decision, and told Joe, that I was going to take my name off the last two issues of the ["One More Day"] arc.

-writer J. Michael Straczynski, December 2007


I've got stories I want to tell there, and I'll get to them if Marvel gives me half a chance.

-writer Mike Carey, December 2007


When you're working on a big crossover like [Amazons Attack], a lot of the plotting is just connecting the dots in a way. This is going to happen here, we'll deal with this here, and then over in Teen Titans this will happen, and then we'll deal with this, and then we'll deal with that. Readers may not like it, and in some ways it can be a pain to write, but that's what a lot of modern comic books are. The big ones that sell and the big ones that people seem to like are the ones that have crossovers crossovers crossovers. When you're writing it, the object is to hit those plot points. As a writer you try to work in those human emotions and twists and surprises and fun and action along the way. But you have to hit point A, B, C, and D because in another book, somebody's going to be hitting it.

-writer Will Pfeifer, December 2007


No, again, this was [executive editor] Dan Didio. And [coordinating editor] Jann Jones was in on this one too. They called me up and said, "We have an idea. Hear us out." All of these projects that I've talked about with DC have come from them. They're all DC calling me up and asking me if I was interested.

-writer/artist Keith Giffen, December 2007


With Countdown, we went very vocal about how it was going to bring everything together, therefore, the fact that everything was tied together overshadowed what was going on with the characters in the story, and that became the focal point of what all the discussions were about, more so than whether or not these stories and these characters appearing in them were engaging.

-DC Comics executive editor Dan Didio, December 2007


WM said...

It is a problem. There have been way too many crossovers lately, and it's been pretty rough on the consumer money-wise, but I certainly don't want to go the other way and have no continuity either.

Marionette said...

I'd like it to be something special when we get a crossover, not an annoying interruption.

Joe Willy said...

On the one hand I totally see where these guys are coming from. On the other hand, isn't it a little like being part of a writing team on a show like Lost? I mean, you are just a part of the puzzle and have to juggle your part with what everyone else is doing? Then again, a few of these guys could be writing for TV but do comics FOR the freedom. I just wish Marvel and DC would go the rest of the way and make their core titles big, linked/shared anthologies like one big monthly issue of 52/Countdown. At some point they need to at least try the Shonen Jump model and see if they can't make it work and these core crossover titles would be the place to try to make it work.

As far I can tell the big problem is when these complex miniseries take over EVERY title and don't leave room for the people who just want to read one title not linked up to everything else and that many of them are built around continuity which the person on the street could care less about.