Well, now we know what happens when I complain about things being quiet.
There are times, I’m sure, when Paul Levitz is secretly glad that he’s not Joe Quesada. Most of those are probably when he reads about another Civil War delay or something, but this week’s attempt at a stealth cancellation of Wildstorm’s The Boys (made public by Matt on Wednesday) is the kind of thing that provokes a fan reaction that makes the lack of obligatory weekly interview all the more appealing. I mean, you can push out all the teasing preview art you want, you can set up fan favorite writers to do interviews (or lengthy looks at their work), you can even show preview art from your latest event, but none of that is going to protect you from this kind of feedback:
“i think everyone that buys the book deserves an explanation. all buyers should write letters to DC I DEMAND AN EXPLANATION DC”
“Dc just losing money from me..i’m smiling (angerily), i hope it moves to MAX… DC has no balls!!!”
Oh, alright, maybe not those two. But this poster made a reasonable point:
“Comic book with Dr. Light raping someone is okay. Superboy punching someone’s head off is okay. A hamster crawls out of someone’s butt? Cancel that title.”
Remember, the first two happened in superhero titles with no parental advisory, whereas the latter was in a Mature Readers title that had been advertised, all along, as being extreme in nature. So, somewhere, Paul Levitz is glad that he’s not having a planned weekly hypefest interrupted by the question “Where is the line these days for DC, anyway?”
(In addition to artist Darick Robertson’s statement at the end of the piece on the mothership, Heidi has a similar statement from writer Garth Ennis: “It’s become obvious to all concerned that The Boys should never have been published at DC, and to their credit they’re working hard to release the rights so that Darick and I can find the book a new home. We’re already looking at offers from a number of publishers, and plan to return with #7 and the first trade collection in a matter of a few months.”)
On the rest of the Mothership, it was indie week. Both Markosia and Avatar named new staff, IDW made a shameless grab for the nerd dollar (Seriously, an all-Klingon language edition? I can’t wait to see the sales figures on that one), and shameless man whore Raven Gregory aims high with his new “Alice in Wonderland – but dark! No, that’s never been done before!” series, Return to Wonderland:
So, when I started writing this, one of my goals became that I wanted to do a story that could be my own personal Watchmen. Not that I could ever come close to doing a story as good as Watchmen is, but having that goal in mind, that pieces throughout the entire story would fit together later. Symbols and subliminal context would be laced through the entire tale, so that even years later, readers would still be finding things they never saw before. That really appealed to me. Even if I failed in my task completely, I could at least look back years from now and say I did, indeed, try to tell a story that could be eternal in a market place where books like Blankets, Kingdom Come, Maus, (All of which I love dearly) have a shelf life…at least until the movie comes out.
Ah, yes. I forgot that Blankets, Maus and Kingdom Come were created with the movie version in mind. Not that that was the only unexpected shout-out to, um, good books from creators of not-so-good books this week, as David Hine explained the stakes for why you should buy his run on Spawn using an unexpected example:
It’s a wider issue than simply getting people to buy Spawn again. People should be buying more copies of Fell, Elephantmen, Godland, Walking Dead, Love and Rockets, Cross Bronx and a shedload of other great stuff. I’ll allow that standards have risen at Marvel and DC in the last few years but it’s not healthy to see two publishers having such a stranglehold on the market. I’d like to see retailers showing some faith in a few independent titles that are not Big Two or franchises like Star Wars. And I do think the onus is on the retailers to take more chances with the indie books. They may argue that they are simply supplying the demand but I find it hard to believe that the potential market is so narrow.
How did Love and Rockets end up in that list of otherwise Image-published books?
Image, meanwhile, were making a play for ‘Rama attention this week as well as the Spawn story. Rosario Dawson’s OCT returned from the dead, the seedier side of superheroics was trailed in After The Cape, aliens fought a different kind of predator in Alien Pig Farm 3000 and Sk8 Jesus Dan Evans and Antony Johnston bring us cowboys and monsters in the wonderfully-named Texas Strangers.
My favorite indie story this week, though, may be the return of Scud.
But what’s that? You don’t want to pay for comics? Wait until May 5th and your ship will come in, friend. Alternatively, you could just attend the first “convention without walls” (unless you consider the need to have some way to listen to a podcast a wall).
Personally, I always thought that Newsarama itself was a convention without any kind of walls, ceilings, floors or, let’s face it, standards more often than not. Plus, we’re free for all of the other 364 days each year that isn’t FCBD. What more could you want?
Well, besides The Boys, that is.