Nic Cage loves comics. I know that, because he told me so:
[Comics are] imagination and they stimulate imagination at a very early age. It’s not any different than fairy tales and myths, really, except these are fairy tales and myths with pictures. Like [Cage's son and co-creator of new Virgin series Voodoo Child] Weston, I don’t really read or collect them any more, but we’ve both had childhoods that was fertilized with comics, and now, as you see in all aspects of entertainment, the comic book world is having an enormous effect on movie going audiences. So, if you can get a good comic, it’s a logical progression to make a good movie out of it, and keep sharing that story with more and more people.
Oh, alright. So Nic Cage actually loves comics as a route to the wonderful world of movies. But that’s something, right?
He’s not the only one who’s thinking about multimedia. Noodlesoup’s Jeffrey Nodleman is another one, as he talks about his Fangoria series, The Fourth Horseman:
Oddly enough, I come from a more family-oriented animation background. I was a Disney animator for a lot of years. When I wrote The Fourth Horseman, it really started as something fun just for me. I had written one too many cute and fuzzy bunny stories, and I needed to blow some crap up to clear the creative pipes. I never thought it would go as far as a feature film or comic book series… and did I mention the video game? Crazy.
Surely there’s got to be someone out there who thinks about comics as comics and not merchandise… Cheryl Rubin of DC Direct perhaps…?
DC Direct will continue to produce action figures and collectibles for our core fans and enthusiasts based on fan favorite artists designs and storylines. As always, we will continue to release a variety of characters in our products from the most popular to the most sought after. We are committed to continuing to provide comic book store and specialty retailers with the product and characters their customers want.
Okay, bad choice.
Actually, in the middle of interviews on other subjects, creators had some interesting things to say about the comics and the comic industry this week. Jeph Loeb considered the value of his work in sales and feedback:
I’m incredibly grateful this story has reached so many folks. For the first issue to be #1 in April (and #2 was third), toppled only by #3 being #1 in May in this highly competitive market is such an honor. I’ve gotten so many emails from men, women, kids, saying that they’ve lost a loved one and how this story has helped them. That’s amazing to me. Even to touch one person would be the greatest — but we’re way out past there.
Marc Guggenheim talked about the value of misleading information:
I don’t think I ever used “cold dead fingers,” but I did lead people to believe that my involvement would be open-ended, but that’s pretty common in comic books these days. For example, when I had my first run on Wolverine, Marvel was the one saying that my commitment was going to be open-ended, when my run was only slated to be six issues. I think that’s just common practice among both major publishers these days because of solicitations. And it’s just better for sales if they don’t publicize arcs being closed-ended.
Mike Carey discussed crossover structure and purpose:
[Messiah Complex, the upcoming X-book crossover is] a different structure, really—a different ground plan. We’re telling one story across four titles, complete in itself. The company-wide crossover tells one story but spins a lot of other stories off from it, or drops elements from that one story into the ongoing events in a number of different books that are all pursuing their own independent plotlines. So this isn’t like Civil War—still less like Infinite Crisis. It’s like an organ point in a musical fugue: for a few bars, all the voices are in perfect synchrony. That’s the crossover… Here what we’re doing is playing out the consequences of a lot of big events that have been part of the backdrop for all the X-books for the past year and a half. Inevitably that changes the status quo in the core books, but it has few knock-on effects outside the X-verse. It’s a mutant crisis, and the mutants get together to deal with it. There will be a lot of Marvel heavy hitters who don’t even know this is happening. Ideally readers will come out of this event both with answers to some big questions and with a clearer sense of where the X-Men are right now and where they’re going.
(He should discuss this with Dan DiDio, who appeared this week to discuss the new Countdown trailer, and why it’s not just a Countdown trailer: “I wanted to create a piece of art that didn’t just promote one particular book, but rather the entire line and the stories that are going to be key and significant throughout the line itself. Each one of the quadrants on that image identify key beats in stories that are taking place throughout the DCU. They’re not all interconnected, but they are interrelated. They’re all dealing with some similar subject matters, and that’s what links them together.”)
Sean McKeever (and other creators) on the internet and how it’s affected comics:
The downside to all this great communication is that we’ve reached a point where constant discussion and blogging leads to a strong desire for instant gratification. Forget about the monthly ride: it seems that many readers want to get to point Z and they want to get there now.
I’m sure I come off as an old fogey, but I sincerely miss the days when I knew what was happening in my favorite comics when I picked them up at the newsstand and not a moment sooner, or even when Diamond’s order pack was just a stapled stack of papers with minimal descriptions. Today, not only do we already know what’s coming up three or more months in advance, but detailed synopses sometimes pop up before the issues even hit the stands. What an unfortunate blow to the thrilling experience of cracking open a comic book and heading into parts unknown.
Perhaps most interestingly of all, Ron Marz pondered the difference between Marvel and DC fans:
To this day, there is this—maybe not at the companies themselves with the people who are actually doing the books—there is still, as far as I can tell, a ‘DC Fan’ and a ‘Marvel Fan’ and they have their outlooks on what they like and I think the DC fans are a lot less accepting of—as you said, “bad things happening to good people”.
Marvel has a different kind of storytelling paradigm—let’s face it, without DC Comics—there would have been no Marvel Comics—Marvel Comics was kind of a reaction to, at the time, DC’s ‘lantern jawed’ (no pun intended) heroes of that era that had become, for lack of a better term, ‘vanilla’. Marvel took a more realistic approach compared to DC’s lofty characters.
I was much more of a Marvel reader as a kid; but, as a writer, my take on it is—if you can’t put your characters through the ringer than why should anybody read it? To me, if Romeo and Juliet lived happily ever after or if Hamlet doesn’t die in a duel—those aren’t very good stories. There has to be, at least to me, at times—elements of tragedy—if for no other reason to contrast with elements of victory and triumph that are part and parcel superhero comics too.
Not that it was all creators making grander-than-usual sweeping statements, you understand – Scott Morse teased Scrap Mettle, his new sketchbook collection, John McCrea talked about Hitman, Jock talked about Green Arrow: Year One, Tony Bedard talked about Black Canary, and bringing up the Marvel end of things, the Best Shots crew wondered just who in the Marvel Universe was a goddamn lousy skrull.
How could anyone reading something like that not love comics and everything involved with them? Nic Cage, you’re not alone.