Sensing that we’re near San Diego Comic-Con, Joe Quesada obviously decided that it’s time to try and get people upset at him again, commenting on DC’s Zudacomics online initiative:
To be quite honest, Newsarama has a bigger presence than DC on the ‘net. If you told me that you were going to do Newsarama comics, well at least I could see the get; you have a dedicated audience that comes here on daily basis just to yell at you [laughs].
I guess if you’re completely green and have no experience on the ‘net and in comics, perhaps the allure of Zuda is tempting, I could see that. Or maybe as a creator you’d rather be discovered by DC than Marvel, okay, can’t quite see that, but I’ll let it slide. If I’m an established web creator, I need to shown an upside. Again, maybe there is one in the deal that hasn’t been made public.
(Hey, Joe? If you want to be upset about publishers trying to profit from fans online, why not look at Virgin Comics and MySpace teaming up to launch Coalition Comix? “Coalition Comix will open up the role of comic book writer to the world at large, allowing participants to providing artistic direction for the comic by voting on the plot twists and turns at each step of the way. Coalition Comix will commission some of the comic book industry’s leading creators to collaborate with users as virtual ‘Story Masters.’ Leading creators will guide participants to collectively craft new story properties for comics and subsequent development into film, games and animations.” And who will profit from those subsequent developments, I wonder…? NewsCorp, Virgin or the fans who came up with the ideas…?)
Still, you can’t blame Joe for trying to make some noise, because otherwise, Marvel had a relatively quiet week. Writer Paul Benjamin talked about his work on the new Marvel Adventures Hulk title, Simone Bianchi tried to sell you on Wolverine (“Absolutely, it will have everlasting ramifications in the character of Wolverine, without any shadow of doubt… [B]elieve me though, knowing that you are drawing something that will influence the Marvel world for a while really works as a continuous motivation!”) and Brian Michael Bendis did the same for the new licensed Halo: Uprising title. Leave it to Jonathan Lethem to try to create some interest about his Omega The Unknown revamp. It is a revamp, right, Jonathan?:
It’s a recreation. I think that’s the better word for it. I’m not interested – I don’t have it in me to fuss over matters of continuity. All the characters – well, the two character who mattered most in that story – were killed, if you believe and obey the earlier stories that were told.
I’m not letting myself care about that. Though it’s a Marvel comic, I’m not writing it into the Marvel Universe where Omega existed before, and therefore trying to make some labored explanation as to why this story is happening again, or happening differently. I’m just taking this brilliant fund of material, and transmuting it into something else… For me, the original Omega the Unknown #1 is a rather holy text. You know, the perfect comic book. So I utilize it heavily. And then my Omega grows away from that point slowly but steadily – corresponding to the slow but inevitable loss of interest through the original ten issues that were originally published.
That said, DC probably had a quieter week. DanDiDio wanted the world to know about Infinite Hallowe’en:
We felt that, just like Christmas, Halloween was the perfect opportunity for us to do a little one-off that give us an opportunity to work with people who don’t normally get a chance to work with DC Comics on a regular basis. I’m a huge fan of the anthology format, so this is just a lot of fun for me… These are a lot of people that (Editor) Eddie Berganza has been talking to over the last couple of years who always have been interested in working with DC. Scheduled never worked out, and projects never lined up, so it was fun to be able to pull something like this together, because it gave everybody the opportunity to play with their favorite character, and not worry about how it fits into a particular story – just to have fun with a Halloween theme.
Also having fun with comics in general – Journalist turned writer of Vertigo’s “Cairo” graphic novel, G. Willow Wilson:
From the very beginning I thought it was a good book for Vertigo, but Vertigo seemed like this hermetic order shrouded in mystery and romance and open only to a worthy few. I’m usually pretty good at figuring out back doors where the publishing industry is concerned, but I hadn’t a clue how to get this script on an editor’s desk at Vertigo. What ended up happening is this: I showed an early draft to Keith Giffen (who has been a mentor of sorts to me, in many ways) at the 2003 San Diego Con, and he liked it, and showed it to an editor at DCU (the articulate and wonderful Joan Hilty, who ended up editing the final product), who opened some august portal and suddenly Karen Berger had read it and there it was in the Vertigo publishing schedule. So really, I still kind of feel like Vertigo is a hermetic order shrouded in mystery and romance. I’m not quite sure how I got here.
No stranger to hermetic orders shrouded in mystery and romance, Christos Gage uses his writerly powers to destroy Wildstorm, now that he’s writing new mini-series for both Midnighter and The Authority:
As much as I love working in [the mainstream Marvel and DC superhero universes], there are some things you know won’t happen – and wouldn’t want to happen. When you see a story like Age of Apocalypse or Armageddon 2001, as great as they may be (and I loved both), you know the heroes will prevent it from coming to pass and the status quo will return to what it was before. In the Wildstorm Universe, you have no such assurances. Make no mistake, major changes are coming. Are we talking full-on Armageddon, or will the heroes’ quest to prevent it cause new changes altogether? Wait and see!
And talking of major changes, armageddons and apocalypses, that might be the kind of thing that DC wants you to be thinking about these days.
It’s also the kind of thing that Adrian Tomine specializes in. Oh, okay, maybe not, but this week he was interviewed on the mothership about Shortcomings, his new book, and just why it took him three years to create:
It actually took longer than three years! There wasn’t really any delay…that’s just how long it takes me to do that much work. I think a lot of comics readers forget that the comics they grew up reading were made by an assembly-line process, and that it just takes longer when one person is doing everything. And that includes things that most people don’t even think about, such as designing the covers, editing the letters pages, etc. I wish it could be faster, but it’s just an arduous, labor-intensive process when you’re doing it all on your own. Maybe I should hire some letterers and inkers!
Also keeping away from the assembly-line, Dave Elliott and Barry Levine of new publisher Radical Comics: “It’s not about competing. For those that will see the Radical Publishing booth at Comic-Con, they will see what makes us different. It is the selection of projects, the talent, the approach, genres, all of these combine to show our taste. Taste is what ultimately makes or breaks a publishing company.”
The kind of taste that would see Dynamite announce a new Alex Ross/Jim Krueger title, Superpowers, perhaps…? Krueger and Ross talked about the project this week. Alex?
The difference [between working with Dynamite versus Marvel or DC] is, in the case of Dynamite you have creative energies coming from people who want to tell a story and create a project and make it the biggest thing they possibly can for their company, which is ultimately nothing we have ever experienced with the other publishers. We have never been the focus of a publisher before, and that in its own is a very special situation.
Even if we have had strong focus from a publisher with projects like Justice or Earth-X, where we have done very well for the publishers, and someone gets a feather in their cap, or something that just earns its keep, we have never been within the beating heart of the company before. We have always been outsiders… My feeling is that the only pressure that’s really there is to make the best possible thing out of all this. That’s all that matters to me creatively, and when I filter in all the ideas, all the contributions made by everybody talking, it’s with the thought that “is that going to be the best idea?” That’s mostly were a lot of the conversations, debates, and quarreling that’s ever regarded this entire project heads, “are we making a bigger, better thing? Are we making a valid creative project?”
Dynamite actually had a pretty busy week. In addition to Superpowers, they also announced that Brian Reed would be writing a comic tie-in to the Mercenaries video game series for them, and also that Matt Wagner would be the writer for their new Zorro book:
I’ve known [Dynamite head honcho] Nick Barrucci for years and years and years. We both used to hang out at the same comic book store in Philadelphia (Fat Jack’s Comicrypt). At the time, Nick was still quite young—I wanna say something like thirteen or so—so, again, we go waaaaay back. When he got back in touch with me [about the Zorro book], it was to offer an even bigger part in the play. Nick wanted to know if I would come onboard as the book’s art director (the same role John Cassady has filled on the [Lone] Ranger book) and if I was at all interested in writing the first storyline. So, the question was…would I be willing to take a shot at redefining Zorro’s origin? It didn’t take me long to say, “Hell, yeah!”
And even though the main site also had interviews with Gerard Way, the Luna Brothers on their new book The Sword, and Mike Oeming and Bryan Glass on Image book Mice Templar, the most Hell, Yeah moment of the week belonged to cartoonist Carol Lay:
I’m also doing cartoonist-at-large stories for More magazine, a glossy national mag for over-40 women. I’m working on one right now about speed-dating for the geezer set. (I am one.) Speed-dating is something I never would have done on my own, but it was fun to do it for a job because the more dismal it was, the better it was for the story. Those pages will appear in the September issue. My next piece (if I have time) will chronicle my upcoming trip to Burning Man with my young niece. I enjoy using myself as the main character in these pieces — I get to make fun of myself. I also get some interesting tax write-offs!
Yes, dear friends. We even give you tax tips – Truly, Newsarama really offers everything, doesn’t it?