You’ve got to overcome your fears. I was just talking to another writer about this the other night. We were talking about assignments and stuff. And I’m not afraid to take a risk to tell a story I believe in. If I’m really excited about telling a story about Kingdom Come Superman coming to the JSA, and if I think it will be a cool story and worth telling and it’s important to the characters, I’m going to tell that story. If I think Hal Jordan and the Corps coming back to the DC Universe is important to the DC Universe and Green Lantern mythology, I’m going to tell that story. Same thing with Teen Titans. And even Infinite Crisis. As much as I wish the art was uniform, there’s still a lot I love about that series. Hell, Prime is one of my favorite characters ever now.
I’ve heard it all my career that I’ve made the wrong choice. “You’re going to follow Mark Waid on The Flash? That’s stupid. That’s career suicide.” “You’re going to do 52? That’s going to bomb.” “You’re going to relaunch JSA? You already did it!” And “Why are you wasting your time on Booster Gold? Why would you ever do that?” But I believe in going for it and I’d rather fall on my face than not try.
It’s kind of inspiring, isn’t it? Geoff is so unafraid, he even took on the life-threatening task of interviewing Greg Rucka this week when lesser men and women were screaming in terror at the prospect.
So, it was a week of relative slowness on the mothership. The one big story was the launch of DC’s webcomics portal, zudacomics.com. Dude in Charge (that’s actually his title, you know) Ron Perazza stoppped by to talk about the launch, the first creators, and what they’re looking for:
We’re seeking quality, and we’re taking submissions from everyone. It’s not as if being published before will rule you out of consideration. That would be kind of foolish on our part. If you have a great idea that doesn’t necessarily sit with one of our other publishing lines, or for whatever reason, you don’t want to pursue that idea on your own, and want a publisher to partner with, absolutely bring it to us.
While Ben talked to the first wave of Zuda creators, the comics internet shook with the aftereffects of what this launch meant. Wizard, for example, took the only logical step in response and gave up on the internet altogether, firing Rick Marshall, their online editor, and celebrating that fact by their entire site going down.
Meanwhile, over in Blighty, someone got chocolate in their peanut-butter and accidentally created Manga Shakespeare… Editor Emma Hayley explained, while overdoing the “you know, for kids” lingo:
It’s all about the pacing and the storytelling that brings Shakespeare’s words to life. We’re using a genre that speaks to a hip audience who has less time for more traditional looking adaptations and more time for ones that have that not only have that cool factor, but are put together by artists who are more rooted in the 21st century.
But what about artists rooted in the 22nd century, Emma? What about them?
Back to our own modern Shakespeares for a second, this week also saw the debut of the trailer for the movie adaptation of Mark Millar’s Wanted. Publishers Top Cow commemorated the fact by reprinting the trade of the series, but their more interesting trade-related news was actually the direct market price of January’s relaunch of the Witchblade trade paperback line: $4.99 for 160 pages, half of what it’ll cost you in mainstream bookstores. Unusual move, and almost enough to make me want to pick it up…
If you’re a Marvel fan, it was a slow week on the main site. Christos Gage showed up twice, to talk about his Thunderbolts oneshot and his Iron Man annual, while also addressing his journeyman status at the publisher:
As for my peripatetic travels across the mighty world of Marvel, what can I say…I’m easy! I grew up loving these characters, and there aren’t many I won’t jump at the chance to write if it’s offered to me!
Of that not many? Potentially Ghost Rider, because that character has a different new writer come February – the awesome Jason Aaron, who’s also taking over the Wolverine book in the same month. He explained his appeal to angryman editors:
I like to write stories about flawed and angry individuals who try to solve their problems by punching other people in the face. Which is weird, since in real life I’m a total wimp. I haven’t been in a fight since fourth grade, and I lost that one.
Marc Guggenheim also visited, really to talk about his Oni book Resurrection, but I couldn’t help but notice his comments about being part of the “God knows when it’s really going to happen, maybe Joe Quesada will meet his third-revised deadlines after all” Spider-Man relaunch, Brand New Day:
It’s funny…I was thinking about it the other day. If you look at the way Spider-Man has been written for decades, it hasn’t been written like this. I don’t mean the four writers; I mean with Peter Parker front and center. This is a back to basics approach to Spider-Man that I don’t think has been employed in a very, very long time.
That’s the main thing that all four of us, along with our editors Tom Brevoort and Steve Wacker, agree on. We want it to be back to basics. We want it to be a modern comic, but with a real old-school sensibility. That’s why we’re doing this trade dress. That’s why we’re using thought balloons.
It should feel like a modern comic, but at the same time, it should also hearken back to those days when it was about Peter Parker instead of about Spider-Man. In many ways, the brilliant, brilliant work that Brian Bendis has been doing on Ultimate Spider-Man has been more true to Spider-Man than you’ve seen in a long time.
And with that, I find myself even more optimistic about the relaunch. Should it ever happen.
That’s it for this week – I have to rush to my nearest newsstand to pick up today’s New York Times for that exclusive limited edition Mighty Marvel Dark Tower advertisement. Good to know that Marvel’s generic ad design stretches into books outside of their own line, but here’s hoping it works out for all involved anyway.