A collection of interesting quotes from this week:
“Of all the comics published over the course of 2007, could this really have been one of the worst? Really? I understand if people didn’t like it, if they didn’t respond to what we were going for, or plum didn’t have a good time while reading it … but does it really fail on every level one can aspire to when creating comics? Is it illegible? Unreadable? Insulting to the readers’ collective intelligence?”
– writer Marc Bernardin, on the first issue of The Highwaymen appearing on a list of the “worst comics of the year”
“Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men comic, a title that exists solely because Joss Whedon and John Cassady have enough of a grip on the nerd festival that they could get Marvel to publish a comic where USAgent spent 22 pages making out with Fin Fang Foom, is pretty much the holy archetype comic of all time. Every issue has clever dialog and big booming fights, and it’s pretty comprehensible even though it only comes out every three months or so. That means it’s supposed to be really good, right? Yet it still seems to lack a bit of the soul and imagination that shows up in lesser books. It might have something to do with it being about the X-Men, a family of characters that’s about as unwelcoming to an uninformed reader as a watching untranslated French soap operas would be to a confused Dallas Cowboys fan. Or maybe it’s just that Joss Whedon and John Cassady are both a little better than this kind of stale tripe, and their lack of ability to disguise their condescension comes across too aggressively.”
– blogger Tucker Stone, in his review of Astonishing X-Men #23
“I think they’re pretty good at it. Like anything, it’s a challenge, when you’re selling books all over the world, to keep records like that. But I think they’re pretty good.
“One proof of that is that recently we felt our market share was increasing and that was reflected in Diamond’s reporting. Our market share is going up this year, which is great. So, I may be more skeptical of Diamond’s numbers if we’re, like, ‘Hey, our sales are going up, how come your information isn’t reflecting that?’ But it is. So, I think it’s pretty on the money.”
“If the right offer came up, sure. But my last trials with the comics companies were too corporate for my taste … endless pitching and proposals and then even going to contract on stuff that would just get shelved before a word of the actual comic was ever written and getting stiffed on any pay. So, it kinda sucked. Too much red tape.”
– writer Ann Nocenti, on whether she’ll return to comics work
“Well, I’m shooting for at least five years, actually, but if it turns out to be longer than that, I’m fine there, too. I want to have the kind of run I had on Birds of Prey, where you have the room and time to really tell a megastory, made up of satisfying smaller chunks.”
– writer Gail Simone, on her just-started tenure on DC’s Wonder Woman
“If you go to San Diego to do the Hollywood thing and make deals, there’ll be a dearth of deal making. If you do deal, you’re a skanky scab.
“But since comics blogdom regularly resounds with the plaintive wail of cartoonist types who wish San Diego was all about floppies and graphic novels once again, surely this is good news. Comics will rise ascendant (redundantly)! No Hollywood types! Whee! Won’t that be wonderful?”
– writer-artist Colleen Doran, wondering what will happen if the Hollywood writers strike stretches into summer
“It’s all well and good to write ‘Achilles steps over the hill to find THE WHOLE OF THE TROJAN ARMY waiting for him!’ And dang, you sent a cold chill down the editor’s spine for a second — dude, that’s so widescreen! But you just gave your artist a splash or double page spread that’s going to take a week to draw. Then you throw a couple other doozies like that into the next couple of scenes, and bam, your book is shipping late, or the editor now has to bring in other artists to help finish the issue on time. Now the book doesn’t have a cohesive look, the artist feels like she’s let the publisher down, and readers think she was being slack and that’s why extra elves had to be called in.”
– writer-artist Jeff Parker, offering advice to aspiring comics writers