In next week’s column I’ll make sure to include some tributes to the Michael Turner. But for now, I need to share a thought. Upon reading of Turner’s passing, something struck me. Turner’s battle with cancer was something we read about periodically over the years. But to the best of my knowledge, I don’t believe any news outlet knew how close he was to losing this personal battle this week. One has to respect a person’s privacy, let me be quick to clarify. But considering how Gene Colan has credited his fans’ support for how much better he’s feeling these days, I wish this past week had been spent sharing kind words about Turner while he was still alive. Instead for the past week or so, folks (myself included) have been speculating if a DC executive was about to get fired. I wish it had not taken the death of someone to give me the perspective that I was clearly lacking.
“So really, there was a long period where no one wanted to print my work at all. When Drawn & Quarterly asked me, I was overjoyed, because I love making books, and I really wanted to do What it Is, and I was happy someone cared about my work enough to want to print it. And I’ve always loved the Drawn & Quarterly books, they are so beautifully done. It happened that I was half way done with What It Is when D&Q contacted me. I had just decided to do the book anyway, not knowing if it would ever be published and in a way not caring anymore. I just wanted to give the thing form.”
- Lynda Berry admitting that she endured a period where no publisher was interested in printing her work. I question an industry where Barry went without a publisher for any period of time.
“The writing mattered to me. I always much preferred hearing a fan say, ‘You write the most human characters in superhero comics,’ or, ‘I really like this line,’ than, ‘Your Green Lantern stories were really true to the classic DC tradition.’ But what mattered most I kept partly concealed. I found a safe place where my efforts could be noticed if readers wanted to notice them, but if they didn’t I wouldn’t feel so exposed in my shortfall. I could always say to myself, “Well, the goal is to deliver a solid comic book story, and didn’t I do that?” This protected the part of me that felt was most precious from the world’s judgment and indifference. Which was swell, except that it also held me back from really writing as well as I could.”
- Gerard Jones reflecting upon his comic book writing (and other things).
“It’s definitely something we’re looking at. I think anyone who says they’re not looking into that is either lying or completely out of touch with the realities facing publishing in the 21st century. The way people read is changing, and while it hasn’t reached the tipping point yet, I think it’s eventually going to be an adapt or die situation.”
- Eric Stephenson, newly appointed Image publisher, acknowledging the prospect of online publishing for Image
“Wanted‘s insolent attitude caters to the kind of white-collar douchebags it pretends to make fun of, and proves that graphic novels don’t have to be about superheroes to provide material for silly movies.”
- Curt Holman saving me a few dollars and offering a thought regarding the film industry’s current affinity for sequential art-based properties.
“I’ve heard a few people say that HANCOCK is proof that soon Hollywood won’t need comic book stories for their superhero movies — they’ll just make up their own. The plot and premise here reminds me of what I would see back in the day when I was editing whenever some Hollywood guy or gal pitched me some ideas — they would be some kind of simple, deconstructed idea that would never get past the slush pile at Marvel or DC because they were so simple and direct — a regular man must deal with the effects of getting superpowers on his family (UNBREAKABLE), what if a superheroine dated a regular guy (MY SUPER EX-GIRLFRIEND), what if a superhero was a drunk (HANCOCK.) These simple, direct ideas are aimed at the largest audience possible, and it’s tempting to think that comics might find a wider audience if they went with such ideas…but I don’t think that’s the answer either.”
- Heidi MacDonald proving that Hollywood does not need a comic book to make a bad superhero film
“At one point during the night, Brian [Hibbs] looked the length of Comic Relief to the far end where Todd Martinez, the store manager who Rory had made owner, rang up customers. And Brian said, ‘I really want to talk to Todd about his plans for running this place. I think the best way we can honor Rory is to make sure Comic Relief always stays open.’ Although he only said it around Charles Brownstein and myself, I have no doubt nearly every retailer who’d made an appearance that night, having traveled from many distant cities–Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Missoula, among others–would’ve agreed with him.”
- Jeff Lester sharing one of many nice moments he witnessed at last weekend’s Rory Root memorial gathering
“I think that one of the great things about being a writer is that you can try on different choices in your fiction. I enjoy that they sometimes take different paths than I did. That said, when I was a teenager, I was a loud teenager. I was against the arms race and protested it. I wrote letters to politicians about that and other issues that I felt passionate about. I tried to be heard. I think all the things that we do when we are young absolutely shape the kind of adult we become.”
- Cecil Castellucci discussing her teenage years and writing stories with teenagers as characters.