A strange thought occurred to me when reading Matt Fraction’s comment about how he’s approaching writing his new Defenders series for Marvel, this weekend:
I love writers like Arnold Drake, John Broome, Gardner Fox, and Jack Kirby — stories that bombard you with these pure bolts of imagination. It’s unlike anything else… I feel like I’ve said all I have to say about where we are now in comics with “Fear Itself.’ Everything I’ve done this whole last year has felt like the a summation of that first period. I’m getting restless. I’m looking to try and start new conversations. I’m going to dig around and find new and weird stuff to do. I’m looking for my new sound, whatever it is.
Okay, two thoughts, but the second one is the one I want to bring to your attention (The first was that, after reading Simon Reynolds’ Bring The Noise: 20 Years of Writing About Hip Rock and Hip-Hop and Grant Morrison’s Supergods simultaneously, I’d been thinking about comic creators in musical terms, finding analogs between creators and musicians, and so Fraction talking about finding a “new sound” seemed weirdly coincidental). It seemed weirdly appropriate to me that, of the four creators Fraction mentions, three of them are remembered mostly for the work they did for DC Comics, because – for whatever reason, and it’s one I can’t really explain – I’ve always thought of Fraction as a creator more suited to DC than Marvel, even though, to the best of my memory, he’s never actually worked for DC.
Like I said, I can’t really explain why I get that feeling from him; there’s just this itching thought in the back of my mind when I read his work that he’d be more comfortable with the more optimistic, less grounded in reality, DCU characters and concepts than he is with Marvel’s, even though he’s doing just fine with Iron Man, Thor, et al right now. He’s not the only creator I have this odd bias for: Grant Morrison is similarly DC, whereas Brian Michael Bendis is firmly Marvel (JMS, to throw someone in the opposite direction, is a DC creator who “feels” more Marvel to me).
Is this just me? Does everyone have a list of creators and the publishers they feel they “should” be working for, irrespective of whether or not they’ve ever shown any inclination in that direction? And if so, who are those creators, and who should they be working for? Use the comments, people.