Definite must-read of the day is Chris Eckert’s oral history of DC’s Countdown to Final Crisis, constructed from various interviews given about the project by those involved with its creation in one way or another, along with commentary giving historical context from Eckert:
[Editor Mike] MARTS: For the first four books, we’ve brought in Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, Adam Beechen, Sean McKeever, and Tony Bedard. These are our key writers who will be working with Paul in the beginning, but also that doesn’t stop us from bringing other writers in to work on the project… If we choose to crossover with another storyline or a book which is being driven by another writer, we can allow that writer to come onboard and tell their portion of the story inside Countdown and working with Paul. That way, there will be a real feeling of cohesiveness between the series and Countdown, but it also allows the writer to maintain some level of input and control over the character they’re writing on a monthly basis.
In case anyone is curious, this never happened.
MARTS: [The artistic lineup is] pretty much set…the artists that readers will see over the first ten or so issues are for the most part our “core” group: [Jim] Calafiore, Lopez, Saiz and Magno.
Calafiore drew four issues (50, 45, 39, 36), Lopez drew parts of three issues (48, 43, 37), Saiz drew six and part of a seventh (51, 46, 38, 34, 30, 19, 12) and Magno drew eight (49, 44, 42, 33, 27, 25, 22, 8). In all, the “core” group had art appear in only 21 out of 51 issues, with the bulk of the series drawn by eleven other pencillers and a total of sixteen inkers.
It’s a brutal, spectacular, depressing look at a series that sums up what may justifiably be called DC’s lowest point in recent memory. Seriously, go read and feel bad about comics.