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Author Topic: New Mark Waid interview  (Read 34955 times)
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #56 on: September 29, 2005, 02:44:55 PM »

This thread has gotten so long and rambly that I have a hard time following it.  So, just some random thoughts:

- What makes Japan's manga work?  >1 out of 3 printed publications is manga, to the tune of $5+ billion (sales are slightly down from last year, because of a growing rental market).  Weekly Shonen Jump sells 3.5+ million copies/week, probably more than all the Super-titles sell in a year.  Rather than fixate on  what went wrong and nerds and stuff, why not look at something going right and figure out how it may make sense to factor that in?  Hell, to bring this back full circle...  Waid said something about no more dick heroes, right?  Some dicks sell like hotcakes in the Asian and other markets.  Why fight what some audiences want?

- Does the form factor matter?  IMO, most of these 12+ issue story arcs aren't suited for serial comic books, unless you think you can get enough in 20-odd pages to make the overall arc go forward and be entertaining on its own.  I'd argue that the likes of Bendis and Loeb should simply write graphic novels and not make any pretense at long bouts of serialization.  

- Does never-ending matter?  Should books have a finite beginning, middle, and end to them?  Do you even want publishers to publish if the best thing they can come up with is a prolonged dose of long-haired Superman or Electric Superman?  Part of me would love it if some good comic just "stopped" before it became bad.  

- Are comic book shared universes doomed to failure?  Rather than have a "book" editor, does it make sense to have a "universe" editor and plotter?  I look at George R.R. Martin's role in Wild Cards, and no one really does that sort of thing at DC.  The "universe editor"'s job is to make some new crisis or crossover event, as near as I can tell.

Ok, I'm getting long and rambly myself.  Back to work...
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Kuuga
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« Reply #57 on: September 29, 2005, 03:33:04 PM »

Wow this thread filled up fast. I'll just post a couple of my thoughts.

On the comment about moving away from darkness and getting away from the Dark Prick characterzation of Batman, as much as I am proud of Mark Waid for having the guts to say it, I'll believe it when I see it. A thousand times bitten, a thousand times shy. If All Star Batman and Robin is their idea of fixing I would dare say retarted monkeys run DC Comics.

The time for talk and promises has long since passed. DC, if you have the guts to get out of the Iron Age then show me the proof. Now.

One other thing is that I wanted to comment on is what Waid said about Birthright and it being like playing Carnegie Hall with no one showing up. At the risk of over extending his metaphor I would say it was because while Waids a excellent conductor he picked a unappealing orchestra.

I still say that more than anything else that you could pin it on wether it be the non-promotion of it, DC waffling on wether or not it was the new origin, pacing of the story, hate from Byrneouts etc. The reason Birthright didn't hit the way it should have is the same thing that I think is gonna end up hurting Grants All-Star run. The choices of artist.

Art is a subjective thing and in the eye of the beholder yes, but while Grant and Waids writing may be more accessible Linil Yus and Frank Quietlys art just isn't. I'm not going to knock the talent or skill of either man but theres an asthetic quality to their work that is just plain ugly looking. It creates a barrier between the reader and their writing.
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« Reply #58 on: September 29, 2005, 04:48:00 PM »

I have to agree with you on the art.  It's true you can't have a good comic without good writing, but when so many pages today are down to four, two or even one panel, the art darn well better knock your socks off...and Quitely's especially just does not for me.

It'd be different if there were six or more panels per page and the story moved like gangbusters.  But so many comics now plod along at a snail's pace to give us time to admire huge splashes in detail. I'm against that in principle no matter who's drawing, but I might soften my resistance if there was anybody out there who could really draw well enough to justify it.

Bottom line is people trying to make up their minds about a book with pick it up and thumb through it, and if they're not impressed with the visuals they'll put it down and keep going.  Maybe you can afford assigning guys with oddball, avant-garde or just plain weak styles to the monthlies (which some fans will buy regardless) but the special projects need special art...they're a hard enough sell as it is.
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #59 on: September 29, 2005, 04:56:58 PM »

As many us us older fans in the real world can attest to, presentation is everything.  Artwork is the opening salvo for comics to hook fans into a book.  Once that's achieved, then they can feast on the actual content.

It's one reason why Byrne's crap is so often overlooked in his stories.  His great pencilling just puts you in a good state of mind.  But imagine some guy like Pacheco pencilling Byrne's Superman stories and you couldn't avoid noticing the glaring plotholes now that the artwork isn't mesmerizing you anymore.
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Captain Kal

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« Reply #60 on: September 29, 2005, 05:48:17 PM »

Actually it's almost the opposite for me.  Byrne's art gets worse all the time, or at the very least it never offers anything new. He has about three stock faces and only a few more poses that get used over and over again, to the point where there doesn't seem much reason to buy new Byrne books if you've ever bought one before.  I remember thinking he was fantastic with Terry Austin's inks on X-Men but looking back even that stuff doesn't hold up for me so well, mostly because I see that same limited bag of tricks already in play.

Of course you could say this about a lot of artists...Kirby, for all his inventiveness, was always unmistakably Kirby, Curt Swan's figures got repetitive, etc.  But I find that if the artist is good enough, I either don't notice or don't care.  When I do start noticing, and get annoyed, its pretty much the end of the road for that artist in my affections.  (The only one it's worked in reverse for is Wayne Boring, whose repetitive poses and lookalike faces were poison to me as a kid but whom I now rather like.  Well, sometimes)

Even if you paired him with the best writer in the business, I'd have a hard time buying a book drawn by John Byrne at this stage of the game.
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Kuuga
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« Reply #61 on: October 01, 2005, 05:27:02 PM »

I remember really liking John Byrnes art at first because at least at the time and being a little kid it reminded me more of the Neal Adams and Garcia Lopez stuff you'd see on covers and even in those POWER! Book and Record Sets which always struck me as much more dynamic than the Swan type stuff I was seeing in the main comics. So I wanted to see something like that on the main book and I thought having this guy do it would finally be it.

But I got progressively more dissapointed with his work the longer he was on Superman not to mention that the changes they were making began to make less and less sense. I think the first straw for me was Krypton and Laras stupid "He will rule them and shape them to proper Kryptonian ways" characterzation and the last was the shapeshifting jellomold version of Supergirl. As I've tried to look back on those issues I only find more flaws in the artwork, the story, the take on the concept and the characters.
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