As we head into the first weekend of the Third Age of Comics, much is still being written and pondered. Let’s check out the Google earth view, shall we?
* First, a succinct Tweet from Rob Liefeld:
Huge reason that DC got restructured is simple math, Marvel has had 10 years, 15 films, 11 hits, compared to 6 films and 2 hits @DC
* Diane Nelson is back with a new interview with Rick Marshall that covers some new territory, including the fact that she’s interested in Vertigo, and that people are already trying to “school” her — anonymously!
MTV: So, what’s the next step in getting acclimated for you? Are you taking boxes of comics out of the DC library? Reading through a few volumes of “Who’s Who in the DC Universe”?
NELSON: That’s funny, because right before I picked up the phone an anonymous package containing a book called “Comic Wars” arrived on my desk with no note. I believe it’s a nonfiction account of the history of Marvel—but yes, I’m reading everything I can get my hands on, and just trying to immerse myself and be respectful of how much I have to learn.
But the real work—not work, fun—will occur when I go to New York and get to know the people there and figure out where we go from here.
You can say THAT again!
* Today’s MOST popular parlor game: who will be DC’s next publisher? Names being mentioned: Jim Lee, Hank Kanalz, John Nee, Bill Jemas, Jimmy Palmiotti .
* Looking back, while most people chose the occasion of Paul Levitz’s departure to say nice things, a few took the other tack. (There were several ex-DC employees doing the happy dance on Wednesday, we can assure you.) Dirk Deppey delivered a classic Glasgow Kiss, although we’re not sure he should be THAT happy over the arrival of Nelson. It’s not like she’s going to put Ai Yazawa on TEEN TITANS and Charles Burns on JLA. Although that would be cool.
* Valerie D’Orazio did another kind of happy dance:
You can only place my reaction in context of the massive amount of misogyny I’ve witnessed or heard reported about in selected sectors of DC Comics during the time I’ve worked there. During those four years, I had seen strong women again and again be censured, criticized, grumbled about, and disparaged. I’ve watched my department be emptied out of females one-by-one. I was warned on literally the first day I worked there by two different people to watch my back because I was a woman and not to make any waves. I was told by one boss that females just didn’t have the natural aptitude to edit comic books.
I am absolutely thrilled that the buck now stops with a woman at DC Comics. I am overjoyed – nay, almost orgasmic – that certain men will now have to regard Diane Nelson as their boss. It is karma working on the most basic level. Let these men explain to Nelson, who has worked with one of the most famous female fantasy writers in the entire world, how women don’t have the natural aptitude to edit and create comic books. Let these men explain to her the employment and dismissal history of female editors in the DCU over the last ten years. Let these men explain to her the plot of Final Crisis – I dare them.
Although there are quite a few females in Editorial even in the DCU these days, we know exactly who delivered some of the putdowns D’Orazio mentions because we heard ‘em too, so, yes, that is gonna be fun
* Finally, here’s one interesting take on the whole thing from an anonymous blogger named Whiskey who is alarmed by the dangerous tidal wave of entertainment aimed at females and thinks DC may be our only hope for a world where men rule, or something:
DC Entertainment has the ability to develop such new talent, without much risk, and test drive new characters, storylines, situations, and plots that appeal to young men and boys. Currently, there seems to be very few writers and producers who know this audience, as Hollywood has become more oriented towards the female audience (in Television) and the adult art-film audience (as Oscar bait in movies). The few producers, directors, and writers who had the knack, seem to have lost it forever, as anyone who sat through “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” can attest. Michael Bay can reliably generate a large younger male audience (“plus” women, girls, and of course older audiences) but relies on big effects and/or built-in 80′s nostalgia (“Transformers.”) Comics because of their low risk allows DC Entertainment the ability to “try out” many new writers, and develop ones it finds compelling. Since this makes complete sense, however, I expect DC Entertainment to ignore the possibilities and focus on the same aging, shallow pool of comic book writers as Marvel does. With about the same results: a buying pool of comic book readers well shy of half a million, and creative stagnation.
In a post on the Disney/Marvel deal there’s even evidence of the dreamed feminist-homosexualist axis at play:
Disney’s Rich Ross is listed as one of the more powerful openly gay men in Hollywood by After Elton. It is questionable how well he and other execs operating in the very gay friendly and female-oriented Disney empire understand and relate to boys concerns, let alone straight male concerns and desires in entertainment. Disney has been successful in creating girl-friendly series and movies, featuring Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. But neither Lovato nor Gomez have been able to break out to the degree that Miley Cyrus has, hampered by a down economy and the miscues of Disney expecting a large Hispanic contingent of fans. A critical error given that Hispanics consume Spanish Language media, most of it from Mexico (Telemundo and Univision).
It’s hard not to roll one’s eyes at someone who seems to think that “any” equals “too much” where entertainment for girls is concerned, but if you can squint between the blinds on the compound windows, there is some cogent analysis here.