Briefs & Boxers! 07/25/10

o “They Offered Me the Rights to Watchmen Back, If I Would Agree to Some Dopey Prequels and Sequels”

next 194x300 Briefs & Boxers! 07/25/10According to Wired’s Scott Thill, Alan Moore told DC Comics to go and screw themselves last week, after they offered him the rights to Watchmen back in exchange for gracing a bunch of planned spin-off books with his blessing or participation, or whatever his “agreement” would have meant in practice.

With long-time publisher Paul Levitz gone, it appears the new DC management of Dan DiDio and Jim Lee is entertaining the notion of mending fences with creators DC alienated over the decades. (Though certainly not trying very hard, if Moore’s description of their “offer” is correct.) Their latest batch of solicitations, which includes a couple of old Warren Ellis projects that didn’t go over well the first time around, among other things, confirms the impression.

Reached for comment by Thill, DC issued a joint response by DiDio and Lee:

Watchmen is the most celebrated graphic novel of all time. Rest assured, DC Comics would only revisit these iconic characters if the creative vision of any proposed new stories matched the quality set by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons nearly 25 years ago, and our first discussion on any of this would naturally be with the creators themselves.”

Which means we can probably expect a wave of “dopey prequels and sequels” to Watchmen in 2011—without Alan Moore, but with the possible involvement of co-creator Dave Gibbons; I expect the same thing they’re doing with Ellis’s Red in October, basically, only with much more cash on the line.

Tom Spurgeon comments on the prospect:

“This doesn’t seem to me like out of the box publishing thinking; this seems to me like sad, typical all the way in the box corporate media thinking. I don’t want a prequel to Lawrence of Arabia, I don’t want to see a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird and I like Watchmen just the way it is as a singular expression of potent pop culture, thank you.

“I’m still waiting for something cool and unusual to be announced from the new DC regime.”

The obvious response would be that you don’t have to read it, of course. Personally, I can’t say I care a great deal about what DC (or Marvel) does or doesn’t publish. There’s more than enough material out there without them. I’ll probably end up ignoring whatever they come up with, like I do most of their books. Still, it’s hard to disagree with Spurgeon’s sentiment.

A sequel to Watchmen is the best thing you can come up with, DC? Really? Wow. You’re doomed.

And we won’t even miss you.

o “Lower Than Before”

air 191x300 Briefs & Boxers! 07/25/10Chris Eckert at Funnybook Babylon crunches the numbers of Vertigo’s ongoing-periodical launches from 2000 through 2010 and debunks some rumors in the wake of the latest wave of Vertigo cancellations, which includes Air, Unknown Soldier and Greek Street.

Notably, Eckert points out that Vertigo has grown a lot more lenient over the years:

“If there has been any change in their behavior over the past several years, it seems as if it has been to let books sink lower than before, as five or six years ago, books selling over 10,000 were up for execution. […] [L]ooking at all of this, I have no idea why anyone would postulate these books are being canceled because of ‘undue attention from above’, beyond baseless rumor-mongering.”

It’s a refreshingly well-researched piece that covers all the available angles.

Beyond the question of the aforementioned cancellations, for what it’s worth, there’s no sign that Vertigo is in any kind of trouble right now. In fact, their periodical department is looking healthier than it has in ages: The $ 1.00 debut issues they’ve been using to introduce new launches actually seem to result in higher periodical and paperback sales in the direct market, and recent launches like The Unwritten, American Vampire, I, Zombie, Joe the Barbarian and Daytripper are turning out to be more successful again than some of their predecessors.

o “I Live on the Side of a Mountain and Run Up It with My Dogs Every Night”

At the Guardian, British radio host and comics creator Jonathan Ross meets and talks to American comics innovator Jim Steranko, resulting in an interview that includes this exchange:

JR: I know you are health-conscious, which comes from your work in escapology and so on. What’s an average day for you now?

JS: I eat one meal a day. I believe everything you put in your body is toxic – I eat raw fruits and vegetables. A very small portion. I live on the side of a mountain and run up it with my dogs every night. I begin working after I have dinner at eight o’clock, and work till about nine in the morning. Then I turn in until about 11 o’clock.

JR: Two hours sleep? Conventional wisdom has it that you need sleep …

JS: I am proof the body can get by on two hours’ sleep.

JR: You know how mad that makes you sound?

JS: Yeah, I don’t give a damn.

There are legends about Steranko in German folklore, you know. My grandparents told me stories about him when I was a little boy.

o “If a Phone Rang Within Earshot, I Would Freeze Up”

At Graphic NYC, veteran comics maker Jim Shooter talks to Christopher Irving about his career. Among other topics, Shooter discusses his experiences with DC editor Mort Weisinger:

“So, when he was going over the material I had sent in earlier that week, he’d go over it panel by panel, word by word, page by page, he would start spewing ‘You idiot!’ He was just screaming at me about what a ‘retard, fucking moron I was, and how stupid I was every time he saw a spelling error or any kind of mistake. I was still doing rough sketches for every panel – I always did – and he also criticized my drawing: ‘What’s this guy holding? Is that supposed to be a gun? It looks like a carrot! You fucking moron!’ That’s a quote: that really happened.”

That supposedly happened when Shooter was fourteen, mind you.

Overall, there’s a great snapshot to be had of what things were like at Marvel and DC back in the day, including quite lively anecdotes involving industry figures like Stan Lee, Julius Schwartz, Marv Wolfman, Chris Claremont and James Galton.

o “Way More People Bought Siege #1 Than LCD Soundsystem’s Last Record”

Sean T. Collins puts things in perspective, pointing to a set of Soundscan sales figures for various independent records.

o “If There’s a Big Fight, I Almost Always Turn to ‘Vision Thing’ by the Sisters of Mercy”

cbgb 200x300 Briefs & Boxers! 07/25/10Out now: CBGB: The Comic Book #1, the debut of a Boom! Studios anthology series dealing with a legendary New York bar and rock club. The first issue comes with two stories—one by Kieron Gillen (Phonogram) and Marc Ellerby (Love the Way You Love), the other by Sam Humphries (Fraggle Rock) and Rob G (The Couriers).

At Comic Book Resources, Gillen, who’s also a games and music journalist, talks about the similarities between his 14-pager in CBGB and Phonogram, writing to music, critics and masturbatory cock or cunt waving.

As with any anthology, there are bound to be hits and misses, but if Phonogram: The Singles Club or Gillen’s recent work on Marvel books like The Mystic Hands of Dr. Strange or Siege: Loki is any indication, the dramatic structure of one-shot stories plays to his strengths.

And if all else fails, there’s a cover by Jaime Hernandez.

 Briefs & Boxers! 07/25/10Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Comments

  1. “I’m still waiting for something cool and unusual to be announced from the new DC regime.”

    Good luck with that; so far, everything they’e announced so far has the stink of corporate ‘maximization’ attached to it. Even Grant Morrison is adopting redundancy ‘ideas’ from Geoff Johns now.

  2. “Personally, I can’t say I care a great deal about what DC (or Marvel) does or doesn’t publish.”

    you are a nutty nutty guy. you most certainly DO, or you wouldn’t spend your adult life blogging and carping about it all. look in a mirror every once and a while.

  3. look in a mirror every once and a while.

    And give yourself a monocle smile!

  4. ” I expect the same thing they’re doing with Ellis’s Red in October, basically…”

    To which of the many things planned for Red in October, is this referring???

  5. Comic2read says:

    Rorscach meets Batman. Rorschach vs. The Joker. I bet this is what’s really planned.

    They can say Dr. Manhatten sent Rorscach to another universe (DC’s).

  6. Cully Hamner is writing and drawing a prequel to his original RED mini-series, and they’re also releasing a bunch of one-shots based on characters in the movie version of the story by other people, with Hamner covers.

  7. Serhend Sirkecioglu says:

    Money to be made, DC/Marvel are thinking francises not comics. eh, we might see the Watchmen in Marvel VS Capcom 3 After all LOL

  8. “Good luck with that; so far, everything they’e announced so far has the stink of corporate ‘maximization’ attached to it. Even Grant Morrison is adopting redundancy ‘ideas’ from Geoff Johns now.”

    Hey it could be worse they could announce yet another Avengers book or take ideas they’ve already done and re-work them to pass them off as new Dracula vs. X-Men anyone?.

    Face it both companies have their good and bad ideas at least DC has Geoff Johns, Marvel on the other hand doesn’t seems like a win for DC to me.

  9. Sven:

    “you most certainly DO, or you wouldn’t spend your adult life blogging and carping about it all.”

    Oh, sure – I find it interesting to watch what they’re putting out, certainly.

    As a reader, though, 99% of what Marvel and DC are publishing passes me by.

    It’s no exaggeration when I say I don’t care whether or not they end up publishing the WATCHMEN sequels – if it’s something that interests me (which will depend on who’s doing them), I may read them. If not, I won’t. I don’t have a horse in that race.

  10. Glenn Simpson says:

    “It’s no exaggeration when I say I don’t care whether or not they end up publishing the WATCHMEN sequels – if it’s something that interests me (which will depend on who’s doing them), I may read them. If not, I won’t. I don’t have a horse in that race.”

    Well, by that definition, what race could you possibly have a horse in?

  11. Synsidar says:

    It’s pretty common to observe goings-on in areas where you’re not personally involved, especially when those goings-on are bizarre or otherwise noteworthy. Celebrity news, for instance. Will Lindsay Lohan grow up and learn some self-discipline, or will she self-destruct?

    DC’s attempt to exploit the Batman brand for all it’s worth, based on the reports I’ve seen, is interesting. Will it succeed, or will the publisher alienate Batman fans?

    Marvel has hyped its plans to rewrite the rules of magic in the Marvel Universe in NEW AVENGERS, but it’s evident that the people involved have no idea what they’re doing. They took Dr. Strange’s Eye of Agamotto and changed it into a generic talisman, for the purpose of facilitating a generic demonic invasion. Does nobody at Marvel remember what Dormammu used the Evil Eye for in The Avengers/Defenders War? When it comes to story ideas, most of the people and editors there seem to have no sense of history and innovate only in the area of production. They recycle material and use generic plots, while hyping the stories as if they’re masterpieces.

    Such things are worth observing for the sheer self-delusion and ignorance.

    SRS

  12. Kevin Hynes says:

    DC sees Watchmen as their great untapped franchise and I will say, a new series (even without Alan Moore) would be a quick cash-in for them, at least for the first issue (unless released as a GN).

    Annoying, cold, and sterile business practice? Yes.

Trackbacks

  1. […] no progressive stance on the future, which you can get a good taste of that line of thought over here at The Beat, along with similar comments over at The Comics […]

Speak Your Mind

*