Although battered and bruised by a wave of opprobrium over his work on the New 52, writer Scott Lobdell hasn’t given up, and he’s facing the music — or questions from the internet, as the case may be. After a lengthy layoff from high-profile comics assignments, Lobdell’s work on RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS and TEEN TITANS has met with a….mixed reaction. Or as he reportedly asked Gail Simone, “Why didn’t you TELL me?” In an interview with Comicvine he does cover some of the more controversial aspects of his recent work like…Starfire, the amnesiac sex addict.
This afternoon, Bill Willingham tweeted some typically frank thoughts about working on superhero comics — in recent years, he wrote JSA for DC, and before that Shadowpact, a group book featuring several of DC’s more supernatural characters…and Detective Chimp. And as many have said before him, working with recent brands of editorial direction tended to mitigate against spontaneity:
What writer has made the biggest contribution to the many universes of DC? Now that question can be answered, at least in terms of volume. Jason Kirk has been playing with the Grand Comic Database and come up with a list of the top 100 DC Comics by page count. You’ll need to go to the full link, but here’s the top 20 for arguments sake and some of Kirk’s talking points:
As the business is changing, creators are getting creative about the business and finding new revenue streams. One such venture is Crazy 8 Press. Six noted SF writers—Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman, Aaron Rosenberg, and Howard Weinstein—are banding together to start their own online publishing cooperative and sell direct to readers. Books will be offered on a bimonthly basis to start, with greater frequency to come. Interested readers can sign up for the newsletter at the above link.
Bob Haney and Del Connell are the writers selected to received this year’s Finger Award. The Finger Award is presented each year to writers, one living, one dead, who for whatever reason, have not received the recognition they should have for their creative efforts. It’s named for Bill Finger, who created much of the Batman mythos we see today while Bob Kane got the credit.
In case you were wondering, Aaron, author of SCALPED, WOLVERINE and PUNISHER MAX, sports a beard as fearsome as his talent.
“On a November day in 1957 I found myself standing in front of Miss Grosier’s first grade class in Hillcrest Elementary School in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, trying to think of a really good word. She had us play this game in which each kid had to offer up a word to the class, and for every classmate who couldn’t spell your word, you got a point–provided, of course, that you could spell the word. Whoever got the most points received the coveted gold star.”
TweetEver since their autumnal launch of Law and the Multiverse, James Daily and Ryan Davidson, two stalwart attorneys licensed to practice law in Missouri and Indiana respectively, have used not a brush or nib but the digital pen to question what many fates are in store for superheroes should the law of our land ever […]
Based on what she came up with for one of her Twitter followers, probably. These are pretty good character designs!
Literary icon, comics admirer, and Bay Area resident Dave Eggers was hired to go to the World Series and draw what he found. The results are no threat to Ben Katchor, but pleasing enough.
Matt Fraction has become the first comics writer to win a prestigious PEN Center literary award for his “Outstanding Body of Work.” The awards are presented annually to writers living west of the Mississippi. A panel of judges choose finalists in ten categories: fiction, creative nonfiction, research nonfiction, poetry, children’s literature, translation, journalism, drama, teleplay, and screenplay.
A couple of quotes from Warren Ellis were making the Twitter rounds this weekend. This one, from 2000 (!), is from Ellis’ column for CBR, and concerns the fine art of writing a comic book pitch:
Two summers later, I am still quite taken with The Dark Knight. I have not encountered an American movie — much less an American movie, designed to be a gigantic blockbuster and based on a hugely popular comic book — that is structured as ingeniously and compellingly as this one. I’ve simply never seen anything like it, and after several viewings it still continues to flabbergast.
I’ve worked on a handful of these types of movies as a screenwriter, and let me tell you: they’re hard. They’re really hard. There are so many issues for the writer to address: the protagonist must be active, the villain’s plot must make sense, there must be a romantic interest, there must be due attention paid to the history of the character and the rules of the genre, they must be both fantastic and grounded at the same time. All these balls must be kept in the air and these concerns must mesh in a straightforward, compelling, swift, action-packed cinematic narrative, consistent in tone and true to its source material. I haven’t seen one — not one — that has managed to get everything in and do everything right. None of the Superman movies do it, none of the previous WB Batman movies do it, none of the Spider-Man movies do it, neither of the Fantastic Four movies do it, and, even after 22 tries, none of the Bond movies do it either. (The Iron Man movies come close — really close.) But The Dark Knight not only does a better job than any other movie based on its source material — and by that I mean “superhero comics” — it does it with a radically ambitious screenplay that challenges any number of conventions and brings a new, added weight to its subject.