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 Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team

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ChrisW



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:55 pm

The Montgomery BW Boycott?
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Joe Lee
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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:45 pm

ChrisW wrote:
The Montgomery BW Boycott?

lol!
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Lawson



Posts: 99
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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:52 pm

James Ritchey III wrote:
Earth has real problems.

Do I never get to kvetch about anything other than famine in Somalia and war in Syria?

Smile

I understand what you're saying, but I think it's OK to gripe about stuff that's less than Earth-shaking.

At some point, everyone around me started using the phrase "First World problem," which makes me a little nuts. I mention that rabbits keep eating from our backyard garden. They roll their eyes. "First World problem," they say. "At least you have a home and food to eat." And then I pull out a knife and open their throats.
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ChrisW



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:41 pm

Don't do that. The corpse draws vermin and spreads further disease.

I've only heard the phrase "First World problem" a few times, and to me, it's a measure of how wonderful our lives are that we can gripe about things that aren't really important. Like comic books. Or internet access. How did the world survive without internet access? Gee, let's turn back ten or twenty years and find out. Halle Berry says that being distantly related to Sarah Palin is the worst thing in the world. That sure puts Syrians/Darfurians/Bosnians/Rwandans in their place. They may be slaughtered en masse, but at least they aren't distantly related to someone they politically disagree with. Ohmigod, how embarrassing!!!

The horror of creating something interesting that other people want to add to is rather new in civilization. It's like objecting to The Odyssey and the Anaeid being appended on to the Iliad. The fact that Alan Moore can have a legitimate complaint instead of being dead for centuries before anything comes of it represents genuine progress. The fact that we can care about (or not care about) "Before Watchmen" says more about our society than any previous civilization in history. Did we care so much about Machine Man getting rebooted by Barry Windsor-Smith, after initial appearances in "Eternals" (or "2001", I forget.) Did Jack Kirby somehow not believe as much in what he was doing as Moore did? How do you know? One can 't even think about these questions without enough time, energy and motivation. Kirby, BWS, Moore, Gibbons, and the "Before Watchmen" crew at least had time, energy and motivation to spend on their particular endeavors.

The success of "Watchmen" is genuinely exceptional. I think we can all agree on that. A 12-issue limited series superhero murder mystery could have been much less important than this one turned out to be. Even for the time. Mark Greunwald did a JLA rip-off for Marvel that worked the same in many ways, but didn't catch fire in remotely the same way. [I've never read "Squadron Supreme" and have no interest in ever doing so at all, ever, so there, nyeah.] If you want exceptions to be treated exceptionally, you have to make rules which accommodate the exceptional and the non-exceptional. Giving Moore and Gibbons a veto over "Watchmen" is fine, but it means Moore has to accept Gibbons disagreement. And for that matter, has to accept Veitch and Bissette disagreeing about "1963", morally if not legally. Alan Davis disagreeing about "Miracleman" and "Captain Britain." Steve Bissette and Eddie Campbell disagreeing about "From Hell."

It's the thought process that led Dave Sim to the 'self-publishing uber alles' viewpoint. If the people at the typewriter/drawing board aren't the ones making every decision and seeing it through to completion, at some point they have to accommodate people who don't write or draw in the decision-making process. It does have a benefit. "Watchmen" would not have been the smash success it is if it were published by Fantagraphics, and they *did* make an overture in the early days.

"Watchmen" has earned money for people who had nothing to do with "Watchmen." [the cgi artists who went out of their way to depict Dr. Manhattan's wang being a good example.] That's job creation. That's what separates a successful property from an unsuccessful property. Siegel, Shuster, Kane, Simon and Kirby, Will Eisner, Stan Lee, could hire a roomful of artists to create their visions, and those profits went towards paying salesmen and advertisers and tv/movie-makers.

If you want the exceptional to be treated as exceptional, you have to allow for the exceptional, emphasis on the word "Exceptional." "Camelot 3000" is not "Watchmen." Don't pretend otherwise. You can look for commonalities and reasons to treat the creators respectfully and adjust contracts to make it so, but they aren't the same, and you can't pretend otherwise.
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Lawson



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Wed May 01, 2013 9:54 am

ChrisW wrote:
I've only heard the phrase "First World problem" a few times, and to me, it's a measure of how wonderful our lives are that we can gripe about things that aren't really important. Like comic books. Or internet access.

In the immortal words of Louis C.K.:

"Everything is amazing right now and nobody’s happy.

"Like, in my lifetime the changes in the world have been incredible. When I was a kid we had a rotary phone. We had a phone that you had to stand next to, and you had to dial it. Do you know how primitive – you’re making sparks – in a phone. And you actually would hate people with zeros in their numbers because it was more – you’d be like 'Uh this guy has two zeros in his number, screw that guy, why would I want to-uh!' And then if they called and you weren’t home the phone would just ring lonely by itself. And then if you wanted money you had to go in the bank, when it was open for like three hours. You had to stand in line and write yourself a check like an idiot. And then when you ran out of money you’d just go ‘Well, I can’t do any more things now. I can’t do any more things.’ And even if you had a credit card the guy would go 'Uh' and he’d bring out this whole 'shunk-shunk.' And he’d write, and he’d have to call the President to see if you had any money.

"Now we live in an amazing, amazing world and it’s wasted on the crappiest generation of just spoiled idiots that don’t care, because this is what people are like now. They’ve got their phone and they’re like 'Uh! It won’t…' Give it a second! Give - it’s going to space! Can you give it a second to get back from space!? [laughs]

"I was on an airplane and there was high-speed internet on the airplane. That’s the newest thing that I know exists. And I’m sitting on the plane and they go 'Open up your laptop, you can go on the internet.” And it’s fast and I’m watching YouTube clips – it’s amazing! – I’m in an airplane! And then it breaks down, and they apologize the internet’s not working. The guy next to me goes “Phff - this is bullshit!' Like how quickly the world owes him something he only knew existed ten seconds ago."
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James Ritchey III



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Wed May 01, 2013 12:56 pm

Not accusing anyone here of the blistering rage I've seen elsewhere, Lawson. Just saying--if I let what DC has done to Moore get under my skin, I'd be perpetually pissed off. I just want to write good comics, go 'Dave Sim' and AVOID THEM, as sad as that makes me. If it's an omen of the future of mainstream, I don't want any part of it. They seem HORRIBLE people to work for.
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Lawson



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Wed May 01, 2013 3:31 pm

James Ritchey III wrote:
They seem HORRIBLE people to work for.

Evidently. There are happy exceptions here and there, but most comics pros who work at Marvel and/or DC eventually come to hate one or both of them. If I had a nickel for every interview I've read where a bitter old comics pro complained about how he got shafted by Marvel and/or DC, I'd have ... well, $7.35. Which is a lot of nickels!
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ChrisW



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Wed May 01, 2013 7:40 pm

"My internet just went out for four straight minutes.
"I'm ok, but the 911 operator was a real jerk about it."
- Something I read on Facebook
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James Ritchey III



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Wed May 01, 2013 9:45 pm

Lawson wrote:

Evidently. There are happy exceptions here and there, but most comics pros who work at Marvel and/or DC eventually come to hate one or both of them. If I had a nickel for every interview I've read where a bitter old comics pro complained about how he got shafted by Marvel and/or DC, I'd have ... well, $7.35. Which is a lot of nickels!

Yeah, it's being bitter and old only sometimes, though.
Gail almost got shafted by some uppity ex-Wizard Magazine fan press editor du jour--before fan outrage (one of the sparse examples of it being useful) got DC to un-fire her.

Morrison collaborator Chris Weston sent Jerry Ordway a heart-warming message of support, after he was forced to ride out his exclusive contract with DC without getting any actual work for a year--because one of these douches decided his work was outdated. He pointed out that his 10 year old son's favorite artist was Jerry Ordway. At ten, I didn't like Neal Adams, Jack Kirby and all those old EC Comics artists who did amazing work almost 10 years before I was born because they were 'hot'--I loved the art because it was beautiful. The 18-34 demographic is not their only source of revenue, but they treat it as such. Ordway's work does well when he's assigned to top properties, but they start putting him on shite because of some surreal 'observer phenomenon'-addled thinking, or to quote Charles Foster Kane, the idea that "They'll like what I tell them to like!". I'm 52 (lol). I like Ordway. I've been known to BUY Ordway, unless it's crap writing. Doesn't occur to them to pursue different demos, because they KNOW EVERYTHING, having their 'finger on the pulse of the industry!', while 'what everybody knows'-based behavior is shedding shops and customers with renewed finesse every year.

It's the same mentality as the (apparently true) example of a comic shop owner who got a dozen people asking about a comic, but didn't preorder the comic afterwards because he didn't think it would sell.

The level of hubris is staggering.
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Lawson



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Wed May 01, 2013 9:54 pm

I've enjoyed Jerry Ordway's artwork since he drew all of Roy Thomas' Earth 2 comics back in the early 1980s. It baffles me that he can't find regular assignments at DC anymore; he's better than most artists they've got.

That said, Ordway and John Byrne displaced longtime Superman artist Curt Swan in 1986 with the Super-reboot. Swan, a dedicated DC man, was nowhere near ready for retirement. But after losing the Superman books, his career went into a downward spiral. He was reduced to couple of minor projects, including an Aquaman mini-series.

Back then, Ordway was the hot new talent. Now he's the forgotten old-timer.
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James Ritchey III



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Wed May 01, 2013 10:13 pm

Ordway committed the greatest sin a comic book artist can commit--he AGED.
I like Swan now, but I thought he was dated as early as 12.
Aging hasn't affected Ordway's work (as it certainly HAS Byrne), hasn't dated his work, but perception is everything among these shallow morons.
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Lawson



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Thu May 02, 2013 9:24 am

It's true, very few artists have remained productively employed at DC and Marvel since my young fanboyhood in the Bronze Age.

I can think of George Pérez, whose projects are now far and few between ... Keith Giffen, a loyal company man if ever there was one ... and I dunno that a third name comes to my mind. Can anyone else think of an artist from the late 1970s, early 1980s whose name you still will find on a Big Two comic today?

A lot of the artists who stopped getting calls, like Jerry Ordway, Steve Rude and Bob McLeod, are as talented as ever, in my opinion. It seems hard to dispute that they seem less attractive to young editors because they're now middle-aged or old.
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James Ritchey III



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Thu May 02, 2013 11:46 am

They seem to think that comic artists are lingerie models...
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Joe Lee
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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Thu May 02, 2013 11:59 am

James Ritchey III wrote:
They seem to think that comic artists are lingerie models...
Very Happy
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Joe Lee
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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Thu May 02, 2013 12:11 pm

Or ballplayers! Sports is a great analogy here. Most players don't play the game forever whatever sport they are in and there are only so many on-air positions available, don't a lot of these guys move on? Parlez their connections, or name recognition into a bigger position with a company, or start a business or go into politics.

We talked about this a little in the Ordway thread a while back too, but shouldn't the older guys aspire to move away from Marvel and DC. There should be a different path for these guys, they have years of experience and skills. Start a creator owned project, or become a senior partner at a small publishing company. Own something.

There are some good examples out there of alternative paths, like Mike Mignolia, Alex Ross, I'm sure it's easier said than done, backseat driving always is, but why would any artist aspire to retire while working at Marvel and Dc when NO ONE DOES THAT? Not even Kirby or Ditko?
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