Friday, August 01, 2008

So What Do You Think Of All These SDCC Announcements?

So there was a lot of stuff announced at San Diego this year -- what do you all think?

What are you excited about?

My reactions:

Darwyn Cooke doing Donald Westlake graphic novels for IDW: Great! He's the perfect person to do such a high-profile project and I like IDW a lot. The books will probably get a good number of non-comic fans giving graphic novels a try. And Darwyn is a genius.

Marvel's "Agents Of Atlas" as an ongoing: Here's one that I think earned a monthly spot. I'm sorry it won't be Leonard Kirk on the art, but that slot isn't filled yet so who knows? I hope it has that quirky-but-solid "Incredible Herc" quality to it.

Another Flash book, this time by Geoff Johns: Is this taking the place of the monthly? Is this in addition to the monthly? Whatever the case, they've really got to stick with it this time. I mean, it seems as if Johns/VanSciver on Flash would guarantee a certain number of sales right off the bat. But after so many false starts, the public really needs to trust that this is THE Flash book.

Boom Studios/Disney deal: Smart Smart Smart. I feel that if you want to ensure longevity as an "indie" publisher like Boom, you need to hook up with a known quantity and do licensing of big-name properties as well as original stuff.

Chris Batista drawing Animal Man: I'm not sure if this was an official announcement or not but I saw it on LITG so I'm running with it. Batista is a great artist who was made for drawing characters like A.M., Adam Strange, et al. Looking forward to it.

Mark Millar does more Ultimates: I know opinions are mixed on Millar -- some people really love him and some people really not-love him. Kick-Ass, I'm on the fence about, though admittedly I've only read the first issue. But I liked his Ultimates, I liked his Fantastic Four, and I miss his Ultimates. I liked the cynicism of the Ultimates. I liked that it was all sort of cold and brutal. It was like The Authority in its prime.

New Supergirl book: My patience would have been completely exhausted on this title was it not for the fact that Jamal Igle is on board. This guy does A-list work. This guy is like Kevin Maguire if you've been missing Kevin Maguire -- that good. The fact that he is doing this Supergirl title would be the only reason I would buy it. No slight to Geoff Johns -- it's just that I've been through too many relaunches of this book. But I will buy it for Jamal.

Neil Gaiman on Batman: Certainly I think this is significant and will probably do really well. I just think that fans want more a long-term, dedicated writer on a book like Ed Brubaker, with a carefully constructed story leading up to certain blockbuster events over many arcs. It's like to my mind, I'd rather have a sturdy, "mid-level" writer do several well-planned arcs in a row leading up to a big development in the end; with that sort of strategy, "mid-level" writers could end up becoming blockbuster writers anyhow. Only -- you "grew" that writer. You nurtured him or her. Whereas with this strategy, it's more about an upfront "punch." Which again, will bring in a lot of dough -- it's just short-term vs. long-term investment.

Archie & Milestone characters to DC: If it's done right, that'll be great. I love the Archie characters. I loved DC's Impact line. I think the idea of situating the Milestone characters firmly within DC continuity -- a la Charlton characters, etc -- is awesome. I'll just repeat what an associate told me: "shouldn't they really focus on getting their own characters solid first?" That, to me, is the challenge. It seems like an awful lot of stuff to throw into the pot at this juncture. It's going to require a lot of coordination. And then there is the question -- will the public embrace the Archie superheroes? Because an awful lot of effort went into Impact, and the books were slick, but they sort of fizzled out. Of course, the key might be in mixing them with the DCU rather than keeping them separate.

Marvel adapting Philip K. Dick: This one seemed to skid off the radar a bit, and I want to bring it firmly back on it. This is big. This is wonderful. I idolize Philip K. Dick. I hope they do more.

Andy Diggle on Thunderbolts: Hard to follow-up that Warren Ellis run. But Diggle has an edge and kicked ass on Green Arrow, so I'm willing to give him a chance.

Peter David's new IDW book: Illustrated by Robin Riggs! I'm so glad Robin is getting a chance to show everyone his pencilling chops, and I will definitely be picking "Sir Apropos Of Nothing" up.

New Season of High Moon: Yay! Go Zuda! Whoo-hoo! I wonder what's going to happen in this season! Wait -- I might know! But I'm not gonna tell ya! HA! You'll have to read it to find out!

Val on Cloak and Dagger:

What do you all think? Also, let me know if I missed anything important.


  1. On the Neil Gaiman & Batman comments:
    I think DC spent the time between One Year Later and the end of Countdown trying to support mid-level writers, and it didn't take. Their successes (creatively, and somewhat froma sales perspective) have been, by and large, established writers let loose on titles long-term.

    I would hate to see the days of the short-term, six-issue runs return, but as this seems to be in keeping with the spirit of "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?", it sounds like a fairly sound idea.

  2. I like the idea of the Milestone characters entering the DCU 'proper,' but the big question there is, how are they going to be introduced and positioned?

    I've wanted to see Static Shock on the Teen Titans for awhile, but I hope DC has a plan in place here and doesn't falter when the inevitable -- and I mean it's a dead-stop guarantee -- backlash occurs.

  3. Why is a backlash guaranteed? I would understand a general disinterest in characters that haven't seen the light of day in over ten years, but a backlash?

  4. I worked in bookstores for seven years and I still had to google what the heck this Parker stuff is. The mystery/thriller section was never my thing.

  5. Grant on Batman (R.I.P better come through), Gail on WW (can't wait for Genocide), and Johns on everything else is good stuff. The grown up Bart stuff was so-so (i think 52 was the only good thing to come out of Infinite Crisis) but I think Johns - as usual - has turned that frown upside down with Rogue's Revenge. Flash: Rebirth is going to be good, and I think Wally will be given his due.

    Winick on Titans feels like a mistake. He can do good stuff but this isn't it.

    Final Crisis, with all its tie-ins, is a book that I think will reach a level of art beyond the usual fare if Grant's hints are any indication. R.I.P is a bigger risk as no matter what I think a huge chunk of fans will be pissed.

    I don't anything about these Miley characters, suspect they'll find their way onto the JSA.

    Things seem to be turning around at DC, though I don't doubt they'll find a way to royally screw it up.

  6. Brubaker's Daredevil is making me snore SO HARD though...

  7. Oh, I am way excited about Static Shock, also.

  8. Val D'Orazio on Cloak & Dagger?

    Never heard of her.

  9. Thanks for plugging Robin's new project, Val! It's so great to finally be able to talk about it.

  10. Really looking forward to the Milestone characters. Hopefully, we'll get some trades of the original Milestone stuff out of it. I got into the Static Shock cartoon late, so they were all out of the comic book scene when I got ready to look for them.

  11. About Neil Gaiman and Batman... what I want to see is a writer free to tell the stories he or she wants to tell with minimum company interference and having to re-arrange stuff that's been carefully set-up within the book itself to become some miniscule part of some giant over-arcing storyline involving 12 other writers and a group of editors who can't keep all the storypoints straight.

    Just 2 or 3 issue stories, a few stand-alone issues, hitting month after month. Self-contained, A plots and B plots turning into A plots... and maybe C plots. A variety of moods and themes.

    Or- if there has to be an overall epic tapestry behind it all- do it within the framework of shorter arcs so we can at least imagine the individual chapters are stories with closure.

    But they probably won't do that because it has to be collected into a trade of a certain pre-determined page count in order to be economically valuable (so ideally they can sell it to you twice or even three times when they put out the "director's cut" hardcover with commentary and missing scenes.

    And also the summer "blockbuster" crossover has to be served as well.

    At least with Gaiman the run has the potential to be interesting and intelligent. I'm intrigued by this writer/character match. It's not "typecasting," and that's a good thing.

  12. Almost forgot... that Parker image?

    Hooray for Saul Bass influences!

  13. can anyone save ultimates at this point?

  14. I am also excited about the new creative team on Supergirl.

    Gates and Igle, as well as Johns, have all said the right things about their plans for title (inferring all the wrong things about the title as it has limped along these 3 yrs).

    And Igle's art is yummy.

  15. I'm personally most excited about Barry Allen's return to a Flash title. Hopefully they'll give him a better run than they gave Bart when they put him in the title role.

  16. Ahem... The Disney/Boom deal?

    Mark Waid. Writing the Incredibles.

    Life is good.