SEMI-REGULAR MUSINGS FROM THE SEMI-REGULAR MIND OF WRITER J.M. DeMATTEIS
Off topic, feel free not to respond:Was Philip K Dick really underrated?That is a complicated question. As a fan (of anything really) it is always quick to say someone great who isn't a household name is underrated. And certainly there are a good many people who would enjoy PKD, but will never read it.However, from what I understand he didn't really have trouble selling sci-fi work from a certain point. Short stories and novels seemed to bought up by publishers quite quickly. Though I may be wrong seeing as how I was not a publisher in the 60s and 70s I may be wrong.Beyond that, it seems like sci-fi fans largely loved him. Though maybe not as recognizable or introductory as Bradbury, but it seems he was certainly not in exile within the genre either.However PKD did have a fair amount of money problems, and is name ISN'T recognizable. Why? It seems it has to do with Science Fiction still being secondary in literature for most of his life. It seems like if anyone who had the percentage of the overall market, (or a larger genre like say crime or mystery) they would have at least had a more comfortable living. The larger issue is with science fiction in a strange limbo, no longer the hot buzz of the direct post war years nor the new millennium return to giddiness that would come it was a smaller audience. Granted still many many people, but dwarfed by the other genres. Especially in the 70s as fantasy rose to more prominence as the cycle seems to dictate will happen.So was Dick underrated? Yes, to some degree he was, the casual sci-fi fan or those with set views for the genre probably wouldn't pick up the books, He was never and probably never will be as well known as Bradbury, or Asimov, or Heinlein. Even at his height, he was second class in sales at best. But beyond that, it seems the trouble is he didn't live to see Science Fiction move to greater numbers. But he did pave the way for that, and he continued writing the genre when he probably could have made more money in others, by his own admission, for no reason other than he liked it And the end those are both things to be admired, whether the credit due is given or not. And solace can be taken in the fact that he wasn't so unappreciated i his time he didn't know people got his work and enjoyed it like so many other writers/artists who reach peek popularity after their death do.-JackP.S. I think we can all agree that this is Scott Free's favorite song:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKBttQmhDBw
Based on what I've read, Jack, PKD was highly respected within the science-fiction community, winning praise and multiple awards; but that didn't translate into success, or awareness, in the wider world. (Kind of like being a comic book writer!) I don't think broader awareness began to seep into the culture till BLADE RUNNER came out, shortly before Dick's death. But he certainly wasn't underrated in the science-fiction community.And today? Dick may not be as widely known as, say, Ray Bradbury, but he is hailed by "serious" literary critics, most of his work remains in print and is constantly being discovered by new readers, his stories have spawned many movies, and he's really considered one of the greats not just of the field but of modern literature. So I don't think he's underrated at all.Yep. Scott Free's favorite song for sure!
That was sort of the point I was trying to make. From everything I've heard, it seems like anyone you might actually call a sci-fi fan at least acknowledged that there was something special going on. But a casual reader probably wouldn't. Sort of like say Steve Gerber. Almost every comic fan knows at least his work and agrees it was at least something great. But to someone who reads comics occasionally, it is a big question mark. Sure, everyone knows Stan Lee, regardless of comic knowledge, but there are so many other great comic writers who don't crack the sphere unless you can really be called a comics fan.But, while yes Blade Runner let the cat out of the bag. And exposed it to a wider audience, I think that is only part of it. A large part, but part. As I said, it seems he had a fanbase, it just happened to not break free of harder core Sci-fi fans. Another part is that as these fans came into larger parts of culture, as say writers or executives, they brought there knowledge of PKD with them. Even beyond that, just the average Sci-fi reader recommending it to new fans and non-fans. This geek-cultural-insertion, is part of why comic book movies became so popular. Fans of comics rose in the ranks of Hollywood and started wanting to make comic movies, them the studios saw it as profitable.As for Scott Free, it started out as a bit of a joke, but it kind of fits.-Jack
Yes, I think the rise of a new generation of filmmakers and executives who were savvy about PKD's work certainly helped, Jack, just as, later on, folks savvy about comics came into the film industry and kicked off the current golden age (or glut, depending on your POV) of superhero films.
It looks cute to me. Just guessing that there is a sex discrimination theme in the background.How do you age-adjust your writing to pick the right target? Do networks give you guidelines? Watch old episodes? Run the plots by the neighborhood kids? Rick
Each show has its own specific tone and style, Rick, and, as a freelancer hired to write for that show, your job is to echo that tone and style. We're always given scripts to read and, if the show has been on the air, there are episodes to watch (which is far more helpful). If the show hasn't aired yet, it's a bit of a crapshoot, even with the scripts on hand; but you do the best you can.
Oh yeah, and what's wrong with those Titans? You know what another name for devouring an opponent is Dematteis? Winning. Welcome the real world Robin... and Dematteis. I'll eat a soul any day of the week. Hell, that's Thursday on my slowest week. On my slowest. My slowest.Jack
Good luck with that soul-eating thing, Jack. I hear they're really hard to digest. : )
small price to pay for success.Jack
For that soul eating thing, let me recommend Reuben. Just add a little sauerkaut and mustard between two pieces of rye. Rick
We'll keep that in mind, RIck! : )
Looking forward to your work on Justice League Dark. I've been buying it, but frankly, I've been less than impressed. I'd like to see them confront darker subjects, with more of a "horror" tone, and where right and wrong are more ambiguous (like the TV show "Supernatural"). I think they could also use a power boost. From what I've seen, you definitely have the chops to do it. Rick
I'm very excited about taking on JLD, Rick...and one of the reasons I'm so excited is because I'm a huge fan of the work Jeff Lemire did on the book. I think his run was amazing.Hope my stories please you. Rest assured, I'll be doing my very best!
Wait, your taking over Justice League Dark. Damn it Dematteis, I'm not made of money... but, I'll allow it. I just hop that you keep John Constantine a complete and utter prick. It has been minor fear of mine since John re-entered the mainstream DCU, that they would try to make him likable. It's getting to be so assholes like John are becoming a hunted minority in comics. The X-men must be so jealous.Despite how that may come off, I am excited for this. Even if I am still hoping against hope that you'll return to Marvel as a regular one day. And hoping (in almost certainty) that another non-established -universe Dematteis comic will hit the standsWishing you nothing, but goodwill and hipness from here to the stars,Jack
First issue of JL DARK is #24, out in (I think) October, Jack. Or maybe November...? The astonishing Mikel Janin is remaining onboard to do the art and the pages I've seen of my first issue just blew me away.Re: non-established universes. Mike Ploog and I have a new creator-owned series coming out next year from... Well, it hasn't been announced yet, so I can't say. I WILL say that it's called THE EDWARD GLOOM MYSTERIES and it features monsters a'plenty.
" I WILL say that it's called THE EDWARD GLOOM MYSTERIES and it features monsters a'plenty."Republican or Democrat?