Yesterday, DC Comics announced a new slate of books: Justice League 3000 wasn't among them and I started receiving heartfelt, and deeply-appreciated, tweets and emails from fans bemoaning the loss of the book. I had to assure them all that JL 3000 isn’t dead, it’s just evolved into Justice League 3001—which launches in June. That, I hoped, would resolve the issue. Unfortunately, whoever put together this official announcement about the updated DC line managed to leave my name out of the Justice League 3001 credits—and so I began to get other tweets and emails asking why I was no longer co-writing the book with Keith Giffen. Let me assure you that I am. In fact, the creative team on 3001 is exactly the same as it was on 3000. There’s lots more 31st Century strangeness ahead and I hope you join me, Keith G and the amazing Howard Porter for the journey.
Hope that clears things up.
This is a really good news !
Can't wait to see that ! JL 3000 is one of my favorite comic book series at the moment !
Still, I have a ... "weird" question for you. With the revelation on the Multiverse with Multiversity, I was being curious to see that your "universe" from JL3K is not mentioned.
Theses events takes place in one of the mysterious earth (like Earth-24, Earth-25...) or... in a completely alternate multiverse ? :)
If there is an answer to that...
Thank you !
Not a weird question, Frey. I have no idea what the official keepers of the DC multiverse think, but as far as Giffen and I are concerned, JL3K exists in its own special universe that no one has seen since I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S NOT THE JUSTICE LEAGUE. Call it Earth Bwah-ha-ha.Delete
Earth Bwah-ha-ha sounds good to me ! :DReplyDelete
So shall it be!Delete
Do you think Dan Didio (and all the others) could accept that? Bwah-ha-ha! :DDelete
"JL3000 from Earth-Bwah-ha-ha" on the cover, I want to see that ! haha
I'd LOVE to see that on the cover.Delete
I would love to live in Earth Bwah-Ha-Ha!Delete
I'll see what I can do, Douglas. Plane tickets are VERY expensive!Delete
I love that Earth-Bwah-ha-ha is becoming a thing! I have been dreaming about that since I read McDuffie's Mono-earth ideas.Delete
And now I got the idea of living there from Douglas. My ID would probably my picture drawn by Maguire, Porter or Hughes! Maybe if I wish long enough a second miracle will happen... Do you think Bea is available?
I can't speak for Be a, Rafa—but I HAVE heard her mention your name on several occasions. : )Delete
Rafa is lucky!
She is a cold one but... did Tora mention my name sometimes?
Yes, dreaming is good! And that will make a lot of plane tickets for Earth-Bwah-ha-ha! I want one too!
Tora talks about you constantly, Frey. In fact she won't shut up about you. I think she's obsessed! : )Delete
This is great ! Well... I guess... The term "obsessed" make me worried a little bit... AhahDelete
May I ask what you will be working on? RickReplyDelete
Can't really get into details, Rick—but I've got a new project for DC, a sequel to AUGUSTA WIND for IDW, another top-secret comic book project for a new company, more animation work and some other TV work...just to name a few!Delete
Does the Augusta Wind hardcover collect all the issues of the comic?Delete
Yes, it does, Douglas. And the new series will pick up exactly where the first one leaves off.Delete
I'm going to order that next week then. It looks interesting.Delete
And I appreciate that!Delete
I started writing a comic script for that character I created some 40 years ago (when it's finished, I think I'll need your services)(I'm serious after all these years. I've also read Alan Moore's "how to" booklet). Being the diligent lawyer I am, I became concerned about duplication of a character's name. I've done my own web search, and I think I'm okay. I can email you the name later, if you want.
What I found were two overlaps. One was a minor Marvel supervillain with typical superpowers (strength, invulnerability) from the 1980's who was apparently killed off not long after his creation. The "atmosphere" is different; mine is satire. My character's powers are also different, but they do parody the conventional powers. The second name use is another minor character who is part of a team-up and has very different powers. That character was reactivated recently after being dormant for a number of years.
I've tried to come up with variations of the name, but they mostly sound stupid. Should I be concerned, and what sort of things should someone be concerned about?
That's a great question, Rick, and one that, unfortunately, I don't have a clear answer to. You'll find a variety of comic book characters with similar, and sometimes identical, names and no one seems to care. Then you'll see someone else get sued over the same thing.Delete
Years ago when I was doing SEEKERS INTO THE MYSTERY for Vertigo, the original title was going to be simply SEEKERS, but there was another comic book with SEEKERS in the title so legal advised we add some other words to differentiate, and legally clear, the title.
Someone specializing in entertainment law would probably understand the ins and outs. Sorry I couldn't be of more help!
Good column here; http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2015/02/13/cant-cross-over-how-armageddon-2001-broke-down-the-justice-leagues-plans/ explaining how you and Giffen had to work your magic on JLI to accommodate not one, but two company crossovers. I read it and could feel a headache coming on. NO idea what it must have done to you guys.ReplyDelete
I saw that column earlier, Douglas, and the weird thing is I hardly remember anything about any of it. "Breakdowns" was the last big JLI arc and it's all a huge blur to me—and maybe this column explains why!Delete
I remember seeing that in an actual movie theater, back when it was first released. An interesting, well-crafted film, as I recall.Delete
I remember seeing it, and thinking it lost my interest somewhere in the back half. Mostly it was the comic strip areas.Delete
I personally love, and will never forget, Frank Miller claiming superheroes had a limited time left. that was in what... '88?
Still love the song though.
Perhaps that's how Frank felt creatively in terms of his involvement with super-heroes. I don't know how many times over the years I've been done with them, myself. But I'm still here!Delete
It has been a few years since the last time I saw the film, but I believe he talked specifically about the industry. He would not have been the first to say things like that at the time. Alan Moore legitimately thought Watchmen would end the genre.Delete
No to mention at the time Miller had only written a handful of superhero stories. Daredevil was the only one I recall that he really had a run on, and that was quite a few years earlier. His Batman books were pretty much him something in and saying what he wanted right?
Oddly, it looks like superheroes may outlive comics.
Well, DARK KNIGHT came out in '86, I think his second run on DAREDEVIL was that same year, YEAR ONE was 1987—so he had quite a bit of superhero work under his belt.Delete
There's a typo in your post. You say: "His Batman books were pretty much him something in." So I can't really answer that! : )
Though, what I meant was that his Batman, and Daredevil: Born Again for that matter, where pretty much him saying what he was going to do, right? I have a vague memory of hearing that he went to Marvel and DC respectfully with the projects, not the other way around. He was getting to do exactly what he wanted.
Though, that talk of Al Moore reminded my of something...
Reminded you of what? Of what?Delete
You were cut off the air before you could finish!
I feel that this will be a disappointment.Delete
Well, the constant comparing and contrasting of comics to other things bugs me beyond belief.
Will Eisner has been called the Charles Dickens and the Orson Welles of comics (though those who aren't well versed in comics will claim it it Alan Moore). This is not the case though. Will Eisner is the Will Eisner of comics. He doesn't have to be anything else.
On a similar point, I get incredibly sick of superheroes being called the "modern mythology." Firstly, this conflicts with the point (if I remember my High School class accurately) Mythologies are religions that have failed, and I am yet to see a temple of the mighty Kal-el (He was rocketed to Earth to forgive us from our sins).
The real problem I have with both of those comparisons is that it is too apologetic. Why can't comics just be what they are? Why does it have to be compared to other things?
Lord of the Rings isn't Mythology, or Sherlock Holmes, or 1001 Arabian Nights, or Dracula, or King Arthur, so why comics? Because too many people are trying to justify their taste. Do superheroes have element of Myth to them? Sure, but they also are very similar to Arthurian tales, share more than a bit with the folk tales of pre-20th century America, and in Planetary Warren Ellis drew parallels to the British Victorian literary figures. Superheroes aren't the American Myth. They are something else entirely. I don't think it is a coincidence that the guy most championing the idea of a modern myth is Grant Morrison, a Scot. It is a different culture.
Creators shouldn't have to be compared to other genres either. This is just more justifications. It is saying, "see it is like movies, so I shouldn't be ashamed." or "it's like a novel" No one compares play writes or movie makers to people in other media. As far as I'm concerned, I don't owe an explanation of why I like comics, if you don't see the quality, that's on you.
The fact is people by in large have narrow views of things. You can't win everybody over. There will always be hold outs. I few weeks ago a late night talk show host insulted Americans for seeing (among other types of movies) Sci-fi. The next week he referenced 1984. Well, what genre do you think that belongs in?
The point is aside from such attitudes being self-derogatory to creators and fans, and diminishing in its own way to the contributions of the medium, it is pointless. Let comics, and all things in comics, be their own things.
It is weird that Will Eisner is so associated with Graphic Novels, since most of them where originally serialized in either Warren's Spirit magazine reprints, or Eisner Quarterly, and his first, "A Contract with God," is less a novel as a collection of short stories.Delete
I understand that "Graphic Novel" is catchier and breaking it down is to difficult o go into. I also understand to massive contribution, and would never want to take that away. Just pointing out the interesting break in form what is considered a "graphic novel," or even a novel at all.
Maybe he should just have his own classifications, "Eisner Telling."
Just an interesting point to be made.
P.S. Will Eisner is a large part of why I can't buy into the idea of Stan Lee stealing Marvel from Kirby and Ditko.
Um, I can't see the video at work. What is it?Delete
It's a trailer for the documentary COMIC BOOK CONFIDENTIAL.Delete
Interesting points, as always, Jack.Delete
Who was putting down America's science fiction tastes?
I think of A CONTRACT WITH GOD the same way I think of a number of Ray Bradbury's novels, Jack: yes, they're smaller pieces, but together those pieces make up a whole greater than the parts. Call it a short story collection, call it a novel, it doesn't matter to me.Delete
And it doesn't matter (to me, at least) if the work was serialized, any more than it matters that Dickens and Dostoyevsky also serialized their work.
Haven't seen it. I will have to check it out.Delete
Yay, I get to retype because my computer sucks!Delete
Well, for a few reasons, the serialization of Eisner's work is somewhat different than Dostoyevsky and Dickens.
Not the leas of which is that at the time Serialization was more common, and considered something that the best authors simply did. It was almost a necessity. It had sense fallen out of style.
With Eisner's with A Contract with God could have gotten another book put out easily. Marvel or DC would probably have been willing to put his stories out, or any one of the rapidly popping up indie companies, or Warren which already had a contract with him.
I think Eisner planned it. Eisner was not a writer, he was a cartoonist. That isn't a knock, just a fact. Words and pictures never separated in his mind. However along with that comes other things, like the fact that he leans more towards shorter stories.
1978 saw his fist graphic novel. He had never serialized that, despite Spirit reprints where his later graphic novels were originally serialized, were started being published in 1974.
Most of those serializations were vignettes anyway. Very likely never intending to be collected. That is why I believe none of them were until after Warren folded. The only cohesive story I remember from those days was "Life on Another Planet" which I have heard complaints about in the flow when read all at once.
A contract with God, was most likely an attempt to put things together, because there were not many formats for what he wanted to do. He had top prove there was a market.
Despite claims he was not the first to make a graphic novel. That is one of the two big misconceptions about comics, that surrounds Eisner simply by him existing. Graphic Novels origins date back to the 50s at least (and that is excluding the wordless novels Eisner himself sites as inspiration), and the term predating A Contract by 5-10 years. For that matter A contract With God was beaten to the stands in 1978, by two months by way of Sabre, a Silver Surfer: The Ultimate Cosmic Experience was only a month after Contract came out. Those three more popularized and set the new formats. Also creating a new thing for direct market to tout.
I really believe Eisner had his own format, and is that really so bad?
As for the host? well, I don't usually like naming names when complaining. However, it is just stating what was already said. It was Bill Maher, who I am not the biggest fan of anyway. It was all mad more interesting since he included superhero movies, and I believe he was in Iron Man 3.
Eisner was Eisner—one of the greatest talents to ever come out of our medium—and, really, it doesn't matter (to me, at least) who created the graphic novel. In fact, it's hard to get two people to agree on exactly what a graphic novel is. That said, I enjoyed your insights, Jack, as always.Delete
I love that Lee-Kirby SURFER gn, by the way. But I bet you knew that.
I wonder if Bill Maher really feels that way or if he was just saying it to be provocative.
Your historic recitation is not the way I recall it. One thing is certain, however, and that is Eisner popularized it as a new form of the comic medium. And, to my recollection, Eisner also claimed credit for the phrase "graphic novel." While there may have been fringe publications, Contract With God also had a more serious literary tone than comics at the time. Comics could have serious themes, but that's not the same thing.
I think the "serious literary tone" element is an important one, Rick. That said, I'm not really up on the history (in more than a general way), so I'll eave the discussion to you and Jack!Delete
HOORAY! My computer didn't send the response again.Delete
Well, the earliest I remember seeing the term Graphic Novel was on the inside of Steranko's Chandler: Red Tide. That was 2 years previous. I have seen it in other publications I don't own, going back three years earlier. I have heard rumor of it used even earlier, so no he wasn't the first to use the term.
However, these publications tended to be more in line with paperback novels in terms of proportion. The comic book equivalent sizes started in 1978.
Fringe publication, is an odd term. Many of them were from larger publishing house, just not comic related. Of course, why should that matter? Does that lower the worthiness?
Serious literary tone is also odd. I'm not a big fan of claiming that the only "serious works" are ones that lack the fantastic. However, I doubt that is what you meant. The tone of the Silver Surfer GN is pretty serious, as was the original series, and many of Eisner's serious Spirit tales. Steranko's Chandler was a pretty serious detective story.
However, if you are saying that he opened it up so comics didn't NEED the fantastic. Sure I'll say he brought to the mainstream. Pekar may, MAY, have been first, but he was relatively small potatoes at the time. Of course many of EC's Shock Suuspenstories dealt with real life issues devoid of anything but every day horrors. Including antisemitism, Racism, being wrongly accused of a crime, rape, and drug addiction.
as for my lost previous response...
I think Bill Maher was rather serious, given he has made such claims before, and given the context. I can't see into his head though, so who knows.
Yes that Silver Surfer GN is great. It was the reunion album, that people often forget, because it destroys the narrative of one being a leech. It was collaborative, as it always was. I hope you still have it though, because I don't think Marvel ever reprinted it.
Eisner was a great talent. An d Eisner was Eisner. I think that may be why he may deserve his own category. He was always a half-way point between comic strip and comic book, and he veer really lost that. His work is unique. Its great, and it defies the current classifications. I just think he may not only deserve, but needs his own sub-group.
I think that's a great way to put it, Jack: Eisner defies easy classification.Delete
Speaking of early graphic novels...
Gil Kane and Archie Goodwin did something, in magazine form, in the 60's called HIS NAME IS SAVAGE that can certainly be viewed as a prototype gn. I haven't seen it in years, but I remember it being a nice fusion of prose and dynamic comic book storytelling.
I think a perfect example of Eisner's uniqueness comes from 2 places. I was flipping through the New York GN yesterday, and noticed the flow was strange, but in a good way. The art told so much of a story, more than any other writer-artist in comics. It was also quicker. The info got out quickly. like in a strip.Delete
The other was in the late 90s when they triesd to do new Spirit stories with well-known writers. It didn't feel right. It wasn't bad, just off. Een Kurt Busiek, whose Astro City is very much like Eisner's Graphic Novel years, but with capes... at least as far as tone goes.
1) as of this weekI have your whole Dr. Fate run, so expect DC to be collecting them. The fact that a new Dr. Fate series is coming out later this year probably just makes t more likely.
2) I enjoyed the new JL3000 issue, especially the PKD named planed. I like to think it was because I suggested it after the Bradbury planet earlier on, but I know it isn't so. Plus Etrigan and Fire, and in JLD Etrigan was shown to be an item with Zatanna. Is there something you wish to share with the class, Mr. Dematteis.
1) I'll get cracking on that intro ASAP!Delete
2) Etrigan is a playboy...?
Are you sure that's all it is? Is Etrigan holding you hostage? Or possessed Keith Giffen... maybe IS Keith Giffen.Delete
Then again maybe just hanging around Hell that long and visiting Earth so often you learn a few tricks .
Ladies do love a bad boy.
Have you thought about trying to get a gig writing for Dynamite's Twilight Zone comics?ReplyDelete
Nothing I'm actively seeking, Jack, but it would be a fun, interesting gig, wouldn't it?Delete
Well, I liked Leslie Gore. I found her voice and energy enchanting.ReplyDelete
I agree. She had great pipes, she was a great performer...and she was so YOUNG when she hit it big.Delete
She also may have been the first female member of the tribe to reach that kind of success with the rock n' roll generation.Delete
And of course, the has a special place in the hearts of comics fans for this little scene:
Wait. Jewish? Lesbian? associated with batman? I'm going to call it (even though I am 99% sure it isn't so) she was the inspiration for the current Batwoman. Ask Rucka over twitter, for us all.
There is fuel for one of you comedic DC Books. Someone talking about Batwoman and using those words, and someone else thinking the mean MS. Gore.
love that video.
That entire performance from the T.A.M.I. show is pretty amazing. She could really sing...and sell a song. And, as I keep saying whenever her name comes up, she was SO YOUNG.Delete
I picked that one because in it she isn't just singing, she's performing the Hell out of it, which I think is what you meant when you said that she could sell, it. Check that audience chemistry. Also I like the song.Delete
However, this is the Bat-clip I meant to put up:
Now go prove that she was Rucka's inspiration for the current Bat-Woman. Go Dematteis, GO!
Ah, so that's the famous "singing to Robin" scene. I've seen her other musical number from that episode, but not this one.Delete
I loved that Batman show as a kid but I don't think I've seen an episode since then.
Dan Slott was recently asked what Spider-Man story he'd like to see on film, and he said barring any story he'd written, KRAVEN'S LAST HUNT.ReplyDelete
Coming from a formidable spider-force like Dan, that's high praise indeed!Delete
Needless to say, I'd love to see a KLF movie. But I'm hardly objective!
Funny. That is one story that I think shows a flaw in movie adaptions. It, like so many great hero/villain stories, is built on history. To really get the power there would have to be a history of the characters interacting. Without it its just a crazy guy and his victim, which admittedly could be interesting, but in many ways it wouldn't be the same story.Delete
However, as someone who has no real desire to see another comic book movie ever again, I'm probably not the target audience.
There was certainly history there, Jack, but I think the core elements would work no matter what. And Kraven's backstory, his family history, the demons that drove him, were all pretty much invented in KLH.Delete
But, as you note, you're not the target audience. And I'm certainly not viewing a potential KLH movie objectively!
No comic reader is really their target audience, or if we are being perfectly hones even on Hollywood's radar.Delete
Now, I am willing to concede that there may be an outside chance you are more connected with KLH than me, but I still say a lack of history is a problem for a movie.
Yes the family history was in the story itself for the first time, but that isn't the history I meant. It was the history with Spider-man. All of the defeats, leading him to have this point, to needing to become the spider. It was that that separated him from just being another crazy guy. We as the reader understood that it was a road to that point. It seemed more like the end result of a descent into madness, even for hose who never read any other Spider-man comic.
I suppose that a studio could have him notice Spider-man, see him as a predator that he can hunt, and shoe horn n some other failures in his life. The problems are then A) He is just coming off as crazy from the start B) the plot is less focused and C) The motivation is weaker.
Then of course there is the fact that world's greatest hunter works fine in comic, but may seem goofy on the big screen. Of course they could make him a mob enforcer or something, but thn it isn't really the same character.
Come to think of it, How did "Fearful Symmetry" become "Kraven's Last Hunt" anyway?Delete
When the book was collected, my editor, Jim Salicrup (who came up with the idea of having the story run through all the Spider-Man titles) thought that FEARFUL SYMMETRY alone wasn't enough, so he added KRAVEN'S LAST HUNT and soon the FEARFUL SYMMETRY part was totally forgotten!Delete
I don't think the history is essential to make KLH work, since Kraven is clearly insane and it would be just as easy for him to project "The Spider" on someone he's never met before. So with a little tweaking it still works...Peter can underestimate him because they've met before or because he's a whackjob in an animal print chasing a superhero.Delete
I have more trouble seeing how it would work without MJ as the 'emotional fuel,' but that's probably more of a personal bias. He definitely needs someone to inspire him to rise above his fears and break out of the grave.
And I would very much like to see Liam Neeson in the role of Kraven. I think he's got the mysticism and badassery to make Kraven both intriguing and terrifying.
Good point about MJ, David: She's not on camera a lot, but she's the emotional glue of the story.Delete
Liam Neeson? Interesting!
Given that Marvel and Sony are looking for a teenage Spidey, I suppose KLH could mix elements with The Master Planner Saga and make Aunt May his inspiration. I don't find that as compelling as Peter fighting for his new life with Mary Jane, but we're unlikely to see them as an adult couple anytime soon.Delete
On another note, as I'm sure you already know by now, Shrieve made his debut on ARROW this week. Not much to go on yet, but I'm intrigued.Delete
I heard! Talk about pulling out an obscure character! (Not that I'm complaining!)Delete
I agree that MJ and Peter were the heart of the story. 100%. I would even go as far as to say this story legitimized the marriage. The connections people felt and still feel for it can be traced back to this story. The closest parallel I can come to in comics was Batman and Silver St. Cloud in Batman Dark Detective, and that is largely just because the same level of thought was put into it.Delete
As for a no history side, I agree that it could happen, but whether it would be as powerful, I respectfully disagree. The strange relationship plays an important part. The fact that they know each other, but then again don't really at all adds an extra layer, here I'll find a visual aid to help explain: http://www.4thletter.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/klh-plan-01.jpg
That part where he says Kraven states what kind of man Peter is could be found through observation, but knowing they had clashed in the past adds a power to it.
And yes, at the beginning of the story Kraven was crazy, but not at the beginning of his knowing Kraven. The shock at Kraven's current actions really adds to Peter's story. The fact that it was Kraven's OLD enemy helps drive home the idea of aging wearing on him. The idea that he is breaking a cycle, and ending his past. Some of these ideas may be transferable, but it is just continuing Hollywood's watering down comic stories.
What's more I think the author may have subconsciously known the importance of an established relationship (here is where you chime in Dematteis) given he said that the previous idea were Batman/Dr. Hugo Strange and Wonderman/Grim Reaper, all of which have some sort of deep relationship. Then there was Batman: Going Sane, which is viewed as a spiritual cousin to this story (some even say an early idea for this tale), and with no established history, there is no story. That is all theory though
The real problem comes from the internal monologues. We agreed MJ and Pete were the heart of the story. How so? We could literally read their minds. This is also how we grow to empathize or at least understand Kraven, and make his actions believable. Too many voice-overs for any movie, especially one made today. While you could use other storytelling means to compensate, I think back to Captain America: the Winter Soldier. Did they get across Steve's views on Bucky? Sure. Nowhere near as well as the comics though, and those emotions were far less... complex. I honestly believe movies do a disservice to superheroes as a whole, but that is a conversation for another time.
All valid points, Jack. That said, no page to screen adaptation can hit all the notes or be a precise translation. For me, it's about getting to the ESSENCE of the story.Delete
I remember, years ago, seeing the movie version of John Irving's THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP, a book I loved: they changed quite a few things that might have driven purists over the edge, but I thought the caught the spirit of the novel, which, to me, was the most important thing.
KLH will exist on the page for many years to come (I hope!) and people can always return to that. A movie adaptation—much like the recent novelization—is another beast that has to be judged on its own terms.
True, the essence is what's important, and if they can copy that without all the history that is great. I probably still won't see that, but that has to do with the fact that last year I realized I just don't care about comic movies.Delete
The question though, is what is the essence? I'll admit Dematteis, there is an outside chance of understanding this story better than I, however I always thought as the essence as a story about relationships. Peter and Mary Jane's recent marriage and the dynamic between Kraven and Spider-man. It is complicated to adapt when relationships are the essence.
Let's look at Stephen King as an example, a writer I like but don't love. Salem's lot takes quite a few liberties and exemptions many things from the book. There is a lot missing that builds and informs, but that 70s mini series still works because it captured the inner story.
On the other hand Apt Pupil felt off. The idea of evil grabbing a hold and the strange disturbing relationship between the two didn't quite jive in the movie. Part of this is that they cut the amount of time the two main characters knew each other. It was understandable, but is still made it off. I even read the story AFTER I saw the movie. I still found the movie lacking before I read the original source material. This is also a story all about a relationship. Relationships grow deeper with time, for good or ill. Motivations stemming from those relationships can therefore seem rushed or phony or even just off without using the same chronological ideas. It is especially true if it is extreme emotions, which KLH is sort of chalk full of.
Of course, the real problem is the idea of how comic movies are done where you have to start at the origin and move forward without any major things happening in between. There is no reason that Kraven couldn't just be a villain never on screen before, or sort of a minor villain quickly dispatched in an earlier movie, just on a news report or something. The problem with that is that it has to be done carefully, otherwise it becomes convoluted.
The other problem is movie studios thinking Peter has to be in High School or early college. Peter has to be an adult, not necessarily a super old one, but he does have to reach a certain age. That is a hard line to me.
On another topic people have told me there is talk of Peter being black in his next film appearance. I don't really care if Peter is black, but I do want to know why he can't live in another city besides New York?
Dan Slott said on the subject (this is second hand account) that everybody deserves a hero, What a great sentiment, unless you live outside New York (and on a few rare occasions L.A. or Fan Fran). Seriously, no heavy hitter lives outside the greater New York area. Where the hero for Chicago's hero? or Detroit's? or Minneapolis? or Miami? or I don't know Boise? Characters from other parts of the country are always jokes or shown to be in some way lesser than other heroes.
By the way, this isn't some cute way to say Peter should be white in a movie, I seriously don't care, the centralization of heroes in Marvel heroes has always bugged me. It's like the middle of the country doesn't exist.
The put Scarlet Spider in Texas, then cancelled it to put him on a team based just outside... New York.
If for no other reason, it makes no sense. All a super villain has to do is take out New York and there goes ay chance of stopping him.
Ghost Rider operated in the Southwest for at first, then when volume two came around the new GR was based where? Brooklyn. How exotic. No chance Captain America, Spider-man, Dr. Strange, Daredevil, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Moon Knight, Hawkeye, Thor, Nighthawk, or the Fantastic Four can possibly make it that far away in time to stop a threat.
Yes, occasionally some place gets a hero, but it is never a top listed character, and sometimes there is a transplant, but it never really lasts that long.
Racing some deadlines and preparing for a business trip, Jack, so no time to respond BUT I wanted to get this post out there for other folks to read and respond to. Very interesting point about the New York-centric quality of the MU!Delete
I very much understand the constraints of deadlines. I would like to hear your thoughts on the subjects though.Delete
It was pointed out to me yesterday that Marvel apparently has a similar marketing strategy i.e. forget the middle of the country. Apparently Marvel is doing something special with comic shops around the country... but only in New York, L.A., and Atlanta. I mean it isn't like there are any other big metropolitan areas in between, except Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Dallas, Austin, Huston, Salt Lake City, Indianapolis, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Miami, and Minneapolis. More than a few are bigger than Atlanta I believe.
This is Strange for several reasons
1) Those are all big areas full of readers or potential ones (though honestly probably not much of the latter)
2) Other places have contributed to comics like...
a) Superman being created in Cleveland
b) Comic fandom has its origins in Detroit
c) A whole host of writers and artists flocking in from around the country, with far more hailing from the Midwest than the West Coast.
d) The first Marvel character was created by a guy from Massachusetts who spent much of his childhood in the Southwest.
e) We have money too.
Also some thoughts on a Kraven movie:
I don't know if you read God Loves, Man kills, but it is easily one of the best Marvel comics ever. They also adapted it to make X2. While the movie retained the essence and themes in many ways, it was a drastic step down, and I liked the movie. However what is and isn't a comic movie is too engrained in Hollywood, plus fear of the wider audience and their perceptions. The tone was also drastically different with any important parts omitted or just purely changed.
Also, at the comic shop yesterday, when this was brought up, a guy said simply that Hollywood "wouldn't get it." I'm not sure exactly what it meant, but I do agree... it is just a matter if we agree on what they aren't getting.
Enjoy the business trip,
P.S. Is Giffen, Etrigan? Is so, or he is simply possessed (or you are possessed or he is holding you captive) simply type a sort of reptile into the reply.
I find it hard to believe that they would ignore the middle of the country because they're in the business of making money and they'll go wherever the money is. Perhaps this is some kind of trial that will spread out form these test cities? But I don't know anything about this so I can only guess...Delete
Giffen is Giffen. Etrigan wouldn't last five minutes with the guy!
I see what you're saying about relationships in KLH, Jack, and for the most part I agree. I do think any adapation will necessarily be a 'step down,' mostly because it can't mean as much as the original story did (and still does) to me personally.Delete
That said, I very much want to see KLH adapted, because even if it's only half as good as the comic, it would still be five times better than most of the stuff that's out there!
I think Marvel heroes have trouble getting away from New York for several reasons:
1. During the Marvel Revolution, the creators all worked in NYC. If fax machines had been more prevalent at the time, it might have been a very different story.
2. The Marvel heroes tended to bump into each other accidentally, or even while consciously trying to avoid each other, which could only happen if they lived in the same general area.
The foundation Lee, Kirby, Ditko and others built was so appealing that any attempts to deviate from it have been (for the most part) doomed to failure. And the successes have largely been improvements on that original foundation, not radical departures. Even a story as wildly eccentric as KLH is, at its core, the Master Planner Saga 2.0.
I do agree that the MU would be better off if it was more geographically diverse, but it's the same problem they have with creating any new heroes. Wolverine was essentially their biggest post-Lee success, and that means we're talking the early 70s, around the same time DD had a fairly successful move to San Francisco.
All things considered, Scarlet Spider was a pretty big success by today's standards. It did stink that SS got shuffled out of Houston, maybe he'll return eventually...
All good points, David. I think we'd all love to see MU stories set in more diverse cities. :Delete
It never bothered me that most super heroes operated out of The Big Apple. I am more bothered about the new Secret Wars and the idea of Battleworld for the foreseeable future at Marvel.Delete
In response to no Midwest comic book characters I recently started a mini comic called Kapitan Kalamazoo. He transforms into a giant letter K.
I'm not up on the new SECRET WARS, Douglas; but I'm assuming, from your comment, that all the Marvel characters will be on Battleworld for a while...?Delete
According to Marvel it is a melding of the original universe and the Ultimate universe into a new reality where all Marvel stories will take place. They even posted a map to explain it all and it made my head hurt. Want a link?Delete
So the Parker Spider-Man and the Ultimate Spider-Man will both exist? How will that work?Delete
In any case, I'm sure a quick Google search will find that map. Thanks for the info, Douglas!
Yeah, like I said...made my head hurt.Delete
Its more than just two Spider-men, it is more like scads. And it seems that New York may be the ONLY part of the Marvel universe saved. Proving my point all the more.Delete
However, I think New York being the almost sole place for heroes is not really about them working there. Many writers came worked outside the city. Fax machines weren't as necessary as you need, when you have a well organized post office. In fact In the end Jack Kirby was working out of California.
I think it i more that Stan and Jack were simply from New York. It's simply easier to draw from experience.
People also forget how varied Marvel's characters, the inhabited so many different realms, that by the time the second generation came about every realm was taken by a New Yorker,
As for a KLH film...
I think that the fact is Hollywood doesn't want a really good comic book movie. They don't even want comic book movies.Delete
Most people would tell you the first comic book movie nominated for an Oscar was Dark KNight. However the earliest one off the top of my head is Road to Perdition.
There has been talk for the past few years of a film adaption of A Contract with God, it was also pointed out to me that if this ever did happen, the connection to comics would be buried. This isn't so far off considering the likes of A History of Violence, Road to Perdition, Art School Confidential, the Lost Boys, and Ghost World aren't even known to be comic films. It is almost a conspiracy.
Comic book movies aren't comic movies, they're superhero movies. Fine, there are plenty of great superhero stories, many have even been adapted.
Daredevil, X-Men 2, Captain America; The Winter Soldier, Amazing Spider-man 2, and Dark KNight, I have actually read all the comics these are based off of. The amount taken away is amazing. Even things given to them, like Daredevil already knowing Elektra before the story is undone. Smarter and More mature plot points are STILL being removed. Dark Detective is infinitely more smart and mature than Dark Knight
The fact is that it isn't about quality, it is about being consumed. Does that mean these are bad movies. No, it just means that there is less of a desire to keep quality parts intact.
With Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers topping the charts, it is probably only going to get worse. One I've seen one I haven't, but I understand that both were just for the Hell of it, fun. And that if fine. More than. There is nothing wrong with something just being fun. The problem is when an entire medium is looked at it as only that and that view is exploded out by a larger medium.
In short, I don't think Hollywood has the best of intentions for comics. Eisner was wrong, movies didn't bring respectability, it seems more like it is sucking out the quiet, underground dignity that people like him worked so hard to create.
I think there have been some wonderful comic book adaptations, Jack...but I see your point about the glut of superhero movies only adding to the perception that comics = capes and tights.Delete
But you've also got me thinking that I should do a post listing my favorite of the superhero movies. Maybe some time this month...
The original Total recall is a fine movie, but its hardly a Philip K. Dick story.Delete
The point is, I liked several of the superhero adaptions I listed, probably the majority (though Dark Knight fades a little with time) I just don't think that they live up to the originals. However few adaptions do.
Fiction with a strong base of support is often cast aside. Why? There is less broad appeal. Once you enter the world of comics, your perception changes, due to the smaller pool of people.
I don't even think there is a problem with associating comics with superheroes. There are a lot of great stories there, maybe more than any other genre within the medium. I think there is a serious problem with comics trying too hard to run away from superheroes. The fact is if newcomers come to comics they will eventually find the non-superhero stories. Superheroes are part of the fabric of comics, and that is amazing. What's more, if you ever find yourself wondering why people gravitate to this, i can answer that for you. The characters. People want to know Peter will endure, not is Spider-man beats Doc Ock. That is the reason superheroes rule comics.
While yes, hiding origins of a story is bad.the larger problem is the strict definitions of what is a superhero/comic book story. Hollywood is ruled by charts and focus groups. Which means that their view on things tend to be narrow. Terminator 2 led to Independence Day, how much sense does that make without focus groups. There for the idea is forced smaller. You were a fan before a creator. You and I could probably come up with a hundred comic moment easy that rival if not surpass Hollywood's best efforts off the top of our heads. That isn't what Hollywood wants though. Comics aren't expected to be Oscar bait.
Hollywood is a land of regimented rules, and in reality is the weakest medium to convey a story. Making a good movie does no mean that bringing out the source material was a priority.
There is a reason I now refuse to see com,ic book movies.
Also, making your favorite comic movies is pointless, since you are yet to watch Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. Plus, everyone knows your #1 is American Splendor.Also, what if you didn't know a movie was a comic first? And what about making it part of a larger set of adaptions, "Third from the Sun," anyone?
And what about movies based on pulp characters that also appeared in comics...like the Shadow?Delete
I really should watch MASK OF THE PHANTASM. (Hangs head in shame)
I'm going to have to plead ignorance in relation to the pulp question, and ask for clarification. Although I will point out that the ideas of the Superhero, Sci-Fi, Horror, Western, crime, and other genre fiction all were mainstays in pulp fiction and are all looked down on, in part due to Hollywood. Perception is everything, and Hollywood has been dictating it since the 30's.Delete
As for Mask of the Phantasm, its your life Dematteis, I'm not going to tell you what to do, I would just recommend making any list until seeing it. I would assume it can be mailed from Netflix, and I know it can be streamed off of Amazon for a fee.
I am a little worried that I might be over selling it. Trailer may speak for itself.
While we're recommending things, I really like Birdman when I saw it last November. Not really an original thought with it winning an Oscar, but it was good. Of course I've been sayin Michael Keaton is an under appreciated talent for years, Mulitplicity and the Paper are great.
It's in my queue and I WILL get to it. I've heard great things about it (not just from you) and I really should see it.Delete
I thought Michael Keaton was terrific in BIRDMAN. Emma Stone, too.
I really think that Harry Potter might be to blame for all the superhero movies.Delete
Let me explain.
Every Harry Potter movie made a huge amount of money. Huge. There was a series of books that became a series of movies and now the money train is over, similar to the J.R.R. Tolkien money train.
Comics have been around for a very long time. They are a wealth of continuing storylines and Harry Potter has proved again and again that people like continued storylines. In the end we get a plethora of super hero movies because Hollywood really, really, really likes money. as long as they don't screw it up too bad I don't mind. I am worried about how badly they are going to mess up Mr. and Mrs. Pym with the new Ant-Man movie from what I've seen.
Interesting theory, Douglas. And yes, Hollywood really likes money, but so do book publishers and comic book publishers and recording companies... We live in a profit-driven culture and it's always been that way.Delete
All that said, I am, overall, pretty delighted by the current super-hero wave in TV and film. That I can turn on my television and watch FLASH and AGENT CARTER (to name two excellent series), go to the movies and see...well, just about all the Big Names, is an amazing thing. Some of the movies and shows have been less-than wonderful, but some have been amazing. And I'd rather they were there than not.
All THAT said, it makes me sad that the incredible enthusiasm for the genre hasn't translated into more readers for the comics. Given the success of the films, Marvel should be selling a million copies a month (each!) of THE AVENGERS and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. But it seems we live in a world where someone can be a die-hard super-hero fan and never pick up a comic book.
And that's a shame.
I love Agent Carter and hope it comes back. I feel sad for people that don't read comic books. It feels like they are missing something. Can you imagine not knowing you should be excited about the upcoming Planet Hulk comic book where Steve Rogers is a Gladiator with his shield and a battle axe and his sidekick is Devil Dinosaur? Tragic, I tell you, tragic.Delete
P.S. Not making up the Planet Hulk thing even a little.
I loved AGENT CARTER. I think it was the best of the recent crop of comic book inspired shows and --Delete
Wait. Gladiator Steve Rogers and his sidekick Devil Dinosaur?! That actually sounds like fun!
You think that sound like fun? There is going to be a comic were the big three Avengers are Western characters. As much as I don't care about big events (especially this one), that sounds cool. If Steve Rogers isn't a sheriff, I may have lost all hope for mankind. Of course High Plans-Spidey sounds even cooler.Delete
I actually just heard someone online today lumping comics into something else. Without even feeling a need to explain he considered part of the adaption genre, or whatever you want to call it.
An interesting idea, and its hard to know if it is just him or the world at large, after all odds say anyone on this site was already familiar with comics and there for have a skewed view on the matter.
If that is the case it is far more dangerous. Genres may come and go, but the adaption obsession, WILL end, and grow tiresome. It may already be happening. With all the money and time comics are sinking into film and TV, if that happens it is going to be a very dangerous ricochet.
Comics are in a very strange place though, with even indie books not wanting to take a risk on new talent and seeming all at least a tad similar. And of course the usual lack of seeing a time for a change seems to be getting worse, as comic companies (and worse creators that came about in the past decade) refuse to consider some of the tropes that defined their era, may need to be less common. The nature of the industry has to be navigated carefully if it is to survive.
AS for Birdman, I didn't even notice Emma Stone, Michael Keaton was back and I loved it. These kids don't know, in the 90s and late 80s he was all over the place, he even played a WWI pilot turned into an anthropomorphic pig. I'm just glad he is finally getting his credit.
The thing I loved about that movie was the weird lack of trust for any other character. The way each one talked was done in such a way that you question if this is really what they said, or is it the delusion of a nervous breakdown, or just the spin his mind naturally gives it.
Also it mad fun of every group it could.
I would like to know what the writer's history with comics is, since it really did feel like a Vertigo comic.
I don't see many movies in theaters, But I was really glad I saw that one.
Not notice Emma Stone? I think she's the most extraoridinary young actress working in movies right now.Delete
Yes, BIRDMAN did have a Vertigo feel. I've never read anything indicating the director is a comic book fan, but, given the material, there has to be some love of the genre.
My favorite movie of the Academy Awards season was actually THE IMITATION GAME. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.
Yes Steve Rogers is the sheriff in that one. I am looking forward to that title as well. It reminds me of when Marvel was fun. Read Justice League 3000 last night. Fire and Ice together again and Etrigan to boot. I'm just giving in and buying the damned book.Delete
And for that I thank you!Delete
BTW, I've been watching the first season of TEEN TITANS GO and it's BRILLIANT. There's not a cartoon out there with more heart and humor. Loved your dodgeball inspired take on the original Teen Titans theme song in "Artful Dodgers."ReplyDelete
I don't think there's a show out there that makes my kids and I laugh harder or more often!
Thanks, David. It is a unique show and one that parents and kids can enjoy together.Delete
That spin on the Titans theme didn't come from me, by the way. It came from the TTG staff. Probably the amazingly talented Michael Jelenic. Credit where credit's due!
Well the entire episode was hilarious, but the theme song stuck out because it might just be the catchiest in the history of the universe. Speaking of which, did you ever write any eps for the original TEEN TITANS cartoon?Delete
Nope, never did.ReplyDelete
Well you should have, it would have been greatness!Delete
BTW, Season One of LEGION OF SUPERHEROES is available on Amazon instant video, but still no Season Two. A shame...
THE BATMAN, LOSH and TEEN TITANS are often overlooked, sandwiched as they were between JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED and BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD. But it was a very fun era.
I'd love to see that second LOSH season released. Can't understand why it's not available for streaming. Wonder if the show is available from the Warner Archives site, where they produce DVDs on demand?Delete
I didn't even know Warner did that, pretty cool.Delete
And hey, maybe the LOSH could drop in for a guest spot on TEEN TITANS GO...
Stranger things have happened. There's already a TEEN TITANS GO!/ YOUNG JUSTICE crossover in the works!
I heard about that crossover, David. Given the talent involved, it should be great.Delete
Hi, Mr D.ReplyDelete
Forgive my lateness but I just wanted to say that this is wonderful news.
I have only just caught up with JL3K (I know! Shameful!) and it’s just what I hoped it’d be: funny, intelligent, surprising, fun, heartfelt – in short, just like all your other JL work.
For some reason I didn’t believe it was cancelled when the news came out, but it’s great to get confirmation that it’s still going strong. More to come makes me a very happy bunny!
Kudos on a superb comic, sir.
Thanks so much for the kind words, Karlos. We've got a lot of fun, crazy stuff planned for JL 3001. It truly amazes me that, more than twenty-five years since we launched JLI, Giffen and I are still having a terrific time working together.Delete
Very glad you're along for the ride.