Monday, May 22, 2017

NERDERY

While I was at Houston's Comicpalooza last week, I did an interview with the Nerdery podcast.  The sound's a little wonky, but if you crank it up, you should be able to hear it all.  Enjoy!

(And, while you're at it, you might enjoy this interview I did with Tinker, Tailor, Comics, Writer.  You can read it right here.)

48 comments:

  1. I had no idea that you wrote any of the Silver Surfer series until listening to this interview. Now I've got to add that to my want list. A quick look and it seems like those back issues are rather pricey. I'll be on the lookout!

    That's why I like these interviews, as much as I think I know, I always learn something new.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it, George. Surprised that those old Surfers are pricey.
      Maybe Marvel will collect them one of these days!

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  2. So here is what you do, you create a character called Silver-man, only no hyphen. That way you gain legal rights over a bunch of people's names.

    That's how you make your fortune.

    jack

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  3. Sure, Jack. Whatever you say! : )

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    1. LOL! That sounds like a great Silver Age plot. The writer is a mutant who can mind control everyone named Silverman so long as he has a legal claim to the name. Matt Murdock faces his greatest challenge yet!

      --David

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    2. Actually, this sounds like a job for MIKE Murdock!

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    3. You just made a perfect story even better. :)

      --David

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  4. The most recent issue of Blue Beetle was fantastic. Thanks.

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    1. Thanks, Douglas! Glad you enjoyed it! More fun to come (including the return of JL 3000)!

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    2. And did I see in previews that an issue of Scooby Apocalypse will have a Secret Squirrel story in it? You just want all of my money, don't you?

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    3. Yep! Secret Squirrel will be the back-up in SCOOBY starting in a few months. Just finished the first installment and it's going to be a lot of fun.

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  5. I think the forgotten element in why comics are struggling more and more is that it often seems to readers that a lot of creators... not all, but a lot, either hate or at least don't respect them.

    With the treatment by some at shows, picking fights online, and other less than polite treatment, it is hard to disagree.

    I would be lying if I were to say it doesn't feel that way at times. No that isn't true. Almost every week, just with some creators.

    And I may be wrong but that feels like a bad move ion a business since. After all, there is already a word for giving money to someone who hates you...alimony.

    I certainly question why I stick with it, at least once a month.

    I guess the reason why I bring this up it I want to know if you think comics can survive this schism.

    To think it is going anywhere is naive, it is only getting worse. But how long can a growing rift between creators and fans and a rising price om fewer pages not land a deadly blow?

    Is this the death nail of an American art form?


    Jack

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  6. I've been told comics are dead since I started in the business, Jack. And the medium keeps adapting and surviving.

    The internet magnifies the good and the bad, in both fans and creators, and, in my experience, most of it doesn't reflect the vast majority.

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    1. You're the only creator I interact with online. And the ones that Jack mentions; I don't read their stuff. Just not my cup of tea. There are still plenty of magnificent comic books to buy every week.

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    2. ...

      Well, comics DID almost die three times. IN the 50s, in the late 70s, and the ate 90s. All of them were avoided by 11th hour providence.

      But, a lack of interests different from feeling that an industry hates you.

      And the question leaves the internet, tough you can find plenty of articles and videos asking the question. At the comic shop oi gets asked.

      For that matter, Motor City Comic Con was a week and some change ago, and I kept hearing the words "disrespectful" about the treatment of fans by some creators.

      There is a big difference between "they aren't catering to what I want" and "I don't want to give money to someone who hates me."

      The internet is a huge part of it for sure. Scott Snyder even came out and talked about the nature of it, and I would urge everyone to seek it out. It is well spoken and makes good arguments... to a point.

      He He states that fans and creators are both to blame in a way, but in reality it is our reactionary tendencies. And he's right... to a point.

      The difference between a freelancer and an average person with a social media account (and admittedly, I think social media is incredibly stupid)is that the freelancer is ALWAYS advertising their brand, and need to be conscious of that. Twitter, facebook, whatever, are not anyone's personal life... its a broadcast. You have to be mindful that everyone who sees it is a potential customer.

      But even that is irrelevant. picking a fight with someone on social media is dumb, bragging about it is dumber.

      Writing a flagship character then going onto message boards (where a conversation already was happening) and criticizing fans for wanting something in a rude spiteful way, is being an *******.

      Saying publicly you came up with a major story to antagonize people into buying it, comes off as spiteful.

      Announcing you won't go to large swaths of the country because you don't like the results of a close election, is arrogant and disrespectful.

      Taking ANY criticism of your work and turning into a war with someone, is unprofessional

      Writing a mainstream comic just to settle an roast someone who bugged you online is petty and a waste of my money.

      At some point the professional has to be the adult. Is that fair. YES, you are he brand. I'm a freelancer, I know dumb for a freelancer.

      And these problems get more and more frequent

      But in the end it doesn't matter if creators hate fans (and there are some I believe do) all that matters is the perception.

      Speaking for myself...

      Look, I know a guy who told me he studied liner notes, so he could try to figure out why a song worked. Memorized the history of musicians, bands and song menaings.

      I know a guy who I won't watch a movie with at his place because he will babble on about everything and what it is supposed to symbolize and the history of... oh, God, I'm already bored.

      INcidently both also read comics.

      Me? My artistic medium passion was comics. The history, what and how the creators thought, how the times and ideas influenced, why a character worked or didn't why an artist on the wrong book could ruin the otherwise great comics.

      But honestly, I get the feeling most of the industry hates me. And a lot of that is JUST from the comics I buy. My passion is flickering, and if I'm honest whether comics will be around in ten years is a seriously maybe, but I'm not sure if me reading them is as big of a maybe.

      I will say this, there is an artist who's work I won't buy because he was that big of a dick to me at a show, a long time ago. And not just me, an entire weekend worth of people. And you absolutely know this guy. He's a big name and has been around since the 70s.

      You should never give people a reason not to buy your product.

      So, I guess, hopefully you'll spread the word in the industry to cut the jackassery.

      And no it isn't the majority, but it is a weird amount.

      Jack

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    3. oh yeah, (I hope my other to went through, my computer is iffy right now).

      The person I voted for in the last election did NOT win, but I do hope Marvel payed attention, because that friction of people sick of being forgotten, looked over, and being pushed around coming to a head is very similar. Liberals and conservatives across the comic shop see the parallels.

      Like I said earlier, comics reflect society, both in the pages and out. But that doesn't mean you have to make the same... lets say unpopular (i don't want to cause a stir) choices from being echoed.

      And more importantly, no matter what you think about anything else I wrote about, admit my alimony joke from the first post was great.

      Jack

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    4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jack, and sharing them so eloquently. That said I think it's time to move off this subject and on to something else.

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    5. I would like to say one thing, if I may. I have read comic books for a very long time. In that time, before the magical interwebs, my interaction with the creators was minimal at best. Now, with the internet and a constant barrage of conventions, interacting with creators is pretty easy to do. I'm not sure that all people with artistic temperament are meant to interact with the public at large. That's why I tend to judge a creator by the work that they make that I enjoy. Well, except for you. I badger you constantly because you're my favorite. The personalities of the creator in a public setting have little, if any impact on my enjoyment of their work.

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    6. An excellent final note, Douglas. Thanks! And you certainly don't "badger me constantly." As I think you know, I very much enjoy these exchanges!

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    7. I agree for the most part. A creator should be judged on their work primarily (of course, there is no artistic temperament an ass is just an ass no matter the career).

      I can enjoy the Beatles despite John Lennon's many, many, many short comings as a human. And he was much worse than just being a jerk to fans. And no Dematteis, that isn't a slight, just the best example I have.

      I did mention an artist whose work I won't buy anymore, but this is by no means there heyday, and they produce work maybe once a decade. If it were the 80s I would probably just ignore it.

      However, it doesn't matter what you and I think. People earn there own money, and can spend (or not spend) their money any way that they see fit. And with prices on the rise (Marvel flirting with $4.99 for 20 issues) every reason not to but something has weight.

      And while I DO think it should be overlooked, I can't say it is out and out unfair to use a creators negative views of fans as a reason to not buy a book when you are strapped for cash.


      Then there is when they start a new project you are on the fence about, the odds of trying it go down.

      Every time I get paid I don't go to the places my exes (who effectively killed my soul) work and give them money. And when I don't do that I certainly don't leave a tip. Point is, quality of a product is not all that goes into a purchase.

      Of course this is all tip-toeing around the point that if people were happier with the finished products this probably wouldn't even be an issue.

      Of course, my guess is that Mr. Dematteis doesn't want that conversation on his site so zipping it up.

      As far as the internet goes, yep, the world would be a much better place if the world were more like me and shunned social media and were weird loners.

      And in all honesty, I don't want to sit and argue with someone about there work if its bad, I already suffered through it once. I'd much rather discuss what I like. And that is probably a good rule for teh internet.

      but, positive, lets see...

      -you think the new It movie will be any good?
      -anyone else excited about the upcoming return of Leah Remini's Scientology show?
      -How good is the character work in Spider-Man: renew your vows?

      And most importantly, Demateis... how hard is it to admit my alimony line was great? That is the mot important thing about all of this. Not the oncoming death of comics, not fan-creator relationships, MY ALIMONY LINE.


      Jack

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    8. I looked all over this page for an alimony joke, but I couldn't find it!

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    9. "After all, there is already a word for giving money to someone who hates you...alimony."


      Jack

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    10. ANd apparently nobody has any feelings about the upcoming It Movie, Leah Remini's Scientology, or Spider-Man : Renew your vows. Its fine, to each there own, but that was my shot at positivity.

      I failed you Dematteis, but in all honesty I'll probably get over it.

      JAck

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    11. was the drum roll for my alimony line (yes, I'm aware that I am way too proud of it), or the ease of getting over failing you?

      Jack

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    12. That was a Classic Comedy Rimshot for your joke. Clearly, you haven't been playing vaudeville houses lately.

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    13. Yeah, I k now what a rimshot was for. I just wasn't sure which joke.

      And I'll have you know that my great grandfather worked backstage for vaudeville acts.

      Jack

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    14. My wife's grandmother worked for an agent who booked vaudeville acts. Maybe they knew each other!

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    15. Well, it was in Michigan City, Indiana?

      Given the family lore, my guess is she probably wouldn't have wanted to. My mother's father's family (minus he and his two sisters)were not among your better people. I like to think that is why he so incorporated himself into my grandmother's family.

      Besides, by the 30s he had switched gears to managing movie theaters. An I think he was mostly involve in the upkeep of the theater, and building sets. He may have been the guy they dealt with...or not. My grandfather died in 1964, my mother was 14, and her aunts didn't like to talk about it in too much detail. Interesting fact, my grandfather was used as slave labor during the depression.

      Anyway, point is Maybe, maybe not. But yous till haven't said which joke it was for.


      Jack

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    16. I told you it was a good line.

      JAck

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  7. BUUUUT, because I gave a retort, because its just who I am, I should probaly give some joy so, here. a website that is undoubtedly a labor pure comic book love:

    https://braveandboldlost.blogspot.com/

    and one of my favorites

    https://braveandboldlost.blogspot.com/2011/02/thing-and-lois-lane.html

    Enjoy my self appointed penance, but be careful. It can suck time like nobody's business.


    Jack

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    1. I'm very familiar with that site. And you're right: a total labor of love. And thoroughly entertaining!

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    2. I'm thinking about picking up a new monthly comic with the initials "BB" but I'm not sure which one to try.

      Any thoughts?

      --David

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    3. Or the Bob's Burgers comic by Dynamite. I can't speak for the comics, but teh show is good.

      Is it true Ted will be in costume from now in in the Scarlet Scarab? Or what ever its called.


      Jack

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    4. Hmmm, there's only two problems with that.

      1) Sadly, this book doesn't currently exist.
      2) Technically, the initials are "BtB."

      I could work around the first problem by starting a social media campaign and waiting for the book to materialize, but I'm afraid the little 't' in the initials is a dealbreaker.

      Oh, well. I guess it's for the best. I was really hoping for something a bit more mainstream, preferably crafted by trusted comics veterans, maybe dealing with a legacy that's been passed down from one hero to another.

      So...BATMAN BEYOND? :)

      I kid, I kid! Looking forward to diving into BLUE BEETLE. (Love BATMAN BEYOND as well. Maybe there's something to this "BB" initials thing!

      --David

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    5. BATMAN BEYOND? Never heard of it!

      Hope you enjoy BB, David!

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    6. Ted in costume? It really depends on Keith Giffen's whims, Jack. And that's not a joke!

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    7. I have every issue of Blue Beetle. It just keeps getting better with each issue. Any real DC fan would love this book as much as I do.

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    8. Thanks, Douglas! VERY glad you're enjoying the book. I'm having a great time with BB—but, then, I always have a great time when I work with Giffen.

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  8. Just published: "Top 10 Best Justice League Episodes"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRN5G-UiF4E

    My third favorite JMD episode made the list. I don't necessarily agree with the list/order, but it's always fun to revisit this show.

    George

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    1. Thanks, George! What a great show. I'm very grateful that I was involved with it, working with great guys like Stan Berkowitz and Dwayne McDuffie.

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  9. Just so you know, Rod Serling is the subject of the cover story of America during WWII.



    JAck

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    1. Its an interesting article, I knew a lot of the points (not about him testing parachutes for extra money in college though), but the way it is set up helps draw lines to where certain episodes came from, and where the whole tone and feel of the show came from. It was born in the pacific.

      I'd recommend it

      Jack

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    2. I don't know but since the Magazine it was printed in, "America in World War II's" website is a few months off, I doubt it.

      It IS available at Barnes and Noble until they switch to a newer issue.


      Jack

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