Tuesday, May 8, 2007

That's more like it

-Kudos to Brian Cronin for updating my blog description to more accurately reflect its immeasurable contributions to online comics discourse. Mr. Cronin, you did the right thing by quoting me directly.

-Finally, finally, one of these 52 interviews gives me something to work with. Maybe it's because Grant Morrison had been relatively quiet up until now. What's the biggest dish? Well, apparently the Vertigo office insisted he write the outer space stuff because they only trusted him to write Animal Man. There was supposed to be a "coda" for Super-Chief, but space limitations ruled it out. A few unnamed people considered quitting when Steve Wacker left the book. Morrison did not actually write any part of issue #24 (the one where Bulleteer was all out of character), which IIRC kind of contradicts the usual company line on the writing process as pretty seamless, all things considered. Not convinced? Morrison says he wrote almost all the Oolong Island stuff, which was probably the most beloved part of the whole series. I'm sure you'll hear a lot about these and other points in the days to come, but I don't want to overlook these gems either:

"Everybody always describes me as the 'big ideas' guy but they only ever mention one of my ideas (Skeets is evil...oooooo) and you rarely get to hear how much of my time was spent cheerleading my way through the weekly phone calls. Everybody likes to typecast Mark as the staunch traditionalist when in fact he's a supersmart, witty and literary writer with no respect for authority and he probably had more confrontations with editorial than any of the rest of us. Greg's supposed to be the angry, street level guy who grounds everything in reality but he also has a lurid pulp imagination and is very thoughtful and gracious team player. Geoff is often seen as the white collar go-to company guy at DC when he's actually a bloodthirsty, restless innovator who continually pushes for characters to experience the new, different and deadly and he has no real loyalty to previous ways of doing things at all."

Man, I was really tempted to take that out of context: "Geoff is...bloodthirsty." Well, duh. To be fair, I'm not sure if the line on Geoff Johns is that he's a traditionalist as much as that he has a Roy Thomas-like compulsion to tie together continuity in a nice little bow. And there's his fondness for dismemberment, of course. For that matter, Waid as pugnacious enemy of editorial is, uh, not all that surprising either. And sense when is a street level sensibility incompatible with "lurid pulp imagination"?

Okay, okay, one more highly amusing thing:

"[Morrison:] While we're on the subject of online commentary, I have to make one last point which has been amusing me recently and this seems as good a forum as any to bring it up. One of the most damning online criticisms I see of writers in comics is that he or she 'phoned it in'. Umm...has no-one grasped the irony or the concept of the internet modem here? You think we put our scripts and artwork in envelopes and send them pigeon post?

Here is wisdom - everyone phones their scripts in!!!!

NRAMA: Okay – good, if overly semantic, point."

It's at this point I noticed that Vaneta Rogers, who had conducted the interviews with Waid, Johns, and Giffen (but not Didio) was not credited for the interview. There was no credit, in fact, which leads me to conclude that Matt Brady was the interviewer. As much as Brady misses the point sometimes and is too quick with the Star Wars references at other times, he occasionally displays a pretty sharp, dry wit. I don't know how I would have reacted if I were interviewing Grant Morrison only to have him deviate from the subject at hand to make an incredibly lame (and somewhat inaccurate, given the prevalence of cable modems) joke, but this was as good a response as any. And if this interview was, in fact, conducted byVaneta Rogers, then I would have to say that exchange was the highlight of the entire series.

-After mocking the Transformers fans recently, I probably shouldn't admit this, but I'm actually looking forward to that Castlevania cartoon. If Warren Ellis screws it up I guess I'll finally be able to empathize with fans of Thunderbolts (and yes, there had better be whips).

-Brian Bolland: the Mark Waid of lawsuits? (Okay, that's the last Waid joke for a while. Also, if Bolland is serious about this, it's worse than Waid's bullshit macho posturing.)


Anonymous said...

I'm a fan of Thunderbolts and I have no issue with what Ellis is doing. I'm sure he'll get lazy and just play his eliminationist lefty card, but for now it's good.

Speaking of good, I read a good chunk of Checkmate: A King's Game last night, and it's Rucka's strongest, or at least not cloying, writing in a while. Too bad the first arc ends in a Green Lantern ex machina, though.

obsolete said...

This is a good entry, Dick, but I fear I may never be satisfied with your blog again if I don't get some excerpts from your Babylon 5 novels. Perhaps you could open each post with a select passage applicable to the day's message.

Think about it. The fans demand it.