Embracing the red pen.
I think this article could have used some revising to reflect there are at least four levels of “editorial involvement” at the Marvel/DC level:
- Actual line-editing, i.e. “You misspelled these words and you might want to work on your transition between scenes here, it’s not clear.”
- A creative sounding-board/story editor, i.e. “You might want to flesh out this character’s motivations more, and hold off on resolving [plot point] until after [event]. Maybe you could explore this?
- Continuity/Character Cop, i.e. “Namor wasn’t an Avenger until long after when you’re flashing back to. Martian Manhunter probably wouldn’t call anyone a “stupid douchebag”. You’re drawing red underwear on Superman, and Batman doesn’t sit.”
- Editorially Driven Content, i.e. “Hey drop what you’re doing. Your next three issues need to tie into our linewide event. Stop using Character A, I know you’re halfway into a yearlong story, but someone has dibs on her. You’re using this other character now, to set up a mini-series someone else is writing. Also we’re replacing you on this book, you’re writing an entirely different thing or nothing at all. Also goddammit, we told you Batman doesn’t sit.”
I am reasonably certain every single Image book (and indeed, every book published in the world, even self-published ones) have people doing Jobs One and Two. You might have a few hardcore auteurs bristle against Job Two, but they’re few and far between.
Job Three is a necessary task — I wouldn’t even call it a necessary evil, though some might and I can see where they’re coming from — but I honestly don’t see a lot of it evident from most Big Two books, and where I do it’s usually something silly like the Batman Doesn’t Sit business.
Job Four is probably seen as a necessary evil, and is almost certainly where 90% of complaints about editors originate. I think a lot of times this involves shooting the messenger, since the assistant editor on Doctor Strange or Doom Patrol isn’t deciding when a marquee character turns into a [black person/woman/corpse/talking horse]. It’s frustrating as a reader to see stories you enjoy get derailed, so I can only imagine how it feels to the creators. It may be the cost of doing business, but it’s also a completely valid motivation for someone to want to stop doing that business, and to call it “demonizing editors” is wack.
To clarify, I get the same type of passive-aggressive message from the same small group of fans who don’t like Greg’s work. But that’s not indicative of the opinions of the audience as a whole. It’s just the same guys who have an axe to grind writing the same things regardless of what assignment Greg happens to have. Just one step short of #FIREGREGLAND territory.
I’m not someone who goes around writing to editors about what books I’m not going to buy, but I’m definitely someone who isn’t going to buy a book that has Greg Land art. I’m not sure if that means I have an axe to grind or I’m in borderline #FIREGREGLAND territory, but when did it become inappropriate to express negative opinions about creators you’re not a fan of?
Especially in a collaborative medium like superhero comics. I enjoy Kieron Gillen and Al Ewing as writers, but if their work is going to be drawn by someone I feel misses the essential points of storytelling, I would just as soon read their scripts and not have them misdirected and ruined by bad art. That’s just an opinion, of course, but I think it’s a valid one.
I may like The Rock as an action movie star, but if I don’t like Brett Ratner I’m not going to see his new movie. If Brian Eno announced he was producing the new Limp Bizkit album, I wouldn’t want to buy that. If this means I’m some passive-aggressive malcontent trying to take money out of Limp Bizkit’s kid’z mouthz, so be it.
Please keep in mind that I work for a NATIONAL newspaper. And yet they still find the time and space to keep me humble. Thanks, guys!
The newspaper I’ve worked at for the last twelve years finally outed me as “Chip Zdarsky” with this ludicrous article.National Post illustrator and failed Toronto mayoral candidate Steve Murray received an enormous boost to his already-inflated ego this past weekend, scooping up an illustrious Will Eisner award
I just fucking can’t with this man. I Canadan’t.
Betty Cooper should come out as bisexual. Not because there’s been solid subtextual evidence thus far that she is bisexual, but because her stories and the Archie world as a whole would become so much richer and more interesting if she were bisexual.
I was thinking about the lack of…
The other week I lost my temper and said some stuff about Marvel’s announcements of Captain America and Thor, who are replacing White Captain America and Dude Thor. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, mulling it over, because it’s been pretty inescapable.
I like Marvel’s characters. I think that…
“And I think it’s messed up to see somebody who doesn’t know that pain harness it to sell some comics. ”
This has been on my mind for a while now, but especially because of all the new announcements. Do we wait to tell these stories until a writer/artist team with an authentic voice is finally hired, or do we write these stories now with the hopes that they will show young readers that superheroes can come in all colors and designs? How do we get past this “lesser of two evils” situation that is reoccurring in media, especially comics.
It is always better to take the leap than wait for someone else, on a personal level. But I think companies that have hiring power have a responsibility to do some legwork to make sure it gets done and done well. There’s no story you shouldn’t be allowed to tell, but be aware that others may tell it differently than you are currently capable of. But DO IT either way.
So, yeah, HOLY SHIT, we won BEST NEW SERIES at the Eisner Awards Friday night. The Eisner committee had to engrave the words “SEX CRIMINALS” on two of their trophies. I have hidden it in my home for when they realize what they’ve done and come to take it away from me.
It was a fantastic, nerve-wracking night, and jeez louise ain’t Matt Fraction the best? If it weren’t for him and his brilliant brain I’d be doodling dicks on cocktail napkins for spare change. I love that guy and can’t stress enough how great it’s been to work on this with him. He’s a great collaborator and a great friend and NO, YOU have something in your eye.
Oh, and issue seven is at the printers, printing away. No ads, all story and giant letters column. COMICS WOOOO
WHAT THAT’S AWESOME! Thank you, etymology side of tumblr!
petition to reclaim dude from the dudely masses.
"I’m a dude. He’s a dude. She’s a dude. We’re all dudes, hey!" —Good Burger, laying the foundation for positive change
i feel like im watching dragon ball Z and goku is about to show up and fight final form neil degrassi tyson