Monday, August 30, 2010

How Bad Is It?

I don't know. When a comic book company can't publish a decent comic book (DC Universe Online: Legends) tying into their own licensed video game (DC Universe Online), I'd say it is fucking terrible.

I put it down after that bit. I might pick it back up for the pure schadenfreude aspects, but I'm in no rush.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mike Norton: One Reason To Be At The Chicago Comicon

Mike Norton's a great guy, from all accounts. But his sketches at this year's Wizard World: Chicago?


It's the first thing that has made me wish I was there so far. I'd have loved to snag a sketch.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Mini Mr. Anonymous Update

Mr. A hit me with two quick things:

1. Assuming his TV development gig doesn't get in the way, Jeph Loeb is STILL set to take over the Marvel cosmic books. I know: folks thought that was just completely bad info and I thought that things must have changed. But, no, things were just delayed for some reason.

And a reminder: Mr. A's whole point of getting the news out on the cosmic takeover was in hopes that fan response might kill it before it got started. While to some that might just sound like a convenient method to explain it away if it never comes to pass, I assure you that it's his honest position. If he wasn't spoiling out of frustration with bad decisions and moves, he'd have been trying to get something from me out of the deal and/or hitting me with spoilers on a much more frequent basis.

2. Completely unsolicited (I swear!), he offered up: JMS is childish and unprofessional. He had more specific comments about him shared in our conversation, but he didn't specify those having his blessing for publication. I'd e-mail JMS to confirm that he is childish and unprofessional, but I don't have his e-mail and, well, his reaction to being in the news recently might be all the confirmation we here at SCHWAPP!!! need. ;)

Top 5 Other Things That JMS Recalls Incorrectly

A reader e-mailed me the following. Wish I could take credit.

#5: The Telepath arc of Babylon 5 didn't suck.

#4: Wonder Woman is an Amazonian princess, as opposed to a member of Prince's band.

#3: Superman on walkabout is a new idea. Since Superman splits after every major event for a little alone time (see Infinite Crisis, 52, etc.).

#2: One More Day.

#1: Norman Osborn fucking Gwen Stacy.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

JMS Upset At Folks Quoting Him Accurately

From Rich Johnston's

Could somebody do me a favor and pass this on to the folks who have been saying that I announced that plans for the OGN Earth One series have been changed? It’s not what I said but it’s all over the net and nobody checks with me to confirm… what was said before going out with these stories?
In brief…I was asked about the format of the graphic novels, was it going to be single issues collected as is the rule or a straight-up GN, to which I said it was a novel, unlike B&B [Brave And The Bold], which was single issues gathered into a hardcover (thus trying to promote the book, which is coming out this week), having a little fun with it when the fan said he was confused, and I said I was too. That was it. Somehow these two statements concerning two different books got conflated into one.
The one has nothing to do with the other.
The bolded part is new, while the rest had been previously shared. Well, new to being publicly reproduced from the e-mails, as I'm sure it was in what The Beat and Robot Six received.

Now, thanks to Nathan in the comments section of the previous, here is the transcript of what he said from DC's podcast of the panel:

Q: With your Superman: Earth One story, is that going to be like an ongoing graphic novel series, or is it just going to be one and done, or do you have plans for other Superman graphic novels, if this is a one and done?
A: What they're going to do is, as I understand it, first the graphic novel will come out in hardcover, then it will come out in individual issues, then more issues will follow to be gathered together in graphic novels.
Q: So, it's going to be graphic novel hardcover first, then single issues recollected, then single issues again?
A: Correct. As I understand it.
Q: That's extremely confusing.
A: You and me both.
If I had his e-mail address, I might contact him to ask that he listen to the recording of what he said before responding indignantly about being misquoted and not approached to get it right (whereas his version of "right" would obviously be wrong).

Earth One OGNs Update

So, DC's official response (given to Heidi & JK Parkin) to the questions about whether they've given up on Earth One as OGNs is:

"Our plans regarding the EARTH ONE line of original graphic novels have not changed - they will serve as new, unique and compelling reinterpretations of our key characters in original graphic novel form, by some of the biggest names and brightest stars in the industry."
-- Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, DC Comics Co-Publishers

Then JMS contacts Robot Six to clarify:

This was the actual exchange, as I remember it.
Someone asked me on the panel if Superman Earth One was only coming out as a hardcover or as issues at the same time or afterward. I said, as near as I can remember it, "This is coming out first in hardcover, unlike B&B, which is single issues collected into a hardcover" (which I slipped in to promote the book, which is coming out I think this week or next week). So it went in both directions, which prompted the fan to note, "I'm confused," and I joked back, "So am I."
That was the entirety of the exchange. Basically, the two different subjects got conflated in the hurry to transcribe what was being said, so they got lumped into one sentence.

OK. So we've at least confirmed that the first volume will experience "retro serialization" (credit to Johanna). Beyond that, we haven't really gotten a whole heckuva lot out of anyone about this.

Some questions that still need answering:

  1. How are they dealing with making an OGN (which should be a seamless story from cover to cover) work with retro serialization? Which format will experience some sacrifice: the OGN by needing artificial breaks for eventual single issues or the single issues for having no natural breaks to end on?
  2. What exactly is/was the intended production schedule for this? Because, if you're publishing HC and then serializing afterward (and then possibly doing softcover), there'd seem to be the potential for built-in delays between new volumes. It doesn't seem likely that the second volume of the OGN will hit shelves before the last issue of the serialization does (or even softcover trade).
  3. Was "retro serialization" honestly part of the original plan? Because answers from the talent in their AICN interview certainly didn't seem to reflect that. They were asked whether they thought OGNs might be signaling the end of monthlies and never once brought up serialization plans, which would have been a strong, direct, silencing answer. 
I'm sure there are more questions (like how DC felt their official non-answer was worth giving), but those three are a good start.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

DC'S Earth One Books No Longer OGNs?

Man, I can't believe I missed this and had to have it pointed out by a friend.

From CBR:
The last question went to Straczynski. The fan asked whether the writer plans on continuing the "Earth One" stories. The writer revealed that the hardcover release will be followed up with by single issues, which will later be collected.
Apparently, after the first Earth One Superman OGN, following volumes will be serialized in comic book form and then collected. So...the OGN/bookstore thing goes flying away before it even gets started.

Were pre-orders that low? Are the folks at DC that lacking in testicular fortitude that they can't wait to see how it performs for a bit before announcing a switch to serialized-into-collected traditional publishing?

How hard is it to at least wait until you're coming close to the time where you have to solicit the work from the second volume before you reveal to the world that you have no faith in this OGN idea?

There's phrasing at Newsarama that makes it sound possible that they're talking about publishing the OGN, publishing as single issues and then collecting it again (maybe with added material or something?), but that sounds about as unlikely as it sounds stupid.
Last question concerns the format of Earth One, which JMS reports will come out as a hardcover, then individual issues, then be collected again. Fan: "That's extremely confusing." "To both of us," JMS said with a chuckle.
I don't know. I was impressed that they were going to try this OGN thing for awhile, with their most marketable characters in an interesting project. But if they're ready to bail out on it before it has even hit shelves, that says more negative about DC as a publisher than the initial plan said positively about them.