Saturday, November 13, 2010

Why I'd Doubt JMS's Explanations

(Editor's Note: yes, a string of JMS posts. I've been rather sporadic in updating this blog, but, when I do work on it, I shoot out a bunch of posts about a subject I'm passionate about. One thing I'm always passionate about: railing against bullshit when I feel someone's trying to shove a steaming pile in my direction. {sniff sniff} Whattaya know? I do believe I smell some...)

So, JMS has been giving more reactions to the news of him leaving monthly books to focus on Superman: Earth One (and possibly other self-contained projects). And, to my mind, he is giving people more reason to doubt his word on the whole thing each time he grants an interview.

Why is that, you say?


On Newsarama, JMS said on Friday, regarding Brave & The Bold:

I filled in a bit on The Brave and the Bold to kind of get my sea legs in the DC Universe.

And on CBR:

I came to DC primarily to do "Superman: Earth One," and filled out the time on "The Brave and the Bold."

Back in January on CBR, JMS sang a different tune about the series:

When we last spoke, you said you've told DC that by the end of 2010, "The Brave and The Bold" will be somewhere in the top 20 or 30 books and that you have a plan to make that happen. Can you share any details about how this will happen?
Step 1 is to build up the credibility of the book as something other than an oddity. We've made some good progress in that area, given the majority of the reviews and attention the book is now getting from critics and the blogosphere.
Step 2 is to start upping the ante, taking some real chances with the storytelling, getting more experimental.
Step 3 is a secret. I've talked about it with [DCU Executive Editor] Dan DiDio, and he's on board. It's our Manhattan Project, for lack of a better term. If we pull it off, it'll draw enough attention to bring the book the rest of the way up.
So, he was making declarations about how he'd turn his feet-wetting, fill-in book a Top 30 title...and he needed to get his sea legs in the DC Universe when the main focus of his hire was just Superman: Earth One, which is not set in that universe. Coupling a series you're just passing time on with bold claims of sales success you plan on having due to a secret master plan you've cooked up makes no sense, unless, possibly, if your name is Mark Millar.

He, also, contradicts himself on the matter of Wonder Woman, in my opinion, in his interview with Newsarama...and manages to do it all in one answer:

Nrama: Was this connected to recent delays on your comics?
JMS: No. First, there's only been one delay on Superman due to a recurring lung infection that has, happily, been resolved once and for all. There were no delays on Wonder Woman, and before the B&B hiatus, all of those issues came out on time.
Once the decision was made to shift me from the monthlies a few weeks ago, they put out the word that the next Wonder Woman issue would be pushed, but that was just to buy time to find a new writer to finish the story.
If your scripts were coming in on time, why is an issue that you should have handed in the script for long ago pushed "to find a new writer"? Where is the logic to that? Are you suggesting DC wants to scrap a perfectly good script that they surely paid for so they can have the new writer re-write it from your plots, JMS? Or are you, as I suspect, just trying to hide your repeated lateness issues behind excuses that insult the intelligence of the readers?

Let me say again, the answer boils down to this: he had no delays on Wonder Woman, but DC is delaying it because they needed to find a writer who would have nothing to do with contributing to the actual issue in question.

If the issue was held for any other reason than lateness on someone's part, the only explanation I can think of is that, contrary to public statements thus far, they plan on trying to condense the conclusion to the JMS storyline so they can bring in a new permanent writer sooner. If that is the case, then his "I had no delays on Wonder Woman" is accurate, but his explanation for the issue getting pushed back is a lie of omission.

Let's not ignore that he talks about Brave & The Bold going on a hiatus that was never announced that I can find. You know, he wasn't late on anything with the just took an unannounced break that had nothing to do with his timeliness. If you can find where it was announced, I welcome a link to it in the comments, dear readers.

What we seem to be seeing here, folks, is a pattern of inconsistency. Which is to say a pattern of making up excuses on the fly that seem to forget that Al Gore invented the internet, which allows us compare what you're spitting out now with previous statements and other known facts. Making up excuses is, also, known as bullshitting.

If you're going to follow J. Michael Straczynski's spin-filled statements and interviews on this subject, may I suggest you wear your high waters? Because he's shoveling on the readers pretty deep.

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