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Blue Beetle




Fave Character + Good Art = Must Buy

How many of us choose our comics based on that equation? I've begun to think a lot of people do, though not necessarily the sort who post on message boards.

What's missing from the equation? Writing! And that's my point. I've begun to think the subject matter (fave character) and the visual appeal (good art) are by far the most important factors in most people's buying decision, with the writing a distant third.

The above might have been true of yours truly when I was a kid. This was back in the 70's, when I was buying mostly Marvel, and Roy Thomas was ascendant. Back then, I never encountered what I considered a poorly written comic, so if I liked the character and liked the art, I bought the book. I didn't have to choose by writer, because the writing was always to my liking.

Nowadays there are writers who are so obviously inferior to their peers, for example Loeb, that I tend to think I need to be selective in that area. Yet people buy Loeb's books and don't complain, probably because he always is blessed with a popular artist and popular subject matter.

I have to admit, if I like the art and I like the protagonist, it takes a lot for me to dislike the comic. The writing has to be grossly sub-par. Few writers are really that poor. Often it isn't even really the writing that bugs me, but rather the editorial mandate, good example being "Brand New Day," which is unreadable unless you're happy with the editorial mandate. (Zeb Wells was able to shine under those conditions, but Zeb Wells is upper echelon.)

Most of the time, if I choose books by character and art, I think I'll enjoy the books I end up with. I just won't buy anything by Loeb or mandated by JoeQ. Everything else should be fine.

Comments?



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The Black Guardian

Moderator

Location: Paragon City, RI
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


> Fave Character + Good Art = Must Buy
>
> How many of us choose our comics based on that equation? I've begun
> to think a lot of people do, though not necessarily the sort who
> post on message boards.
>
> What's missing from the equation? Writing!

My buying has always been 99% character and writing. I don't care if the art is chicken scratch, as long as I can follow what's going on (and that, really, amounts to 99.999% of the artists that are employed). Sure, there are some artists whose work I like more than others, but the artists that keep me from buying are few and far between (I could probably count them on one hand).

> And that's my point. I've begun to think the subject matter (fave
> character) and the visual appeal (good art) are by far the most
> important factors in most people's buying decision, with the writing
> a distant third.

Wouldn't subject matter go beyond just the characters? Theme? Mood? Genre? Setting? Etc...




City of Heroes is BACK!
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zeus


Location: Plano, IL
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


Like you, as a young reader I was all about characters. When I was just getting to know characters, and how titles were related to each other, it was primarily the art that caught my eye and got me to buy a book.

These days, it's writer first and character second. A good artist is a bonus. I'd buy anything (616 Marvel, that is. I barely have enough cash and time to keep up with one universe) by Busiek, Priest or Nicieza (there are others that aren't springing to mind). There are characters whom I will follow, as long as they aren't by Austen or Bendis (any Slingers, Hawkeye, some others).

The only time the art has swayed me one way or the other was New Invaders (I just couldn't pay money to look at it. I just couldn't.).

> Fave Character + Good Art = Must Buy
>
> How many of us choose our comics based on that equation? I've begun to think a lot of people do, though not necessarily the sort who post on message boards.
>
> What's missing from the equation? Writing! And that's my point. I've begun to think the subject matter (fave character) and the visual appeal (good art) are by far the most important factors in most people's buying decision, with the writing a distant third.
>
> The above might have been true of yours truly when I was a kid. This was back in the 70's, when I was buying mostly Marvel, and Roy Thomas was ascendant. Back then, I never encountered what I considered a poorly written comic, so if I liked the character and liked the art, I bought the book. I didn't have to choose by writer, because the writing was always to my liking.
>
> Nowadays there are writers who are so obviously inferior to their peers, for example Loeb, that I tend to think I need to be selective in that area. Yet people buy Loeb's books and don't complain, probably because he always is blessed with a popular artist and popular subject matter.
>
> I have to admit, if I like the art and I like the protagonist, it takes a lot for me to dislike the comic. The writing has to be grossly sub-par. Few writers are really that poor. Often it isn't even really the writing that bugs me, but rather the editorial mandate, good example being "Brand New Day," which is unreadable unless you're happy with the editorial mandate. (Zeb Wells was able to shine under those conditions, but Zeb Wells is upper echelon.)
>
> Most of the time, if I choose books by character and art, I think I'll enjoy the books I end up with. I just won't buy anything by Loeb or mandated by JoeQ. Everything else should be fine.
>
> Comments?
>



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mjyoung




> Fave Character + Good Art = Must Buy
>
> How many of us choose our comics based on that equation? I've begun to think a lot of people do, though not necessarily the sort who post on message boards.
> What's missing from the equation? Writing! And that's my point. I've begun to think the subject matter (fave character) and the visual appeal (good art) are by far the most important factors in most people's buying decision, with the writing a distant third.

I don't really think that's the case at all. I think for most readers, it's 1)character, 2) writer, 3) artist.

> Nowadays there are writers who are so obviously inferior to their peers, for example Loeb, that I tend to think I need to be selective in that area. Yet people buy Loeb's books and don't complain, probably because he always is blessed with a popular artist and popular subject matter.

That's not really the case. Loeb has written some great stories (according to the majority of fans), and has only recently been delivering some bad stories. Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Man for All Seasons, Superman/Batman, color minis, and many more were all well received by the fans. Compare that to the Ultimates and Red Hulk, the only stories so far that have been bad.

But I would certainly agree that the characters he writes and the artists he works with has helped sell the comics. I just don't think it's accurate to dismiss him entirely.

> Most of the time, if I choose books by character and art, I think I'll enjoy the books I end up with. I just won't buy anything by Loeb or mandated by JoeQ. Everything else should be fine.
>
> Comments?

There might be a few cases where your idea is true, I think its a very small number.

There are certain writers who the fans like that always sell great, regardless of the artists attached, examples would include Bendis, Johns, Brubaker, Morrison, and many others. On the other hand, you have popular artists that don't sell very well when attached to bad writers, like Perez on Brave and the Bold.

New and Mighty Avengers is going to (I think) have Billy Tan and Khoi Pham as the new regular artist. Those series will continue to sell because of the characters, and because of the writer.

Another example would be the current JLA series. The series has had the same artist on (Benes) with the same characters, but when Meltzer left, the book dropped in sales. The only change was the writer.

Or you could look at creator owned comics. Those are always promoted by the name of the writer instead of the artist. BKV's Y the Last Man and Ex Machina, Ennis's Preacher, Gaimen's Sandman, etc.

The current Buffy series is a perfect example of my ranking system. Buffy is the primary selling point, but having writers like Whedon and BKV is the second selling point. Georges Jeanty was a mediocre artist (in terms of sells).


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SEHS66




Fave Character + Good Art = Must Buy?

At one time that was me. I never cared who the writer was for years. Mainly because marvel and DC stuck to a "house" style of writing. So I made my buys based on the art and characters.

Then around 2000 a bunch of writers started filtering into DC and marvel that I just do not like. They have become the driving force at both companies. With these writers doing the bulk of the plotting and writing I find myself just staying away.

There has been lapses in my judgment though. The last time was Mighty Avengers. I gave this book a try because of Wonder Man and the artist even though the writer was/is one of my least favorites. Well... Not even Wonder Man and good art could save this book for me.

So I have learned to stick to my list of writers to avoid.


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Blue Beetle




> My buying has always been 99% character and writing. I don't care if the art is chicken scratch, as long as I can follow what's going on (and that, really, amounts to 99.999% of the artists that are employed). Sure, there are some artists whose work I like more than others, but the artists that keep me from buying are few and far between (I could probably count them on one hand).


I'm pretty eclectic in my tastes, so I'm OK most of the time, but there are a few artists who bug me. Meanwhile, if I like both the character and the artist a great deal, it is almost impossible for me to dislike the comic. The writer has to be incredibly poor. It took Loeb to turn me against Jim Lee + Batman.


> Wouldn't subject matter go beyond just the characters? Theme? Mood? Genre? Setting? Etc...


Yes, but those are all built into the character. Theme, mood, genre, setting - think of Batman. Don't the majority of Batman stories have a predictable theme, mood, genre, setting? Exceptions arise, of course, but most of the time these elements are consistent.




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Blue Beetle




> Like you, as a young reader I was all about characters. When I was just getting to know characters, and how titles were related to each other, it was primarily the art that caught my eye and got me to buy a book.


I used to love to stand there by the spinner rack and just stare at all the gorgeous covers! \:\)


> These days, it's writer first and character second. A good artist is a bonus. I'd buy anything (616 Marvel, that is. I barely have enough cash and time to keep up with one universe) by Busiek, Priest or Nicieza (there are others that aren't springing to mind). There are characters whom I will follow, as long as they aren't by Austen or Bendis (any Slingers, Hawkeye, some others).


And I think this is precisely why message board people like you and me are different from the bulk of fandom. We're super-sensitive to the writing. Think about it. Wolverine + Jim Lee. Add the worst writer you can think of. Absolute worst writer. Won't the comic be top ten? Sure, we on the message board will blast the comic as putrid. Yet it will be top ten and Marvel will snicker at our negativity. There has to be a reason we message board folk are so out of touch with the bulk of fandom. I think I may have put my finger on the reason.


> The only time the art has swayed me one way or the other was New Invaders (I just couldn't pay money to look at it. I just couldn't.).


Yes. That experiment was unfortunate.



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Blue Beetle




> I don't really think that's the case at all. I think for most readers, it's 1)character, 2) writer, 3) artist.


Can't possibly be the case. Books with poor writing sell great.


> That's not really the case. Loeb has written some great stories (according to the majority of fans), and has only recently been delivering some bad stories. Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Man for All Seasons, Superman/Batman, color minis, and many more were all well received by the fans. Compare that to the Ultimates and Red Hulk, the only stories so far that have been bad.


And "Hush." Three lemons. I also found the writing to be poor on Superman/Batman. The artist saved that book. But here's the thing: the Red Hulk stuff is selling well. Why? Can't be the writing. What else is left?


> But I would certainly agree that the characters he writes and the artists he works with has helped sell the comics. I just don't think it's accurate to dismiss him entirely.


If the writing is poor and the book sells, then it must be the character and the art that matter.


> There might be a few cases where your idea is true, I think its a very small number.
>
> There are certain writers who the fans like that always sell great, regardless of the artists attached, examples would include Bendis, Johns, Brubaker, Morrison, and many others. On the other hand, you have popular artists that don't sell very well when attached to bad writers, like Perez on Brave and the Bold.


Bendis, Johns, Brubaker, and Morrison are usually put on top characters with top artists. But look at Morrison's Seven Soldiers of Victory - not exactly a sales bonanza.


> New and Mighty Avengers is going to (I think) have Billy Tan and Khoi Pham as the new regular artist. Those series will continue to sell because of the characters, and because of the writer.


Those artists are popular. Not to the level of Jim Lee, but they're popular.


> Another example would be the current JLA series. The series has had the same artist on (Benes) with the same characters, but when Meltzer left, the book dropped in sales. The only change was the writer.


The book was already dropping at the point Meltzer left. It had restarted at number one. That restart artificially spiked sales. What we're seeing now is the natural sales level for those characters and that artist.


> Or you could look at creator owned comics. Those are always promoted by the name of the writer instead of the artist. BKV's Y the Last Man and Ex Machina, Ennis's Preacher, Gaimen's Sandman, etc.


None of these sell greatly. They get critical acclaim but not high sales. (I'm limiting my comments to the monthly pamphlets. I believe some of these may sell well as TPB's.)


> The current Buffy series is a perfect example of my ranking system. Buffy is the primary selling point, but having writers like Whedon and BKV is the second selling point. Georges Jeanty was a mediocre artist (in terms of sells).


That comic doesn't sell greatly as a monthly pamphlet. It may sell tremendously as a TPB. I don't know.



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CyberCoyote

Moderator

Location: The Negative Zone
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,556


But I have, because of the writer. I've yet to be REALLY challenged to prove my steel, though. For example, if Alan Davis were illustrating the FF right now I might have to break down and get it. If Perez were on an Avengers book.. couldn't resist.. I don't think.. maybe.

On the other hand, favorite character and good writer.. that would be an impossible to avoid situation even with sub-par art. Say Dwayne McDuffie wrote a series with Gravity or The Human Torch.. it wouldn't matter WHO was on it, even an artist like Jae Lee whom I just can't get into.

> Fave Character + Good Art = Must Buy
>
> How many of us choose our comics based on that equation? I've begun to think a lot of people do, though not necessarily the sort who post on message boards.
>
> What's missing from the equation? Writing! And that's my point. I've begun to think the subject matter (fave character) and the visual appeal (good art) are by far the most important factors in most people's buying decision, with the writing a distant third.
>
> The above might have been true of yours truly when I was a kid. This was back in the 70's, when I was buying mostly Marvel, and Roy Thomas was ascendant. Back then, I never encountered what I considered a poorly written comic, so if I liked the character and liked the art, I bought the book. I didn't have to choose by writer, because the writing was always to my liking.
>
> Nowadays there are writers who are so obviously inferior to their peers, for example Loeb, that I tend to think I need to be selective in that area. Yet people buy Loeb's books and don't complain, probably because he always is blessed with a popular artist and popular subject matter.
>
> I have to admit, if I like the art and I like the protagonist, it takes a lot for me to dislike the comic. The writing has to be grossly sub-par. Few writers are really that poor. Often it isn't even really the writing that bugs me, but rather the editorial mandate, good example being "Brand New Day," which is unreadable unless you're happy with the editorial mandate. (Zeb Wells was able to shine under those conditions, but Zeb Wells is upper echelon.)
>
> Most of the time, if I choose books by character and art, I think I'll enjoy the books I end up with. I just won't buy anything by Loeb or mandated by JoeQ. Everything else should be fine.
>
> Comments?
>





Pull List: Fantastic Four-Fire Power-Eternals-Champions-High Republic-Seven to Eternity
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Jeff Harey


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


> Fave Character + Good Art = Must Buy?
>
> At one time that was me. I never cared who the writer was for years. Mainly because marvel and DC stuck to a "house" style of writing. So I made my buys based on the art and characters.

I must respectfully disagree where Marvel is concerned. Stan Lee stood out among his peers, to the point where much of the friction between he and Kirby and he and Ditko can be traced to it. In the 1970s, Denny O'Neill, Steve Englehart, Gerry Conway, Chris Claremont and Roy Thomas, among others, made their presence felt. In the 1980s and 1990s, Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Peter David and Warren Ellis were writers who overshadowed many of their artists.

>
> Then around 2000 a bunch of writers started filtering into DC and marvel that I just do not like. They have become the driving force at both companies. With these writers doing the bulk of the plotting and writing I find myself just staying away.
>
> There has been lapses in my judgment though. The last time was Mighty Avengers. I gave this book a try because of Wonder Man and the artist even though the writer was/is one of my least favorites. Well... Not even Wonder Man and good art could save this book for me.
>
> So I have learned to stick to my list of writers to avoid.



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Blue Beetle




> Fave Character + Good Art = Must Buy?
>
> At one time that was me. I never cared who the writer was for years. Mainly because marvel and DC stuck to a "house" style of writing. So I made my buys based on the art and characters.


Yup. Me too.


> Then around 2000 a bunch of writers started filtering into DC and marvel that I just do not like. They have become the driving force at both companies. With these writers doing the bulk of the plotting and writing I find myself just staying away.


There are a few writers I can't tolerate but the rest of the writers are all about equally good. Brubaker's pacing is too slow for me. Bendis gives me too many WTF moments. Ninjas? Xorn? Ronin was a woman in a man-suit? Six splash pages in a row with no words?


> There has been lapses in my judgment though. The last time was Mighty Avengers. I gave this book a try because of Wonder Man and the artist even though the writer was/is one of my least favorites. Well... Not even Wonder Man and good art could save this book for me.


Marvel needs to make the Sentry either heroic or villainous or both before I'll buy that comic. He can be both if they want, heroic and villainous. But right now he's pathetic and that I can't stomach. I'm rejecting the comic because of the character.




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Blue Beetle




> But I have, because of the writer. I've yet to be REALLY challenged to prove my steel, though. For example, if Alan Davis were illustrating the FF right now I might have to break down and get it. If Perez were on an Avengers book.. couldn't resist.. I don't think.. maybe.


Case in point. I don't think Busiek was all that good on the Avengers book. But Perez was so upper echelon that it took me a long time to care.


> On the other hand, favorite character and good writer.. that would be an impossible to avoid situation even with sub-par art. Say Dwayne McDuffie wrote a series with Gravity or The Human Torch.. it wouldn't matter WHO was on it, even an artist like Jae Lee whom I just can't get into.


That's the kind of response I expect from message board people like ourselves. I don't think the bulk of fandom is of this persuasion.



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CyberCoyote

Moderator

Location: The Negative Zone
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,556




> That's the kind of response I expect from message board people like ourselves. I don't think the bulk of fandom is of this persuasion.
>

And I'm not saying it's a terrible thing.. but Wolverine on the cover sells a book. It's a tried and proven fact. "This issue someone DIES" sells a book, no matter who the writer or artist is.

As far as Perez on the Avengers.. I just don't know what it is. His work isn't perfect by a long shot.. but the combination of his style and ability to put thirty unique characters on a page all at once so perfectly makes him the Ultimate Avengers Artist.





Pull List: Fantastic Four-Fire Power-Eternals-Champions-High Republic-Seven to Eternity
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Stupid Baby


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 1,121


> Fave Character + Good Art = Must Buy
>
> How many of us choose our comics based on that equation? I've begun to think a lot of people do, though not necessarily the sort who post on message boards.
>
> What's missing from the equation? Writing! And that's my point. I've begun to think the subject matter (fave character) and the visual appeal (good art) are by far the most important factors in most people's buying decision, with the writing a distant third.
>
> The above might have been true of yours truly when I was a kid. This was back in the 70's, when I was buying mostly Marvel, and Roy Thomas was ascendant. Back then, I never encountered what I considered a poorly written comic, so if I liked the character and liked the art, I bought the book. I didn't have to choose by writer, because the writing was always to my liking.
>
> Nowadays there are writers who are so obviously inferior to their peers, for example Loeb, that I tend to think I need to be selective in that area. Yet people buy Loeb's books and don't complain, probably because he always is blessed with a popular artist and popular subject matter.
>
> I have to admit, if I like the art and I like the protagonist, it takes a lot for me to dislike the comic. The writing has to be grossly sub-par. Few writers are really that poor. Often it isn't even really the writing that bugs me, but rather the editorial mandate, good example being "Brand New Day," which is unreadable unless you're happy with the editorial mandate. (Zeb Wells was able to shine under those conditions, but Zeb Wells is upper echelon.)
>
> Most of the time, if I choose books by character and art, I think I'll enjoy the books I end up with. I just won't buy anything by Loeb or mandated by JoeQ. Everything else should be fine.
>
> Comments?
>

My buying attitude used to be art, art,art.
Nowadays I go for writing above art.
For instance, I will by anything by Peter David, no matter who the artist is.

just like you said though, I tend to avoid anything mandated or drawn by JoeQ.




"I would never want to be a member of any club that would have me as a member" - Groucho Marx
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mjyoung




> > I don't really think that's the case at all. I think for most readers, it's 1)character, 2) writer, 3) artist.
>
> Can't possibly be the case. Books with poor writing sell great.
>
Poor writing is your opinion, something you have to leave out of this discussion.

> > That's not really the case. Loeb has written some great stories (according to the majority of fans), and has only recently been delivering some bad stories. Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Man for All Seasons, Superman/Batman, color minis, and many more were all well received by the fans. Compare that to the Ultimates and Red Hulk, the only stories so far that have been bad.
>
> And "Hush." Three lemons. I also found the writing to be poor on Superman/Batman. The artist saved that book. But here's the thing: the Red Hulk stuff is selling well. Why? Can't be the writing. What else is left?

People liked Hush, and it was good for what it was.

Red Hulk is selling well for a variety of reasons. The mystery of who and what the Red Hulk is, the creative team behind it, the showdowns between the characters, etc. If the current Hulk series has bad writing (in the eyes of the fans), then you will see it lose readers.

Allstar Batman and Robin is just like Red Hulk.

> > But I would certainly agree that the characters he writes and the artists he works with has helped sell the comics. I just don't think it's accurate to dismiss him entirely.
>
> If the writing is poor and the book sells, then it must be the character and the art that matter.

Again, you are using your opinion of what is poor writing:.

> > There might be a few cases where your idea is true, I think its a very small number.
> >
> > There are certain writers who the fans like that always sell great, regardless of the artists attached, examples would include Bendis, Johns, Brubaker, Morrison, and many others. On the other hand, you have popular artists that don't sell very well when attached to bad writers, like Perez on Brave and the Bold.
>
> Bendis, Johns, Brubaker, and Morrison are usually put on top characters with top artists. But look at Morrison's Seven Soldiers of Victory - not exactly a sales bonanza.

The Morrison Seven Soliders example doesn't work here, because they were missing the most important thing, characters.

> > New and Mighty Avengers is going to (I think) have Billy Tan and Khoi Pham as the new regular artist. Those series will continue to sell because of the characters, and because of the writer.
>
> Those artists are popular. Not to the level of Jim Lee, but they're popular.

Are they? Khoi Pham has only done a few issues of any title. I wouldn't put them in the same league as Frank Cho, Finch, McNiven, Yu, Deodato, Bagley, etc. What's an example of a non popular artist?

> > Another example would be the current JLA series. The series has had the same artist on (Benes) with the same characters, but when Meltzer left, the book dropped in sales. The only change was the writer.
>
> The book was already dropping at the point Meltzer left. It had restarted at number one. That restart artificially spiked sales. What we're seeing now is the natural sales level for those characters and that artist.

The book dropped 10% on McDuffie's first issue. Meltzer had the series selling around 125K or so, while McDuffie is around 90K.

> > Or you could look at creator owned comics. Those are always promoted by the name of the writer instead of the artist. BKV's Y the Last Man and Ex Machina, Ennis's Preacher, Gaimen's Sandman, etc.
>
>
> None of these sell greatly. They get critical acclaim but not high sales. (I'm limiting my comments to the monthly pamphlets. I believe some of these may sell well as TPB's.)

Ok, those series sell great in TPB's, and are continously the number one sellers each month. I think Y the Last Man always has it's first tpb on the top 10 since release or something.

> > The current Buffy series is a perfect example of my ranking system. Buffy is the primary selling point, but having writers like Whedon and BKV is the second selling point. Georges Jeanty was a mediocre artist (in terms of sells).
>
> That comic doesn't sell greatly as a monthly pamphlet. It may sell tremendously as a TPB. I don't know.

Ranked 12th for June. Issue 15. I would say that is selling great.



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Blue Beetle




> Poor writing is your opinion, something you have to leave out of this discussion.


No. There is writing we don't like because of style and there is writing that is just piss poor. Loeb is piss poor. For God's sake, each issue is Red Hulk beating someone up and everyone wondering who he is. Again and again and again. Even as a kid I would have dropped this comic.


>
> People liked Hush, and it was good for what it was.


They liked it because it was Batman + Jim Lee.


> Red Hulk is selling well for a variety of reasons. The mystery of who and what the Red Hulk is, the creative team behind it, the showdowns between the characters, etc. If the current Hulk series has bad writing (in the eyes of the fans), then you will see it lose readers.


No I won't. The artist is popular and there's a Hulk appearing. It will sell no matter what.


>
> Allstar Batman and Robin is just like Red Hulk.


You lost me. The comic you mention is Batman + Jim Lee. It had to sell and it does. It's also Frank Miller, who has some sort of weird cult status. But he lost a lot of his rep with the second Dark Knight book. Even so, the book must sell, and it does. It's Batman + Jim Lee.


> > If the writing is poor and the book sells, then it must be the character and the art that matter.
>
> Again, you are using your opinion of what is poor writing:.


There are craftsmanship standards of writing, and there are stylistic standards. Stylistic standards are subjective. Craftsmanship standards are objective. Loeb is a poor craftsman.

"Look! It's the Red Hulk!"
(clobber)
"Who was that guy?"

That's the entire plot of the first four issues of the comic. This is poor craftsmanship.


> The Morrison Seven Soliders example doesn't work here, because they were missing the most important thing, characters.


OK. I'll set that aside. Unfortunately there aren't any other examples to use, because Morrison is always handed top properties and top artists. He can't fail. He could phone it in and sell big numbers.


> > Those artists are popular. Not to the level of Jim Lee, but they're popular.
>
> Are they? Khoi Pham has only done a few issues of any title. I wouldn't put them in the same league as Frank Cho, Finch, McNiven, Yu, Deodato, Bagley, etc. What's an example of a non popular artist?


Their style is popular. That's why they get the job. Marvel knows their style sells. The average fan opens the comic, looks at the art, checks which characters are on the page, and buys the comic.


> The book dropped 10% on McDuffie's first issue. Meltzer had the series selling around 125K or so, while McDuffie is around 90K.


People obviously saw it as a good jumping off point. Previous arc was over.


> > None of these sell greatly. They get critical acclaim but not high sales. (I'm limiting my comments to the monthly pamphlets. I believe some of these may sell well as TPB's.)
>
> Ok, those series sell great in TPB's, and are continously the number one sellers each month. I think Y the Last Man always has it's first tpb on the top 10 since release or something.


TPB sales are governed by different realities. I would say it's certainly true that where TPB sales are concerned, the writing is very important.


> > > The current Buffy series is a perfect example of my ranking system. Buffy is the primary selling point, but having writers like Whedon and BKV is the second selling point. Georges Jeanty was a mediocre artist (in terms of sells).
> >
> > That comic doesn't sell greatly as a monthly pamphlet. It may sell tremendously as a TPB. I don't know.
>
> Ranked 12th for June. Issue 15. I would say that is selling great.


OK. I concede that one. I had no idea the book was selling so well. I would sample it, but the art doesn't appeal to me.




Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP
mjyoung




> > Poor writing is your opinion, something you have to leave out of this discussion.
>
> > People liked Hush, and it was good for what it was.
>
> They liked it because it was Batman + Jim Lee.
>
When it was Superman and Jim Lee the next year with a different writer, people didn't like the story and it dropped dramatically in sales.

> > Red Hulk is selling well for a variety of reasons. The mystery of who and what the Red Hulk is, the creative team behind it, the showdowns between the characters, etc. If the current Hulk series has bad writing (in the eyes of the fans), then you will see it lose readers.

> No I won't. The artist is popular and there's a Hulk appearing. It will sell no matter what.

How did the Hulk sell when Deodato was on art? Not that great.

> > Allstar Batman and Robin is just like Red Hulk.

> You lost me. The comic you mention is Batman + Jim Lee. It had to sell and it does. It's also Frank Miller, who has some sort of weird cult status. But he lost a lot of his rep with the second Dark Knight book. Even so, the book must sell, and it does. It's Batman + Jim Lee.

The comparison fits because they are both books with A-list artists, with popular characters, with popular writers, and people complain that both books suck. Yet both sell great.

> > > If the writing is poor and the book sells, then it must be the character and the art that matter.
> >
> > Again, you are using your opinion of what is poor writing:.

> There are craftsmanship standards of writing, and there are stylistic standards. Stylistic standards are subjective. Craftsmanship standards are objective. Loeb is a poor craftsman.

> "Look! It's the Red Hulk!"
> (clobber)
> "Who was that guy?"
>
> That's the entire plot of the first four issues of the comic. This is poor craftsmanship.

He knows exactly what he is doing, and his stories are usally written very well from a structural standpoint. The fact that you don't like his stories is something different.

> > The Morrison Seven Soliders example doesn't work here, because they were missing the most important thing, characters.

> OK. I'll set that aside. Unfortunately there aren't any other examples to use, because Morrison is always handed top properties and top artists. He can't fail. He could phone it in and sell big numbers.

How about Grant Morrison and Tony Daniels on Batman? Tony Daniels wasn't exactly an A-list artist.

How about Bendis on Ultimate Six with Hairsine, or Ultimate Origins with Jackson Guice? Or even Alias with Gaydos? None of those artist are A-lists, and yet they all sold well for what they were.

> > > Those artists are popular. Not to the level of Jim Lee, but they're popular.
> >
> > Are they? Khoi Pham has only done a few issues of any title. I wouldn't put them in the same league as Frank Cho, Finch, McNiven, Yu, Deodato, Bagley, etc. What's an example of a non popular artist?
>
> Their style is popular. That's why they get the job. Marvel knows their style sells. The average fan opens the comic, looks at the art, checks which characters are on the page, and buys the comic.

How different is the style between Billy Tan and Jim Calafiore? I would think that they have similar styles, yet one is an unpopular artist.

The artists on the Avengers books have been pretty valid, so I don't see your point here.

> > The book dropped 10% on McDuffie's first issue. Meltzer had the series selling around 125K or so, while McDuffie is around 90K.
>
> People obviously saw it as a good jumping off point. Previous arc was over.

Ok, if that's the case, then story plays a part in people's decision to pick up a book, and it's a pretty big part. Yet you never mentioned it in your criteria before?

But in reality, people picked up the book because of Meltzer, and they dropped it when he left. When Marvel sells the tpbs for these books, the biggest name is Brad Meltzer (or Whedon), they even create a bookstore version of the tpbs (as opposed to just a comicstore version) that has the writers names taking up half the cover.

When you see the creative team on a comic, which name is first? Which creator has the most influence on a title?

> TPB sales are governed by different realities. I would say it's certainly true that where TPB sales are concerned, the writing is very important.

So TPB's readers have different criteria for picking up a title than those that read the monthlies? I don't see that.

But still, I find your original belief that most people dismiss the writers to be wrong.

Besides Loeb (who you obviously dislike), can you name another writer for your example?


Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP
Blue Beetle




> > > People liked Hush, and it was good for what it was.
> >
> > They liked it because it was Batman + Jim Lee.
> >
> When it was Superman and Jim Lee the next year with a different writer, people didn't like the story and it dropped dramatically in sales.


Superman isn't nearly as popular as Batman. The Jim Lee fans eventually got bored.


> > No I won't. The artist is popular and there's a Hulk appearing. It will sell no matter what.
>
> How did the Hulk sell when Deodato was on art? Not that great.


Was this the Bruce Jones period? The Hulk rarely appeared.


> > You lost me. The comic you mention is Batman + Jim Lee. It had to sell and it does. It's also Frank Miller, who has some sort of weird cult status. But he lost a lot of his rep with the second Dark Knight book. Even so, the book must sell, and it does. It's Batman + Jim Lee.
>
> The comparison fits because they are both books with A-list artists, with popular characters, with popular writers, and people complain that both books suck. Yet both sell great.


And why do people complain the book sucks? The character? No. The art? No. The writing? Bingo. Yet the book sells any way. This is precisely my point. Were you intending to agree with me?


> > "Look! It's the Red Hulk!"
> > (clobber)
> > "Who was that guy?"
> >
> > That's the entire plot of the first four issues of the comic. This is poor craftsmanship.
>
> He knows exactly what he is doing, and his stories are usally written very well from a structural standpoint. The fact that you don't like his stories is something different.


The above is too simplistic to be considered good from a craftsmanship perspective. It is fanfic. But nobody cares except message board types like me. A smashing Hulk depicted by a good artist will sell.


> > OK. I'll set that aside. Unfortunately there aren't any other examples to use, because Morrison is always handed top properties and top artists. He can't fail. He could phone it in and sell big numbers.
>
> How about Grant Morrison and Tony Daniels on Batman? Tony Daniels wasn't exactly an A-list artist.


But Tony Daniels is a good artist. He will eventually be A-List. Meanwhile it's Batman. Good art plus Batman must sell.


> How different is the style between Billy Tan and Jim Calafiore? I would think that they have similar styles, yet one is an unpopular artist.


I don't know either one well enough to comment. But if we're talking Avengers, that's Spider-Man + Wolverine + Avengers. That book can't fail. The character popularity mojo is too extreme. Even the art could be poor and it would still sell.


> The artists on the Avengers books have been pretty valid, so I don't see your point here.


Pretty valid? I don't understand.


> > People obviously saw it as a good jumping off point. Previous arc was over.
>
> Ok, if that's the case, then story plays a part in people's decision to pick up a book, and it's a pretty big part. Yet you never mentioned it in your criteria before?


Oh come on. There's a difference between "story" in the sense of whether an arc is starting or finishing, and writing.


> But in reality, people picked up the book because of Meltzer, and they dropped it when he left. When Marvel sells the tpbs for these books, the biggest name is Brad Meltzer (or Whedon), they even create a bookstore version of the tpbs (as opposed to just a comicstore version) that has the writers names taking up half the cover.
>
> When you see the creative team on a comic, which name is first? Which creator has the most influence on a title?


These are questions message board types like you and me find relevant. I believe we're different from the average fan.

Here - let me give you a chance to offer your own hypothesis. Why do books that are torn to shreds on these boards sell well?


> But still, I find your original belief that most people dismiss the writers to be wrong.


I can show you books that are very well written yet sell poorly - pick almost any Vertigo title. I guess you'd say they don't sell because they lack a popular character, and you'd be right.

Are there any books with popular characters, great writing, and putrid art? If there are, and they sell, I guess I'll have to reconsider. Your Buffy example might be applicable if the art is putrid. Is it?


> Besides Loeb (who you obviously dislike), can you name another writer for your example?


Most writers are acceptable. That was one of my original points. Bendis on New Avengers has been laughably bad on numerous occasions. Made no difference and couldn't. Spider-Man + Wolverine + Avengers is too much character popularity mojo. Talented grammar school kids could produce that comic. It would sell well.




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The Black Guardian

Moderator

Location: Paragon City, RI
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


> > Wouldn't subject matter go beyond just the characters? Theme?
> > Mood? Genre? Setting? Etc...
>
> Yes, but those are all built into the character. Theme, mood, genre,
> setting - think of Batman. Don't the majority of Batman stories have
> a predictable theme, mood, genre, setting? Exceptions arise, of
> course, but most of the time these elements are consistent.

I think most characters aren't so typecast as Batman. Never thought about it before, but this could be why I don't like him at all.




City of Heroes is BACK!
Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP
Bagheera




> Fave Character + Good Art = Must Buy
>
> How many of us choose our comics based on that equation? I've begun to think a lot of people do, though not necessarily the sort who post on message boards.
>
> What's missing from the equation? Writing! And that's my point. I've begun to think the subject matter (fave character) and the visual appeal (good art) are by far the most important factors in most people's buying decision, with the writing a distant third.
>
> The above might have been true of yours truly when I was a kid. This was back in the 70's, when I was buying mostly Marvel, and Roy Thomas was ascendant. Back then, I never encountered what I considered a poorly written comic, so if I liked the character and liked the art, I bought the book. I didn't have to choose by writer, because the writing was always to my liking.
>
> Nowadays there are writers who are so obviously inferior to their peers, for example Loeb, that I tend to think I need to be selective in that area. Yet people buy Loeb's books and don't complain, probably because he always is blessed with a popular artist and popular subject matter.
>
> I have to admit, if I like the art and I like the protagonist, it takes a lot for me to dislike the comic. The writing has to be grossly sub-par. Few writers are really that poor. Often it isn't even really the writing that bugs me, but rather the editorial mandate, good example being "Brand New Day," which is unreadable unless you're happy with the editorial mandate. (Zeb Wells was able to shine under those conditions, but Zeb Wells is upper echelon.)
>
> Most of the time, if I choose books by character and art, I think I'll enjoy the books I end up with. I just won't buy anything by Loeb or mandated by JoeQ. Everything else should be fine.
>
> Comments?

Here's the God's honest truth:

MOST comic fans buy the books they buy because A) they have been buying that book for ___ years and can't bring themselves to stop, B) the character just looks cool, C) it's a new #1 issue (meaning the completists/addicts can relax), D) the book somehow ties into a HUGE (hyped) event or, in fact, is the HUGE (hyped) event, and finally? E) The writer is someone known to them.

I mean, screw all if the writer's decent. If that writer has been hyped by any number of Internet "news" sites or Wizard magazine? Or has simply been "interviewed" more? Then they'll be much better received by your average fan.

I mean, I see this ALL the time. You folks can argue that the better writers are the more popular writers. But it's just not true.

You guys mention Jeph Loeb. And just look at the guy -- He's a Hollywood guy, he works on "Heroes, he's at all the conventions, and people know his name. So put him on "OrangeSpandexSuit-Man" and have Newsarama cover the story? You're gonna sell books. In fact, look at the first page of posts after a story like that: "Sounds great." "Didn't think I was going to continue with this book once ____ left, but now I'm psyched!" "I haven't much liked Loeb's work in the past, but this has definitely got me intrigued." "I'm in!" etc.

It's maddening. (To me, at least.)

Take John Ostrander's recent Suicide Squad mini. His original run was phenomenal. But folks don't really know his name. And they don't really know those characters (Deadshot aside). And the miniseries didn't tie into anything substantial. So it was dead in the water.

Yet... It was one of the best reads this past year.

But Gee-Jay can weave mediocre stories around a bunch of classic DC characters in their "classic" looks, doing fairly mediocre "classic" things, and fans will say it's the BEST RUN EVER!!! "Well, wait a minute, did you ever read ____'s work with the character ____ years back?" "No, but that stuff blew. I mean, who's ever heard of ___? Johns is the man!!!"

And if Johns runs out of steam? He'll just fudge with the Legion to provide the "classic" team. Or he'll just fudge with Braniac to provide the "classic" Braniac. Or just fudge with Green Lantern to provide the "classic" Hal Jordan. Or just fudge with Flash to provide the "classic" Barry Allen. Oh, and he'll make sure to give these big-name characters their "classic" villains to fight. And if he can't find any? Or doesn't know of any? He'll create color-coded baddies for them to fight.

"Yay!" scream the man-children. "Yay, now my cool-looking action figures have meaning!!!"

"Yay, it's just like I was 10 years old. Even though I'm 35!"

And don't even get me started on Bendis using Spider-Man, Wolverine, and BIG EVENTS to help sell his piss-poor books...

Look, I know I'm making plenty of you angry out there in fanland. Well, so be it. (This stuff just irritates me.) Ha.

If you can believe it...
Peace.




Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP
Bagheera




> > Fave Character + Good Art = Must Buy
> >
> > How many of us choose our comics based on that equation? I've begun to think a lot of people do, though not necessarily the sort who post on message boards.
> >
> > What's missing from the equation? Writing! And that's my point. I've begun to think the subject matter (fave character) and the visual appeal (good art) are by far the most important factors in most people's buying decision, with the writing a distant third.
> >
> > The above might have been true of yours truly when I was a kid. This was back in the 70's, when I was buying mostly Marvel, and Roy Thomas was ascendant. Back then, I never encountered what I considered a poorly written comic, so if I liked the character and liked the art, I bought the book. I didn't have to choose by writer, because the writing was always to my liking.
> >
> > Nowadays there are writers who are so obviously inferior to their peers, for example Loeb, that I tend to think I need to be selective in that area. Yet people buy Loeb's books and don't complain, probably because he always is blessed with a popular artist and popular subject matter.
> >
> > I have to admit, if I like the art and I like the protagonist, it takes a lot for me to dislike the comic. The writing has to be grossly sub-par. Few writers are really that poor. Often it isn't even really the writing that bugs me, but rather the editorial mandate, good example being "Brand New Day," which is unreadable unless you're happy with the editorial mandate. (Zeb Wells was able to shine under those conditions, but Zeb Wells is upper echelon.)
> >
> > Most of the time, if I choose books by character and art, I think I'll enjoy the books I end up with. I just won't buy anything by Loeb or mandated by JoeQ. Everything else should be fine.
> >
> > Comments?
>
> Here's the God's honest truth:
>
> MOST comic fans buy the books they buy because A) they have been buying that book for ___ years and can't bring themselves to stop, B) the character just looks cool, C) it's a new #1 issue (meaning the completists/addicts can relax), D) the book somehow ties into a HUGE (hyped) event or, in fact, is the HUGE (hyped) event, and finally? E) The writer is someone known to them.
>
> I mean, screw all if the writer's decent. If that writer has been hyped by any number of Internet "news" sites or Wizard magazine? Or has simply been "interviewed" more? Then they'll be much better received by your average fan.
>
> I mean, I see this ALL the time. You folks can argue that the better writers are the more popular writers. But it's just not true.
>
> You guys mention Jeph Loeb. And just look at the guy -- He's a Hollywood guy, he works on "Heroes, he's at all the conventions, and people know his name. So put him on "OrangeSpandexSuit-Man" and have Newsarama cover the story? You're gonna sell books. In fact, look at the first page of posts after a story like that: "Sounds great." "Didn't think I was going to continue with this book once ____ left, but now I'm psyched!" "I haven't much liked Loeb's work in the past, but this has definitely got me intrigued." "I'm in!" etc.
>
> It's maddening. (To me, at least.)
>
> Take John Ostrander's recent Suicide Squad mini. His original run was phenomenal. But folks don't really know his name. And they don't really know those characters (Deadshot aside). And the miniseries didn't tie into anything substantial. So it was dead in the water.
>
> Yet... It was one of the best reads this past year.
>
> But Gee-Jay can weave mediocre stories around a bunch of classic DC characters in their "classic" looks, doing fairly mediocre "classic" things, and fans will say it's the BEST RUN EVER!!! "Well, wait a minute, did you ever read ____'s work with the character ____ years back?" "No, but that stuff blew. I mean, who's ever heard of ___? Johns is the man!!!"
>
> And if Johns runs out of steam? He'll just fudge with the Legion to provide the "classic" team. Or he'll just fudge with Braniac to provide the "classic" Braniac. Or just fudge with Green Lantern to provide the "classic" Hal Jordan. Or just fudge with Flash to provide the "classic" Barry Allen. Oh, and he'll make sure to give these big-name characters their "classic" villains to fight. And if he can't find any? Or doesn't know of any? He'll create color-coded baddies for them to fight.
>
> "Yay!" scream the man-children. "Yay, now my cool-looking action figures have meaning!!!"
>
> "Yay, it's just like I was 10 years old. Even though I'm 35!"
>
> And don't even get me started on Bendis using Spider-Man, Wolverine, and BIG EVENTS to help sell his piss-poor books...
>
> Look, I know I'm making plenty of you angry out there in fanland. Well, so be it. Ha.
>
> (If you can believe it...)
> Peace.
>
>



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Cornelius




marvelb&wsub


> Fave Character + Good Art = Must Buy
>
> How many of us choose our comics based on that equation? I've begun to think a lot of people do, though not necessarily the sort who post on message boards.

I can only comment about m'self and what provokes me to pay attention and start channeling money into a book.

I had started buying the X-book that Mike Carey was writing. He's a good writer and I had read most of his LUCIFER book at Vertigo. The artist, as they say, wasn't everyone's cup of tea - it was Chris Bachalo, but there's someone I like something like 75% of the time. (Back in the day, on SHADE THE CHANGING MAN, I would have said 100%...) My point is that Humberto Ramos was scheduled to draw the rest of that story arc and at his first issue, which I did purchase, I had to drop the title like a stone. He's just someone whose art confuses and annoys me. I'm willing to say it's a style I don't like. However you put it, I couldn't justify shelling out cash for that "package" any further.

Leinel Yu is a good artist who has drifted into the area/way/style he has today. Which isn't to my liking at all. That made NEW AVENGERS particularly redundant. I don't mind admitting I'd enjoyed NA up until... about the Howard Chaykin/Captain America issue. (Chaykin of old... I love his AMERICAN FLAGG and various bits and pieces over the years such as MONARK MOONSTALKER and THE MARK OF KANE. What he does now is so stylised and streamlined - it ain't for me.)

Yadda. For me, it's got to be closer to Fave Character + Good Art + Good Story/Writing = Must Buy (in any order.)

> The above might have been true of yours truly when I was a kid. This was back in the 70's, when I was buying mostly Marvel, and Roy Thomas was ascendant. Back then, I never encountered what I considered a poorly written comic, so if I liked the character and liked the art, I bought the book. I didn't have to choose by writer, because the writing was always to my liking.

I remember our discussions about the "Great Gerry Conway", as you put it. Since then, I've reread his AMAZING SPIDERMAN run with Ross Andru, and have to say you have a point.

I still think his SCALPHUNTER at DC is his best work, and that's when he was particularly, IMO, shallow. SCALPHUNTER was this strange and pleasant exception.

> Nowadays there are writers who are so obviously inferior to their peers, for example Loeb, that I tend to think I need to be selective in that area. Yet people buy Loeb's books and don't complain, probably because he always is blessed with a popular artist and popular subject matter.

I read some RED HULK in the shop. (Byrne-stealing? They asked me to read it.) Ye cats! It's the pits. He seems to get worse all the time.

So he is the perfect example, it would seem.

> I have to admit, if I like the art and I like the protagonist, it takes a lot for me to dislike the comic. The writing has to be grossly sub-par. Few writers are really that poor. Often it isn't even really the writing that bugs me, but rather the editorial mandate, good example being "Brand New Day," which is unreadable unless you're happy with the editorial mandate. (Zeb Wells was able to shine under those conditions, but Zeb Wells is upper echelon.)
>
> Most of the time, if I choose books by character and art, I think I'll enjoy the books I end up with. I just won't buy anything by Loeb or mandated by JoeQ. Everything else should be fine.

Might. be.

Corn - Gerry was 20 when he scripted over Roy's plot on this, his first FF. It was mine, as well, not counting British reprints
fffirstfradon
Reading: NOVA #12-15, assorted 60's MUTT AND JEFF, HOT STUFF and SPOOKY THE TUFF LITTLE GHOST, SUPERBOY #153 (my favourite SUPERBOY story written by Frank Robbins and depicted by Bob Brown and Wally Wood - best Bob Brown ever this S/A series!), HAWKMAN SHOWCASE vol. 2 (with any amount of tasty Murphy Anderson; Anderson even inked Kubert later on in the volume), SAGA OF THE SUPER SONS collection principally by Zany Bob Haney and Delightful Dick Dillin, PORT OF SAINTS by William Burroughs and RE/SEARCH #10: INCREDIBLY STRANGE FILMS - now, some classic old reading.
Listening: The Doors, Sam Cooke, James Brown, John Coltrane, Django Reinhardt and Billie Holiday.
Watching: DR WHO, LIFE ON MARS and OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE. (Note: OUTRAGOUS FORTUNE is not some squalid game-show. It's a Kiwi dynastic bogan soap riot in its 4th season and I've only just discovered it.)
Flick: THIS IS ENGLAND.



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mjyoung




nt


Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP
mjyoung




> > > > People liked Hush, and it was good for what it was.
> > > They liked it because it was Batman + Jim Lee.
> > When it was Superman and Jim Lee the next year with a different writer, people didn't like the story and it dropped dramatically in sales.
> Superman isn't nearly as popular as Batman. The Jim Lee fans eventually got bored.

The complaint was that the story and writing was bad, Azzarelo was the writer. Don't see your reasoning here. Superman is still a popular character, people just want good Superman stories.

> > > No I won't. The artist is popular and there's a Hulk appearing. It will sell no matter what.
> > How did the Hulk sell when Deodato was on art? Not that great.
> Was this the Bruce Jones period? The Hulk rarely appeared.

Deodato came on towards the end of the run, when Hulk was appearing regularly. Only during the beginning of Jones' run did the Hulk not appear that much. I think the Deodato stories were about the Hulk vs Abomination, and the Hulk vs Iron Man.

> > > You lost me. The comic you mention is Batman + Jim Lee. It had to sell and it does. It's also Frank Miller, who has some sort of weird cult status. But he lost a lot of his rep with the second Dark Knight book. Even so, the book must sell, and it does. It's Batman + Jim Lee.
> > The comparison fits because they are both books with A-list artists, with popular characters, with popular writers, and people complain that both books suck. Yet both sell great.
> And why do people complain the book sucks? The character? No. The art? No. The writing? Bingo. Yet the book sells any way. This is precisely my point. Were you intending to agree with me?

That's the reason I brought it up, the Loeb's Hulk and Miller's ASBAR are similar. But alot of people love this series, and are buying it because it is so extreme, just like Loeb's Hulk.

> > > That's the entire plot of the first four issues of the comic. This is poor craftsmanship.
> > He knows exactly what he is doing, and his stories are usually written very well from a structural standpoint. The fact that you don't like his stories is something different.
> The above is too simplistic to be considered good from a craftsmanship perspective. It is fanfic. But nobody cares except message board types like me. A smashing Hulk depicted by a good artist will sell.

Loeb's job is to sell books. His goal is to tell good stories. He has been a writer for several years, and has written a variety of stories. He knows what he is doing.

> > > OK. I'll set that aside. Unfortunately there aren't any other examples to use, because Morrison is always handed top properties and top artists. He can't fail. He could phone it in and sell big numbers.
> > How about Grant Morrison and Tony Daniels on Batman? Tony Daniels wasn't exactly an A-list artist.
> But Tony Daniels is a good artist. He will eventually be A-List. Meanwhile it's Batman. Good art plus Batman must sell.

So how are we judging the artist's here? By popularity or by clarity? Certain artists are popular but not clear (Bachalo), while others are clear but not popular (Calafiorne).

> > How different is the style between Billy Tan and Jim Calafiore? I would think that they have similar styles, yet one is an unpopular artist.
> I don't know either one well enough to comment. But if we're talking Avengers, that's Spider-Man + Wolverine + Avengers. That book can't fail. The character popularity mojo is too extreme. Even the art could be poor and it would still sell.

So what's your current theory on why people pick up books? Originally it was Character+Art, now it's just Characters?

> > The artists on the Avengers books have been pretty valid, so I don't see your point here.
> Pretty valid? I don't understand.

My bad, I meant varied. They artists on New Avengers have been pretty varied, with no one type of style. You said earlier that the style was what makes artists popular.

> > > People obviously saw it as a good jumping off point. Previous arc was over.
> > Ok, if that's the case, then story plays a part in people's decision to pick up a book, and it's a pretty big part. Yet you never mentioned it in your criteria before?
> Oh come on. There's a difference between "story" in the sense of whether an arc is starting or finishing, and writing.

But if Characters and Art are the most important thing in a person's decision to pick up a title, then story arcs shouldn't matter as long as the characters and the art are the same.

> > But in reality, people picked up the book because of Meltzer, and they dropped it when he left. When Marvel sells the tpbs for these books, the biggest name is Brad Meltzer (or Whedon), they even create a bookstore version of the tpbs (as opposed to just a comicstore version) that has the writers names taking up half the cover.
> > When you see the creative team on a comic, which name is first? Which creator has the most influence on a title?
> These are questions message board types like you and me find relevant. I believe we're different from the average fan.

Marvel puts the writer first because they feel it will bring more readers in. It's the same reason why tpbs have the name Bendis, Whedon, or Meltzer in big print. They do those things because they know fans are more likely to respond to the writers.

> Here - let me give you a chance to offer your own hypothesis. Why do books that are torn to shreds on these boards sell well?

Because the people on these boards represent a small minority of the overall fans, and are somewhat out of touch with what is popular. When these board do the annual awards, Spider-Girl is often times the winner of things like best series or best female character. Yet the book doesn't sell at all. Just look at how many people here love Nova, yet the book doesn't really sell that much.

Most readers, when they find something they don't like, they don't come on here to bash the books, they simply stop reading it. I stopped reading Amazing Spider-Man because of OMD, but I don't go on the Spider-Man boards here and talk about how much I hate the books, I simply stop reading it.

How many people here continue to buy the books just because that is what they have always done? Alot.

> > But still, I find your original belief that most people dismiss the writers to be wrong.
> I can show you books that are very well written yet sell poorly - pick almost any Vertigo title. I guess you'd say they don't sell because they lack a popular character, and you'd be right.

They don't sell well in the monthly format because of not having popular characters, but that's because those books are sold only to comic shops, where 90% of the books sold are superheroes. These books do great in the tpb form because they appeal to a wider range of readers.

> Are there any books with popular characters, great writing, and putrid art? If there are, and they sell, I guess I'll have to reconsider. Your Buffy example might be applicable if the art is putrid. Is it?

You are asking me for something I can't define (bad art). Give me a list of some bad artists. They don't really exist. And of course, popular artists are put on popular characters, just like popular writers are. But your theory is that people don't care about the writer, and I absolutely disagree with that.

Jeantry was an artist that could tell a clear story, but he just wasn't popular after years of doing various Marvel titles.

> > Besides Loeb (who you obviously dislike), can you name another writer for your example?
> Most writers are acceptable. That was one of my original points. Bendis on New Avengers has been laughably bad on numerous occasions. Made no difference and couldn't. Spider-Man + Wolverine + Avengers is too much character popularity mojo. Talented grammar school kids could produce that comic. It would sell well.

People love Bendis as a writer. I think you are just one of the people here who is out of touch with what is popular. People buy Bendis's books because they like his writing.

Bendis has worked with alot of artists that aren't exactly A-list, and his books have sold. Bagley wasn't that in demand when he started Ultimate Spider-Man, Jackson Guice on Ultimate Origins isn't popular, etc. Bryan Hitch wasn't popular before he did Ultimates. And there have been Ultimate series that failed because of the writing (like Card's U. Iron Man), so you can't say that all Ultimate stories sell regardless of creative team.

I think during the late 90s, the writers became more important to the fans than artists. Instead of being McFarlane's Spider-Man, or Jim Lee's X-Men, it started to become Morrison's JLA, Kevin Smith's Daredevil, etc.


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SEHS66





> I must respectfully disagree where Marvel is concerned. Stan Lee stood out among his peers, to the point where much of the friction between he and Kirby and he and Ditko can be traced to it. In the 1970s, Denny O'Neill, Steve Englehart, Gerry Conway, Chris Claremont and Roy Thomas, among others, made their presence felt. In the 1980s and 1990s, Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Peter David and Warren Ellis were writers who overshadowed many of their artists.

I must disagree with you. On the mainstream books there was a house style. Also good art can help a bad story. Bad art can and will hurt a good story.



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Blue Beetle




> > Superman isn't nearly as popular as Batman. The Jim Lee fans eventually got bored.
>
> The complaint was that the story and writing was bad, Azzarelo was the writer. Don't see your reasoning here. Superman is still a popular character, people just want good Superman stories.


My point was that Superman + Jim Lee will never sell as well as Batman + Jim Lee because Superman is less popular (by far) than Batman.


> > Was this the Bruce Jones period? The Hulk rarely appeared.
>
> Deodato came on towards the end of the run, when Hulk was appearing regularly. Only during the beginning of Jones' run did the Hulk not appear that much. I think the Deodato stories were about the Hulk vs Abomination, and the Hulk vs Iron Man.


I've concluded that something else besides character plus art is involved in sales - and that something else is buzz. It annoys me to add buzz because that means comic fans are vulnerable to hype, which lessens them in my eyes, but I can't avoid the conclusion.

By the time Deodato came to the comic, that run had gone from positive buzz to negative buzz.


> > And why do people complain the book sucks? The character? No. The art? No. The writing? Bingo. Yet the book sells any way. This is precisely my point. Were you intending to agree with me?
>
> That's the reason I brought it up, the Loeb's Hulk and Miller's ASBAR are similar. But alot of people love this series, and are buying it because it is so extreme, just like Loeb's Hulk.


Hmm. Because it's so extreme. I'm giving that some thought. You may have something there.


> > The above is too simplistic to be considered good from a craftsmanship perspective. It is fanfic. But nobody cares except message board types like me. A smashing Hulk depicted by a good artist will sell.
>
> Loeb's job is to sell books. His goal is to tell good stories. He has been a writer for several years, and has written a variety of stories. He knows what he is doing.


Yet we on these boards hate his more recent work. What I'm trying to understand is why his books still sell. What is different about us message board types? What do we seek that the average fan doesn't - or what does the average fan seek that we don't? Your comment about extremism has captured my attention. I have a strong intuition you may be right.


> > > How about Grant Morrison and Tony Daniels on Batman? Tony Daniels wasn't exactly an A-list artist.
> > But Tony Daniels is a good artist. He will eventually be A-List. Meanwhile it's Batman. Good art plus Batman must sell.
>
> So how are we judging the artist's here? By popularity or by clarity? Certain artists are popular but not clear (Bachalo), while others are clear but not popular (Calafiorne).


We all know the difference between four categories:

1. Good art of a style we don't prefer
2. Good art of a style we prefer
3. Bad art of a style we don't prefer
4. Bad art of a style we prefer

Good is professional and bad is unprofessional. Good is painstaking and bad is rushed. Good is technically advanced in areas such as perspective and anatomy, while bad is technically primitive. All of these adjectives can be applied to art of a style we prefer, or art of a style we don't prefer.

The above seems a good topic for a new thread.

My hypothesis has been that most people will buy a comic whose protagonist is beloved and whose art falls into categories 1, 2, or 4, and will even buy it if the art is in category 3 if the character popularity mojo is overpowering, such as Spider-Man + Wolverine + Avengers.

But I am giving thought to your extremism concept.


> So what's your current theory on why people pick up books? Originally it was Character+Art, now it's just Characters?


See above.


> But if Characters and Art are the most important thing in a person's decision to pick up a title, then story arcs shouldn't matter as long as the characters and the art are the same.


Just because something is most important doesn't mean other things don't matter at all. It's not as if people are just looking at the pictures and ignoring the words. Everyone surely is aware of where in the story they're coming in, whether the beginning, the middle, or the end. Most people prefer to come in at the beginning and leave at the end. None of this implies that writing quality or popularity matters more than art quality or popularity.


> > These are questions message board types like you and me find relevant. I believe we're different from the average fan.
>
> Marvel puts the writer first because they feel it will bring more readers in. It's the same reason why tpbs have the name Bendis, Whedon, or Meltzer in big print. They do those things because they know fans are more likely to respond to the writers.


This is the buzz factor, which I'm considering along with your extremism concept. It disappoints me that comic book fans are vulnerable to hype. I could wish they were more discerning. But the more I think on this, the more I think buzz and extremism must both be taken into account.


> > Here - let me give you a chance to offer your own hypothesis. Why do books that are torn to shreds on these boards sell well?
>
> Because the people on these boards represent a small minority of the overall fans, and are somewhat out of touch with what is popular. When these board do the annual awards, Spider-Girl is often times the winner of things like best series or best female character. Yet the book doesn't sell at all. Just look at how many people here love Nova, yet the book doesn't really sell that much.


But why are we out of touch with what's popular? That's the underlying point of this thread - the search for that elusive factor.


> Most readers, when they find something they don't like, they don't come on here to bash the books, they simply stop reading it. I stopped reading Amazing Spider-Man because of OMD, but I don't go on the Spider-Man boards here and talk about how much I hate the books, I simply stop reading it.


As did I.


>
> How many people here continue to buy the books just because that is what they have always done? Alot.


Hmm. Perhaps the percentage of completists on these boards is high in comparison with, say, the population of a comic shop's customers.


> > > But still, I find your original belief that most people dismiss the writers to be wrong.
> > I can show you books that are very well written yet sell poorly - pick almost any Vertigo title. I guess you'd say they don't sell because they lack a popular character, and you'd be right.
>
> They don't sell well in the monthly format because of not having popular characters, but that's because those books are sold only to comic shops, where 90% of the books sold are superheroes. These books do great in the tpb form because they appeal to a wider range of readers.


Agreed. Also people in bookstores probably care about quality writing.


> > Are there any books with popular characters, great writing, and putrid art? If there are, and they sell, I guess I'll have to reconsider. Your Buffy example might be applicable if the art is putrid. Is it?
>
> You are asking me for something I can't define (bad art).


See above.


> Give me a list of some bad artists. They don't really exist. And of course, popular artists are put on popular characters, just like popular writers are. But your theory is that people don't care about the writer, and I absolutely disagree with that.


Don't care as much as they care about the artist. Still - buzz and extremism may be factors.


> People love Bendis as a writer. I think you are just one of the people here who is out of touch with what is popular. People buy Bendis's books because they like his writing.


Must be the extremism.




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GammaSpidey





It often gets me to buy titles that I once never considered reading, such as Daredevil or Iron Fist.

There is only one character that I have consistently followed issue to issue, and that's the Hulk (since 1986).

I don't feel the need to pick up flashy mini-series that are outside the continuity. I like good solid storytelling, I can get past the art if it's a bit subpar.



> Fave Character + Good Art = Must Buy
>
> How many of us choose our comics based on that equation? I've begun to think a lot of people do, though not necessarily the sort who post on message boards.
>
> What's missing from the equation? Writing! And that's my point. I've begun to think the subject matter (fave character) and the visual appeal (good art) are by far the most important factors in most people's buying decision, with the writing a distant third.
>
> The above might have been true of yours truly when I was a kid. This was back in the 70's, when I was buying mostly Marvel, and Roy Thomas was ascendant. Back then, I never encountered what I considered a poorly written comic, so if I liked the character and liked the art, I bought the book. I didn't have to choose by writer, because the writing was always to my liking.
>
> Nowadays there are writers who are so obviously inferior to their peers, for example Loeb, that I tend to think I need to be selective in that area. Yet people buy Loeb's books and don't complain, probably because he always is blessed with a popular artist and popular subject matter.
>
> I have to admit, if I like the art and I like the protagonist, it takes a lot for me to dislike the comic. The writing has to be grossly sub-par. Few writers are really that poor. Often it isn't even really the writing that bugs me, but rather the editorial mandate, good example being "Brand New Day," which is unreadable unless you're happy with the editorial mandate. (Zeb Wells was able to shine under those conditions, but Zeb Wells is upper echelon.)
>
> Most of the time, if I choose books by character and art, I think I'll enjoy the books I end up with. I just won't buy anything by Loeb or mandated by JoeQ. Everything else should be fine.
>
> Comments?
>



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Reverend Meteor




> Fave Character + Good Art = Must Buy

I tend to love my characters but they have to have a good writer.

That said...if I don't like the art I will not buy the book no matter how much I like the characters or how good the stories are.

It's petty I know but to me it is impossible to tell a good story that reaches the audience if the art is horrible.

I'm sure a lot of the stories we thought were crap could have been made to shine like gold given the right artist. If the art is pretty then I can probably stomach the bad writing more than the other way around...I know that makes me a jackass but there it is.

I remember way back when the original New Warriors issues were going into their 50's. I had loved the first two artists on the book immensely and I loved the writer...but then they hired this guy named Richard Pace to take over in issue 51 and I had to drop my book. I loved the characters like they were my own family, the writer was my hero...but the art sucked...so I had to drop the book.


> How many of us choose our comics based on that equation? I've begun to think a lot of people do, though not necessarily the sort who post on message boards.
>
> What's missing from the equation? Writing! And that's my point. I've begun to think the subject matter (fave character) and the visual appeal (good art) are by far the most important factors in most people's buying decision, with the writing a distant third.
>
> The above might have been true of yours truly when I was a kid. This was back in the 70's, when I was buying mostly Marvel, and Roy Thomas was ascendant. Back then, I never encountered what I considered a poorly written comic, so if I liked the character and liked the art, I bought the book. I didn't have to choose by writer, because the writing was always to my liking.
>
> Nowadays there are writers who are so obviously inferior to their peers, for example Loeb, that I tend to think I need to be selective in that area. Yet people buy Loeb's books and don't complain, probably because he always is blessed with a popular artist and popular subject matter.
>
> I have to admit, if I like the art and I like the protagonist, it takes a lot for me to dislike the comic. The writing has to be grossly sub-par. Few writers are really that poor. Often it isn't even really the writing that bugs me, but rather the editorial mandate, good example being "Brand New Day," which is unreadable unless you're happy with the editorial mandate. (Zeb Wells was able to shine under those conditions, but Zeb Wells is upper echelon.)
>
> Most of the time, if I choose books by character and art, I think I'll enjoy the books I end up with. I just won't buy anything by Loeb or mandated by JoeQ. Everything else should be fine.
>
> Comments?
>



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fan4





> Fave Character + Good Art = Must Buy
>
> How many of us choose our comics based on that equation? I've begun to think a lot of people do, though not necessarily the sort who post on message boards.
>
> What's missing from the equation? Writing! And that's my point. I've begun to think the subject matter (fave character) and the visual appeal (good art) are by far the most important factors in most people's buying decision, with the writing a distant third.
>
> The above might have been true of yours truly when I was a kid. This was back in the 70's, when I was buying mostly Marvel, and Roy Thomas was ascendant. Back then, I never encountered what I considered a poorly written comic, so if I liked the character and liked the art, I bought the book. I didn't have to choose by writer, because the writing was always to my liking.
>
> Nowadays there are writers who are so obviously inferior to their peers, for example Loeb, that I tend to think I need to be selective in that area. Yet people buy Loeb's books and don't complain, probably because he always is blessed with a popular artist and popular subject matter.
>
> I have to admit, if I like the art and I like the protagonist, it takes a lot for me to dislike the comic. The writing has to be grossly sub-par. Few writers are really that poor. Often it isn't even really the writing that bugs me, but rather the editorial mandate, good example being "Brand New Day," which is unreadable unless you're happy with the editorial mandate. (Zeb Wells was able to shine under those conditions, but Zeb Wells is upper echelon.)
>
> Most of the time, if I choose books by character and art, I think I'll enjoy the books I end up with. I just won't buy anything by Loeb or mandated by JoeQ. Everything else should be fine.
>
> Comments?
>



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