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Omar Karindu

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,242
Subj: Re: In other words, all multi-writer continuities are "claytinuities."
Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 at 05:02:53 pm EST (Viewed 322 times)
Reply Subj: In other words, all multi-writer continuities are "claytinuities."
Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 at 03:56:17 pm EST (Viewed 319 times)

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This seems a rather ludicrously purist stance on your part to me, but you're of course welcome to it.

I'm happy to acknowledge that writers make mistakes and contradictions inevitably crop up, but would argue that on the balance comics writers since the dawn of the Silver Age in 1956 have made a good-faith effort to explain revisions and contradictions with in-story elements. As far as that goes, I think tracking and descrtibiung the results and failings of that good faith effort produces a narrative most people unreservedly call "continuity." If you want them to change their word, you'll likely have to do more than simpyl declare otherwise and point out inconsistencies in published works. People who think there's continuity just call those "continuity mistakes" and ask for or create their own explanations to render them moot.

But really, the question becomes why you want us all to adopt your frame of reference on this. And you'remade clear now that you're also proposing a shift in editorial policy; "claytinuity" is less a neutral descriptor than a deliberate pejorative aimed at winning support for the idea of creator-oriented reboots as a matter of course. In a sense, the primary reason you use it is to try and provoke a debate on the matter, from what you're saying.

This is a valid argument -- not necessarily a pragmatic or a true one, but not necessarily impractical or untrue either -- but one that I think rapidly becomes rude and intrusive when you hitch it to threads like these rather than simply starting a thread of your own and making clear that the issue, for you, is bigger than just Batman even if you're using Batman as an on-topic and narrow example.

More broadly, though, I think that readers are generally happier with the illusion of consistency in a long-runner with lots of authors or in a comparatively short runner with one author than they are with characters being endlessly rebooted. DC, you'll note, has given (in order) John Byrne, Mark Waid, and now Geoff Johns their own reboots and the fan response has been confusion and demands to know "what the continuity is."

My own ideal is for the publishers to let their licensed "continuity"/"claytinuity" characters go on in what you're calling clay, since there's clearly a demand for that. (Telling people the supposedly consistent entertainment they like is illogical or inconsistent doesn't tend to turn them against it, in my experience.) But they should also do more explicitly "bubbled" creator projects as well. The All-Star line was a badly undersupported effort to do this. But there's no reason beyond the imposition of exacting and abstracted standards of "consistency" to demand that every comic or even most comics be published this way when the market has been for what you're dubbing "claytinuity" since the early 60s.

I wasn't trying to ram the truth down any person's mouth. You are the one that brought it up. \:\-\)

Hey one comic book fan was able to come up with the term retroactive continuity so I don't see why I shouldn't have a right to come up with a new term for what everyone knows both DC and Marvel have.

DC and Marvel should be honest about having a clay continuity. They shouldn't try to cover up rewrites, retcons and reboots. Most readers agree with this and feel every time DC as well as Marvel do a rewrite, retcon or reboot they are scamming the readers because they try to hide it. I think DC and Marvel admitting they have a clay continuity would get rid of many headaches the readers have because then they would know what to expect from the start and would allow more freedom for the publishers to do as they please.

However, most readers because of the current situation are for what I support.

This is one comic written by one writer with a true vision of a character with one long story with a clear beginning, middle and end.

Whether this be Ed Brubaker's Captain America or Geoff John's Green Lantern the comic book readers have spoken to show that they want a consistent one writer one story current comic. They don't want to read several decades of comics by different writers each with their own version of a character. They want something that is easy to get into, practical and current with a time limit.

I am actually not completely against multiple writers working on one comic but you would still need to have one head writer guiding them. Like I said previously the problem with multiple writers is that most of them each have a different version of the character in mind. Batman's true love for example varies depending on the writer from any one of the following, Julie Madison, Talia Al Ghul, Silver St. Cloud, Catwoman, or simply put he might not even have a true love. This in many ways ruins Batman as his true love loses all impact when he gets a new flavor every so often, he just can't pick one and he comes off losing his honor. It also tends to divide the readers into various camps against one another.

Comic book readers have had problems with reboots but that is because DC for the most part hasn't done reboots right.

When John Byrne left Superman his version of Superman should have ended with a new comic coming out with a new version of Superman under a different writer, but what we got instead was a continuation of the comic even though Byrne had already left. This is the part that gets comic book readers furious. How can they know their version of a superhero has come to an end when DC is not willing to acknowledge it? How can they know Geoff Johns is doing a new version of Superman with a new story when he starts writing from Action Comics #837?

So it isn't so much reboots that the comic book readers are against but rather how DC mistreats writers and readers by not being completely honest about their clay continuity or not following through with a transparent reboot. DC misleeds both writers and readers into thinking their comic book is it only then later to pull a rewrite, retcon and reboot without telling anyone about it. DC needs to get their priorities straight, if they want a clay continuity then just tell everyone about it from the start there is no need for the conspiracy or if they want to regularly update a character with reboots then just be up front about it so the readers know their version of a character has a time limit.

People prefer honesty over lies. The comics of DC and Marvel do have several contradictions, you mentioned several of them, but it is more the lying about these inconsistencies that gets people upset to the point they give up not just on one comic but on the entire catalogue of the publisher.

When it comes to DC and Marvel comics both started out having a continuity of some sort but ended up with a clay continuity. DC from the start focused mainly on a continuity, then went into a clay continuity and then tried to fix the claycon with a reboot which led only to repeating the same cycle all over again. Marvel started out with a continuity and had one for several decades but then they started making several alterations which led into a claycon. The result of this has been comics going from being their main source of revenue, to comics being their least source of revenue with several of their readers leaving.

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