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Blue Beetle

Subj: Not sure art really matters (all that much). Here's my view...
Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 at 08:51:59 pm EDT (Viewed 124 times)
Reply Subj: Fave Character + Good Art = Must Buy?
Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 at 08:19:06 pm EDT (Viewed 138 times)

> 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...