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Blue Beetle

Subj: Re: Disagree, Re: Fave Character + Good Art = Must Buy?
Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:12:59 pm EDT (Viewed 109 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Disagree, Re: Fave Character + Good Art = Must Buy?
Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 at 06:51:47 pm EDT (Viewed 107 times)

> > > > 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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