Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Good and Gunned for 2004

Let's get this party started with a rambling and pointless commentary before we get into my predictions and wishlist for 2004

Your ADD stalking moment: ADD doing All The Rage

The biggest news that he "broke":

Joss Whedon as the new writer of New X-Men

I haven't read X-Men comics since.....1997 or so....couldn't really be bothered for the most part in either case. I understand some of the excitement, as any comic fan could see parrallels between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Claremont-era X-Men comics, and Joss is a fairly good writer, so on the surface, this seems like a surefire hit....

....but then we make contact with the real world and it all falls apart. Ok, so some comics fans are happy about this. This is good for New X-Men. That's really about it. This is the same problem that occurs any time a "major" writer changes medium.....how the hell are the fans he gained in one medium to transfer? Hell, how are they even going to know about it in the first place. Great all of comics knows, and maybe if Marvel feels like making a big media push, they'll be able to get 2 minutes of coverage on CNN on some lazy Tuesday afternoon when there's no REAL news. Other than that, the vast majority of fans will NEVER KNOW, and for the most part, NEVER CARE. So Kevin Smith wrote some good Daredevil comics? What percentage of the people whom have seen his movies even know this, or for that matter, would be willing to go through the horror of comic shopping to get this? Is Joss going to book himself a slot on David Letterman to push this? This is the key problem: ADVERTISING TO COMICS FANS IS PREACHING TO THE GODDAMN CHOIR, what you need to do is go door to door and spread the word....and then prove that it will be worth the misery to spread the word.

The second problem here is one that I'm sure everyone who has spent any amount of time reading about corporate comics knows. No matter how big the name of the writer or artist, nothing really changes for the characters of the Big Two. While Joss definetly put superhero-comic tropes into his TV writing, we must understand that at the end of the day, he had a great deal more control about these characters than any writer has ever had on a Marvel/DC property. He made the important decision, and knew where he wanted to end up. These were/are his children, and he raised them very well. This is something he cannot do at Marvel, no matter what.

Onward and upward:


Comics Michael will be buying in the next year

-Planetary, no matter how delayed the schedule
-Fantastic Four, at least until the "Hereafter" storyline is resolved....likely to end after that
-Will beging buying Stormwatch: Team Achilles in the Trades
-Will buy whatever new version of "Sleeper" Brubaker will write
-Will continue buying Invinicible for the next year, although the novelty is beginning to wear off
-Will buy the Avengers/Thunderbolts mini-series, because it will finally end the cliffhanger set by Thunderbolts #75 and will feature Busiek's final tale of these characters. The 17-year old in me is looking forward to seeing what happens to Atlas, who remains to be one of the only Marvel characters I would want to write about (the other is Reed Richards, obviously).
-Will continue to buy Astro City, no matter what the format
-Will buy Orbiter when it comes out in paperback
-Will try to get Tom Strong, Top Ten, Promethea, Nevermen in trade formats

Michael's predictions for the comic industry

Bad News
-Geoff Johns, Jeph Loeb, and Chuck Austen will continue to write "mainstream" comics
-Marvel/DC superhero comics will continue to be considered "mainstream" comics by most retailers
-Most comic stores will continue to suck, and be the standard bearer of the "mainstream"
-Christopher Priest series will die premature deaths
-The comics fan base will continue to shrink as prices rise
-The Diamond distributing system will continue to kill off good alternative/independent/real mainstream comics in order to prop up the "mainstream"

Good news

-The Manga audience will continue to grow, especially in the chain bookstore market (Personally, I don't care for Manga as a matter of personal taste, but I respect it as the driving force of the REAL mainstream audience, and so should everyone else.)
-The comics stores that support "mainstream" (Marvel/Dc superhero) will continue to lose business and have to re-evaluate what they are doing in this business
-Creators will use their voices in other media and use it to attact people to their comic work, especially people like Micah Wright, Peter David, and Warren Ellis.
-The independent graphic novel medium will start becoming big business for bookstores, and allow an entire generation of new and brilliant comic creators to bring their creation to a larger audience than the direct market system could ever hope for.

Michael's predictions for Michael in 2004

-I will apply for a Master's degree and be accepted
-I will continue to strive for excellent and self improvement in my martial arts training, and through that, in all other fields of endeavor
-I will post more regularly in the new year than I have in the last three months
-I will continue to read the classic books, watch the classic movies, and learn better the mechanics of actually writing through practice
-I will volunteer during the upcoming Canadian election to ensure that the country does not fall into the hands of the right wing.
-I will continue to speak my mind, no matter the cost.

Best wishes, and have a happy new year.

Michael Paciocco

No comments: