Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wacky Wednesday Writer's Round-Up

OK, first up: J. Michael Straczynski no longer Marvel Exclusive

Yeah, this one was easy to see coming. After the "One More Day" Fallout, you could see that JMS was really being "farmed out" to the fringes of Marvel just working on a few side projects here and there. Unlike most of the Newsrama comment crowd, I don't think this automatically translates into a DC project; Lest we forget JMS still carries a grudge with Turner Broadcasting and Warner Brothers in general over the termination of "Crusade". Honestly however, I've long since lost interest in Straczynski's writing; the parts that don't feel cribed directly from Harlan Ellison don't seem to inspire or entice me. It seems to me he's still largely living off of his "Babylon 5" appeal, even going so far as to take every given opportunity to remind people he's a "Hollywood writer". But, like with all things Hollywood, it isn't your history; it's your current portfolio, and his is rather sparse, I think.

Next up, Comicbookresources has an interview with Peter David. It's the usual X-Pablum, of which I won't bore you on, but for me the salient details were towards the end where he discusses matters of the WGA and trying to start a similar organization in the comic industry:

I was part of a group some twenty years ago that attempted to form an
organization of comic writers and artists. It wasn’t even about forming a
labor union so much as it was trying to get a sizable enough group together
that would get affordable health care. We couldn’t even manage to get enough
writers and artists together to attain that simple goal; we were greeted
with either suspicion or indifference from the creative base.

Wow. That says a lot to me. And it's sad, because everything you here from the Steve Gerbers on down makes a pretty damning case for these guys to stop living in what amounts to the 1920's labor environment. I guess some people never learn.

Saving the Best for Last, we have ALAN MOORE:

Moore on "HEROES":

Moore: I was persuaded to watch it by people who said it nods to Watchmen
but God, what a load of rubbish! It's a late-70s X-Men at best and full of
terrible ideas and characters who've all been done to death. Beyond death. And
the writing shows such contempt for the viewer. The climax, a man who is going
to explode is carried off into the air by his brother... did anybody bother to
compare the effects of a groundburst with an airburst nuclear explosion? I'll
take the former over the latter, thanks. This is supposed to be the sort of
thing that superhero stories are good at. I tell you, if we are ever threatened
with a scenario like that in real life I hope the superheroes aren't American
because we'll be sunk.

Now, I like HEROES, but I can't blame the man for being absolutely dead-on in his analysis; there is hardly a new idea in the show that a good comic reader couldn't find in 70s and 80s comics.

Moore on Frank Miller

Moore: Frank Miller, I haven't been able to read him for some time. Have
you seen his latest idea? It is - and I can hardly believe this - Batman vs Al
Qaeda. What can you say to an idea as absurd as that? This is our response to
thew Iraq war? Miller's trapped in a teenage world of macho violence. Look at
Sin City. Every woman is a bloodthirsty, semi-naked whore; every man is a
indestructible killing machine. It's nasty, misogynist, Neanderthal Teenage, but
it sells.

Now, at the risk of earning a lynching from the comic blogosphere, I have to point out that Moore's history with well rounded female protagonists is hardly exemplar, with far too many of his female characters being thoroughly cast in the "victim" mode. That said, my god if only we could get that kind of regular dismissal of crap ideas like this in the comic industry, we'd all be much better off.

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