Sunday, July 29, 2012

(links)


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Yikes. (Via Spurgeon)

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Seconded.

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Kiel Phegley talked to Chuck Dixon about Bane, and the fact that Dixon and his Bane co-creators are, in fact, seeing money off of the giant blockbuster built, in part, on a character that they created for DC Comics. It's nice to read a story about a comics creator making the money he earned off of a transmedia exploitation of his work the same summer we've heard so much (but not enough!) about how Kirby's heirs and the various creators and co-creators of all the Marvel IP in the Avengers got bupkiss (save Stan Lee, who got his regular cameo, although I've already forgotten what it was, and his exectuive producer credit and, I imagine, some money to go with both).

Let's return to Tom Spurgeon, to state what's important about this:
Note also that by choosing this policy over one whereby they grind out the absolute last penny that could be theirs if they went after it with enough energy, DC kneecaps the argument that corporations are somehow inherently bound by their core nature to always pursue the most exploitative behavior imaginable in every single instance.
So apparently there is enough money to go around with these things. I do hope DC continues to make arrangements like the ones they made with Dixon in the present, otherwise the chances of seeing more Banes, or new characters of any kind, in their comics are going to be increasingly rare.

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Speaking of Bane, how did the movie version of Bane eat or drink? They made a big deal abut how without his mask, he was in excrutiating pain—even when Movie Batman punched a tiny little piece of it out of whack, he floored Movie Bane. So how does he eat? Does he take the mask off and just suffer in excrutiating pain while eating, or...what? Because he was a pretty healthy-looking guy. Based on his physique, he didn't exactly seem to live off of IVs and Ensure sipped through straws.

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So the initials of the five X-Men characters possessed by the Phoenix Force in Avengers Vs. X-Men spell out P-E-N-I-S...? That's...that's kinda weird, isn't it?
Not that Thor vs. Emma fight weird, but pretty weird.

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Hey, here are some Catwoman costumes through the ages.

I think that green one is probably the worst, because it's green. A green cat...? What kind of sense does that make...? Also, it sometimes looks scaly, making her look more reptillian than feline.

I kinda like the red and blue one with the big mask, even though those aren't really cat colors either (the blue could be comic book-black, like Superman and Wonder Woman's blue-black hair), in large part because it's so rare. I think I've only read two comic book stories in which she wore it.

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Writing for comic book industry newspaper USA Today, Brian Truitt compiles a list of ten people who totally aren't going to be replacing Grant Morrison when he stops writing Action Comics in the near future. Brian K. Vaughan? Brian Michael Bendis? Joss Whedon? Come on now, why not add the Ghost of James Joyce, Jerry Seinfeld and Earth-Prime Clark Kent to the wish list to, Truitt?

I guess it would make the most sense to have Action Comics back-up writer Sholly Fisch move up to the front of the book, or to try to convince Mark Waid or Tom Peyer (two guys who once pitched a Superman revamp alongside Morrison, and two of the only Big Two super-comics writers who have followed Morrison on books or concepts and produced excellent comics), or, in a long shot, Mark Millar (the other guy to pitch with those three, and another guy who had previously done a good job of following Morrison). That last one seems pretty unlikely, but given the fact that Millar said he's not interested in abandoning Hollywood pitch comics based on Big Two concepts to write the actual Big Two characters he riffs on in his pleas for movie deals, maybe that means he's gagging to write Superman (I haven't figured out the math, exactly, but it seems like somewhere between 35-and-75% of what Millar says is completely untrue, so, statistically, if he says he doesn't wanna write DC and Marvel capes, there's a good chance that means he does).

But who are we kidding? It's totally going to be Dan Jurgens and/or Keith Giffen...at least for a few issues. I would have also guessed Rob Liefeld, but he's apparently leaving DC to pursue his own movie pitches for a while as well.

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It's pretty weird to hear Morrison's tiring of writing corporate superheroes though, given the premise of his recent prose book, which was that superheroes were the highest form of human expression, and Superman in particular is the best thing that ever happened to the human race, although fuck those two dudes who created him (I'm paraphrasing. But less than you might think).

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Actually, you know who might be a decent bet for the new Action Comics writer? (And/or Superman writer, given the weird musical chairs associated with the creative team behind it, and the fact that current writer Scott Lobdell can't possibly be long for it).

Marc Guggenheim. I was thinking about this while reading the trade collection of the end of his JSoA run the other night (Were you not reading EDILW this weekend, due to life-having? Well, I reviewed JSoA: Monument Point and JLoA: Dark Things Friday and Saturday night).

I may be misremembering, but didn't DC make a big announcement that Guggenheim would be writing a Superman story...this was sometime around the climax of the James Robinson-directed era of the books, in which Superman wasn't really in any of 'em and Lois Lane's dad was at war with New Krypton...but then shortly afterwards they announced that while Guggenheim's plans were awesome, they didn't really fit in with their plans for the future of Superman at the moment?

The future of Superman being, of course, J. Michael Straczynski starting the worst Superman story arc ever written, then quitting writing it, and having poor Chris Roberson try to salvage it, in the pages of Superman, while Lex Luthor took over Action Comics in a pretty swell story arc, and then rebooting the whole DC Universe to make Superman an asshole in an armored version of his old costume that no one at all anywhere on Earth likes even the slightest bit.

Well maybe Guggenheim will come back and get to do his Superman story. Or maybe he's mad at DC for jerking him around so much and making his not-that-good JSoA story even worse. Or maybe none of the above happened, and I dreamt it all. I don't know, and I'm not going to Google any of it.

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This is a nice little essay that Ivan Brandon has written about comic book movies, and how much smaller they are then the comic books they are based on. He talks a lot about Batman, The Avengers and Jack Kirby.

Speaking of Batmen on the screen, look at the image he (or his editors) chose to illustrate the top of his piece:
In the center, you've got a wonderful Kelley Jones image, to the right you've got a Mike Mignola image, and to the left you've got...well, I don't know who. But they all show a very cape-y Batman, emphasizing the bat parts.

I have no idea what Warner Brothers plans to do next with Batman, although the film sets up an easy avenue to a sequel franchise (which I assume won't be followed, but who knows?), and it's not hard to imagine a series of films starring Anne Hathaway's Catwoman, and maybe a pre-quel starring Tom Hardy's Bane (I know I would watch it, just to hear Hardy's Bane-voice...Oh God, I hope the DVD of Dark Knight Rises features Christian Bale and Hardy providing running commentary, in character. That would be awesome).

I sincerely hope it's not a straight Batman Begins Again reboot, with an origin story (parents shot, dresses like a bat, got it) and a first encounter with The Joker again. I would much rather see some sort of en medias res reboot, with a fully-functioning and already established Batman that can be easily franchised off into spin-off movies. So fans (and Warner Bros) can get another Batman trilogy, but also a Catwoman movie, a Batgirl movie, a Robin movie, et cetera. Batman is one of the few superhero comics properties that can easily support its own Marvel Studios style slate of films, and the studio need not worry about getting a Justice League going to respond to Marvel's aggressive Avengers franchise if they just get a good Batman with spin-off potential built-in from the get-go going.

Anyway, that Batman in the images at the top of Brandon's post? I haven't seen that Batman in a movie yet. A Batman who is cape, cowl and gloves, with everything else cast in shadow pretty much all the time. Id' like to see that Batman, one with gray or black tights, rather than bulky, rubbery body armor. A Batman who is athletic and spooky, with white triangle eyes. A design and conception that doesn't translate the "knight" part of "The Dark Knight" as meaning he needs to wear a bunch of armor.

Also, I'd kinda like to see a shit-ton of villains. I'd like Batman: The Long Halloween, only rewritten into something that makes some sense, maybe...? Or something like it, only totally different...?

I don't know. I don't really feel any strong desire to see Batman fight The Joker again. And while I wouldn't mind seeing different versions of The Penguin or The Riddler, there are sooo many villains yet to make it into the movies, and as Christopher Nolan proved, even a relatively minor one like Bane, a character who lacks the name recognition of most of Bats' rogues gallery (Hell, even in the Batman cartoons, he's a pretty minor player compared to, say, The Mad Hatter or Mr. Freeze or Man-Bat, isn't he?), can be a pretty fantastic film villain.

Anyway, if the Warner Brothers are reading my blog and looking for ideas for their next Batman film franchise, um, I'd like a Batman different from the last few Bat-men. One spin-off ready, with lots of sidekicks and villains. Okay? Thanks.

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I didn't read this article yet, because my life is already so full of comics and librarians that I sometimes have a hard time convincing myself to spend a few more minutes reading about more of 'em, but I really liked the picture accompanying it. That "BAM!" barrette or whatever it is is pretty awesome. I hope that lady spent all day turning around suddenly and saying "BAM!" to whoever was standing behind her at the moment.

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Okay, I just read that article I linked to in the previous tidbit, because I felt like maybe I sounded like a jerk saying I didn't wanna read it. It's an okay article. I honestly can't stress enough how important I think libraries are to comics, which are, especially these days, an incredibly expensive past time, and no longer an impulse buy.

In fact, with comic books no longer racked the way the were in previous generations, I'm not even sure how kids could even find out about comics without a library. I know that just about every graphic novel I review on EDILW now is one I've borrowed from a library. And if your local library has a bad selection, you can always ask them to order particular items for you, either to add to their collection, or via inter-library loan.

Okay, that's all.

5 comments:

Andrew Day said...

your articles are great. I thought I would let you know that the first of the three batman images is a illustration by John Paul Leon. Just in case you were wondering.

Michael Hoskin said...

>A Batman ho is athletic and spooky, with whit triangle eyes.

Oh, mercy.

Akilles said...

Libraries are awesome, you got that right. Among other things.

Roygbiv666 said...

Regarding the creators getting money from the films, that's pretty much thanks to Paul Levitz back in the day setting up the royalties program at DC. Interesting interview with him here:

http://www.nycgraphicnovelists.com/2012/01/paul-levitz-history-of-past-and-future.html

And in the article you link to, Dixon says " "Graham and I both signed participation agreements, which are good in perpetuity. So it's not up to them whether they take care of us. We're taken care of. We've seen money from Bane all along – the Lego games and the little Bane-shaped piece in the Spaghettios. We always get a piece of what Bane makes. We'll see money from this movie. They have graphs and charts to figure out how much based on how many lines of dialogue he has and how much he's in the movie and how much impact he has on the story. We were part of it the last time when Bane was in the last [Joel] Schumacher film really briefly. We participated in that.""

So, I don't think that DC could exclude any of these guys if they wanted to -- they signed a contract ;-)

Roygbiv666 said...

DC has a pre-existing compensation package for its creators, they couldn't exclude them if they wanted to, they have a contract with them, mainly thanks to Paul Levitz.

Dixon notes " "Graham and I both signed participation agreements, which are good in perpetuity. So it's not up to them whether they take care of us. We're taken care of. We've seen money from Bane all along – the Lego games and the little Bane-shaped piece in the Spaghettios. We always get a piece of what Bane makes. We'll see money from this movie. They have graphs and charts to figure out how much based on how many lines of dialogue he has and how much he's in the movie and how much impact he has on the story. We were part of it the last time when Bane was in the last [Joel] Schumacher film really briefly. We participated in that.""