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Creator-Owned versus Work-for-Hire.

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Posts

  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    LRG wrote: »
    Anjin-San wrote: »
    A good example to bring up would be Robert Kirkman.

    His book Invincible is wonderful. It also give you the impression that the motherfucker wants to write Spider-Man. (or at least Ultimate Spidey)

    But if you've read UXM it's painfully apparent he's terrible with established characters.

    You should read Marvel Team-up, I don't know whats up with UXM(Thought it started to suck after the second arc, really), but Kirkman can handle established characters pretty darn well.

    But I happen to think his creator owned stuff is better because he can actually do more in it. You can add a new bad guy to Spider-man or Give Daredevil more "edge", but I really don't think there is much one creator can do to one of these big name company characters that will honestly "darastically change them forever"

    Can't knock a guy who grew up reading Superman for wanting to write a Superman comic, though

    Man have you read Bendis' or Brubaker's DD?

    Balefuego on
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  • LRGLRG Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Yeah, I got the 2nd and 3rd Hardcover of Bendis' run. So execution is key, mos def. But Murdock being outted as Daredevil wasn't exactly a new concept.

    Now you just make me want to keep reading the hardcovers because I know they are good

    LRG on
  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Man, I'm not even talking about the outting.

    You need to keep reading son.

    Balefuego on
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  • LRGLRG Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Goddamn being broke succcccccccckkkkkkkkkksssss

    LRG on
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited June 2007
    Man, y'all need to reread the quote. AGAIN. Put down the goddamn pitchforks. He's not telling you you're bad people for reading superhero books. He's not saying anyone's a bad person for writing superhero books. He's stating a possibly cruel but nevertheless simple fact:

    In art or writing, imitation is an important first step, but the people who reach the heights of their field are the ones who find their own voice. It really is that simple. Maybe Dickens or Faulkner got their start wanting to write Romeo and Juliet fanfic, but they moved past that.

    A lot of the guys you all just namechecked - Bendis, Morrison, Brubaker - they were inspired by the superhero comics they read as kids, but they broadened their horizons and found their own interests: true crime or magick or whatever - and they did their own stuff and then when they came back to the capes, lo and behold, they had something new and interesting to say with those characters.

    Wanting to do more with your writing is a good thing. Morrison is the perfect example. He's got a restless mind, always taking in new ideas (even crazy ones) and using them to constantly refresh and revitalize his work. If he didn't have that everpresent ambition, he'd have burned out or gotten stale years ago.

    Jacobkosh on
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  • JCMJCM Registered User
    edited June 2007
    hughtron wrote: »
    Inspired by this exchange:
    Keith wrote: »
    hughtron wrote: »
    Keith I am telling you I would rather have The Invisibles than All-Star Superman and, uh, Creator-Owned Something By Darwyn Cooke than The Spirit.

    Anyway, this isn't about cancelled comics anymore, so I will shut up and stop bitching.

    I'm pretty sure Darwyn Cooke would rather be doing The Spirit than "Creator-Owned something"

    ...let's talk about creators.


    It is my contention that creator-owned works by great creators are almost always superior to any work-for-hire stuff they might create.

    Agreed.

    Being a follower of manhua and manga as well as american comcis, there´s so much more creativity in the creator-owned field, and although sometimes you can make a franchise seem interesting again "Iredeemable Ant man, anyone?" I´d rather have something new and exciting

    I also think its the main reason why the US industry is the last in the big 5 comic industries, and the only one that isnt selling more than millions of their top ten every month. because looking at Manhua (koran), manwa(chinese), BD (french-belgo) and manga (japanese comcis), the top ten comcis every year are always less than 10-5 years of age, storylines end, and theres always 5-6 new IP in that lisst.

    the US comics top ten are almost always Marvel/DC´s top characters, with a fresh break when Image and Valiant were going at it.

    Give me Preacher, give me Invisibles, Sandman, Transmetropolitan, Planetary and Miracle Man. I want stories with a beginning, middle and end, stories with a purpose, not only to sell the same IP to me with 5 different toles of the same characters. I want my stories to matter, not be retconned over and over.

    Just my personal taste of comics.

    JCM on
  • IrohIroh Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I really don't understand where the idea that more creator-owned IPs getting published would spell success for domestic comics. If that were indeed the case, we'd see it reflected in the sales numbers every month that the books listed over and over again as examples (Sandman, Invisibles, etc.) are moving the most units. I think everyone can agree that this has never happened, and ongoings with iconic characters like Captain America are leading the charts.

    The comparison JCM makes between the North American comic market and the other countries isn't prudent at all, either. There is by far more at work in the sales numbers than what types of comics are being written. In my own personal opinion, the industry is never going to be able to move millions of issues a month on a single series until comics become an accepted hobby here. As it stands, there is a huge, undeniably damaging stigma surrounding it, and that seems to me to be the 800 pound gorilla in the room that everyone arguing for new IP is missing.

    I think we have a good mix of both styles of comics on sale these days, and the fact that everyone in this thread is able to get their hands on what they like to read is a testament to that. The bottom line is that changing that mix isn't going to start moving more stock, but proving to people that the hobby isn't for little boys and creepy old men will do a lot more to kickstart things.

    Iroh on
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  • hughtronhughtron __BANNED USERS
    edited June 2007
    Iroh wrote: »
    I really don't understand where the idea that more creator-owned IPs getting published would spell success for domestic comics. If that were indeed the case, we'd see it reflected in the sales numbers every month that the books listed over and over again as examples (Sandman, Invisibles, etc.) are moving the most units. I think everyone can agree that this has never happened, and ongoings with iconic characters like Captain America are leading the charts.

    Much like any medium, the charts don't really matter at all. It's not so much about success in terms of moving units. It's more about, you know, maturing the medium as a viable art form. American Idol and CSI are the most popular shows in America, but I wouldn't say either of them are particularly inspiring works, or great bits of art. Now, I know that opinions are like assholes, etc, and art is subjective, but I am telling you that I think The Invisibles, or even We3 are better comics and better pieces of art than All-Star Superman or Astonishing X-Men. It's not even about Superheros versus Other Genres. We3 and The Invisibles are, at their core, superhero books. The Matrix is, at its core, a superhero movie. Yet they take the conventions and tropes of that genre and use it to make something new and exciting.
    The comparison JCM makes between the North American comic market and the other countries isn't prudent at all, either. There is by far more at work in the sales numbers than what types of comics are being written. In my own personal opinion, the industry is never going to be able to move millions of issues a month on a single series until comics become an accepted hobby here. As it stands, there is a huge, undeniably damaging stigma surrounding it, and that seems to me to be the 800 pound gorilla in the room that everyone arguing for new IP is missing.

    I think we have a good mix of both styles of comics on sale these days, and the fact that everyone in this thread is able to get their hands on what they like to read is a testament to that. The bottom line is that changing that mix isn't going to start moving more stock, but proving to people that the hobby isn't for little boys and creepy old men will do a lot more to kickstart things.

    I'd argue that changing the mix is exactly what would prove to people that the hobby isn't for creepy old men. And getting back to the thread topic, for me it's not so much about getting more people to read comics, although that would be swell, it's about getting great creators to create better works of art.

    Look, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe concentrating all that talent on a single genre, working primarily with brands they didn't create and don't own is the best way to make good comics. And the only person I can really speak for is myself. But I'd much rather see Grant Morrison write Seaguy Vol. 2, than more 52.

    hughtron on
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  • hughtronhughtron __BANNED USERS
    edited June 2007
    Darwyn Cooke, he who started this little discussion, has some insight:
    NASO: For a while now, people have been talking about the troubles of the comic industry, from the lack of mainstream acceptance to failed marketing to decreased sales. But historically there have been spikes in general public interest in comics. Does the change in the way people view heroes have anything to do with the fluctuations in the health of the comic book industry?

    Cooke: Hmmmmm, I don't think so. There hasn't been any real spike in outside interest since the early 1990s, and it wasn't fueled so much by new readers as it was new club members and speculators. I firmly believe every other so-called spike was simply a spike within the existing market. That is, sucking more money per month out of the same customers. Both of the Big Two are terrified of the Mass Market for two reasons:

    1. It would take a major investment and risk to regain the mass market.

    2. Comic creators, editors and publishers would actually have to do their jobs — sell populist fare by the truckload that appealed to the mass market. They would have to give up this tight little circle where people care more about Bruce's feelings than they do whether there's a Batman story actually taking place. They'd have to work all ages with public light cast on the book's actual content, they'd have to compete with better written and produced entertainment from other media. Books that didn't sell would die. "Creators" who couldn't meet a monthly schedule would be restricted to specials and one-shots. Public taste and trends would have to be embraced. The precious superhero would have to share the stage with other more relevant genres like Romance, Crime, Horror, Humour and the like. Dicks like Kevin Smith would have to save their juvenile, oral-sex innuendo for something other than a mainstream DC comic.

    The comic book industry in America is a cottage industry aimed at a very exclusive audience. That's why they don't sell. For 20 years, Hollywood has been making millions off comic properties and the zombies chant about how it will translate in sales... and it never does. Because the comics are cryptic, inaccessible, overpriced and aimed at anything other than a mass market.

    hughtron on
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  • Dex DynamoDex Dynamo Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    COOKE: I put it this way: However you want it to. The book was purposefully constructed without a label, so each reader can see it fit however they want. As Paul, Dan and Mark all told me, just tell a killer story.

    This sums up the other side of the argument, though. If you've got a killer story that needs batman, why write a sub-par story that involves another character just to be "independent"? Tell the stories you want to tell, and if they're good, they'll do the work.

    Dex Dynamo on
  • IrohIroh Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    hughtron wrote: »
    Much like any medium, the charts don't really matter at all. It's not so much about success in terms of moving units. It's more about, you know, maturing the medium as a viable art form. American Idol and CSI are the most popular shows in America, but I wouldn't say either of them are particularly inspiring works, or great bits of art. Now, I know that opinions are like assholes, etc, and art is subjective, but I am telling you that I think The Invisibles, or even We3 are better comics and better pieces of art than All-Star Superman or Astonishing X-Men. It's not even about Superheros versus Other Genres. We3 and The Invisibles are, at their core, superhero books. The Matrix is, at its core, a superhero movie. Yet they take the conventions and tropes of that genre and use it to make something new and exciting.

    I'd argue that changing the mix is exactly what would prove to people that the hobby isn't for creepy old men. And getting back to the thread topic, for me it's not so much about getting more people to read comics, although that would be swell, it's about getting great creators to create better works of art.

    Look, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe concentrating all that talent on a single genre, working primarily with brands they didn't create and don't own is the best way to make good comics. And the only person I can really speak for is myself. But I'd much rather see Grant Morrison write Seaguy Vol. 2, than more 52.

    I brought up sales numbers for one reason, and one reason only; if books don't sell, the hobby isn't going to survive, and that's undesirable no matter what you enjoy. I think it's absolutely crucial that the Morrisons and Brubakers of the world not move on to exclusively creator-owned stuff. Like it or not, the money is coming from superhero books, and if those go away, these guys won't be able to make a good living writing comics anymore. It's important to note I'm not all that different from seeing this your way, either, as I can honestly say Brian Wood's DMZ is close to being the favorite on my pull list, and it doesn't involve heroes whatsoever.

    As far as writing superhero comics being low on the totem pole of high art, I don't think the answer is to quit writing them altogether. I think there can be meaningful stories told with these characters, but it doesn't happen that often because of continuity. In my opinion, the characters' histories aren't restricting the writers, it's the stupid events and timelines that are put in place in order to create this cohesive universe. Things don't match up most of the time anyway, as indicated by all the retcon issues, so I think the whole approach needs to change. Instead of story-arcs that are just parts of a giant never-ending series, it would probably be better if they each stood as a real standalone tale about the title character.

    Immortal Iron Fist is probably the prime example of how to do it right, as what happens within the book meshes pretty damned well with the greater Marvel scheme, but at the same time it is self-contained enough that someone can read just that book and actually know what the hell is going on.

    DC is definitely suspect here, since almost all of the books I read on their side of the fence are referencing Countdown, so I pretty much have to read it to know why anyone is doing what they're doing.

    Edit: This post is huge, but it needs to be said that there is always the option to write out of continuity stories, a-la DKR, but it needs to be encouraged by the publishers.

    Iroh on
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  • muninnmuninn Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Keith wrote: »
    Keith wrote: »
    Really, the only people you could use to counter Ellis' quote are people who never did anything but work-for-hire superhero fare.

    He doesn't even say that your original stuff needs to be good. You just have to want to do it.

    There's no one that wants to write comics exclusively for already made characters

    Of course people want to write their own stuff. They just also want to write the characters they already know and love

    Maybe it should be broader, including people who are more excited about writing a pre-existing character than they are about creating their own. Certainly there are people like that.

    There's an honor in writing characters that have been around for 60 years

    Wait, what?
    If your ULTIMATE goal is to write stories for a 60 year old character, then you are only looking for celebrity status.
    Kinda like all those kids who want to be rock-stars, not musicians.
    Your ultimate goal should be writing a really good story, not to put tiny a mark in the history of comics, that in another 60 years will be erased from fandom's memory.

    muninn on
  • hughtronhughtron __BANNED USERS
    edited June 2007
    I agree with basically everything you said Iroh, especially about continuity. The best work-for-hire stands on its own, it's the kind that lets the creator shine through. Morrison on New X-Men was a wonderful, weird and exciting thing. Kyle Baker on Plastic Man. Simonson's Thor run. New Frontier is one of my favorite things ever.

    Honestly I love a great, well crafted Marvel/DC story as much as anybody. The current climate of editorially-mandated, cross-line events, while selling, is not something that appeals to me in the slightest.

    hughtron on
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  • FolkFolk Registered User
    edited June 2007
    muninn wrote: »
    Keith wrote: »
    Keith wrote: »
    Really, the only people you could use to counter Ellis' quote are people who never did anything but work-for-hire superhero fare.

    He doesn't even say that your original stuff needs to be good. You just have to want to do it.

    There's no one that wants to write comics exclusively for already made characters

    Of course people want to write their own stuff. They just also want to write the characters they already know and love

    Maybe it should be broader, including people who are more excited about writing a pre-existing character than they are about creating their own. Certainly there are people like that.

    There's an honor in writing characters that have been around for 60 years

    Wait, what?
    If your ULTIMATE goal is to write stories for a 60 year old character, then you are only looking for celebrity status.
    Kinda like all those kids who want to be rock-stars, not musicians.
    Your ultimate goal should be writing a really good story, not to put tiny a mark in the history of comics, that in another 60 years will be erased from fandom's memory.

    Thats fucking bullshit.

    If I want to write a story about Batman, and thats what I really want to do, what makes you say I can't. It has nothing to do about celebrity status, it is about writing about a character that you have idolized for your entire life.

    Some of the "creator owned" stuff draws from these old characters as inspiration anyways. Whats so different about writing about a character that is essentially Superman but you made him up instead. Does that hold any more ground than a really good Superman story?

    What about artists? They are the odd man out in this equation, just because you can draw doesn't mean you can come up with a good story. I the sure as hell can't so where does that leave me? Drawing for other people on other peoples ideas, or I could hire someone to write my story, but that isn't as good.

    Folk on
  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I love both creator-owned stuff and work-for-hire, but more and more lately I've been leaning towards independent stuff. Marvel and DC (especially DC) tend to lose me when a series I've been following gets a massive upheaval due to editorial mandate. There's something irksome about reading a series and then having everything you enjoyed about it thrown out not because the writer, the creative mind behind the entire thing, wanted to, but an editor. It bothers me that Nicieza's Thunderbolts were just kicked aside so that internet wonderboy Warren Ellis could sweep in and take the book over. It irks me that an editor said, "Hey, kill Blue Beetle and wrap an event around it. Oh, and set him up a successor too," and a writer with a good story pitch didn't come to that decision. Same thing with Batgirl and Hal Jordan turning evil, the decision to force a rape into Identity Crisis, Brad Meltzer picking his murder victims off an editorially approved list, and so on. Now that's not to say that these decisions were inherently bad or anything. But there's something frustrating about someone whose job is not to write a well-crafted story deciding which direction said story goes in, rather than the writer.

    Contrast it to Kirkman's Invincible, or Bendis' Powers. Whenever something controversial or shitty happens in the book, you can look at it and honestly say, "Alright, this dude already wrote a whole bunch of stuff for this series that I enjoyed, so I'll trust him and see where this goes. It's his baby," as opposed to, "Alright this dude just came onto this series after [writer X] has been writing it/the characters for over a decade and already it's all fucked up. Worse, an editor helped make the decision. Maybe he can clean up this mess in the four issues he'll be remaining on the book, but probably not."

    But other than that, I enjoy both types of work equally. All Star Superman, 52, FKAJL, and many more are examplary stories. But there's always something in the back of my mind that makes me think they succeeded in spite of, and not because of, the publishing house they were created under.

    Still, there's something very appealing about the idea of working on characters you enjoyed reading about as a fan. I mean, if DC came to me and said, "Hey Munch, want to write a Blue Beetle book and see how it shakes out?" I sure as hell wouldn't say no.

    Munch on
  • Dex DynamoDex Dynamo Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    hughtron wrote: »
    I agree with basically everything you said Iroh, especially about continuity. The best work-for-hire stands on its own, it's the kind that lets the creator shine through. Morrison on New X-Men was a wonderful, weird and exciting thing. Kyle Baker on Plastic Man. Simonson's Thor run. New Frontier is one of my favorite things ever.

    Honestly I love a great, well crafted Marvel/DC story as much as anybody. The current climate of editorially-mandated, cross-line events, while selling, is not something that appeals to me in the slightest.

    I think we have reached an agreement here. The quality of a work, established characters or no, is and should always be that someone can read it from beginning to end and walk away with something, even if it's as small as "That was awesome." The continuity-driven work is a problem with the industry, and probably what's dragging it down. I don't know if I immediately think a work is better because it's a gritty crime story about a beat cop on the edge, or about The Spirit, but I definately, definately agree that a work like Cooke's the Spirit, that you can read with no intricate knowledge of the character and still enjoy, is better than, say, Ellis's Thunderbolts.

    Dex Dynamo on
  • Avro_ArrowAvro_Arrow Registered User
    edited July 2007
    It's kind of like someone saying they aspire to be a substitute teacher. You're selling yourself short.

    My mom aspired to be a substitute teacher.

    Her English was not so good.

    EDIT: I really want to see what comes of Warren Ellis in twenty years.

    Avro_Arrow on
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  • ServoServo Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2007
    hughtron wrote: »
    Darwyn Cooke, he who started this little discussion, has some insight:
    Dicks like Kevin Smith would have to save their juvenile, oral-sex innuendo for something other than a mainstream DC comic.

    haha! dang, darwyn, zing him a little more

    edit- the riposte being, i suppose, that mr. smith already saves it for the movie theater and as such is now a millionaire.

    Servo on
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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited July 2007
    I kind of think Transmetropolitan's popularity will endure.

    Hooraydiation on
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  • Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I kind of think Transmetropolitan's popularity will endure.

    Mainly because Ellis predicted a lot of shit currently going down today.

    Calamity Jane on
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  • Avro_ArrowAvro_Arrow Registered User
    edited July 2007
    I kind of think Transmetropolitan's popularity will endure.

    I meant what he's done besides that.

    Avro_Arrow on
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  • Mai-KeroMai-Kero Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Avro_Arrow wrote: »
    I kind of think Transmetropolitan's popularity will endure.

    I meant what he's done besides that.

    Planetary?

    Mai-Kero on
  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited July 2007
    Avro_Arrow wrote: »
    I kind of think Transmetropolitan's popularity will endure.

    I meant what he's done besides that.

    Actually, yeah, all his work-for-hire stuff will be forgotten while his original works will continue to be admired. Doesn't that prove his point?

    Hooraydiation on
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  • muninnmuninn Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Mai-Kero wrote: »
    Avro_Arrow wrote: »
    I kind of think Transmetropolitan's popularity will endure.

    I meant what he's done besides that.

    Planetary?
    Desolation Jones?

    muninn on
  • JCMJCM Registered User
    edited July 2007
    muninn wrote: »
    Mai-Kero wrote: »
    Avro_Arrow wrote: »
    I kind of think Transmetropolitan's popularity will endure.

    I meant what he's done besides that.

    Planetary?
    Desolation Jones?

    Fell

    JCM on
  • Avro_ArrowAvro_Arrow Registered User
    edited July 2007
    Yeah those are good.

    I'm not trying to disprove that what he said applies perfectly well to him.

    Avro_Arrow on
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