Archive for December, 2006

Paul Levitz talks sense?!

Paul Levitz, publisher of DC Comics, has a perspective remarkably similar to mine:

[hyperlinks inserted by me]

Paul Levitz: If we’re lucky, we’re going to be dealing with the issue of this tremendous open page of creative opportunity. What is the graphic novel? What is the graphic novel capable of, and how do we connect people to that in a world where you can get as unlikely a project as The 9-11 Commission Report in graphic novel form on the bestseller list? I think the biggest challenge facing the industry is that – what can we do in comics next?

We have a medium where a lot of the creative talent for many years was looking to figure out what their next assignment was. Then we finally evolved out of that to what the next project was – along with the sense of wanting to bring more of yourself to it.

But now, we’re almost at the situation where the question has turned into “what is the next opportunity out there?” You have this tremendous freedom of moment for creative people from other media to ours. You have people showing a willingness to sample comics about subject matter that would have been laughed out of the room a few years before. There’s an ability to promote and publicize those projects in ways that were unimaginable a couple of years ago, and giving you a chance to reach your audience. But still, I feel that the largest challenge is the challenge to the creative community – what do you do with this opportunity? What can you create? Is there the American humor strip that can have the power of an Asterix and simultaneously reflect the nature of popular culture, politics, and yet do it in a way that appeals to both adults and children and sells millions and millions of copies with each edition?

Or is there an equivalent that captures the wonderful, fun silliness of the manga humor work that works in Japan and is on volume 82 of, say, three guys running around chasing each other in a Keystone Cops situation? And then, how do you deliver all of these through the new and emerging technologies so that they reach different sets of people?

There’s so much enormous opportunity. That, I think, is the overwhelming challenge. As a creative individual, as a publisher – and God knows we won’t confuse those two things – or even as a consumer who enjoys this material – you find yourself moving toward this buffet that is set with far more opportunities than any one person can choose from intelligently, and what do you do with that?

NEWSARAMA: So the biggest challenge to the future is, to quote Lawrence, is that nothing is written?

PL: It’s always that nothing has been written about the future, but for most of the time that I have been active in comics, there was either a pervasive fear that there wouldn’t be a future, or most of your energy, if you wanted to do something different than what had been done before had to be put into convincing people to allow you to do something that had never been done before. Now, there’s an enormous range of people willing to do what has not been done before. Now, we’re at the point where no one’s sure which thing that hasn’t been done before they should do. It’s a much, much better problem to have.

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DC for March 07

DC Comics solicitations for March 2007. Commentary go!

what

The first interesting image of Aquaman I have seen in twenty-one years

Is there something wrong with me, or with the comic, that I’m not excited about a man aiming a bow&arrow at a giant dragon rampaging through downtown?

Van Sciver’s work is actually getting less attractive over time. Is he inking himself now? Too bad Norm Rapmund’s dead. It appears that he is not in fact dead.

WOOOOOOOOOOO finally! We have the originals of these but we’ll probably buy this too.

nice.

holy shit, that’s amazing. Looks like the pressure of following Eisner has kicked Darwyn Cooke in the ass and made him up his game. Look at the spare linework — the way he left off inking the tops of things completely and let the color do the work. Not to mention that the woman is already more attractive and dynamic than any Eisner ever drew (bless his heart, Will’s characters were all a little lumpy and vulnerable, which didn’t help him when he wanted to do rip-roaring adventure stories). Hot damn, now I’m excited for this launch.

New Wonder Woman writer sounds interesting. When was the last time this character was written by a woman?

sexy! [edited to add: this is sarcasm]

funny, it looks like Runaways has set the standard for teen superhero team covers. But I’m not complaining.

nice

I know this will make more sense after reading the issue — JJ’s covers always do — but seriously, wtf?

aaaand this one more than makes up for it. Whatever they’re paying Jean, it can’t be enough.

Whoa, that’s a change of pace. I love it, but actually I wonder why Carnevale didn’t play with this style before now.

Er, is he supposed to have that many ribs?

Oh dear god. That’s not a six-pack, that’s a fridge to keep the six-pack in.

She’s positively mammalicious!

Might actually have to get this one. I know a lot of people who like Catwoman, as a concept anyway. ‘ve also gotta pick up the Brubaker/Cooke stories, so I can have some decent Catwoman comics to direct people to.

Okay, enough out of me.


Leigh Walton talks comics and maybe other arts. (RSS)
He also works for the very excellent publisher Top Shelf Productions (which does not necessarily endorse the views and opinions, etc, herein).

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Header by me. Contains an interpolation of the final panel from All-Star Superman #1 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Speaking of which.