Big Ol’ Roundup LinkBlogging

Bob Greenberger, in his new capacity as freelance editor for Platinum Studios, is looking for artists…

preferably those who pencil and ink or do tight enough textured pencils that we can color from. For my tastes, I am looking for people who draw fairly realistically, can do convincing looking people, places and objects. Most of this material is set in the world outside your window and the comics needs to reflect that. If you think you’re as good those now being published by DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, IDW, etc., then send me a few jpegs

MangaBlog points to a story about the possibility of ADV stopping manga publication. I only followed one of their titles, Yotsuba&!, but if there are no more volumes, that’s a shame. Commenters at that site blame the company for putting out too many titles without a coherent plan.

I found this explanation of yaoi genre conventions helpful in doing my continuing yaoi reviews. (I also sympathize with her tendency towards obsession; I can see that I’m going to have to explore that blog further.)

Are you pondering what I’m pondering, Ragnell? She wonders what happened to positivity among fans. I was thinking about this the other day. Once upon a time, a plot hole or bobbled continuity would lead to readers coming up with creative explanations to patch the situation; today, it’s more likely to lead to ranting about how lazy the writer/editor/artist is and posturing about how the fan could do the job better. Why? Because the two groups have too many grudges held against the other. I don’t blame either one, but I regret the loss.

By the way, thanks, Ragnell, for adding my site to your latest weekly women’s geekout. I was supposed to cover Castle Waiting this weekend, but I wound up moving furniture instead.

Last, Dan Slott analyzes the short life and death of The Thing.

“I think the lesson of it is. if you’re working on a non-flagship title, you better knock it out of the park with your first issue. There is no room for a slow or gradual build up. It’s like Alan Moore’s run on ‘Swamp Thing.’ Here’s this book about a 3rd tier DC character by a writer who really wasn’t that well known to American audience. But his run came out of the gate with ‘The Anatomy Lesson’. That has to be the model now. Your first issue better have everyone talking — or you’re dead. You need to be Kurt Busiek’s ‘Thunderbolts’ #1. You need to sweat blood and get every ounce of it on the page. That’s the lesson.”


  1. Paul O'Brien

    I think the main reason audiences have become less forgiving of continuity errors and so forth is the explicit change of attitude by publishers and creators themselves. During the 70s and 80s they bent over backwards to stress that they saw this sort of thing as a priority. So if there was a mistake… well, it was a mistake. Over the last few years both Marvel and DC, and many of their prominent writers, have taken an aggressively anti-continuity approach and made it perfectly clear that they don’t really care about consistency. No reasonable fan could possibly give them the benefit of the doubt on continuity errors any more, because they’ve spelt out repeatedly that they’re not trying. Consequently, instead of seeing these glitches as part of the fun, longtime readers tend to see them as a permanent reminder that the creators have lost sight of a core part of the genre’s appeal (to them, at least).

    When the publishers tell you outright that they’re not playing the game any more, it’s hard to see why the fans should carry on alone.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts — I knew you’d have some good comments on this topic!

    I think it’s also complicated by different people/groups playing by different rules. Tom Brevoort, for example, and his books have different approaches than Axel Alonso, for example. As the types of fans (and what they’re looking for) have become more diverse, so have the publishers (within the limitations of one genre), which additionally confuses things.

  3. I think also it just comes down to fans thinking they can do the job better than the writer, because they know more minutia about the character than the writer.

    A dictionary of knowledge can be a wonderful thing, but it doesn’t mean you can tell a well written story just because you know it.

    On reader requests, I was personally hoping to see you cover some GOOD manga. Not just stufff you’d been sent by publishers to cover, that turned out to not be much good.

  4. Manga on the reading stack: Nana 3, Monster, Death Note. Good enough for you? :)

    Balancing review copies and my own choices is tough, but you’re right, I want to keep the focus on stuff that’s enjoyable.

  5. I’ve always thought that trying to make up reasons for why the continuity error isn’t really an error was just plain dumb. It’s one of the (many) things that drove me up the wall in my brief experience with Star Trek fandom.

    On the other hand, just because the creators blew it on the continuity doesn’t mean it’s some big crime to tar and feather them for. If it doesn’t blow a big hole in the story or otherwise hurt the verisimilitude of the work then it’s not really a big deal. People make mistakes.

    The problem comes when elements of continuity which define the setting or character get confused or screwed up. And unfortunately in this post-Crisis, post-Heroes Reborn, retcon-heavy world that the Big Two occupy, it’s altogether too easy for a comic’s backstory to get so screwed up that it’s difficult to figure out who the characters are, what they stand for, and what their motivations are. And that tends to make for unreadable storytelling.

  6. I think the audience is naturally inclined to notice continuity and say “But that’s wrong!” or “This is all connected.” with the main difference being one of how much detail one retains.

    To some degree, I think the publishers bear responsibility for the way fans feel so possessive of superhero continuity — it’s a common selling point for superhero comics nowadays.

    When I first dropped comics, it was largely because of continuity. As I was getting older, I wanted to casually settle into reading a few titles, but the post-Crisis DC universe was too confusing when I was trying to just buy Titans, Legion and Outsiders. There were too many moments that didn’t make sense to me. (Like why was Donna Troy saying she didn’t know who she was? Didn’t I read a story called “Who is Donna Troy?” Didn’t that answer those questions?) I know most people enjoyed the tightened and revamped continuity that came after the Crisis, but it made DC a big headache for me.

  7. Dumb it may be, but it’s been popular since Sherlock Holmes. Why does John Watson’s wife call him James? Is his war wound in his shoulder or leg? Answer: pulp writer got lazy, but it’s more entertaining for people to speculate on weird wound paths or middle or pet names.

  8. Lyle, I sympathize. That’s a big part of why I’m no longer reading DC comics — especially since rumor has it that they’re purposefully trying to make things hard for people in order to sell more comics as readers buy more to seek to understand the stories.

  9. That’s a pretty good start I guess!:) Yeah it has to be tough to find that balance, but darn it I want to see some Comics Worth Reading soon!:)

  10. (Running a bit behind lately)

    Thanks for the links!

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