- Posted by Johanna on August 11, 2010 at 7:52 am
- Category: Graphic Novel News
Mystery solved! Writer J. Michael Straczynski appeared in the comments at my original post on DC’s Earth One plans changing to explain what happened: The “news” about DC backing away from original graphic novels was a case of mixed-up reporting during San Diego panel coverage.
I was asked about the format of the graphic novels, was it going to be single issues collected as is the rule or a straight-up GN, to which I said it was a novel, unlike B&B, which was single issues gathered into a hardcover (thus trying to promote the book, which is coming out this week), having a little fun with it when the fan said he was confused, and I said I was too. That was it. Somehow these two statements concerning two different books got conflated into one.
B&B is The Brave and the Bold, a team-up book Straczynski has been writing. So lots of lessons here: Don’t rely too much on panel reports, because coverage can be rushed. Don’t try to cross-promote, because it risks the message getting confused. Don’t post without checking with the publisher. (As Heidi did, getting the bland “Our plans regarding the EARTH ONE line of original graphic novels have not changed.”) And don’t trust too much anything you read during the August silly season, when the heat gets to everyone.
However, that post has led to an interesting conversation about the differences between bookstore and comic shop sales with many valuable contributions by retailer Brian Hibbs. Check out the comments at that link.
Update: Turns out that the panel has an audio recording (mp3 link) available at DC’s site, and Straczynski’s comment and recollection is incorrect. He may have intended to refer to The Brave and the Bold, but there is no mention of such in the recording.
Which explains the confusion — what Straczynski thinks he remembers saying isn’t actually what he said. One of the panel reporters, Albert Ching, goes into more detail at this Newsarama blog post. Here’s his actual transcript:
Fan: “With your Superman: Earth One story, is that going to be, like an ongoing graphic novel series, or is it just going to be the one, one and done, or do you have others, plans for other Superman graphic novels, if that’s not, if this is a one and done?”
JMS: “What they’re going to do, as I understand it, is, first the graphic novel will come out in hardcover, then it will come out in individual issues. Then more issues will follow to be gathered together in graphic novels.”
Fan: “So it’s going to be graphic novel/hardcover first, then single issues, recollected, then single issues again?”
JMS: “Right. As I understand it.”
Well, that makes it clear why the situation was “misreported” — it wasn’t. I appreciate DC and JMS trying to clarify things now, but you shouldn’t rewrite history to do it — that’s not cricket. I wish they’d go forward instead, explaining just what they intend for the Earth One line, when we should expect to see the Batman book available, and what other titles will appear.
Update: (11/12/10) As Kevin Huxford points out, with the reported success of Earth One and the upcoming sequel, we’ll likely never know what the original plans were or how DC would have reacted if the book hadn’t done so well.