DC’s OGN Line to Continue With No Changes – Updated With Info on JMS Mistake

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 (link no longer available). 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.

6 Responses to “DC’s OGN Line to Continue With No Changes – Updated With Info on JMS Mistake”

  1. Kevin Huxford Says:

    “That’s not cricket.”

    I like that. I was searching for a way to put it and didn’t come up with anything nearly as unique.

    It wouldn’t have been so bad if not for the way JMS was critical of how this has been reported, when all parties were reporting accurately.

  2. James Schee Says:

    I can sort of give them a bit of a pass on this. San Diego Con is really hectic, and I’m sure questions fly fairly fast. Add in the # of panels, the number of fans and I can understand things getting muddled

    Its like the old DC Chats on AOL, especially the Legion Chats which I know myself and others would try to provide chat recaps for. There were many times I would have to go back and clarify something, because either the pro misspoke or maybe didn’t understand the question. Or was just totally wrong and when they had a day and saw it, when “Ooops!”

  3. Johanna Says:

    Oh, yeah, it’s completely understandable that these things happen, people misspeak or forget exactly what they said — but the attitude JMS took in correcting those who reported on it… he implied they were too lazy to check out the facts or get things right, when they were accurately repeating what he said. He misremembered, and he could have clarified in a more polite way.

    I still think that this isn’t going to be what DC implied it would be, and they don’t want to reveal that, because it might adversely affect sales that already appear to be disappointing.

  4. Kevin Huxford Says:

    I agree 100% that this won’t be what DC implied it would be. I’m just a bit frustrated that they insist on leaving it as vaguely addressed as they have so far. Then I’m out-and-out frustrated by how many fans incorrectly think it was adequately addressed and a non-issue.

  5. James Schee Says:

    Oh yeah I have no doubt that its not going to be what DC originally said it would. DC’s brass is too concerned with the direct market and getting fans in week after week.

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