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#599027 - 06/28/12 01:21 PM So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get?
MBunge Offline
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Bad enough for J. Michael Straczynski to turn Hollis Mason into Adam West and Dan Dreiberg into Tim Drake.

Mike

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#599028 - 06/28/12 02:53 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Joe Lee Offline
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I really enjoyed the art, but have to admit I really would have liked it a lot better if it had been a new hero or even a new classic Charlton era Blue Beetle retelling or revamp. But even then, there was something missing.

The above average-ness of it all is starting to wear thin. There is a bland competence to the series that's seems to be getting too consistent. I'm not sure if that makes sense but that's how this series is wearing on me, it started out surprisingly not bad, then maintained it's slightly-better-than-the-average-DC-book-ness to the point it's just kind of bland, but not too bland, maybe it's just the problem with so many number one issues in a row not having too much to say yet. Or creators not wanting to be the guy who screws up the thing. But it seems like they don't bother to give you anything to want to stick around for. The series is becoming totally dependent on the original Watchmen for engaging the readers curiosity. If it doesn't start doing it on it's own it'll be worse than a grand failure, it'll be a mediocre marginal book, that didn't so much fail, but never quite succeeded to do anything beyond not sucking. It needs some guts, it needs to stand on it's own in any way. I wanted a sort of Watchmen version of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. This is more like packing peanuts and bubble rap.

So much great talent really could and should be put to a better purpose like a new character, or concept, it would have been so much better. It might have freed up some creativity enough to break through the bland competence of it all.

I'll be curious to see how much the sales drop after they start the second issues.


Edited by Joe Lee (06/28/12 03:16 PM)

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#599035 - 06/29/12 11:37 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
MBunge Offline
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To me, BEFORE WATCHMEN is doing two things.

1. Putting the weaknesses of modern comic storytelling on display. It's a little unfair because WATCHMEN is perhaps the best ever use of relatively traditional comic storytelling techniques, but when you look at all Moore and Gibbons accomplished in their first issue vs. what the BW creators have done, it's pretty stark how much less complex and dense the new books are.

2. Graphically illustrating how the role of editor has changed in the business. From two of the first four books specifically contradicting things from the original work, to a ludicrous amount of painfuly "on the nose" foreshadowing, to the text piece at the back of the book where the editor reveals he was hired AFTER the writer and artist were selected for the book, a lot of the flaws of this project seem to flow from editors acting as talent facilitators instead of, you know, edtiors.

Mike

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#599036 - 06/29/12 12:06 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Joe Lee Offline
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I'm just really surprised that no one is writing anything controversial or exciting, (other than contradicting facts from the original work). No one is taking any risks, or doing anything to grab the audience. Just like the Star Wars prequels. They are going from point a to point b, no one is doing anything unexpected, no one is telling us anything we didn't know. Other than the mistakes anyway.

The original Watchmen starts off in the middle of action.A crime scene and a murder flashback. I've seen sad people moping for three issues straight now.

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#599038 - 06/29/12 12:31 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Joe Lee]
Charles Reece Offline
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You really find that surprising, Joe? Not taking risks is the point behind the series.
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#599039 - 06/29/12 12:38 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Charles Reece]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Yeah, I touched a stove yesterday. Turns out? Hot!
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#599040 - 06/29/12 12:38 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Charles Reece]
Joe Lee Offline
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I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but I hoped with at least some of the talented people involved, someone might try to do something more.

They should have just called it Watchmen Lite


Edited by Joe Lee (06/29/12 12:40 PM)

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#599041 - 06/29/12 12:58 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Joe Lee]
jackdaw Offline
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Not surprised at all that its not very good.

But... for first time for a long time must admit I wish the old DC boards were still around. It would have been fun to see how many of the anti-Alan Moore brigade consider it far better than the original.

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#599043 - 06/29/12 02:19 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Charles Reece]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
Not taking risks is the point behind the series.


But you'd think fidelity to the source material would be somewhat important. Even if you want to excuse the JFK stuff as something that was only implied in the original, the NITE OWL book is presenting a substantially different origin for Dan Dreiberg and a completely different relationship between Dan and Hollis Mason.

Mike

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#599045 - 06/29/12 02:35 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Charles Reece Offline
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Well, here is a case where fidelity is betrayal, so I'm surprised that they were creative enough to be unfaithful. This all sounds like an Elsewhere-Watchmen that's maybe only one planet removed, or What If Alan Moore Hadn't Written Watchmen, but Editors Had Come Up With Similar Character Ideas?
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#599046 - 06/29/12 02:55 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Charles Reece]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
I'm surprised that they were creative enough to be unfaithful.


I really doubt deliberate creativity has much to do with it.

Mike

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#599047 - 06/29/12 03:09 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Charles Reece Offline
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Call it a happy accident, minus the happiness.
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#599051 - 06/29/12 05:18 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Charles Reece]
Joe Lee Offline
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Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
This all sounds like an Elsewhere-Watchmen that's maybe only one planet removed,...
That's it!

It'll all be revealed that THESE Watchmen are not the Alan Moore Watchmen, and the editorial staff will loudly proclaim these Elsworlds Watchmen are free to use without any fanboy uproar, free to join the JLA and team up with Shazam and Plastic Man, Blue Beetle and the Question...

What kind of Lanterns do you think Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan will be?

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#599069 - 06/30/12 04:37 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Joe Lee]
Gerald Offline
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I don't think the higher ups realize that these characters aren't good on their own. Visually, they are very bland compared to the more colorful heroes in the DCU. It seems like the last big generation of comic readers was from the 80s since dc is banking so much on this series. I can't see new readers wanting to pick this up and it seems like dc knows this from the way the series is marketed and written.
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#599072 - 06/30/12 05:54 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette
Yeah, I touched a stove yesterday. Turns out? Hot!

Some guys just have to get Chlamydia before they learn not to patronize whores.

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#599099 - 07/02/12 05:36 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Originally Posted By: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette
Yeah, I touched a stove yesterday. Turns out? Hot!

Some guys just have to get Chlamydia before they learn not to patronize whores.



Exactly.

I was in a comics shop last week and flipped through the first issue of the NITE OWL mini-series. It was exactly as awful as many of us assumed.

The writer, J. Michael Strawwhateverhicki, the dumb-ass who has Superman walk across America for a year except he got bored and quit two or three issues in, basically ripped some sections right out of WATCHMEN, such as the first and only meeting of the Crime Busters in the 1960s. He had Dan, as a grown man, ogling the teen-aged Laurie, a high school student in a see-through outfit and skimpy skirt. And then he had Rorschach -- famous in WATCHMEN for his good humor and his comfort around sexuality -- make a good-natured joke about Dan's subsequent erection. Nite Owl and Rorschach trade quips in this comic like best buds Shaggy and Scooby.

BEFORE WATCHMEN sucks donkey balls. I knew that going in. I'm actually glad to have my perception confirmed, especially without paying a dime to anyone. (I did get a copy of the first FATALE trade by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, though. Highly recommended.)

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#599105 - 07/03/12 12:15 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
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Joe Kubert's inks over his son's pencils looked as gorgeous as ever, but the story looked so weak that I was happy not to buy that one. It did seem to be just a re-hashing of stuff alluded to in the original.

So far, it seems to me that the Comedian book has been the most successful in taking off in a new direction, even contradicting things that we thought we knew from the original. Maybe that is wrong in its own way, but at least it got us talking about it. It wasn't completely predictable, and took a bit of ingenuity to find a twist that could both contradict and still fit within the original story. In that case, I didn't care for the art much, so it still stayed on the shelf.

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#599106 - 07/03/12 01:43 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Joe Lee]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Joe Lee
I wanted a sort of Watchmen version of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.


Don't give DC any ideas. Tom Stoppard is still available, and I don't want to find out whether they can afford his fees.


Edited by Peter Urkowitz (07/03/12 01:45 AM)

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#599107 - 07/03/12 03:14 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
Gerald Offline
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I checked out Nite Owl #1 based on Lawson's recommendation.

I didn't like it. The art is kinda messy looking and why does DC have to have to retcon traumatic events into superheroes backstory? And why does Dan explicitly tell Rorshach that he has this feeling that Silk Spectre II and himself were meant to be paired together ? Can he sense the future that he'll eventually hook up with Laurie? Why doesn't he get any feelings when he's around Ozymandias like "I dunno Rorshach but I think Ozymandias will turn evil one day. Can't explain it."

I always thought it would be cool to see what Rorshach was like before he went crazy. He sounds reasonable and pretty normal in the crime busters scene from Watchmen. But now I realize I would only want to read that if it were drawn by Gibbons and written by Moore. Not because these prequels are crap but because those two guys defined the characters. Gibbons drew The Comedian a certain way. When that other guy draws him it's like replacing Al Pacino in GFII with Dustin Hoffman.
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#599111 - 07/03/12 10:53 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
BEFORE WATCHMEN sucks donkey balls. I knew that going in. I'm actually glad to have my perception confirmed, especially without paying a dime to anyone. (I did get a copy of the first FATALE trade by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, though. Highly recommended.)


I'll defend SILK SPECTRE, at least so far, and it's possible MINUTEMEN may be decent once Cooke gets around to actually telling the frickin' story. COMEDIAN and NITE OWL are both terrible in subject matter and execution.

Mike

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#599112 - 07/03/12 12:19 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
ChrisW Offline
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Quote:
I always thought it would be cool to see what Rorshach was like before he went crazy. He sounds reasonable and pretty normal in the crime busters scene from Watchmen.


I preferred it when Stan Lee wrote him.
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#599136 - 07/03/12 06:24 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: ChrisW]
Bring Back Zot Offline
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I have no interest in any of the books in this series, and plan not to read it, so as not to tarnish my memory of Alan Moore's great work.

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#599141 - 07/03/12 11:49 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Bring Back Zot]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Oh, it makes the original look even better by comparison.
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#599149 - 07/04/12 10:21 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Oh, it makes the original look even better by comparison.



Allen is completely right about that. It'll be interesting to see what the reaction is from the general public that's been buying WATCHMEN for over 25 years when there's this big lump of clearly inferior material out there involving the same characters.

Mike

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#599163 - 07/04/12 03:17 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
ChrisW Offline
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About the same as having a crop of big budget Spider-Man movies that remind everyone how great Maguire was in the same role. It's like a crappy run of Spider-Man comics reminds us how great the [fill in your own era] was. They both have to exist to be distinguishable.
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#599167 - 07/04/12 05:07 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: ChrisW]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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No, it'll be like the many forgotten sequels to other hits — The Birds II: Land's End, American Psycho II, S. Darko, Black House (sequel to The Talisman), The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Tubular Bells 2-thru-whatever and Thick as a Brick 2.
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#599243 - 07/05/12 08:58 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Kevin Nowlan. God damn it.
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#599256 - 07/06/12 07:51 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
madget Offline
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There was a Birds II?

K

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#599257 - 07/06/12 08:13 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: madget]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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My point exactly.
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#600556 - 08/27/12 06:54 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Gerald Offline
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I checked out BW: Rorschach #1 and it was grim and gritty. Dead nude women show up in the comic with messages carved in their backs. Rorschach battles a disfigured serial killer. Gets beat up, and unmasked.

The artists really makes you feel like you're in 70s New York. Some of the scenery shots look like they come straight out of Taxi Driver. The art is well done but becuase of the subject matter and characters it's looks ugly. It kind of feels like Punisher meets CSI, or Saw.

I was looking forward to Minutemen and Rorshach the most. Minutemen started out disappointing but issue #2 was good. After briefly looking through Rorshach, I realize his past works better when it's implied than actually shown. Seeing people's reaction to Rorshach and the stories they tell each other gave a better picture of the character.
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#600559 - 08/27/12 06:59 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Gerald]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Yeah, Lee Bermejo is one of the ones I'll miss giving money to.
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#600566 - 08/28/12 12:26 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Gerald Offline
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Although I think Bermejo is a great artist I haven't been interested in any of his DC projects like Lex Luthor: Man of Steel or the Joker GN.

I guess I'm boycotting JMS after reading his comments on Alan Moore. If I recall correctly he said that Alan Moore was given the chance to write Watchmen 2 but he turned it down. He was later offered the chance again, this time in return for ownership of Watchmen. What he neglected to mention was that Alan Moore was not offered the rights initially and it was only after the movie that DC said, "okay, we'll give you the rights back but ONLY if you write Watchmen 2."

But it mostly helps that I'm not interested in the current output of these artists and writers. Azzarello's Superman run was my introduction to his work and I thought it was pretty bad. Darwn Cooke made The New Frontier which I thought was amazing, but I didn't care to see his version of Will Eisner's The Spirit. I like Adam Hughes cheesecake art but I doubt he'll get around to illustrating interiors any time soon and I don't buy comics for the covers.

I think Amanda Conner would be a tough one. I really liked her art on The Pro and her short JSA: Classified issues featuring Power Girl but the rest of her DC stuff combined with writing seems average.
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#600568 - 08/28/12 01:34 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Gerald]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
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I can totally understand boycotting the Before Watchmen series. I can understand being mad at the people who are working on it.

But boycotting all of their future work? That's just being a dickhead.

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#600569 - 08/28/12 04:21 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
Gerald Offline
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Maybe but I find it insulting when someone deliberately twists the facts to excuse dishonest practices. Other comic professionals have written about the issue from DC's perspective without resorting to a misrepresentation of the facts.

But I don't really buy anything from DC. Anything that looks mildly interesting is either overpriced, delayed, or too bogged down in continuity to enjoy.
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#600573 - 08/28/12 08:42 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Peter Urkowitz
But boycotting all of their future work? That's just being a dickhead.

And working on Before Watchmen *ISN'T* a dickhead move?

Most of the contributors are empty vessels to begin with, guns for hire who never actually created any properties. Even though I like Bermejo's artwork, I didn't buy the stuff Gerald pointed out, either, because they're just work-for-hire filler. So I'm thinking dismissing future works by Adam Hughes, Jae Lee, Dave Johnson, Josh Middleton and Kevin Nowlan won't be a very big loss.
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#600575 - 08/28/12 10:35 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Originally Posted By: Peter Urkowitz
But boycotting all of their future work? That's just being a dickhead.


Since you never ethically owe a cartoonist your business, I don't see how that could possibly be the case.

The only reason you ever need to not buy someone's comics is "I don't want to buy that person's comics." One reason that would easily fall under that umbrella is "because they worked on Before Watchmen."
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#600578 - 08/28/12 01:12 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Joe Lee Offline
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I think you are both right.

You don't owe a cartoonist or anyone for that matter, your business. Anyone can decide to not buy someone's work for any reason, arbitrary or not. They can even create a blacklist if they want, but it doesn't mean they aren't just being a dickhead too.

They can easily do both. Being a dickhead is subjective.

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#600582 - 08/28/12 01:45 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Joe Lee]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Originally Posted By: Joe Lee
They can even create a blacklist if they want, but it doesn't mean they aren't just being a dickhead too.


Actually, we would require some sort of hiring power to create a blacklist.
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#600623 - 08/28/12 05:01 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Joe Lee Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette
Originally Posted By: Joe Lee
They can even create a blacklist if they want, but it doesn't mean they aren't just being a dickhead too.


Actually, we would require some sort of hiring power to create a blacklist.
...still doesn't mean you aren't a dickhead.

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#600628 - 08/28/12 05:06 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Joe Lee]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Does mean you need some remedial reading assistance, though.
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#600634 - 08/28/12 05:16 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Joe Lee]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Originally Posted By: Joe Lee
...still doesn't mean you aren't a dickhead.


I'm sorry I'm so hostile, Joe.
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#600638 - 08/28/12 05:25 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Joe Lee Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette
Originally Posted By: Joe Lee
...still doesn't mean you aren't a dickhead.


I'm sorry I'm so hostile, Joe.
I'm sorry you're such a dickhead.

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#600642 - 08/28/12 05:37 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Joe Lee]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Joe Lee
Originally Posted By: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette
Originally Posted By: Joe Lee
...still doesn't mean you aren't a dickhead.


I'm sorry I'm so hostile, Joe.
I'm sorry you're such a dickhead.


He's not. Remember, Joe, Ceci Appleface has all but admitted that he's a troll who's only here to amuse himself. Hell, he's probably buying 2 copies of each BW book; one to read and one to bag 'n board.

Mike

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#600644 - 08/28/12 05:41 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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That was pretty weak, Bungee. Even for you.
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#600647 - 08/28/12 05:46 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Originally Posted By: MBunge
Remember, Joe, Ceci Appleface has all but admitted that he's a troll who's only here to amuse himself.


No I haven't. I've said that I participate on this board because it amuses me. I've also said that one of the things that amuses me is the tendency of you and Joe to accuse anyone who says things you don't like of being a troll, while simultaneously shouting ridiculous things at them. Which I consider unreasonable, but funny.

Sorry if that confused you.
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#600852 - 09/14/12 10:57 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
MBunge Offline
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I'm not a huge Brian Azzarrello fan, but he certainly isn't the one I'd pick to churn out the worst BW book. That, however, appears to be what's happening. Don't get me wrong, the first issue of JMS' NITE OWL is so spectacularly terrible that it makes you think it's an attempt to viciously satirize the whole BW concept. Az's COMEDIAN as a series beats that out by being so hideously self-important while simultaneously revealing the limits of Az' skill as a writer.

The latest issue of COMEDIAN plops him down into the Watts' riots and is truly a WTF! comic if ever there was one. Azzarrello is trying to do some sort of commentary on the times and controversies of the 1960s but he's doing it with all the wit and insight of a chalkboard eraser.

Mike

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#600853 - 09/14/12 12:13 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
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It sounds even worse than I thought it would be, because some reasonable talent has been involved in the great shambles.

But, it would be "worth it", as long as at least a few fans were moved from the "I'll read anything that involves my favourite character" camp to being more selective.

(In this case although characters and creators looked "reasonable".... the reason for caution was clear: prequels written solely to cash in on success of original are usually poorish.)

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#600877 - 09/16/12 03:20 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: jackdaw]
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Hey, I just noticed Len Wein has been off the pirate backup for a couple of weeks now. Higgins is credited as writer and artist.
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#600880 - 09/16/12 08:50 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
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"chalkboard eraser" -- that's a good line
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#600925 - 09/19/12 05:38 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Charles Reece]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Comedian #3... Apparently Blake went through a heretofore untold period where he wore face paint as part of his costume. Alt cover by John Paul Leon, who had already had practice shitting on Alan Moore back in Tom Strong #25 (written by Geoff Johns). Like Darwyn Cooke, he also took part in the Rocketeer Adventures necrophilia.

Silk Spectre #3... they give Laurie a drug trip just to goof with the panel layouts for six pages. Reference to a 1995 Oasis album. Secret (and stupid) origin of the boots. The guy behind the drugs is Frank Sinatra. So stupid. Secret origin of the smiley face button. Alt cover by... Mike Allred. After the fallout between Chris Roberson and DC over Before Watchmen affecting iZombie. Now that's just a fucking shame.
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#600968 - 09/22/12 10:16 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Charles Reece]
steel: A Long Departed Hero Online   content
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Did you read FASHION BEAST? There's no limit to how bad this stuff can get. Get out now, before you reach ultimate zero and your mind collapses.

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#600969 - 09/22/12 12:16 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: steel: A Long Departed Hero]
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I was going to wait on Fashion Beast until it's done to read the whole thing, even though it did show up on ZCult last week. So now I've read the first issue.

It's a limited series, originally conceived as a screenplay. I think it's available online but I've never read the screenplay, so I don't know where the story's going or whether the end of issue one was a natural resting point to break the serial. Content-wise, it's a very broad-stroke introduction to the settings and characters. Moore has a wonderful knack for tying everything together in a way that never feels overly explicative, so I trust this will come together nicely by the end of issue four (or whatever).

One central theme is apparently the Tarot. Building a story around the Tarot might prove to be a bit derivative of Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Holy Mountain, but keep in mind that Moore wrote this in the 80's when Jodo's movie was not widely available for viewing. In this story, I'm not clear yet on who it is that is throwing the cards.

Pretty decent art by Avatar standards.
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#600978 - 09/23/12 10:33 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
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In NITE OWL #3, we meet a crazy evangelical preacher who quotes Allan Ginsberg. It's like Roy Thomas in sticking a literary quote into the narrative for no reason other than to show off the writer's education.

Also, JMS has Hollis Mason deliver JMS' writers summit pitch about there being five different levels of truth:

"There's the truth you tell to casual acquaintances. The truth you tell to your friends and family. The truth you tell to only a few people in your life. The truth you tell to yourself, to help you get through your days and nights. And then -- and then there's truth number five, the truth you don't want to admit even to yourself."

And then Hollis gives Dan Dreiberg a manuscript which he says contains truth number five. But that's nonsense, since by his own definition, he couldn't have even admitted it to himself if it were #5. According to the speech he just gave, the manuscript must be truth #3. So, yeah, bad writing based on incoherent thinking.

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#601091 - 09/30/12 11:18 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
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NO #3... Secret origin of the "THE END IS NIGH" sign... three pages of reference to the fight in Blake's apartment, closer to the movie version than the comic... does Straczynski not realize "Under the Hood" is a double entendre for the masked hero and an auto mechanic?

Alt cover by shitty cartoonist and Dave Stevens necro-rapist Chris Samnee, with colors by generic opportunist Matt Wilson (who also colored some of the covers to Roger Langridge's SNARKED!).

And Joe Kubert's replacement is... BILL SIENKIEWICZ. Boleslav already fucked Alan Moore once on Big Numbers, but I guess that wasn't enough for him.
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#601096 - 10/01/12 02:51 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Gerald Offline
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I'm reading the wiki entry for Big Numbers and it sounds so awesome. The cover for the first issue looks pretty nice. As much as I like the superhero genre I like it when writers and artists do comic work outside of it. I really wish there would have been a larger market for comic books like that and US put out by Vertigo.

That kind of sucks about Bill Sienkiewicz working on this comic. I love his artwork and most of the projects he's worked on.



Edited by Gerald (10/01/12 02:53 AM)
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#601106 - 10/01/12 12:40 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Alt cover by shitty cartoonist and Dave Stevens necro-rapist Chris Samnee


laugh

I've enjoyed Chris Samnee on Mark Waid's DAREDEVIL and THOR: THE MIGHTY AVENGER, which was a kid-friendly take on the thunder god. Like Jesus Saiz, he's got a clean -- even borderline cartoony -- style that reminds me of David Mazzucchelli.

But what I love is that, when Allen doesn't like an artist, he doesn't just dislike him. He calls him a corpse fucker.

Regarding his participation in BEFORE WATCHMEN -- eh, that is regrettable. No denying that I think less of anyone who has agreed to be part of that project. Though between all of the many mini-series (with more being added) and the dumbass variant covers, the Wall of Shame soon will include most working comics pros, I'm afraid.

In fact, maybe that was the point of all the variant covers -- safety in numbers. It looks bad to piss all over another artist's original work, so you hide among the 50 other men and women doing it with you.

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#601107 - 10/01/12 03:40 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Gerald Offline
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That's a good point on the safety in numbers thing. The original lineup of artists and writers for BW looked like scabs among the rest of the industry, even among the other DC people. But now it seems like everyone is working on this weekly series. People are less inclined to boycott ALL their favorite artists and writers.

That's crazy there's an origin for the "END IS NIGH" sign. Even Barry Allen's bow tie got an origin.
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#601108 - 10/01/12 04:16 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Gerald]
Lawson Offline
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I do wonder if Darwyn Cooke, Amanda Conner, Jim Lee, Len Wein, J. Michael Strawhewihacki, Joe Kubert Jr. and the other original BEFORE WATCHMEN "talent" didn't ask DC Comics for cover.

They were getting crap on the Internet and in interviews. They were scabs. The money was great, sure, but they had a scarlet letter, A for asshole, on their chests.

So DC said don't worry, we'll get everyone who works for us to contribute something -- a variant cover, a backup tale, a post card, whatever. We'll all be scabs. I am Spartacus! They can't boycott the whole DC lineup, right?

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#601109 - 10/01/12 05:29 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Gerald Offline
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It's very interesting how these corporations go about things in order to sway public opinion. There's no way to be sure if getting fan favorites new and old to contribute variant covers and what not is an attempt to spread the shame around so it ends up lessening it. I mean, they've been doing every-other-issue variant covers for the last 5 years atleast. But it sounds possible when taking into account the BW writers who have gone out of their way to spread misinformation about Alan Moore's situation with DC.

The irony is especially sad when you have Jim Lee who left Marvel to help co-found Image, supposedly in order to champion creator rights, giving interviews talking down on Alan Moore.

I wasn't totally opposed to the IDEA of a DC produced Watchmen prequel because I can see where they are coming from, to a degree. The deal was the rights would revert to Moore when it was out of print. But like Maus, DKR, and V for Vendetta, they have been popular enough to stay in print. And although I agree with Alan Moore for the most part, I don't agree with SOME of his accusations or reasonings. So had they just done a Minutemen prequel by Darwyn Cooke I might even have bought it with some reservation.

But what they actually did makes them look like they'd do anything for a dollar. Everything from Watchmen toasters, to getting the talent to spread lies about the actual creator, churning out 35+ issues prequel (and more!) to a 12 issue story, etc.

But it's good reading the latest news about Before Watchmen because it helps to remind me why I shouldn't buy their comics. Sometimes I forget why I'm not buying DC (or Marvel for that matter). It's been awhile since I read Didio back up DC's consistently late comics with, his who-cares-they'll-buy-'em-anyways comment. And I had forgotten about the "drawing the line at 2.99" promotion that failed to mention how they were cutting the page count from 22 to 21.


Edited by Gerald (10/01/12 05:34 PM)
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#601110 - 10/01/12 07:13 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
the Wall of Shame soon will include most working comics pros, I'm afraid.

Very few of them have actually created intellectual properties of any weight. Joe Kubert and Len Wein notwithstanding, the only significant name on the list thus far is Mike Allred.
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#601111 - 10/01/12 07:25 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Gerald Offline
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Mike Allred did a cover!?
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#601112 - 10/01/12 10:28 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Gerald]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
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Regarding the theory that the BW variant covers are meant to provide any kind of moral cover, I can see how that might appeal to the artists and writers on the books, possibly. But I can't see that being any part of the DC editorial strategy. They seem pretty well inured to any kind of shame. So, nah, the variant covers are just the same blatant cash grab that variant covers always are.

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#601118 - 10/02/12 10:14 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
So DC said don't worry, we'll get everyone who works for us to contribute something -- a variant cover, a backup tale, a post card, whatever. We'll all be scabs.


Wait. Either the combined fury of all the BW-hating Lawsons on the intertubes is so terrible as to reduce veteran comic creators to quivering masses of jelly OR creators are so indifferent to it that other artists are willing to jump on BW even after the "you raped Alan Moore" hate is in full swing. It kinda has to be one or the other.

Mike

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#601119 - 10/02/12 10:52 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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The only opinions that matter to the BW contributors are those of whoever's writing the paychecks. A few of them might have some personal axe to grind with Moore (Len Wein, John Higgins, Boleslav Sienkiewicz); some of the older guys might not see the big deal with the original work (Garcia-Lopez, Kubert the Elder, Steranko); and at least one of them wants to be Alan Moore (Straczynski); but the bottom line reason these people are jumping in the pool is because they're being paid a crazy page rate. I'd be genuinely surprised if DC is even making any money on BW right now.
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#601122 - 10/02/12 11:48 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Very few of them have actually created intellectual properties of any weight. Joe Kubert and Len Wein notwithstanding, the only significant name on the list thus far is Mike Allred.


True.

I used to use the term "creators" to refer to the writers and artists who make comics.

Recently, I've reconsidered.

If we're discussing American superhero comics -- which is what dominates the market -- then there are few creators. There are men (it's nearly always men) who have agreed to crank out work-for-hire schlock featuring the creations of other men, most of whom were poorly compensated decades ago at the time of creation.

For that privilege, the men are paid a wage by multi-billion-dollar international media conglomerates. After a few years, tastes change a bit, characters are rebooted slightly and the men are let go. Then we can hear them kvetch endlessly about how they were cynically used and exploited, how Disney and Time Warner did not truly respect the creative process, did not even honor their contracts, and how this very much surprised them. Having heard the stories of what happened to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, and Jack Kirby, and Marv Wolfman, and Tony Isabella, and Steve Gerber, and so forth, they honestly thought they would be the exception to the rule.

Anyway, whether it's Darwyn Cooke or Andy Hughes or Andy Kubert or JMS, no, we're not talking about comics creators.

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#601123 - 10/02/12 12:21 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
. There are men (it's nearly always men) who have agreed to crank out work-for-hire schlock featuring the creations of other men, most of whom were poorly compensated decades ago at the time of creation.


And this list includes, off the top of my head....

Roger Stern.
Bill Mantlo.
John Byrne.
Peter David.
Roy Thomas.
Steve Englehart.
Steve Gerber.
Grant Morrison.
John Romita, Sr.
John Romita, Jr.
Gary Friedrich.
Jim Starlin.
Carmine Infantino.
Mike Grell.
Walt Simonson.
Howard Chaykin.
George Perez.
Marv Wolfman.
Gail Simone.
Denny O'Neil.
Gardner Fox.
Cary Bates.
Gerry Conway.
And, of course, Alan Moore.

Mike

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#601124 - 10/02/12 12:39 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Lawson Offline
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True, and true about Alan Moore.

But some of those men, including Moore, actually have created characters, have produced original comics. Some did it before or after their work-for-hire stints; others juggled the two sides of their career.

Just to cite a few from your list, Howard Chaykin, Mike Grell, Jim Starlin and Steve Gerber all created some of their own work, as well as doing work-for-hire at the Big Two. I don't really have a problem, then, describing them as "creators."

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#601125 - 10/02/12 12:44 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
Just to cite a few from your list, Howard Chaykin, Mike Grell, Jim Starlin and Steve Gerber all created some of their own work, as well as doing work-for-hire at the Big Two. I don't really have a problem, then, describing them as "creators."


I'm pretty sure ALL of the folks on that list created new characters and concepts during their time laboring in the salt mines of the Big 2.

Mike

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#601126 - 10/02/12 12:49 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Lawson Offline
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Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Very few of them have actually created intellectual properties of any weight.


Originally Posted By: MBunge
I'm pretty sure ALL of the folks on that list created new characters and concepts during their time laboring in the salt mines of the Big 2.

Mike


Not sure where you're going with this, but I'll bite. While working for DC or Marvel, what intellectual properties of any weight has Gail Simone created? John Romita Jr.?

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#601127 - 10/02/12 01:02 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
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From today's OVC.

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#601128 - 10/02/12 01:52 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Very few of them have actually created intellectual properties of any weight.


Originally Posted By: MBunge
I'm pretty sure ALL of the folks on that list created new characters and concepts during their time laboring in the salt mines of the Big 2.

Mike


Not sure where you're going with this, but I'll bite. While working for DC or Marvel, what intellectual properties of any weight has Gail Simone created? John Romita Jr.?


Since Simone has only worked in comics since 2001, in an era when new creations are almost actively discouraged by publishers and fans, you got a point.

JRJR? Well, it's always hard to say with someone who's just an artist, but JRJR was at least part of the process in creating Hobgoblin, Nimrod, Hydro-Man, Justin Hammer, Thyphoid Mary, Forge, Dazzler and many others.

Mike

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#601129 - 10/02/12 02:13 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
MBunge Offline
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And to give Simone her due, she took a 1960s joke like Catman and turned him into an interesting character. I think there's a certain amount of creativity in such an act.

Mike

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#601130 - 10/02/12 02:37 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
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I don't begrudge craftsmen for not being creators. One of my very favorite comics when I was a kid was O'Neill & Adams' Green Lantern/Green Arrow, after all. But I thought the issues of ownership and control were addressed in the 80's. Yet here we still are with Neal Adams drawing Batman and the X-Men.
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#601134 - 10/02/12 04:39 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Lawson Offline
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Originally Posted By: MBunge
And to give Simone her due, she took a 1960s joke like Catman and turned him into an interesting character. I think there's a certain amount of creativity in such an act.

Mike


Actually, I enjoy Gail Simone's stories, including BIRDS OF PREY, though I've only read bits here and there. I just wouldn't say she's a creator in the sense that I'm thinking of one.

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#601135 - 10/02/12 05:45 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
Originally Posted By: MBunge
And to give Simone her due, she took a 1960s joke like Catman and turned him into an interesting character. I think there's a certain amount of creativity in such an act.

Mike


Actually, I enjoy Gail Simone's stories, including BIRDS OF PREY, though I've only read bits here and there. I just wouldn't say she's a creator in the sense that I'm thinking of one.


Well, in the way you're thinking of it, Rob Leifeld is a creator but John Buscema and Dick Ayers don't quite make the grade. I'm not sure defining the term like that makes a whole lot of sense.

Mike

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#601136 - 10/02/12 05:49 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Lawson Offline
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It's not enough for you that John Buscema was an artist?

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#601137 - 10/02/12 05:56 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
It's not enough for you that John Buscema was an artist?


It's not too much for you to claim Rob Liefeld as a "creator" but not Buscema?

Mike

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#601139 - 10/02/12 06:11 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Lawson Offline
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No, no, you first, Mike.

It's not enough for you that John Buscema was an artist?

I'm no fan of Rob Liefeld. I think he's a crummy artist. And I don't know enough about his work at Image to say whether he's a creator, by my definition, or not. You would have to enlighten me on that one.

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#601140 - 10/02/12 07:37 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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I'll make it easy; in addition to characters at Image, like those in Youngblood, Liefeld also created (or co-created) a number of characters at Marvel. Some, like Cable and Deadpool, have had real legs on them.* So yes, by your (and any reasonable) definition, he is a creator of comic book characters.

Why acknowledging this is some sort of problem for Mike, I have no idea.

---
*But not feet. ZING!
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#601141 - 10/02/12 10:10 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
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I think using "creators" as shorthand for "writers and pencillers and inkers and letterers and colorists and all other creative personnel" works just fine.

Adding on further caveats like "but only if they independently came up with characters and concepts of lasting artistic merit and commercial value" is just playing semantics. Come up with whatever term you want for that category. Also come up with terms like "craftsmen" for the people you exclude from that category. That's all fine, but recognize that your terms are arbitrary and that nobody else is obliged to accept your terminology.

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#601142 - 10/02/12 10:30 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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I also have no idea why Peter thinks that using "creator" to refer to the person who created a character is arbitrary semantics. Seems less like a caveat and more like a tautology to me.

Was John Buscema the creator of the Silver Surfer? No, obviously not. Jack Kirby was. This doesn't require you to accept terminology; just reality.
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#601143 - 10/02/12 11:33 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
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The artists and writers *create* the stories and the pages, whether or not they created the characters or intellectual properties featured in those stories or on those pages. We can replace *create* with "craft," "manufacture," "produce" or some other variant of that if you'd like.
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#601145 - 10/03/12 10:10 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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This brings us back to Lawson's point. What's the problem with calling Buscema what he was: an artist?
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#601146 - 10/03/12 10:25 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
No, no, you first, Mike.

It's not enough for you that John Buscema was an artist?

I'm no fan of Rob Liefeld. I think he's a crummy artist. And I don't know enough about his work at Image to say whether he's a creator, by my definition, or not. You would have to enlighten me on that one.


No, you first. You've thrown out a definition of "creator" that is clearly meant to exclude an overwhelming majority of comic book writers and artists (and, incidentally, probably the majority of folks in TV and movies and a decent sized minority of people in prose and even theater). The definition seems based almost entirely on creating original work instead of work-for-hire. Now you want to feign ignorance about whether or not Rob Liefeld fits that definition?

Let's try this. By what you've put forward here, as vague as it has been, Alan Moore wouldn't qualify as a "creator" based on WATCHMEN. After all...

1. It was work-for-hire.
2. Its main characters are reworked versions other people's creations.
3. Its plot was cribbed from an episode of THE OUTER LIMITS.

I need you to specifically define what you think "creator" should mean so we can avoid any goalpost moving.

Mike

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#601147 - 10/03/12 10:39 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Lawson Offline
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Originally Posted By: MBunge
I need you to specifically define what you think "creator" should mean.

Mike


You need a life! grin

I use the word "creator" my own way. I've explained how. Others are free to disagree. I'm not the noun police.

I certainly respect work-for-hire artists like Curt Swan and Nick Cardy and Neal Adams who drew lots of classic comics that I loved. But in my mind, Jack Kirby is one step up from that because he created or co-created entire universes.

By the same token, many of us mock John Byrne for his ass-hat Internet rantings and endless X-Men commissions that rely on the pocketbook nostalgia of his 14 remaining fans from the 1970s. But I sincerely respect the guy in recent years for jumping back into the comics game to finish some of his old creator-owned titles and launch new ones. I won't be buying them, because Byrne no longer floats my boat, but I salute his enterprising spirit. Byrne stopped sitting around and waiting for a new Marvel regime to hand him another X-Men comic. He went out and created something new.

Likewise, while I've long enjoyed the comics and graphic novels of Darwyn Cooke (unlike Allen), I've gotten frustrated with the man because he's not a creator; he's (in Allen's apt word) a draftsman who reinterprets other men's stories. I'd like to see him produce his own original work. And in fact, more than once in the past, Cooke said he ached to get away from the for-hire superhero stuff and write and draw his own original graphic novels. It never happened. Whatever his other talents, he doesn't have that in him. He's not a creator.

You're free to disagree.

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#601148 - 10/03/12 11:10 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Lawson Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette
I'll make it easy; in addition to characters at Image, like those in Youngblood, Liefeld also created (or co-created) a number of characters at Marvel. Some, like Cable and Deadpool, have had real legs on them.* So yes, by your (and any reasonable) definition, he is a creator of comic book characters.

Why acknowledging this is some sort of problem for Mike, I have no idea.

---
*But not feet. ZING!


Yeah, see, I don't know much about Liefeld other than he's a crummy artist, he co-founded Image Comics and ... well, that may be all I know about Liefeld.

I think Mike invoked Liefield's name to ask me whether any creator was superior to any "mere" artist simply because he had created something.

And the answer would be, no, I don't think so. If you create crap, then I'm not too terribly impressed by your crap. Kirby and Liefield are in the same category, technically. They both went out and created something new. But it's the difference between the lightning and the lightning bug, to paraphrase Mr. Clemens.

On the other hand, any comics pro who leaves the security of the Big Two and heads off to start his own studio, his own publisher, to publish his own work, I do admire that in the abstract. I've heard bad stuff about Image so I won't defend their business practices specifically. But I admire the general principle. A lot of comics pros kvetch about DC and Marvel while begging on their knees for a shot at Batman or the Avengers. When the for-hire work dries up, they leave comics. They see no other option.

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#601149 - 10/03/12 12:03 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Ozymandias #3...

In a fistfight with Blake, Veidt bites off the end of his cigar and spits it back in Blake's face. The top of the next page, Blake says, "Blow me, showgirl." The page before, Veidt disarmed Blake by throwing a pencil into his gun barrel. I would really like to give Wein the benefit of the doubt on whether or not this was intentional allusion.

Secret origin of the Antarctic fortress. Gee, I wonder if Veidt will kill the architects.

Apparently, Veidt "manipulated" the stock market to make his fortune.

Another Veidt/Blake conversation includes the emphasized words "balls" and "cocksure." I'm sure it's intentional now.

Clarification on how to pronounce Ozyman-DEE-us. Yeah, that was worth six panels.

Janie's getting "that queasy feeling" again. Pregnancy? Or does Doc actually cause cancer?

Veidt killed the architects. Surprise-surprise.

Alt cover by James Jean wannabe Massimo Carnevale.
_________________________
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#601150 - 10/03/12 12:10 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Veidt killed the architects. Surprise-surprise.


He'll regret that in a few years when he wants to add a second bathroom onto the back of the place and maybe a nice deck.

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#601151 - 10/03/12 12:16 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Originally Posted By: MBunge
3. Its plot was cribbed from an episode of THE OUTER LIMITS.

I asked Joe this and he didn't answer: Have you seen "The Architects of Fear?" To say that Watchmen was lifted from that is, at best, a severe stretch. Try reading Sun Tzu's The Art of War and you'll likely be closer to finding the inspiration for the false flag plot of Watchmen.
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601152 - 10/03/12 12:20 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
I sincerely respect the guy in recent years for jumping back into the comics game to finish some of his old creator-owned titles and launch new ones.

It's not Byrne, but for some reason this reminded me that Faust: Love of the Damned #14 solicited last month.
_________________________
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601154 - 10/03/12 06:15 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette
I also have no idea why Peter thinks that using "creator" to refer to the person who created a character is arbitrary semantics. Seems less like a caveat and more like a tautology to me.

Was John Buscema the creator of the Silver Surfer? No, obviously not. Jack Kirby was. This doesn't require you to accept terminology; just reality.


John Buscema was one of the creators of Silver Surfer (1968) #1-17, and a million other comics besides. That's one of the ways we use the term in comic book fandom, as I think you might have experienced, Ceci.

Jack Kirby was the creator of the character the Silver Surfer. That's another way we use the term, absolutely, no argument.

If you (or Lawson) want to restrict the term exclusively to people who create characters, that's fine for you, but I'm going to object if you want me to restrict my usage accordingly. I want to avoid any confusion, so that the next time I say "The creators of Corporate Work-for-Hire Bloodbath issue #183 did a lousy job," Lawson doesn't jump down my throat with the side issue of whether they are really creators or not.

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#601155 - 10/03/12 06:27 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette
This brings us back to Lawson's point. What's the problem with calling Buscema what he was: an artist?


No problem, except that I also remember long arguments on this site and elsewhere about whether people like Buscema are really "artists" or if they should be referred to by some lesser term. Once again, it's a battle over semantics that gets us nowhere.

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#601156 - 10/03/12 06:32 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Originally Posted By: MBunge
3. Its plot was cribbed from an episode of THE OUTER LIMITS.

I asked Joe this and he didn't answer: Have you seen "The Architects of Fear?" To say that Watchmen was lifted from that is, at best, a severe stretch. Try reading Sun Tzu's The Art of War and you'll likely be closer to finding the inspiration for the false flag plot of Watchmen.


I never have seen "The Architects of Fear!" Is it worth watching? Does it have even a little to do with Watchmen? Since it does get a reference within the book itself, I've always wanted to see it, anyway.

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#601157 - 10/03/12 06:44 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Originally Posted By: Peter Urkowitz
No problem, except that I also remember long arguments on this site and elsewhere about whether people like Buscema are really "artists" or if they should be referred to by some lesser term.


But just to be clear, nobody you're talking to now is actually saying that.

Quote:
John Buscema was one of the creators of Silver Surfer (1968) #1-17, and a million other comics besides.


Quote:
Once again, it's a battle over semantics that gets us nowhere.


It's just kind of fun to put these next to each other.
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#601158 - 10/03/12 06:49 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery

Alt cover by James Jean wannabe Massimo Carnevale.


Now that's just silly. Whatever you think of his work, Carnevale has been a professional since the 1980s, while Jean only started circa 2001.

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#601159 - 10/03/12 06:56 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette

Quote:
John Buscema was one of the creators of Silver Surfer (1968) #1-17, and a million other comics besides.


Quote:
Once again, it's a battle over semantics that gets us nowhere.


It's just kind of fun to put these next to each other.


You've stumped me, Ceci. Is there some kind of contradiction between those statements?

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#601160 - 10/03/12 07:09 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Originally Posted By: Peter Urkowitz
You've stumped me, Ceci. Is there some kind of contradiction between those statements?


No. Definitely not.
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#601161 - 10/03/12 08:22 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Peter Urkowitz
Carnevale has been a professional since the 1980s, while Jean only started circa 2001.

Carnevale's first major comics work was the cover to Y: The Last Man #23, August 2002. Jean's best known work is the Fables covers, starting in July 2002, but contributed to Meathaus starting in 2000. As far as the comics industry is concerned, Jean and Carnevale were contemporaries, both very fortunate that the interior artists were too shitty to do the covers. Carnevale was okay, but I preferred Jean. Jean is more imaginative, Carnevale is more literal.

Carnevale's Ozy alt cover is pretty loose. At first glance, I thought it was Dan Brereton. Which would have made me very sad.
_________________________
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601163 - 10/03/12 08:37 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Peter Urkowitz
"The Architects of Fear!" Is it worth watching?

It's pretty bad.

The Watchmen connection is basically the first ten minutes, wherein a boardroom of businessmen hatch out the fake alien invasion and pick which one of them is going to be turned into the alien. Robert Culp.

Then there's forty minutes in your generic lab setting of Culp being transformed, learning to pilot the spaceship, melodrama with his fiancι busting into the lab and nearly discovering the plot (she was told he was dead). The last ten minutes is Culp (I guess) in a papier machι alien head running around trying (and failing) to evade soldiers in a swamp after he crashes his ship (the original plan was to land at the U.N., I think it was).

I bought the second season of TOL at WalMart for ten bucks. I'm a fan of Robert Culp from his roles on The Greatest American Hero and Everybody Loves Raymond, so I appreciated his performance. But the production value was very shoddy.
_________________________
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601165 - 10/03/12 10:13 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Ted Kilvington Offline
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The plot device of scientists faking an alien invasion to bring about world peace is an old science-fiction trope. Not only was Alan Moore not the first writer to use the notion, it wasn't even the first comic edited by Len Wein to use the device; Roy Thomas used the trope to re-introduce an old Golden Age Hawkman villain in All-Star Squadron #10-#12. Personally I thought the plotline in Watchmen was more similar to Vonnegut than the Architects of Fear.
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#601167 - 10/04/12 02:27 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ted Kilvington]
Charles Reece Offline
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I had a debate with someone on this site about whether Moore was a creator, but I forget who. Seems to me, he's ever bit as creative as Kirby. If one caveman straps a stone onto a stick to crush some nuts and another comes along and starts fighting off enemies with the same design, both are creators. Otherwise, to be logically consistent, Kirby will lose his creator status to myths, pop fiction and Action Comics.
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#601168 - 10/04/12 10:06 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
I use the word "creator" my own way. I've explained how. Others are free to disagree. I'm not the noun police.


So, is Shakespeare a "creator"? George Lucas? Todd McFarlane? Cecil B. DeMille? Hitchcock? Any of the folks involved with Star Trek: The Next Generation? How about the makers of The Magnificent Seven? Is Mel Brooks a "creator" for THE PRODUCERS but not for YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN?

You are, of course, free to use the word as you wish. It seems fairly clear to me, however, that you're using the word in a cramped and myopic fashion.

Mike

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#601169 - 10/04/12 11:53 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Strenuous Teddy Offline
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So Lawson you mean to say that professionally and legally speaking original works and derivative works aren't the same thing and that depending on the trajectory of their career paths professionals might have very different interests at stake in this context? And that those interests might have a direct bearing on how a professional comes down on an issue like Before Watchmen? And that in the future you will choose to adopt a usage that you feel better highlights these differences rather than a broad general usage that you believe tends to obscure them? Scandalous.

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#601170 - 10/04/12 12:09 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Strenuous Teddy]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Strenuous Teddy
So Lawson you mean to say that professionally and legally speaking original works and derivative works aren't the same thing and that depending on the trajectory of their career paths professionals might have very different interests at stake in this context?


So, Steve Ditko is a "creator" when he's doing Spider-Man at Marvel, but "not a creator" when he's doing Blue Beetle at Charlton? Peter David is "not a creator" when he's does the Hulk but is a "creator" when he does Fallen Angel but "not a creator" when he writes a Star Trek: Next Gen novel but is a "creator" when he writes a Star Trek: Excalibur novel? Is Kurt Busiek a "creator" when he does Astro City?

Mike


Edited by MBunge (10/04/12 02:17 PM)

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#601171 - 10/04/12 01:44 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Are we really to believe that one person can do two different things in one career?

I mean really! Two things! The very idea!
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#601172 - 10/04/12 01:47 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Jimbo Offline
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A creator is someone who creates. It's not complicated.
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#601173 - 10/04/12 02:25 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Jimbo]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Jimbo
A creator is someone who creates. It's not complicated.


What does it mean to create, though. Joss Whedon is the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, yet its Wiki page lists about two dozen other writers involved in the show to one extent or another. Are any of them "creators" or are they just craftsman? Does anyone think the only original ideas on that show came from Whedon?

The concept of the creator shouldn't be complicated. A definition of the term that says the folks who made The Human Centipede are creators but the people responsible for The Magnificent Seven are not, does seem to make both the concept and its value a bit cloudy.

Mike

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#601174 - 10/04/12 02:40 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Who created Wolverine?

Len Wein came up with the name and his being Canadian.

Herb Trimpe came up with the first costume.

Gil Kane inadvertently came up with the distinctive mask.

Dave Cockrum came up with his goofy haircut.

John Byrne put the claws in his arms, not in the gloves.

Roger Stern made him a murderer.

Chris Claremont made him a ninja.

(and that's about where I gave up on the character)
_________________________
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601175 - 10/04/12 03:34 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Mr. Socko Offline
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And the colorist made choices that created a mood or tone for the comic, so the colorist is a creator.

The letterer's choices of fonts and style are creative choices, so the letter is a creator.

And if the editor contributes ideas or plot requirements, he's a creator too.

The publisher and EIC created the environment that made the comic possible, so they should both be included as creators.

The paper production company made the actual paper the comic is printed on, so the employees there are creators.

And the readers create the demand for the comic -- it wouldn't even exist if there were no one to buy it -- so let's pat ourselves on the backs because we're all creators as well.

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#601176 - 10/04/12 03:38 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Mr. Socko]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mr. Socko
And the colorist made choices that created a mood or tone for the comic, so the colorist is a creator.

The letterer's choices of fonts and style are creative choices, so the letter is a creator.

And if the editor contributes ideas or plot requirements, he's a creator too.

The publisher and EIC created the environment that made the comic possible, so they should both be included as creators.

The paper production company made the actual paper the comic is printed on, so the employees there are creators.

And the readers create the demand for the comic -- it wouldn't even exist if there were no one to buy it -- so let's pat ourselves on the backs because we're all creators as well.


Thanks for illustrating how important it is to have a useful and sensible definition of what "creator" means. I know that's not what you meant to do, but even inadvertent positive contributions are welcome.

Mike

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#601177 - 10/04/12 04:01 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Mr. Socko Offline
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Originally Posted By: MBunge
Thanks for illustrating how important it is to have a useful and sensible definition of what "creator" means.


My pleasure.


Originally Posted By: MBunge
I know that's not what you meant to do


Actually, that's exactly what I meant to do. But I understand if you didn't get it.

Do you think you'll have any luck getting comics publishers to adopt your definition of creator? It would be interesting to see "Superman created by..." credits that list every such creator that contributed to the character.

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#601178 - 10/04/12 04:11 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Mr. Socko]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mr. Socko
Do you think you'll have any luck getting comics publishers to adopt your definition of creator? It would be interesting to see "Superman created by..." credits that list every such creator that contributed to the character.



1. Well, it's not my definition of creator. It's the definition of pretty much everybody.

2. In case you haven't noticed, the credits do list the people who CREATED that issue. So, I guess the publishers agree with me and pretty much everybody else...or at least they have since Stan shamed others into it back in the 1960s.

Mike

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#601179 - 10/04/12 04:44 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Mr. Socko Offline
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Originally Posted By: MBunge
the credits do list the people who CREATED that issue.


Do you have any examples in which the comic credits specify the writer, penciller, inker, etc., as creators?

The credits I see, from DC and Marvel, list the writers, artists, colorists, letterers, editors, and others who contributed to the comic by their specific roles. The creator credit appears to be reserved for those identified as creating the specific character or title.


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#601180 - 10/04/12 04:50 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Mr. Socko]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mr. Socko
Originally Posted By: MBunge
the credits do list the people who CREATED that issue.


Do you have any examples in which the comic credits specify the writer, penciller, inker, etc., as creators?

The credits I see, from DC and Marvel, list the writers, artists, colorists, letterers, editors, and others who contributed to the comic by their specific roles. The creator credit appears to be reserved for those identified as creating the specific character or title.



So, you're telling me you've never seen a comic book where the writer and artist are referred to as "creators"? You've never heard anyone from Marvel or DC every use the term "creators" to refer to their writers and artists? Really? Do you actually read comics?

You can keep going with this logic, though I should point out that it makes you very much like some right wing preacher who proclaims that women who give birth out of wedlock shouldn't be called mothers. If that's the kind of company you like to keep, go right ahead.

Mike

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#601181 - 10/04/12 05:13 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Originally Posted By: MBunge
So, you're telling me you've never seen a comic book where the writer and artist are referred to as "creators"? You've never heard anyone from Marvel or DC every use the term "creators" to refer to their writers and artists?


I, for one, can't imagine a world where DC and Marvel overly aggrandize their product. The very idea is ludicrous.

Quote:
You can keep going with this logic, though I should point out that it makes you very much like some right wing preacher who proclaims that women who give birth out of wedlock shouldn't be called mothers. If that's the kind of company you like to keep, go right ahead.


Well, that's the kind of absurd reduction Hitler would have made.
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#601182 - 10/04/12 05:26 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Mr. Socko Offline
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Originally Posted By: MBunge
So, you're telling me you've never seen a comic book where the writer and artist are referred to as "creators"?


No, I'm telling you that I can't think of any examples of a DC or Marvel comic in which the writer or artist is listed in the credits as a creator, if that writer or artist wasn't involved in originating the character or title. It looks like the mainstream comics industry reserves the credit of creator for those who conceived of and invented a specific character, group, or title.

If you have an example of a DC or Marvel comic that credits a writer or artist, working on a title they did not originate, as creators, I would be genuinely interested in seeing that.



Originally Posted By: MBunge
Do you actually read comics?


I do, thanks for asking. But not many DC or Marvel comics these days, so I'm hoping that you, who appear to be more familiar with current DC and Marvel product, could provide an example of this liberal use of the term creator, which you claim is used by publishers, you, and pretty much everyone else.


Originally Posted By: MBunge
I should point out that it makes you very much like some right wing preacher who proclaims that women who give birth out of wedlock shouldn't be called mothers. If that's the kind of company you like to keep, go right ahead.


I would be interested in hearing you elaborate upon this comparison, Mike.

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#601183 - 10/04/12 05:53 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Mr. Socko]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mr. Socko
Originally Posted By: MBunge
So, you're telling me you've never seen a comic book where the writer and artist are referred to as "creators"?


No, I'm telling you that I can't think of any examples of a DC or Marvel comic in which the writer or artist is listed in the credits as a creator, if that writer or artist wasn't involved in originating the character or title. It looks like the mainstream comics industry reserves the credit of creator for those who conceived of and invented a specific character, group, or title.

If you have an example of a DC or Marvel comic that credits a writer or artist, working on a title they did not originate, as creators, I would be genuinely interested in seeing that.



Originally Posted By: MBunge
Do you actually read comics?


I do, thanks for asking. But not many DC or Marvel comics these days, so I'm hoping that you, who appear to be more familiar with current DC and Marvel product, could provide an example of this liberal use of the term creator, which you claim is used by publishers, you, and pretty much everyone else.


Originally Posted By: MBunge
I should point out that it makes you very much like some right wing preacher who proclaims that women who give birth out of wedlock shouldn't be called mothers. If that's the kind of company you like to keep, go right ahead.


I would be interested in hearing you elaborate upon this comparison, Mike.


When people write and draw and comic books, pretty much every reasonable person understands that they "created" that comic book. They created the words, the images and the story. As such, most reasonable people would refer to them as "comic book creators", even if the book in question was work-for-hire utilizing previously established characters and concepts.

Now, if you want to pronounce in a dickishly pedantic fashion that "They didn't create that comic, they just wrote and drew it", I suppose that's not a completely indefensible opinion. It's just one that pretty much every reasonable person would understand as dickishly pedantic.

However, feigning ignorance of the many, many times when work-for-hire writers and artists have been referred to as "comic book creators" by fans, other pros, editors and publishers is another step beyond just dickishly pendantic.

Of course, if you're willing to sign a legally binding contract that I'll get everything you currently own and 50% of all your future earnings if I can find an instance of work-for-hire comic book writers and/or artists being referred to as "creators" within the credits of a comic, I'll get right on it. If not, I really don't feel like wasting that much time trying to satisfy such a dickishly pendatic requirement. You know work-for-hire pros have been commonly referred to as "creators". I know. Everyone who reads this thread knows it.

And I'm sure you can get the analogy. Just think a little bit harder about it.

Mike


Edited by MBunge (10/04/12 05:55 PM)

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#601184 - 10/04/12 06:01 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Mr. Socko Offline
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So...no examples, then?


Originally Posted By: MBunge
And I'm sure you can get the analogy. Just think a little bit harder about it.Mike


I try, but it keeps making me laugh.

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#601188 - 10/06/12 04:38 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Mr. Socko]
Lawson Offline
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To Mike: I think it's OK if we all use the word "creator" our own way. Nobody is telling you otherwise.

(To Ceci, Socko, Allen and Charles: *Tee-hee!* I've made all the arrangements with Rick Veitch and Steve Conley! The next time Mike uses the word "creator" inappropriately, he's banned from the site and his computer explodes. It's amazing what the tech boys can do with cookies these days.)

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#601189 - 10/06/12 05:06 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Originally Posted By: MBunge
And I'm sure you can get the analogy.

Emphasis on the "anal".
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#601196 - 10/07/12 11:37 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
To Mike: I think it's OK if we all use the word "creator" our own way. Nobody is telling you otherwise.


Nobody's trying to be the noun police. But you're not Allen and I'm trying to engage you in discussion. You've put forth a definition of creator. I've tried to show how that definition is problematic. If you're not interested in discussing it, that's perfectly fine. It's certainly better than just being argumentative for argument's sake, though that's not something anyone who posts around here would do.

Mike

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#601197 - 10/07/12 11:55 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Originally Posted By: MBunge
I've tried to show how that definition is problematic.


Really Lawson, did you not hear his points about unmarried moms, or Rob Liefeld?

How can you not take those seriously?
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#601198 - 10/07/12 11:59 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Mr. Socko]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mr. Socko
I try, but it keeps making me laugh.


It's great that you can laugh at your intellectual shortcomings. That's quite healthy.

Mike

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#601199 - 10/07/12 12:06 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Originally Posted By: MBunge
Nobody's trying to be the noun police.

Calling yourself a nobody? You may have some self esteem issues to work through.
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#601200 - 10/07/12 12:39 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
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It fucks with the Cyclops.


"Help! Nobody hurt Jean!"
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#601201 - 10/07/12 02:15 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Charles Reece]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Hahahaha! Nice.
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#601204 - 10/08/12 10:15 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Charles Reece]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
It fucks with the Cyclops.


"Help! Nobody hurt Jean!"


Man, threads do get hard to follow sometimes with the ignore function.

Mike

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#601205 - 10/08/12 11:05 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Lawson Offline
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Originally Posted By: MBunge
I've tried to show how that definition is problematic.


I'm certain it is. And I could be wrong.

I used to use the word "creator" to refer to everyone working on a given comic. Now, having considered it, I don't. I use the word "creator" to describe the people working on a comic who actually created the character(s) in that comic -- say, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby on the first 105 issues of FANTASTIC FOUR, or Dave Sim on any issue of CEREBUS. I loved Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo on FANTASTIC FOUR a few years ago. But they were not the creators.

That said, Waid and Wieringo separately went out and created or co-created some of their own characters at indie published comics. I dunno much about those characters. But speaking in general terms, it may be fair to call them "creators" in the looser sense, then, referring to their own creations.

It's a fluid definition. I may change my mind yet again.

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#601206 - 10/08/12 12:28 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
Originally Posted By: MBunge
I've tried to show how that definition is problematic.


I'm certain it is. And I could be wrong.

I used to use the word "creator" to refer to everyone working on a given comic. Now, having considered it, I don't. I use the word "creator" to describe the people working on a comic who actually created the character(s) in that comic -- say, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby on the first 105 issues of FANTASTIC FOUR, or Dave Sim on any issue of CEREBUS. I loved Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo on FANTASTIC FOUR a few years ago. But they were not the creators.

That said, Waid and Wieringo separately went out and created or co-created some of their own characters at indie published comics. I dunno much about those characters. But speaking in general terms, it may be fair to call them "creators" in the looser sense, then, referring to their own creations.

It's a fluid definition. I may change my mind yet again.


So, no one can be called a creator unless they've indy published their own stuff?

Mike

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#601207 - 10/08/12 12:43 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Okay, so you may have more than self esteem issues to work through.
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#601209 - 10/08/12 12:48 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Lawson Offline
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Originally Posted By: MBunge
So, no one can be called a creator unless they've indy published their own stuff?

Mike


It doesn't have to be indie-published.

Jack Kirby created entire universes under the aegis of Marvel and DC. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created the original superhero and sold it to DC. Siegel went on to create more characters at DC, including the Spectre.

Marv Wolfman created or co-created many characters at DC and Marvel.

Kirby, Siegel, Shuster, Wolfman -- all of them are creators. They expanded the toy box.

And so forth, and so on.

Now, as a rule, the guys who created characters at the Big Two didn't enjoy much financial reward when their characters went on to sell a lot of comics, toys, games, TV shows and movies. Which is depressing and offensive, and as a result, not many writers and artists want to give their new ideas to Marvel and DC anymore. Entirely understandable.

But no, you don't have to be in the indie world to be a creator.

From a personal standpoint, though, it might be wise.

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#601210 - 10/08/12 12:54 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
I use the word "creator" to describe the people working on a comic who actually created the character(s) in that comic -- say, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby on the first 105 issues of FANTASTIC FOUR


Originally Posted By: MBunge
So, no one can be called a creator unless they've indy published their own stuff?


God help the boy, Mike is just not very bright.
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#601211 - 10/08/12 01:18 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
Originally Posted By: MBunge
So, no one can be called a creator unless they've indy published their own stuff?

Mike


It doesn't have to be indie-published.

Jack Kirby created entire universes under the aegis of Marvel and DC. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created the original superhero and sold it to DC. Siegel went on to create more characters at DC, including the Spectre.

Marv Wolfman created or co-created many characters at DC and Marvel.

Kirby, Siegel, Shuster, Wolfman -- all of them are creators. They expanded the toy box.

And so forth, and so on.

Now, as a rule, the guys who created characters at the Big Two didn't enjoy much financial reward when their characters went on to sell a lot of comics, toys, games, TV shows and movies. Which is depressing and offensive, and as a result, not many writers and artists want to give their new ideas to Marvel and DC anymore. Entirely understandable.

But no, you don't have to be in the indie world to be a creator.

From a personal standpoint, though, it might be wise.


Okay, so let's be clear. Rather than broadly redefining what "creator" means in comic book terms, you're really just saying that hacks who never produce or add anything new to their work, simply reusing and rehashing what others have done before, don't really deserve to be called "creators"? 'Cause I'd more or less agree.

However, that did not appear to be what you were arguing when you were lumping guys like Peter David, the Romitas and John Buscema into the "not-a-creator" category.

Mike


Edited by MBunge (10/08/12 01:19 PM)

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#601212 - 10/08/12 01:29 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Lawson Offline
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Originally Posted By: MBunge
Okay, so let's be clear. Rather than broadly redefining what "creator" means in comic book terms, you're really just saying that hacks who never produce or add anything new to their work, simply reusing and rehashing what others have done before, don't really deserve to be called "creators"? 'Cause I'd more or less agree.

However, that did not appear to be what you were arguing when you were lumping guys like Peter David, the Romitas and John Buscema into the "not-a-creator" category.

Mike


I'm not really a Marvel guy -- only in recent years have I gone back and read the classic Silver Age Marvel stories (thank you, cheap paperback Marvel Masterworks) -- so I'm afraid I can't speak with authority about what men like John Romita Sr. and John Buscema brought to the comics they drew, comics like AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and THE AVENGERS.

They were fine artists. I enjoyed their comics. That's about all I'm qualified to say.

If they introduced some notable characters -- heroes, villains, supporting cast members, characters still in use today or in recent times -- then hell, sure, we can call them creators. Whoever created the Vision in THE AVENGERS, that counts. Whoever created Hawkeye -- Black Widow -- that sort of thing -- they're creators.

I don't think that writing or drawing a perfectly fine run on THE AVENGERS makes you a creator. It makes you a writer or an artist.

I loved what Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli did on BATMAN: YEAR ONE. But they didn't create Batman or James Gordon or Catwoman or anything else. They reinterpreted the stories of other creators. On that particular project, they were not creators. Both men have, however, elsewhere, created their own stuff.

And I dunno that creating anything makes you a creator. Lord knows this is imprecise -- everyone has their own judgment -- but I'd argue that your character should be notable, someone reasonably well known to fans of the title, someone who is still around or who had an impact. Lots of Marvel comics had forgettable villains who appeared in one issue. That doesn't really count. The Vision counts.

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#601213 - 10/08/12 02:10 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Jimbo Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson


And I dunno that creating anything makes you a creator. Lord knows this is imprecise -- everyone has their own judgment -- but I'd argue that your character should be notable, someone reasonably well known to fans of the title, someone who is still around or who had an impact. Lots of Marvel comics had forgettable villains who appeared in one issue. That doesn't really count. The Vision counts.


I was kind of with you up until this. If someone writes Batman, with a story featuring Batman, Alfred, Robin and some new character who's never appeared before and will never appear again -let's call it 'Character X'- then that writer is a creator. Whether or not someone can be called a creator is by no means determined by the popularity of their creation. What if someone writes a story for a writing class, did they not create the characters in their story?

Naturally we are all welcome to make our own definitions of what a 'creator' is, as we are all just as welcome to make definitions of any other word. I'm all for artistic (creative?) license, but I also think this conversation is wildly over complicating what is or isn't a creator. As I said before, a creator is someone who creates. The only way to really differentiate is to add a stipulation, not use the term so broadly. Rather than saying "Joe Shuster is a creator" we would say "Joe Shuster is the creator of Superman".

Heck, even someone who writes a story with no new characters can be called a creator, because they created that story.
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#601214 - 10/08/12 02:14 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
I'd argue that your character should be notable, someone reasonably well known to fans of the title, someone who is still around or who had an impact. Lots of Marvel comics had forgettable villains who appeared in one issue. That doesn't really count. The Vision counts.



So, are you a journalist if your reporting isn't notable, reasonably well known to the public or had an "impact" on anything? Are you a scientist if your research isn't notable, reasonably well known to the public or had an impact on anything?

With all due respect, Lawson, you're just being a dick about this. I mean, saying that ACTUALLY CREATING A NEW CHARACTER doesn't make you a "creator" unless that creation reaches some level of public acceptance is a fairly silly standard. If that's the bar to get over, the overwhelming majority of people in all fields of the arts don't qualify as creators. Playwrights, musicians, sculptors, painters, etc. Almost none of them are creators by your lights. By that standard, most engineers aren't "engineers" and most architects aren't "architects".

Mike


Edited by MBunge (10/08/12 02:16 PM)

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#601216 - 10/08/12 02:33 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
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#601217 - 10/08/12 02:39 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Mr. Socko]
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I never thought I'd be expectantly waiting for the next issue of Before Watchmen so I can try to inject some degree of value back into this thread.
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#601218 - 10/08/12 02:49 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Lawson Offline
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Originally Posted By: MBunge
So, are you a journalist if your reporting isn't notable, reasonably well known to the public or had an "impact" on anything? Are you a scientist if your research isn't notable, reasonably well known to the public or had an impact on anything?

Mike


Depends on whom you ask, I suppose. I'd say you are what you do. You're a journalist if you're engaged in the business of journalism -- reporting on news. You're a scientist if you're engaged in scientific research. You're a musician if you're engaged in the making of music.

If you write or draw a comic book, you're a comic book writer or artist.

Again, just my loose definitions.

I'm a journalist. For decades now I've made a living, and more recently supported a family, banging out stories as a writer. But I'm not a creator. I work in nonfiction. (Some critics may take issue with the last two sentences.) If I ever get around to writing the great American novel, I'll be a creator.

Originally Posted By: MBunge
Lawson, you're just being a dick about this.


Sorry you think I'm being a dick about this.

Honestly, I have great respect for talented writers and artists regardless of whether they added something notable and new or not.

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#601219 - 10/08/12 02:51 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Mr. Socko]
Lawson Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mr. Socko


Har! laugh

That's gotten thrown in my face twice lately.

In another place, a buddy and I were praising Daredevil and Batman origin stories written by Frank Miller and drawn by John Romita Jr. and David Mazzucchelli, respectively.

Then, separately, roundly criticizing BEFORE WATCHMEN, I showed them a copy of this cartoon that you had posted at Comicon.

And some wise-ass immediately quoted back to me my praise for the Daredevil and Batman origin stories!

I'll have to amend my rule to say after-the-fact origin stories by guys other than the creators totally suck, unless they don't. grin

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#601220 - 10/08/12 03:00 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
I never thought I'd be expectantly waiting for the next issue of Before Watchmen so I can try to inject some degree of value back into this thread.


Honestly, I've kind of enjoyed six solid days of Mike trying to wrap his head around an idea that everyone else got instantly. It's like a Discovery Channel special.
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#601222 - 10/08/12 05:02 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
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#601223 - 10/08/12 05:21 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Strenuous Teddy]
Lawson Offline
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Originally Posted By: Strenuous Teddy
http://www.comicon.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=598454#Post598454





Har! laugh

Sayeth Mike just three months ago:

"Allen isn't an artist.

"I put a chain link fence in my back yard, but that doesn't make me a landscaper. I installed a new side panel in my basement shower, but that doesn't make me a contractor. I mow my lawn, but that doesn't make me a gardner.

"If anyone can validly call themselves an artist, then the word can have no real meaning. What? Are standards only for everyone else?"


That's ... a-heh ... that's good stuff.

I think Mike just annihilated Mike.

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#601224 - 10/08/12 05:26 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Gerald Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson

In another place, a buddy and I were praising Daredevil and Batman origin stories written by Frank Miller and drawn by John Romita Jr. and David Mazzucchelli, respectively.


Year One was overrated and The Man Without Fear wasn't very good. So I'm still with the posted cartoon on this one.

Frank Miller even forgot that Gordon had a daughter and contradicted his own Matt-Elektra meeting.
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#601226 - 10/08/12 05:29 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Gerald]
Lawson Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gerald
Frank Miller even forgot that Gordon had a daughter.


Wait, did he? You mean Barbara? I thought Barbara was always supposed to be Gordon's niece, the daughter of his brother. Did Gordon have another kid as well?

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#601227 - 10/08/12 05:51 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
shjonescrk Offline
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All artists & writers who work on comics are creators of one sort or another. They create work just like when I write a SQL statement, I have created something and sometimes, they are indeed a thing of beauty. But we know there is a difference between certain creators - Kirby, Ditko, Lee, Liefeld - than others - Romita, Buscema, Heck, Bendis - but it's only a matter of degree.

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#601229 - 10/08/12 06:03 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Mr. Socko Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mike just three months ago
If anyone can validly call themselves an artist, then the word can have no real meaning. What? Are standards only for everyone else?"


Man, he's like some right wing preacher who proclaims that women who give birth out of wedlock shouldn't be called mothers.

Apparently.

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#601230 - 10/08/12 06:10 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Gerald Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson


Wait, did he? You mean Barbara? I thought Barbara was always supposed to be Gordon's niece, the daughter of his brother. Did Gordon have another kid as well?


Barbara was originally the biological daughter of Jim Gordon. Barbara also had a brother Tony Gordon who disappeared while hiding from Communist spies but later turned up to help fight the Sino-Superman but was killed.

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#601232 - 10/08/12 06:14 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Mr. Socko]
Jimbo Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mr. Socko


Does everyone have me on ignore or something? I posted this, in this very thread, nearly a week ago.
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#601234 - 10/08/12 06:35 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Jimbo]
Mr. Socko Offline
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Sorry Jimbo, I thought I was you.

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#601236 - 10/08/12 06:53 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Mr. Socko]
Jimbo Offline
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Now that you mention it, I think you are.
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#601238 - 10/08/12 07:00 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Jimbo]
Ted Kilvington Offline
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I wondered why that cartoon was showing up again.

And for my two cents...

People who create characters, are creators.

People who create comics, are also creators.

And I didn't get the Phoenix reference.
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#601239 - 10/08/12 08:16 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ted Kilvington]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ted Kilvington
People who create comics, are also creators.


Don't forget the people who create the staples. Elitist.

Quote:
And I didn't get the Phoenix reference.


It's an Odyssey joke.
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#601240 - 10/08/12 08:45 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
Originally Posted By: Strenuous Teddy
http://www.comicon.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=598454#Post598454





Har! laugh

Sayeth Mike just three months ago:

"Allen isn't an artist.

"I put a chain link fence in my back yard, but that doesn't make me a landscaper. I installed a new side panel in my basement shower, but that doesn't make me a contractor. I mow my lawn, but that doesn't make me a gardner.

"If anyone can validly call themselves an artist, then the word can have no real meaning. What? Are standards only for everyone else?"


That's ... a-heh ... that's good stuff.

I think Mike just annihilated Mike.


No, I don't think so. Just because I advocate for some standards, doesn't mean I have to accept stupid ones.

Allen's scribbles don't make him an artist anymore than the movie reviews I've done make me a critic. Likewise, if you want to say the guy who churns out the 597th time Superman fights Terra Man isn't a creator, I'm not sure I'd disagree with that.

But if you're going to say that Peter David, for example, isn't a creator for writing the Incredible Hulk for years and creating umpteen new characters and concepts while doing so, solely because those creations didn't go on to become as popular as the Vision, I'm still going to say that's ridiculous.

If you say that Peter David, under those circumstances, isn't a creator but some guy who craps out one issue of a poorly written, terribly drawn indy comic full of boring and lame, yet original, work IS a creator, then I'm going to tell you you're just being a dick.

Mike

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#601241 - 10/08/12 08:48 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
I'm a journalist.


Says who? I've never read your work. I've never heard anyone discuss it. It doesn't appear to have had any real impact on the world. By those standards, which you're using to say writers and artists aren't creators, you're not a journalist. You're just some guy who writes in a newspaper.

Mike

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#601242 - 10/08/12 09:03 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Originally Posted By: MBunge
If you say that Peter David, under those circumstances, isn't a creator but some guy who craps out one issue of a poorly written, terribly drawn indy comic full of boring and lame, yet original, work IS a creator, then I'm going to tell you you're just being a dick.


I'm sorry the cool kids made fun of your superhero comics that one time, Mike. But it's time to let the anger go.
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#601243 - 10/08/12 09:16 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Originally Posted By: MBunge
Allen's scribbles don't make him an artist

Hey, that reminds me. You never did answer the question: Vincent Van Gogh, artist or no?
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#601250 - 10/09/12 05:59 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Gerald Offline
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I usually refer to comic writers and artists as comic writers and artists or just writers and artists.

If someone specifically asked me who were my favorite comic creators I would probably list Mike Allred because of Madman, Bob Burden for Flaming Carrot, The Hernandez Bros for Love and Rockets, Steve Ditko/Stan Lee for Spider-man and Doctor Strange.
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#601252 - 10/09/12 07:28 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Gerald]
Ted Kilvington Offline
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The term "creators" also is used to refer to both "writers and artists" as one category.
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#601254 - 10/10/12 06:52 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ted Kilvington]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Rorschach #2... continuing the catchphrase-laden takedown of some rough-complected pimp.

Kovacs apparently has a girlfriend, a waitress at (WHERE ELSE??) the Gunga Diner. The (black) cook says something about forcing his knocked-up girlfriend to go on welfare and Kovacs interjects with an Ayn Rand-ism, albeit inadvertently. I wonder how they'll dispose of the waitress.

I hadn't noticed previously that this takes place in 1977, two years after the transformative Blaire Roche kidnapping incident. Interesting that Rorschach intervenes in a situation of one of the pimp's strongarms roughing up a hooker, and has nothing to say to or about the hooker.

I thought the typewriter style captions in #1 were just Rorschach's internal dialogue, but apparently it's what he's already begun putting in his journal. There are strikethrough typos this time and they even show the typewriter.

Internal ad for a Hellblazer collection written by Azzarello, with a gushing blurb from... Alan Moore. I'm guessing that wasn't recent.

Alt cover by Mark Simpson (under his moronic "Jock" pseudonym) dashing off yet another of his cheap Sienkiewicz-esque regurgitations.
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#601256 - 10/10/12 09:13 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Jimbo Offline
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Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Rorschach #2... continuing the catchphrase-laden takedown of some rough-complected pimp.

Kovacs apparently has a girlfriend, a waitress at (WHERE ELSE??) the Gunga Diner. The (black) cook says something about forcing his knocked-up girlfriend to go on welfare and Kovacs interjects with an Ayn Rand-ism, albeit inadvertently. I wonder how they'll dispose of the waitress.

I hadn't noticed previously that this takes place in 1977, two years after the transformative Blaire Roche kidnapping incident. Interesting that Rorschach intervenes in a situation of one of the pimp's strongarms roughing up a hooker, and has nothing to say to or about the hooker.

I thought the typewriter style captions in #1 were just Rorschach's internal dialogue, but apparently it's what he's already begun putting in his journal. There are strikethrough typos this time and they even show the typewriter.

Internal ad for a Hellblazer collection written by Azzarello, with a gushing blurb from... Alan Moore. I'm guessing that wasn't recent.

Alt cover by Mark Simpson (under his moronic "Jock" pseudonym) dashing off yet another of his cheap Sienkiewicz-esque regurgitations.


Why do you read Before Watchmen? I mean, I'm pretty sure you don't pay for them, but reading something you know you're not going to like anyway seems like a huge waste of time. Is it just so you can complain in better detail?

I'm genuinely curious, it seems odd.
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#601257 - 10/10/12 09:39 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Jimbo]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Jimbo
Why do you read Before Watchmen?

"Know thy enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated." -- Sun Tzu
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#601265 - 10/13/12 12:58 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Jimbo Offline
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So...Before Watchmen is your enemy?
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#601266 - 10/13/12 01:55 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Jimbo]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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The people who would perpetrate such an atrocity, yes.
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#601277 - 10/17/12 02:11 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Doctor Manhattan #2...

Straczynski continues the weak Schrodinger's Cat storyline, which allows Adam Hughes to re-use a lot of art, one page being completely reproduced twice. Apparently Janie's selection of one dressing room or the other has something to do with the outcome of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Big missed opportunity for a classic "Not an Imaginary Story!" cover. Assistant editor Camilla Zhang contributes a puff piece, presumably to keep working for Time-Warner after this debacle erodes DC Comics into a reprint husk in a couple of years.

Alt cover by P. Craig Russell. I've always admired his artwork, but was also generally ambivalent about it. I'll guess he signed on because he thought he was going to get to draw the big blue dong. Sad he had to get involved in this dirty business.
_________________________
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#601302 - 10/25/12 08:32 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Minutemen #4...

More "Hidden Years" bullshit, unnecessarily connecting all of Watchmen's disparate dots. New revelation that Hollis Nite Owl and Mothman were once a team like Drieberg Nite Owl and Rorschach were a team. Sally dons some biker boots and brass knuckles to beat the crap out of the villain who killed Silhouette and her lady-friend, then berates Captain Metropolis and Hooded Justice for being "hypocritical" (you know what Cooke is talking about). While Sally is mourning at Silhouette's grave, Blake arrives to also pay his respects and... yeah, guess what event that leads to.

Blake tells Sally a story from his being deployed into the Pacific theater of WWII (another new development) which flips the script on his gross mistreatment and murder of the Vietnamese woman. Some generic crotchety (and heretofore unknown) Marine captain is apparently to blame for Blake's personality disorder. Rework of the popular "Kilroy Was Here" grafitti into a Comedian symbol.

The art was no worse than usual from Cooke. Page layouts were extremely erratic, though, employing the 3x3 grid occasionally and falling away from it when Cooke can't make the pacing fit. At least there doesn't seem to be any anachronisms this time.

Alt cover by Steve Rude (strangely, Mothman is the lone figure on Cooke's cover, but is obscured by the logo and cut off at the top of the page on Rude's). I felt like Rude must not be too bright in the way he conducted his "Rude Dude Productions" business, a feeling that was amplified when he was arrested for fighting with his neighbor. Now I know he's dirt stupid.
_________________________
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#601305 - 10/26/12 02:46 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
While Sally is mourning at Silhouette's grave, Blake arrives to also pay his respects and... yeah, guess what event that leads to.


Guh. sick

Glad I'm skipping all this.

Though I loved WATCHMEN, I always thought Laurie's parentage was a weak point in the story. Blake beat the shit out of Sally and either raped her or tried to. And this was all in character for Blake, who was a monster. That she would later be seduced by Blake made no sense to me. As Moore wrote her, Sally was a strong-willed woman. I don't see her hooking up with her rapist and then tearfully kissing his photo.

Given that, I also don't think I'd enjoy Cooke's drawn-out depiction of the event.

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#601367 - 11/02/12 03:29 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Public Account Offline
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http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/11/02/dc-announce-before-watchmen-dollar-bill/

"DC Announces Before Watchmen: Dollar Bill by Len Wein and Steve Rude"

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#601368 - 11/02/12 07:51 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Public Account]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Apparently Rude hasn't yet paid off his lawyer bills.
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601371 - 11/03/12 01:37 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Mr. Socko Offline
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#601377 - 11/05/12 11:25 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Mr. Socko]
Lawson Offline
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You know, those BEFORE WATCHMEN parody covers were funnier before it was clear that DC really is going to milk every single panel of WATCHMEN for prequels and sequels and other crap.

For instance, I remember someone spoofing the idea of BEFORE WATCHMEN: DOLLAR BILL. It was outlandish -- har! -- because the guy only appeared in, like, two panels of WATCHMEN, right?

And now ...

So, yeah, prepare for BEFORE WATCHMEN: GAY COUPLE, BEFORE WATCHMEN: THE BLACK KID READING THE PIRATE COMIC and BEFORE WATCHMEN: SEYMOUR.

Because there clearly are no depths to which DC won't sink in the pursuit of the last few bucks available in the U.S. comic book market, and not much integrity left in the ranks of the sad, broken slobs who write and draw comic books for a living.

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#601378 - 11/05/12 11:39 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
BEFORE WATCHMEN: THE BLACK KID READING THE PIRATE COMIC


Oh man, it's gonna be so great when we see his parents out on the date where he's conceived, and they're like, "I don't know if we even want to bring a child into a world where bad things happen to innocent people, and you can't even count on a single act of kindness before the end."

This series was SUCH A GOOD IDEA.

Quote:
For instance, I remember someone spoofing the idea of BEFORE WATCHMEN: DOLLAR BILL. It was outlandish -- har! -- because the guy only appeared in, like, two panels of WATCHMEN, right?

And now ...


Kidding aside, I still don't get why anyone expected anything different. The entire premise of the series is "the answer to a question nobody was asking."
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#601380 - 11/05/12 02:16 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Mr. Socko Offline
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#601381 - 11/05/12 02:56 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Gerald Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson

For instance, I remember someone spoofing the idea of BEFORE WATCHMEN: DOLLAR BILL. It was outlandish -- har! -- because the guy only appeared in, like, two panels of WATCHMEN, right?


Maybe it's a good story.
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#601384 - 11/05/12 03:16 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Gerald]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gerald
Maybe it's a good story.


Are you kidding me? It's gonna be awesome! There's totally gonna be a bit where somebody says, "I dunno, Bill. Are you sure about the cloak?" And he's all, "Come on! What's the worst that could happen?"

GOLD, GERALD. FUCKING GOLD.
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#601385 - 11/05/12 03:29 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Gerald Offline
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More than likely it will be more subtle than that.
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#601386 - 11/05/12 03:36 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Gerald]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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If Azzarello's Rorschach is any indicator, it might be so subtle that it's completely irrelevant.
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601387 - 11/05/12 03:38 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Gerald]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gerald
More than likely it will be more subtle than that.


Ha ha, no it really won't.

If the goal was subtlety, Before Watchmen would never have been made in the first place. The entire premise is about as subtle as a baseball bat in the nuts.
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#601462 - 11/15/12 04:26 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Moloch #1...

Secret Origin of Moloch, told in the form of an extraordinarily verbose Catholic confession. He's got about as generic a supervillain origin as you could ever imagine. Rorschach-Lite with some Nightcrawler mixed in. Ends after Doctor Manhattan shows up and Moloch feels like he's outmatched so is now going to turn his life over to Jesus. Veidt shows up in a Rolls Royce (inexplicably in full superhero garb) to offer him a ride from prison and presumably the new boring lifestyle that we saw in Watchmen.

Functional artwork by Eduardo Risso occasionally has some nice expressions or textures, but never once makes reference to Gibbons' original art (or even the movie). However, Jim Lee's alt cover does reference the Pietΰ as Moloch and a hooker (although I'm guessing he's referencing one of the many other comics adaptations of it -- Jim Starlin's The Death of Captain Marvel GN, Alex Ross' Captain Marvel and Shazam, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Obnoxio the Clown vs. the X-Men, etc.).

Second alt cover by Matt Wagner. Who cares.
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#601465 - 11/16/12 05:11 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Gerald Offline
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That's stupid.

Alan Moore has created lots of cool characters but not all of them can be spun out into their own books.

All the characters in Watchmen are not visually, or narratively, interesting on their own.
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#601522 - 12/05/12 01:12 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Gerald]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Ozymandias #4...

Page one, Veidt is offended by a group of villains calling themselves the Flying Tigers: "An insufferable INSULT to one of the bravest, most NOBLE groups of fighting men who ever lived!" I wonder if Wein even understands the irony.

Page two, Veidt has Wolverine claws in his gauntlets and leaves the villains tied up (in his "signature Gordian Knot") like Spider-Man's modus operandi.

Page three, more JFK Gump-isms.

Page four, revisit of Doctor Manhattan's gruesome raid on Moloch's club.

Page five, *Bobby* Kennedy Gump-isms.

Page six, Hollis apparently unmasked on *Live TV*, giving not only his name but also his address. So stupid.

Page seven, Marilyn Monroe murder Gump-isms.

Page eight, Cuban missile crisis Gump-isms.

Page nine, giving actual dialogue to the notion that a little domino mask would conceal anyone's identity.

Pages ten and eleven, the president consults Veidt on what to do about the Cuban missile crisis.

Page twelve, JFK and Oswald assassinations. Almost no reference to either the Zapruder film or the famous photo of Jack Ruby shooting Oswald. Use of the word "allegedly" and the phrase "according to the evidence" in reference to Oswald actually being the shooter.

Page thirteen, Veidt fails to find any evidence that Oswald wasn't the shooter.

Pages fourteen and fifteen, "introducing" Nite Owl II and Rorschach. Wein clearly has no story to tell.

Pages sixteen and seventeen, the secret origin of the "Nostalgia" perfume. I think this is a reference to Veidt's girlfriend that died in issue #1, but I don't care enough to go back and check.

Page eighteen, "introducing" Silk Spectre II.

Pages nineteen through twenty-one, literally a verbatim regurgitation of the "Crimebusters" meeting.

As light as the backgrounds were in previous issues, they're practically non-existant this time out. I don't know Lee's reputation with regard to speed, but if he's not getting burned out then he's just getting bored.



Alt cover by Michael Kaluta. His drawing skills have really faltered in the past few years, to the point that I think that he might be experiencing some medical issues. If it comes to light that he is, I may reconsider my decision to boycott his future work.
_________________________
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#601523 - 12/05/12 02:24 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Silk Spectre #4...

Interesting that this took almost three months to come out. The art is pretty detailed (albeit still that shitty Arthur-Adams-does-Archie flavor), so maybe it's Amanda Conner's fault, but it's also possible that DC was just trying to stretch this thing out. Who knows. Anyway, it's the end of the "Laurie runs off to San Francisco" arc, so I'm thinking this is the last issue. I can't remember how many issues this mini is supposed to be. Some were four, some were six.

Several variations on the nine-panel grid: leaving the borders off for flashbacks, doing six across for fast action cuts, overlaps for montages.

In the final showdown with Frank Sinatra (the guy behind the drug plot inducing kids to buy stuff, which was the same plot as the Josie & The Pussycats movie, by the way) Laurie gets the smiley face blood spatter on her own face, then loses the movie boots when she stabs Sinatra in the jugular with one of the heels.

Secret origin of the Watchmen-era costume, reference to the "Gold Bear" candy a year before it came out in America, and it all ends with... anybody? anybody? Yep, the Crimebusters meeting revisited. Again. The final splash page is kinda weird: Laurie and the cuddliest rendition of Doctor Manhattan ever, seen across the lap of Eddie Blake. Bizarre.



Alt cover by Bruce Timm, who we already knew was an unoriginal wank.
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#601532 - 12/07/12 11:12 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
MBunge Offline
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The latest issue of COMEDIAN continues Brian Azzarello's self-humiliation. I guess that most folks would give JMS the raspberry for the worst BW book for his hilariously bad NITE OWL, but at least there's a "so bad it's good" aspect to that. Azz' work here is just pitiful, though. He doesn't understand the character and his attempt to do social/historical commentary is like something you'd get in a C+ high school report.

The only positive about it is that it illustrates a criticism I've had of modern (in the last 10-15 years) comics for a long while. This stuff gets praised to high heaven for being more adult and sophisticated than the all ages/for kids comics of the past. Yet when you compare it to actual adult literature and storytelling in books, movies and such, these comics often stink out loud.

Mike

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#601533 - 12/07/12 12:01 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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So out of curiosity, how much time and/or money did you manage to spend learning this lesson?
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#601574 - 12/12/12 03:27 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Public Account Offline
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Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
I don't begrudge craftsmen for not being creators. One of my very favorite comics when I was a kid was O'Neill & Adams' Green Lantern/Green Arrow, after all. But I thought the issues of ownership and control were addressed in the 80's. Yet here we still are with Neal Adams drawing Batman and the X-Men.



And this.


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#601575 - 12/12/12 04:39 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Public Account]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Ouch. The guy who went to bat for Siegel and Shuster takes a giant shit on Alan Moore.
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#601576 - 12/12/12 06:56 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Comedian #4...

I don't know what to say about this one. The "story" is a complete mish-mash of self-important nonsense. Just Blake wandering around Vietnam and barking. Maybe it will make sense when the whole thing is done, but I doubt it.

Functional art by Jones is getting noticeably more sparse and the inks are getting rougher. One panel is of particular interest, however, in that it is just one giant sound effect (BLAAM). They've used sound effects in prior issues (and one other time this issue). It's just interesting to me because of how Moore and Gibbons purposely eschewed sound effects entirely, and yet here's a panel of nothing but a sound effect (with the colorist doing some spatter on it).


Alt cover by Brian Stelfreeze, who hasn't done anything of note in twenty years.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#601577 - 12/12/12 07:47 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Minutemen #5...

The bulk of this issue is a heretofore unknown episode about a Japanese plot in 1947 to blow up the Statue of Liberty as revenge for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even though the government swept it under the rug, this event was apparently the reason the Doomsday Clock was set up. Everything's got to have a *SECRET ORIGIN*, I suppose.

More blah art, the same problem from previous issues with meandering in and out of the nine-panel layout. In what is perhaps the strangest riff on Gibbons' original artwork, Cooke samples a panel of Rorschach's case worker from the 80's and places that in a scene from 1955. Jarringly odd.

The circus scene with Hooded Justice from the end of #2 is continued. HJ was apparently a former Nazi and was involved in the Silhouette child abduction plot. It's amazing how complicated Cooke has made this puzzle that has so few pieces. Anyway, the revelation hasn't come out yet, but I think we're going to find out that HJ was killed by Hollis.

And speaking of revelations involving Hollis... This issue starts with more navel-gazing over his relationship with Sally. It is unambiguously shown that they were involved sexually, and it is even insinuated that Hollis is Laurie's father. In a weird way, I really do want them to do something so contradictory of that level which would unquestionably put to the lie the claim that these jerkoffs have any respect whatsoever for the original Watchmen material.


Alt cover by someone named Michael Cho, who I've never heard of before.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601583 - 12/13/12 04:47 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Gerald Offline
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Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 1108
I don't like Hooded Justice as a former Nazi. It was more realistic in WATCHMEN that HJ was against the US getting involved because of his nationality or because he was an isolationist like some people at the time. But revealing he's just a bad guy is too simple. Why not say he worked for the Red Skull too?

*sigh*
For some reason Cooke's BW, although beautiful looking, feels like Savior No. 28. The artist on that book had a similar style, and it dealt with a golden age/silver age hero, but in the "real" world.
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#601642 - 12/21/12 03:56 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Gerald]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Dr. Manhattan #3...

Straczynski has exactly one metaphor -- Schrodinger's Cat -- and he is flailing the shit out of it. Osterman becomes aware that he is now the "Quantum Observer" and all the seemingly contradictory events of the previous issues were merely his having eliminated every decision he ever made (as well as, inexplicably, a decision made by Captain Metropolis at the Crimebusters meeting... we just can't get enough of that Crimebusters meeting) and having created an infinite number of alternate realities in the process. How and at what point he gained this "Quantum Observer" status is not yet clear. Logically, there must have been a point where he had the power to alter the past, but was not aware that he was doing so.

The point of this issue seems to be that Osterman has become aware of what he was doing and has decided that now he must shepherd all the divergent realities back into the timeline Alan Moore wrote in the original Watchmen. Now, if you not only had the reality-manipulating powers of a god but could also alter the past, would you think the events as they unfolded in Watchmen was the absolute most preferable way for things to go? Even the exploding telepathic squid? If so, that pretty much relegates the poignant "Without condoning or condemning" line into a flat-out lie.

Also, it reminds me of that episode of Amazing Stories where the Elvis impersonator from the 1980's goes back in time and accidentally kills Elvis before the first recordings. The impersonator then lives out the rest of Elvis' life, even the drug-induced death. Oh, well. Maybe Doc will change it back to where Blake killed JFK and fathered Laurie.

Hughes and Martin's art is much better this time. Still a lot of repetition and recycling of panels, but it's more creatively done than in the first two issues. Something strange about the lettering that I hadn't picked up on before, though. It's obvious the word balloons are done in Illustrator, because they all have the same dent on one side and flat spot on the other. The balloons are scaled and stretched to accommodate more or less text, and sometimes they're flipped or rotated, but they're all copied from the same original shape. Somewhat distracting.

Alt cover by Neal Adams, as seen earlier in this thread. I don't know what Adams is thinking in contributing to this shitfest, but as we have witnessed before -- from his "Expanding Earth" theoretical bunk to his recent Batman craptacular -- the man has some serious issues going on in-between his earlobes.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601643 - 12/21/12 04:39 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Rorschach #3...

Rorschach, still identifying himself as "Walter" in 1977 (two years after the Blaire Roche incident), asks the waitress out on a date. He flashes cash at her that he stole from some generic bust he makes in a seedy hotel on the first few pages. Oh, and he gets a cab ride from Robert DeNiro. Whilst waiting for his girlfriend to get off work at the Gunga Diner, he stakes out a strip joint belonging to the rough-complected pimp ("Rawhead"). Just as he's about to get into an altercation with some of the pimp's boys, there's one of those infamous 1970's New York City power blackouts. Closes with some unidentified man greeting Kovacs' girlfriend saying he can't make the date (I'm guessing it's DeNiro).

Very inconsistent art. Some panels were very obviously staged from photo reference, some actually are doctored photos, while many appear extremely rushed with very dodgy proportions and likeness consistency. The typography in Rorschach's journal is back to being almost perfect again, with only one stray spacebar to be found.

Alt cover by someone named Chip Kidd, who I'd never heard of before. It's kind of a crappy Dave McKean wannabe photo manipulation. Apparently he'd already been involved in another unauthorized rip-off, providing another crappy photo manipulation cover to Gary Spencer Millidge's bibliography/hagiography Alan Moore: Storyteller.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601648 - 12/21/12 01:36 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Did my comics order this morning and noticed that Dr. Manhattan #4 is just now soliciting. Interesting.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601653 - 12/21/12 11:59 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Jimbo Offline
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Registered: 07/13/01
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I thought you just read them, do you actually pay for them too?
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#601654 - 12/22/12 05:30 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Jimbo]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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I download BW off ZCult. I actually purchase other comics and Westfield sends me their solicitation catalog every month to order from. My comics buying is way down, though, thanks to bullshit like Before Watchmen. I even dumped Popeye this month because Roger Langridge is writing a Rocketeer miniseries (and Popeye shows up on ZCult anyway).

My December order:

Creepy Comics #11
Dark Horse Presents #21
High Ways #2 (New John Byrne mini)
Lorelei: Sects & The City (Eliseu Gouveia artwork)
Nemo: Heart of Ice HC (Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill League spin-off)
Womanthology: Space #5
Zed: A Cosmic Tale SC (collecting Michel Gagne's great comic)


Stuff I passed up:

Damsels #6 (Moore's daughter and her boyfriend's comic. I'm trade-waiting)
Popeye #10
Fashion Beast #6 (trade-waiting)
Peanuts v19 (way cheaper on Amazon)
a bunch of Bible adaptations illustrated by Danny Bulanadi (do something original, Dan)
Muse HC (illustrated by Terry Dodson, $28 for a hundred pages is too much)
Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary (cheaper on Amazon)
Of Comics & Men: A Cultural History of American Comic Books (cheaper on Amazon)
Albert Dorne: Master Illustrator (cheaper on Amazon)
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601655 - 12/22/12 01:37 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Jimbo Offline
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Ohh, okay. I still think it's weird that you waste time reading books you don't like, but at least you're not spending money on them.
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#601657 - 12/22/12 02:57 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Jimbo]
Gerald Offline
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Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 1108
@Allen Montgomery

I'm not a fan of DC's lettering either. I think comicraft does their work digitally and it comes out good. But when you notice DC's it's very distracting. I hate when they're trying to affect handwriting, and instead of actually hand writing the text, they use a "handwriting" text. It's weird because we pay more for comics that are produced with cutting edge technology and the paper quality and lettering in an 80s Comico issue is superior.

Chip Kidd is well known graphic designer usually designing book covers. He does some excellent work like the Japanese novel "Spiral" and did the titlework for DC's All-Star lineup, The Dark Knight Returns etc.

I'm surprised how unappealing the Rorschach cover is. It looks like he just took a picture of himself with his gloved hand to his face and put a rorshach blot over it.
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#601660 - 12/26/12 11:00 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Gerald]
MBunge Offline
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Registered: 07/19/01
Posts: 3386
Loc: Waterloo, Iowa, United States
Originally Posted By: Gerald
It's weird because we pay more for comics that are produced with cutting edge technology and the paper quality and lettering in an 80s Comico issue is superior.


Not all "progress" is actually progress. And speaking of Comico, I'm reading some old Jonny Quest books they did and they're not at all bad. Do today's fans appreciate or even know about the indy publishers of the 1980s?

Mike

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#601663 - 12/27/12 02:43 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Gerald Offline
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Posts: 1108
I think the problem is, as the comic industry continues to shrink, the talent pool is getting smaller because less people realize there's less and less to be made in that business, and the big companies are probably cutting corners and having letterers take on more issues than usual a month and that's why everything has roughly the same exact font style.

I was always was impressed with Tom Orzechowski. Wiki'ing him right now and apparently once the publishers started using in-house letterer teams, people like Orzechowski lost work.
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#601671 - 12/28/12 10:17 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Gerald]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Moloch #2...

Only two issues on this one, so it's done pretty quick. I guess there was only so much filler Straczynski could shove into this little character. Captain Carnage might only get a one-shot.

So we get to see what Jacobi's job for Veidt was: busy work checking for inconsistencies in computer printouts and delivering cigarettes to Janey Slater. No mention of Pyramid Transcontinental, and Veidt has a strangely hands-on approach to his work. Veidt even explains his squid plans to Jacobi before shooting him in the head (another whole panel of nothing but a "BLAM" sound effect). We end with Rorschach entering Jacobi's apartment for the second time. How's that for creativity.

Several references this time to Gibbons' original art, whereas in the first issue there were none. A large panel of Veidt's desk and the window behind it; a whole page of the Blake break-in (with a sound effect added) and the Rorschach break-in which prefaced it; Blake's descent (a cityscape splash page with very incorrect perspective, and Risso draws Blake with two right feet for some reason... remind me again how many editors were on this project?); the Dr. Manhattan ABC News interview (as seen by Jacobi on TV); and Risso finally drops into the nine-panel grid for the last three pages.

Alt cover by a British kid named Olly Moss. I'd never heard of him before, as this is his first comics work. I found his dot-com, though, and he looks to be one of those graphic design kids who wouldn't know what to do if the power went out and all he had was a pencil and some paper.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601692 - 01/01/13 08:05 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Gerald]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Originally Posted By: Gerald
I think the problem is, as the comic industry continues to shrink, the talent pool is getting smaller because less people realize there's less and less to be made in that business, and the big companies are probably cutting corners and having letterers take on more issues than usual a month and that's why everything has roughly the same exact font style.

I was always was impressed with Tom Orzechowski. Wiki'ing him right now and apparently once the publishers started using in-house letterer teams, people like Orzechowski lost work.


The comics industry shrinking? Every time I go into Forbidden Planet in Glasgow they seem to have more and more comics from more and more publishers for sale. There are shelves upon shelves of graphic novels. It is not shrinking - it is changing. There's probably never been a better time to be a comics fan.

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#601694 - 01/01/13 02:38 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: shjonescrk]
IvanJim Offline
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Registered: 06/16/01
Posts: 2865
Loc: Los Angeles
"There's probably never been a better time to be a comics fan."

I'm afraid that I have to disagree with this statement. There may be more books out there, but the storytelling in the vast bulk of them seems to have been corporatized (where the content is dictated by the corporation instead of by the imagination of the writer) and the focus of most of them seems calculated to either to shock rather than surprise the reader, or is exceedingly derivative of earlier comic book writing.

There'll always be some good or interesting stuff out there (hopefully) but I think that there's not only less brilliant work out there than in previous decades, there are also fewer emerging talents that aren't following the corporate blueprints in their writing or drawing.

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#601695 - 01/01/13 06:01 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: IvanJim]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Mike Grell is not drawing Starslayer or Jon Sable or Shaman's Tears today. He is drawing the CW version of Green Arrow.

Colleen Doran doesn't want to finish A Distant Soil, an epic she started in her teens.

Neal Adams is drawing Batman and the X-Men.

And so on.



The only old guy doing original work now is John Byrne. And that's because Marvel and DC won't hire him.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601703 - 01/02/13 11:05 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: shjonescrk]
MBunge Offline
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Registered: 07/19/01
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Loc: Waterloo, Iowa, United States
Originally Posted By: shjonescrk
There's probably never been a better time to be a comics fan.


Have you ever looked at what the comic biz had to offer fans in the 60s, 70s or 80s? And I suspect the casual comic fan who used to be able to pick up CONAN, STAR WARS, G.I. JOE and such at the newsstand might disagree with you.

Mike

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#601704 - 01/02/13 12:51 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Charles Reece Offline
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Loc: us of fuckin' a
I see a wider variety of genre now than I ever did when I was kid. The writing's better on the whole, too. Look at the orignal Omega the Unknown versus the new one from a couple of years ago to get a idea of just how much the literary possibilities have improved. The Marvel and DC universe titles are about as fucked and micromanaged as someone like Shooter once wanted.
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#601705 - 01/02/13 01:01 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Charles Reece]
MBunge Offline
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Registered: 07/19/01
Posts: 3386
Loc: Waterloo, Iowa, United States
Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
The writing's better on the whole, too. Look at the orignal Omega the Unknown versus the new one from a couple of years ago to get a idea of just how much the literary possibilities have improved.


But being more "literary" isn't the same thing as being better.

There are certain styles of writing that are present in comics today that rarely if ever used to show up in the past and if you're a fan of those styles, you're happy. I got the new Omega the Unknown trade for somebody this Christmas. I haven't gotten any response but I wouldn't be all that surprised if he thought it was crap and would have more enjoyed the trade of the original series. But only one was on sale.

Mike

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#601715 - 01/03/13 04:04 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Nite Owl #4...

Three months for this one to come out as well. Kubert the lesser and Boleslav Sienkiewicz are very fast, so it's obviously DC editorial just trying to stretch this thing out as long as possible.

Okay, so the unnecessary fleshing out of the story behind the "Twilight Lady" photo from Watchmen #7, page 5, panel 4 draws to an inevitably dismal and sappy close. Panel two of that same page also gets cleared up by showing how Dan killed his father. Along the way, we get an owlship ride to a building on fire, Rorschach busting out of a burning door, a Gumpism predicting GPS, a madman trying to make the world a better place by killing a bunch of people (last issue's Ginsberg-quoting preacher) and Hollis foreshadowing his own death.

Turns out the "THE END IS NIGH" sign needed a secret origin, because Rorschach impales the preacher with it. This was apparently the "you went soft" moment that ended the Rorschach-Nite Owl team. Good to know, good to know. Twilight Lady leaves Dan because he "deserves a good woman," but she still loves him and she's still out there... Bleh.

A word about continuity. There's a flashback of Dan killing his father by setting a trip cord on the stairs. Dan is much younger in this scene than he was in previous flashbacks to his father, and their house is much more delapidated. Maybe his dad didn't die in the fall, lived on for another ten years and made a lot of money and then died of a heart attack (as was shown in a previous issue). The insinuation, the purpose of that flashback, was to show that Dan could kill if he had to, so if that's not an error then it's just objectively bad storytelling. Also, the preacher's name changes from Taylor Dean to Taylor Stone at one point. So I have to ask again: How many editors were involved in this shit?

Alt cover by Ethan Van Sciver. Even more weird perspective and wonky anatomy than is the norm for EVS. I'm guessing it took him four hours, no preparatory sketch. No "Crimson Corsair" backup this time, strangely.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601728 - 01/04/13 11:39 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
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I was confused by that kid-tripping-the-bad-dad scene too. The dilapidated house made me think that maybe this was Young Rorschach killing one of his mom's boyfriends, rather than Young Dan killing his dad. Though that doesn't make much sense as a counter to the established continuity, so why even include it? Was it just reinforcing the point that Rorschach was good at taking violent action, while Dan was too timid? I dunno.

There was also a scene of Dan burning Hollis's manuscript. So we never learn what was so shocking in it? Maybe that's revealed in one of the other series?

Skimming one of the Moloch books in the store a few weeks ago, I noted it had the last episode of the Crimson Corsair in it. So either the added Moloch issues made them run out of Corsair pages earlier, or they just didn't plan the length of the Corsair serial very carefully.

Overall, the NiteOwl series was pretty rotten. The twist of Dan pining for Twilight Lady, contrary to his assertion in the original Watchmen than she was obsessed with him, that was decent enough. That's a plausible piece of self-delusion in line with his character. But the story built around it wasn't worth it.

I wish Joe Kubert's last inking job had been something other than this turkey.

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#601732 - 01/05/13 11:44 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Originally Posted By: MBunge
Originally Posted By: shjonescrk
There's probably never been a better time to be a comics fan.


Have you ever looked at what the comic biz had to offer fans in the 60s, 70s or 80s? And I suspect the casual comic fan who used to be able to pick up CONAN, STAR WARS, G.I. JOE and such at the newsstand might disagree with you.

Mike


The good ol' days of the newsagents (that's what we call them in Britain). I'd go down to get my latest comics and not all the ones I want are there. It means I'll have to go around all the newsagents to see if I can find them and maybe I am out of luck. Many gave up at this point and stopped reading comics altogether. DC comics were the worst for this.

At least, nowadays your local comic shop will have them all and even if, the shops sells out, Marvel/DC will reprint them anyway and even then if you can't get it, the tpb will be out.

I don't read many comics these days but in terms of storytelling/plotting, they are more coherent and more professional.

As for Before Watchmen, I've not read one or bought one and Forbidden Planet in Glasgow has lots and lots of them for sale. I'll probably be able to pickup them up rather cheaply in the near future if I wanted too.

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#601733 - 01/05/13 12:22 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: shjonescrk]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Kids didn't stop reading comics because of the hit-and-miss distribution. Quite the contrary, in fact. I enjoyed hunting all over town at every grocery and drug store to find stuff, and I know I wasn't alone in experiencing that thrill of the chase.

Maybe the lazy Internet kids today might demand an easier distribution model, but that's not what drove readers away in the 90's.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601737 - 01/06/13 07:38 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Peter Urkowitz
I was confused by that kid-tripping-the-bad-dad scene too.

Looking back at it again, yeah, that had to be Kovacs. Ambiguous and a very poor narrative choice.


Originally Posted By: Peter Urkowitz
There was also a scene of Dan burning Hollis's manuscript. So we never learn what was so shocking in it? Maybe that's revealed in one of the other series?

My guess is it's Hollis' involvement in the death of Hooded Justice. That would require editorial coordination with Cooke's Minutemen sotry, though, so I can't be sure. There's also Hollis' affair with Sally.


Originally Posted By: Peter Urkowitz
Skimming one of the Moloch books in the store a few weeks ago, I noted it had the last episode of the Crimson Corsair in it.

I must confess that I haven't bothered to read the Crimson Corsair serial.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601812 - 01/24/13 03:05 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Monthly sales for the BEFORE WATCHMEN titles leveled off around 50,000, which is far less than initial orders but still good for a modern DC comic. The average DC comic sells somewhere in the low 30,000 range, even after the nu52 reboot. It doesn't take much to top the charts these days.

The trade collections probably will sell OK, too.

So, financially, DC is likely to turn a profit on the project, unless it promised the candy store to Darwyn Cooke, Len Wein and the other creative sellouts who whored themselves for it.

Will there be any repercussions for the publisher from the controversy? Or any repercussions for the participants?

I'm inclined to say no, not for the publisher, anyway.

Most people likely to be angry about the flogging of WATCHMEN's corpse over Alan Moore's objections probably stopped buying much from DC Comics a while ago.

The guys who still run down to the comics shop every Wednesday for their pull list full of Batman and Green Lantern comics -- they didn't give a shit about Alan Moore or creators' rights. And that's the paying customer for DC today. Keep those guys content and you can manage decline for another few years.

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#601817 - 01/24/13 05:03 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Is that 50K sell-through? One serious problem mini-series have always had is that the first issue comes out around the same time the shops have to order the final issue. The retailer has no idea how the product is going to sell and he's already bought the whole thing. But BW has been released over a slightly less compressed time span, so maybe that's not applicable.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601818 - 01/24/13 05:26 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
No, the 50,000 figure is retailer orders through Diamond -- direct market orders, in other words -- but as you say, BEFORE WATCHMEN has been coming out for about six months now, so what we're seeing by November is a reflection of demand in stores.

That's why orders dropped from the initial (and ridiculous) 100,000-plus level to something half that. My guess would be, four or five months in, retailers had a decent idea of what they actually could sell.

Now -- having said that -- the two comics shops I've been in lately, I've seen a fair stack of unsold BEFORE WATCHMEN. Even now, I think, retailers probably are ordering too much. But that is purely anecdotal.

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#601827 - 01/28/13 11:26 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson

The guys who still run down to the comics shop every Wednesday for their pull list full of Batman and Green Lantern comics -- they didn't give a shit about Alan Moore or creators' rights. And that's the paying customer for DC today.


1. Why should any consumer care about Alan Moore's hurt feelings, because that's what this whole thing is about more than any reasonable concept of "creators' rights"?

2. The folks buying BW aren't just the paying customers for DC. Many of them are also probably paying customers for Marvel, Dark Horse and various Indy publishers. But even if all they did was buy DC, take them away and the whole Direct Market would collapse. So, those guys are actually fairly important to everyone who's still trying to make ink-n-paper comics.

Mike

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#601828 - 01/28/13 12:20 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Originally Posted By: MBunge
Why should any consumer care about Alan Moore's hurt feelings, because that's what this whole thing is about more than any reasonable concept of "creators' rights"?


On a surely unrelated matter, I for one look forward to the next twenty years of Batman, Batman, Batman, a little Superman, and more Batman.

Quote:
But even if all they did was buy DC, take them away and the whole Direct Market would collapse.


NO! MY PRECIOUS BATMAN!
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#601829 - 01/28/13 05:17 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Lawson Offline
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Ceci always makes me larf! laugh

I'm actually not too concerned about Alan Moore's hurt feelings. He's a big boy. And a warlock.

I am concerned about Alan Moore's rights as a creator. I am concerned about publishers who treat writers and artists and their original ideas like interchangeable widgets. I am concerned about talented guys like Darwyn Cooke -- that is where Allen and I disagree -- who seem content to crank out reproductions of other guy's ideas, rather than create something new in the world, and who sleep like babies after they cash paychecks bastardizing the work of a writer who begged them to please leave his story the hell alone.

I am concerned that all of this has produced a comic book industry dominated, as Ceci says, by Batman, Batman, little Superman and Batman. And across town at Marvel, there are now literally three dozen titles on the stands between the X-Men and the Avengers.

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#601846 - 02/03/13 11:07 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
I am concerned about Alan Moore's rights as a creator.


We reached the point a long time ago where we're just repeating the same points, but...

1. Alan Moore signed a contract.
2. There is no evidence that Moore didn't understand what he was signing.
3. There's no evidence that DC has done anything to violate that contract.

Alan Moore's "rights" as a creator have not been trampled upon. His preferences and desires surely have but his "rights" as a creator are not and never really have had anything to do with any of this.

And what has concerned me for a long time is that as comics has become a more and more ghettoized industry with a smaller and smaller audience, the discourse about comics becomes more and more dominated by people who insist the business reflect their ideological/aesthetic preferences without any regard for the business, you know, actually functioning as a business.

Oh, and Lawson? Do you know why a lot of the talented folks you so disdain are working in comics instead of other mediums? It's because they think comics are giving them the best deal they can get. How much creative freedom and integrity do you think exists in TV or movies? How much money do you think flows through the world of theatre?

Mike

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#601847 - 02/03/13 11:13 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
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What did Alan Moore sign?
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#601853 - 02/04/13 11:36 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Lawson Offline
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Originally Posted By: MBunge
Oh, and Lawson? Do you know why a lot of the talented folks you so disdain are working in comics instead of other mediums? It's because they think comics are giving them the best deal they can get.


Heh.

If you say so.

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#601854 - 02/04/13 12:59 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Originally Posted By: MBunge
And what has concerned me for a long time is that as comics has become a more and more ghettoized industry with a smaller and smaller audience, the discourse about comics becomes more and more dominated by people who insist the business reflect their ideological/aesthetic preferences without any regard for the business, you know, actually functioning as a business.


After being profitable enough to stay in print for over 20 years, Watchmen sold 1,000,000 copies in 2008. Obviously, the wisest business decision DC could make is: alienate Alan Moore.

Even if you assume Moore is being unreasonable,* it still makes financial sense to keep him happy. People don't put up with Kanye West's tantrums because of their ideological preferences. They put up with him because then you get to sell another Kanye West album.

---
*Because, y'know... you're dumb.
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#601855 - 02/04/13 01:48 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
jackdaw Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette
[quote=MBunge]
Even if you assume Moore is being unreasonable,* it still makes financial sense to keep him happy. People don't put up with Kanye West's tantrums because of their ideological preferences. They put up with him because then you get to sell another Kanye West album.



Exactly. DC may never have broken a contract with AM... but they have been pretty daft several times with the way they treated him.

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#601884 - 02/07/13 01:07 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: jackdaw]
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Minutemen #6...

It's the all-explication wrap-up issue. Good lord, what a mess. Okay, you ready?

Let's start with a nitpick — another of Cooke's anachronisms. On page two, Marilyn Monroe makes a cameo with "her husband, the baseball player." On page three, Cooke has Hollis note, "It had been two weeks since that night with Justice." Last issue, "that night with Justice" was revealed as occurring in 1955. Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were married from January 1954 to October 1954. I don't know if he's doing this on purpose, or whether he's really this lazy as a writer (I know he's a lazy artist).

On to more substantive criticism.


Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Anyway, the revelation hasn't come out yet, but I think we're going to find out that HJ was killed by Hollis.

Sort of, but not exactly. In the raid on HJ's tower, Hollis strangles Hooded Justice with the noose he wears around his own neck, seemingly killing him. HJ's boyfriend Captain Metropolis then mysteriously appears (despite Hollis and Mothman having a very difficult time of getting in) to prevent HJ being unmasked. So, of course that wasn't really HJ under the mask. It was Blake (and of course he wasn't actually dead). Blake had already killed Rolf Muller (who did have a dark past of abusing and killing children), but didn't believe the guy he killed was HJ because Muller was "pushing 60" (as Blake was 61 when he was killed). Presumably, Blake shoots Muller's corpse in the head (despite having strangled him with a belt) and dumps the body in the river. Blake then kidnaps the boy from earlier in this series to put Hollis onto HJ's dark secrets... as a revenge for HJ kicking his ass for trying to rape Sally way back when.

Blake does his trademark break-in routine on Hollis to explain it all, and to tell him to edit out the parts of his book where he tells the HJ story as he knew it (including his confessing to killing HJ?), with the threat of Hollis being assassinated if he didn't comply (as Blake holds the gold Nite Owl trophy, no less). Hollis says he complies by burning the original pages, so what was still left for Dreiberg to get so upset about is anyone's guess. It is implied but not stated that he may be Laurie's real father, so maybe that was it.

Even Hollis' garage gets a *SECRET ORIGIN*. Mothman bought it for him. The final panel is a bit ironic, and I'll assume Cooke is cognizant of it. Someone brings in an "obsolete model" for Hollis to work on and his prognosis is, "It'll never be like it was when it was new, but there's still plenty of life in this old baby."


Alt cover by Becky Cloonan. I'm not a fan, but it's still kinda sad.
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#601885 - 02/07/13 01:44 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
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Ozymandias #5...

"Being the world's smartest man does not, by extension, automatically make you the most creative." Pretty fitting opening for this issue, which just takes us through the background of setting up the telepathic squid attack. There's also a little sidestep into the street riots, which were apparently caused by the police going on strike when the costumed vigilantes proved too effective against crime so the cops didn't get their annual raise. Cameos by Doug Roth and Bernard the newsstand vendor.

Jae Lee continues his anti-Gibbons panel layouts, which is interesting, but his range of poses is appallingly spare and his tendency to silhouette is laughable.


Alt cover by Jill Thompson. Looks to be another rush job.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#601886 - 02/07/13 02:23 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
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Dollar Bill one-shot...

By-the-numbers origin story. Bill Brady, a down-on-his-luck small town boy who moves to New York takes on the role of the spokesman for the National Bank Company. In the initial interview for the job, Bill predictably says, "Can you at least get rid of the cape? It's bound to restrict my movements." After a media blitz popularizing their new mascot, the bank's lawyers (the firm of Dewey, Cheatham and Howe) advise Bill to apply to the Minutemen team, to which Bill balks because that's "REAL criminals using REAL guns with REAL bullets." Wein makes another biting social comment by having one of the lawyers say, "Trust me Billy-boy — it's safe as HOUSES." Then, in the tryouts for the team, a fat guy dressed like Robin Hood runs out before he even gets an interview because he's intimidated by Dollar Bill. Is Len Wein an Ayn Rand fan or something?

Steve Rude does an admirable enough job on the art. Of particular interest, however, is the fact that he also did the lettering. BY HAND. The guy's an idiot and a loser in both business and life, and of course a total douche for being involved in this trash, but I gotta give him props on his dedication to the craft (unless he's just too dumb to figure out how to letter with a computer?).


Alt cover by Darwyn Cooke. At least they didn't sully anyone else's reputation.

_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#601888 - 02/07/13 10:09 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Given how infrequently we get to enjoy a new comic book from Steve Rude, I'm sorry that this year's installment was a crappy BEFORE WATCHMEN tie-in.

I'll have to wait and see what Rude draws for 2014.

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#601922 - 02/20/13 05:06 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Comedian #5...

I have no idea what the point of this is supposed to be. Blake is involved in brutally terrorizing some Vietnamese villages — nothing new here — and the CIA proposes covering it up. The CIA's report ends up in the hands of Dick Nixon (who says "hurm" as he peruses the document) who then has it left on the doorstep of Bobby Kennedy. That's about it. I'll guess Azzarello thinks he's going to be clever and tie RFK's assassination to the Comedian as well. Yawn.


Alt cover by Gary Frank. Despite his being closely associated with Straczynski for many years, and not working on much besides corporate properties, I always liked his work. Ah, well.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601941 - 03/07/13 02:53 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
MBunge Offline
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Perhaps it's unfair to hold up Brian Azzarello as an example of all modern comic book writers, but the difference in competent plotting between his BW books and what an old school guy like Len Wein and TV guys like Cooke and JMS came up with is just night and day.

Mike

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#601943 - 03/09/13 08:06 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Dr. Manhattan #4...

So this crap is finally over with. After Osterman is done shepherding all the multiverses back into one convergent timeline, he still feels like there is something "wrong." He feels his only option is to surrender his powers to the judgment of the world's smartest man, Adrian Veidt. While Straczynski predictably fills many panels quoting lines from Moore's original script, he completely ignores one of the most memorable ones: "This world's smartest man means no more to me than does its smartest termite." We are to believe that it was Osterman who sought Veidt's mercy in order to figure out what the "static obscuring the future" (Watchmen #9, page 17, panel 3) might be and how to see past it, rather than simply Veidt seeking Osterman's cooperation to harness Osterman's powers into useful and lucrative technologies. So Veidt constructed (or at least had plans to construct) this veil over the future prior to having access to Osterman's power? Bitch, please.

As a strange side note, Ozymandias apparently cracked jokes like Spider-Man whilst fighting crime, albeit with a more professorial tone. Doc shows up during a thwarted museum heist with no panties on, and Ozy doesn't bat an eyelash. Weird.

In a lame attempt to try and muck with the panel arrangement (as Alan Moore so often does to brilliant effect), they flip seven pages upside-down during the time where Osterman has surrendered all judgment to Veidt. None of this section would make any sense whatsover to anyone who hasn't read the original — I thought the point of Before Watchmen was supposed to be expanding the audience? Oddly, things are only set aright at the point Veidt asks, "I did the right thing, didn't I?" Seriously? Something changed in Osterman's consciousness at *that* point?

The anti-climax of an ending is Doc landing on another planet and creating some life. Like that was actually necessary for us to see.

Decent enough artwork by Hughes and Martin. Lots of repeated panels. Probably more backgrounds in this issue than previous issues. An extremely fleshy schlong shot that not only wasn't necessary, it was anachronistic. Even after Ozymandias retired in 1975, and at least until 1977, Doc was still wearing shorts in public (Watchmen #4, pages 21 and 23). I guess Hughes just wanted to draw a schlong.

Alt cover by Boleslav Sienkiewicz. If it took him more than thirty minutes, I'd like an explanation.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601954 - 03/15/13 06:48 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Rorschach #4...

Three months later. But at least it's over.

To recap, Kovacs had asked his waitress girlfriend on a date, but got picked up by some of the pimp Rawhead's men before he could get there. The waitress is met by an ominous unidentified man. Also, there's a blackout in NYC and everybody's going crazy in the streets.

Rawhead steals Rorschach's mask to put on himself and go out in the street and act stupid, then is killed by some random guy with a baseball bat. Kovacs is left to die at the hands of one of Rawhead's thugs, but is saved when Rawhead's pet tiger (seen briefly last issue) attacks the thug. Kovacs retrieves his mask (with a "Hurm") and the scene jumps from 1977 to 1982.

Rorschach's journal entries are now handwritten, but he's still strangely focused on the events of five years earlier. The waitress had of course been attacked by the mysterious man, who even carved on her back the words "Bright Lies, Big City" (yet another anachronistic reference, this time to either the 1988 film, or the 1984 book it was based on, Bright Lights, Big City), but she apparently lived and testified against her attacker, who only served three years while awaiting trial then was acquitted on some legal technicality. Rorschach of course kills him. The end.

The attacker is identified by name, but it's just some random guy. The answer to my question as to how the waitress was disposed of was simply "Presumably, she left town." If there was a point to this story, I sure as hell missed it.

Somewhat more consistent art this time by Lee Bermejo. The photo references aren't quite so Bradstreet-ish. The cover is based on something else, but I can't quite put my finger on it right now. I'm thinking it's something by Frank Miller.

Alt cover by Lady Death leftover, Ivan Reis. Very bland.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601957 - 03/15/13 06:53 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
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Ironically, the first guy to die in the original series has the last Before Watchmen series to finish.
_________________________
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601961 - 03/20/13 02:34 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Ozymandias #6...

I had honestly forgotten there was still another issue of this to go. That's probably because there has been almost no new content in this entire series, just the same events we already knew from different angles. This issue is probably the most egregious offender in that regard. Wein even quotes a page from Straczynski's Moloch prequel, to give you an idea of how empty this thing is. More setup of the squid attack, and we get to see Blake's visit to the island. As with Doctor Manhattan creating life on another planet, like this was actually necessary for us to see. It finally ends with Veidt kicking in the door of Blake's apartment.

One interesting thing was how Wein disposes of the new character of Veidt's assistant. As Azzarello did with Kovacs' girlfriend in the final issue of his prequel, and Straczynski did with Twilight Lady in the final issue of Nite Owl, Veidt's faithful asistant Marla has to go bye-bye here, but in this case it's permanent. Marla had conveniently "stumbled in front of an oncoming city bus," but of course that was orchestrated by Veidt because she "knew too much." It's painfully obvious in all of these girl disposals the point was simply to reset everything back to zero to line up with the original.

Pathetically lame art this time by Jae Lee. Skewed faces and hands, bad anatomy, bad proportions, overuse of silhouettes, minimal backgrounds and even some repeated panels.

Alt cover by Ryan Sook. I thought he was pretty good after he stopped aping Mike Mignola and started trying to be JH Williams, but he's never done anything original. Sad, but not a huge loss.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601962 - 03/20/13 02:34 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Okay, so for real this time, I think all there is left is the last issue of Comedian.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601978 - 04/01/13 04:12 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN
06/2012: Comedian #1 of 6 -- 115,713
07/2012: Comedian #2 of 6 -- 70,762 (-38.9%)
08/2012: --
09/2012: Comedian #3 of 6 -- 55,114 (-22.1%)
10/2012: --
11/2012: --
12/2012: Comedian #4 of 6 -- 50,073 (- 9.2%)
01/2013: --
02/2013: Comedian #5 of 6 -- 44,393 (-11.3%)

BEFORE WATCHMEN: DOCTOR MANHATTAN
08/2012: Dr. Manhattan #1 of 4 -- 86,197
09/2012: --
10/2012: Dr. Manhattan #2 of 4 -- 57,226 (-33.6%)
11/2012: --
12/2012: Dr. Manhattan #3 of 4 -- 48,909 (-14.5%)
01/2013: --
02/2013: Dr. Manhattan #4 of 4 -- 43,273 (-11.5%)



A few observations:

1. The jagoffs producing BEFORE WATCHMEN couldn't come close to making their deadlines, even on mini-series based on other men's work.

2. The audience for BEFORE WATCHMEN seems to have been about 43,000 idiots. So a lot of people - I'm happy to say - likely lost money on this project. Every comics shop I've been in for the last six months has been sitting on unsold stacks of BEFORE WATCHMEN. Must have cost them dearly. Let that be a lesson to folks.

3. I'm gonna predict that, as trade collections, BEFORE WATCHMEN won't sell nearly as well as WATCHMEN does. So these fairly pitiful numbers? These are the majority of sales the project ever will see.

Was a comic desired by 43,000 people worth it?

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#601979 - 04/01/13 05:32 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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The hardcover reprints (two series per book) solicited last month. I can't help but wonder who in the fuck those are supposed to be aimed at. All the assholes who thought BW was a good idea already consumed their fill.
_________________________
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601980 - 04/02/13 09:38 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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There were something like 38 issues to Before Watchmen. At $3.99 a pop, that comes to more than $150 to answer the question, "So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get?"

Coulda' saved you some time and money, guys. The answer is, and always was, "pretty f'ing bad."
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#601981 - 04/02/13 09:41 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Yep.

A quarter-century after it first was published, WATCHMEN still sells decent numbers as a trade paperback. It's usually up there in the Top 100 for bookstores and the direct market. It stands the test of time.

BEFORE WATCHMEN, on the other hand, is likely to sink like a stone. I'll go ahead and bet that five years from now, you won't be able to walk into most bookstores or comics shops and find BEFORE WATCHMEN trades. They might be crammed into the $2-to-$5 trade boxes on the floor at comic conventions, along with all of those 9/11 tribute books.

Unfortunately, Darwyn Cooke, Amanda Conner, Len Wein, J. Michael Strawhewihicki, Adam Hughes, the Kuberts and the others who said "Fuck Alan Moore" to participate in this project got paid, regardless, and probably paid well.

On the bright side, everyone else involved with it likely took a bath, from DC Comics, which handed out the paychecks and commissioned dozens of variant covers to spread the guilt around, to retailers who stacked the copies high on their shelves, sure that this would be a best-seller.

It did my heart good to see the monthly sales figures for the BW books start at over 100,000 -- which meant a ton of them were ordered and published -- and end down around 40,000 pretty much across the line. Ouch!

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#601990 - 04/04/13 08:49 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
arthur pendragon Offline
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Maybe they should've titled the work, Grease 2 or The Sting II?! Before Watchmen?! After Ca$h was what they should've called it! I can see the capsule review on the trade now! "Less really isn't Moore!" smile

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#601991 - 04/04/13 12:31 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: arthur pendragon]
Lawson Offline
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This fellow at the Cleveland Pain Dealer says BEFORE WATCHMEN was such a financial and critical success for DC Comics that a sequel, AFTER WATCHMEN, is a lead-pipe cinch.


The series was a gamble that paid off big time. DC made a fortune, which is fortunate since I suspect they paid a fortune to get top-notch writers and artists to handle the series. But more importantly, the stories were good.


He's entitled to his opinion on whether the stories were "good." But since he's a journalist, I'd be curious to see the numbers that verify the "fortune" DC made. Yes, there was a lot of hype and a lot of controversy. Yet the sales data I look at show a paying audience of between 40,000 and 50,000 for most of the BEFORE WATCHMEN mini-series. That's not an extraordinary number, even by today's low standards.

This passage also irked me:


The most revealing chapters belonged to Ozymandias, the perfect man. The true extent of his plans to save the Earth, just how far he was willing to go, was laid bare.


Maybe it's his use of the word "true." Alan Moore wrote the original story. This was merely a knockoff, a follow-up, an attempt by other, lesser writers to fill in gaps that they perceived. Only one man can tell me anything "true" about the motivations of any of the WATCHMEN characters, and that's Alan Moore.

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#601993 - 04/04/13 08:39 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
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I'm only two paragraphs in, and he's already made an error. The final issue of Ozymandias is not the last issue. The final issue of the Comedian is scheduled for release on April 24th.
_________________________
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601994 - 04/05/13 05:41 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
HouseOfMisterE Offline
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The official DC checklist has Ozymandias last and Comedian next-to-last (with February 2013 release dates). That guy probably Googled it.

http://www.dccomics.com/blog/2012/06/05/before-watchmen

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#601996 - 04/05/13 11:30 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: HouseOfMisterE]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Interesting. He didn't even read it. That explains his enthusiasm.
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#602045 - 04/12/13 10:00 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7086
And apparently Steve Rude never read even the original Watchmen:

Originally Posted By: Steve Rude
I certainly hadn't heard of this "Dollar Bill", nor had I exactly been keeping up with any of the news regarding DC's re-launch of the Watchmen group.

http://lxng.blogspot.com/2013/02/who-watches-watchdude.html


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"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#602075 - 04/28/13 05:08 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
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Comedian #6...


Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
I'll guess Azzarello thinks he's going to be clever and tie RFK's assassination to the Comedian as well. Yawn.

Yes. But as usual, the story has to have about a dozen "twists" along the way.

Blake gets kicked out of Vietnam for allegedly inspiring the troops... the North Vietnamese troops... with his antics of slaughtering a village in #5. That's an interesting reversal on the plot of the recent Captain America movie, I suppose, but is Azzarello saying Blake only did it this one time? I always assumed that the event depicted in Watchmen #4, panels 5 and 6 was something Blake had done with some regularity.

This also contradicts the GIGANTIC plot point that Blake was still in Vietnam when Doctor Manhattan arrived there and ended the war (leading me to ask *AGAIN*... how many editors were involved in this shit?). It's just as well, though, since once he gets back to superhero-ing in the States (a clunky and pointless cameo by Rorschach and Nite Owl Dan) he's not wearing a mask and has no scar on his face. (nor even wearing smiley-face makeup as depicted in a previous issue)

G. Gordon Liddy informs Blake there's a CIA plot to assassinate Bobby Kennedy. RFK reverses the latenight break-in routine to tell Blake that he knows about the village incident and that he's going to tell the press. Blake says, no, I'll confess to it and do some jail time. Blake does not tell RFK about the assassination plot. Blake lets brainwashed CIA operative Sirhan Sirhan attempt his mission, but the kid is an amateur with a weak "pea shooter" so Blake kills RFK himself (then presumably never confesses to his village-burning). Oddly, Blake has no blood on his suit as he leaves the Ambassador Hotel — with RFK in a headlock like that and the angle at which he was holding the gun, Blake should not only have blood all over himself, he would have also shot himself in the right bicep.

The story ends with Blake showing remorse by beating his head against the steering wheel of his car, making his own blood drip down on his smiley face button (so original). The underlying error being reinforced here is that Blake did not assassinate his close personal friend JFK, puncuated by a closeup of the lower half of his face, sans scar. Epic fucking fail.

Another interesting point is Liddy's making the point that Nixon wanted to end the war by "winning" it. It's obvious this story was written before the recent revelation that candidate Nixon actually intervened to *continue* the war for political gain. OOPS.


More bland art, toggling between photo reference and careless faking. Jones does the Gibbons 9-panel on only two pages, for seemingly no reason, and then drops out of it in the middle of a scene to revisit the famous pose from Gibbons' Watchmen teaser ad with the Comedian sniping out a window, except this time it's Blake in just his tighty-whiteys. There are several other panels of Blake in his bulging undies. Remember the Jann Jones extramarital manhunter controversy from a few years back? Did Jones' wife cheat on him because he's gay? Bizarre shot selections, at any rate.

Several pages done in grayscale, I guess to indicate black-and-white television footage, but there are numerous panels in that range which couldn't possibly have been shot by a TV camera.


Alt cover by style-less generic nobody, Rafael Albuquerque.
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"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#602076 - 04/28/13 05:12 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7086
And hopefully that's the end of that. But for some reason, I doubt it.
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"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
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— Bob Kane

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#602209 - 06/25/13 09:39 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Bleeding Cool says that, this week, DC is releasing the first of the BEFORE WATCHMEN deluxe edition hardcovers.

DC is slapping positive reviews of the project on the back cover, as is traditional.

Unfortunately, not a lot of credible reviewers loved BEFORE WATCHMEN.

So DC got creative in how it cut and spliced the reviews.

To cite a couple of examples ...


What is says on the book:

“It’s hard to resist the notion of Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner working together.” - Craveonline

What the review actually said:

"As skeevy as it feels to go ahead with a prequel project against the expressed wishes of the creator of the original masterpiece, the fact remains that some very top-shelf artists are writing and drawing stories based on very familiar and beloved characters, and it's hard to resist the notion of Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner working together, even if it's giving us a Silk Spectre miniseries many of us never thought we needed."


What it says on the book:

“Jae Lee’s artwork makes Ozymandias the most visually distinct of the Before Watchmen titles.” - The A.V. Club / The Onion

What the review actually said:

"The plot largely retreads material from Watchmen. Sticking to Moore’s groundwork makes this a stronger entry than Nite Owl, although the emphasis on narration makes the book feel inactive. It’s a classic example of “show, don’t tell,” and it would be nice to see more of the story come out through action between characters rather than an extensive monologue with pictures. Granted, those pictures are breathtaking, and Jae Lee’s artwork makes Ozymandias the most visually distinct of the Before Watchmen titles."

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#602210 - 06/25/13 11:23 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7086
Wow. When you think they can't get any more shameless...
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"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#602211 - 06/25/13 11:57 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
What DC can put on the book:

"Dan DiDio is a champion." - Lawson

What I actually said:

"He doesn't show any ability for writing, editing or publishing comic books, or managing creative talent, or coming up with fresh ideas. But according to local law enforcement, when it comes to having sexual relations with farm animals, Dan DiDio is a champion. Unfortunately, that sort of thing is a felony in every state."

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#602212 - 06/25/13 03:44 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 2840
It's a shame that DC would sully the integrity of Before Watchmen by being disrespectful to an author's work like that.
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#602214 - 06/27/13 05:39 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Wow. When you think they can't get any more shameless...


It is really quite astonishing.

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