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Old March 27th, 2014   Sp33df0rc3 is offline   #17
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Some fanboys-turned-writer crank out what could be considered little more than sanctioned fanfic.
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After his Wally run and his JSA/Hawkman stuff, this is what I saw Geoff's work turn into: his Teen Titans (especially his Superboy as Lex/Kal's clone), his GL and his Barry Allen were all this, and that's why I feel his work took a bit of a dive. Also, why he went out of his way to basically mangle Bart into...whatever he was. I honestly feel good about the reboot only in the respect that Bart was put down finally. God I miss Impulse.
 
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Old March 27th, 2014   Matches is offline   #18
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None of Venditti's DC work has been all that great in my opinion. Just felt kind of flat to me for whatever reason. But his X-O Manowar for Valiant has been consistently good since it started.
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I second the recommendation for X-O Manowar. Really solid science fiction book, and I'm a guy who (a) had no prior experience with the character and (b) generally doesn't care for hard sci-fi. I haven't read any of Venditti's DC work but X-O is a very good read.

Also I find the notion that one has to be a longtime fan/ reader of a character in order to write it well ridiculous, and in fact a lot of times I think fandom gets in the way. Exhibit A in the other direction IMO is Mark Waid's Fantastic Four, which may be the best thing he's ever written even though he had never been an F4 fan before taking over the book. (Basically Mike Wieringo talked him into it.)
 
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Old March 27th, 2014   Penny Dreadful is offline   #19
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Hmmm, how many Flash Comics had Gardner Fox and Harry Lampert read when they were kids?

I'm not sure being a fan of a character is a pre-requisite for being able to write a character well.
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I was thinking the same thing, and I have an analogy. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, was directed by Nicholas Meyer, who'd never seen an episode of the show when he was hired. From what I understand, he went back and watched the original series to familiarize himself. Yet Star Trek II is considered a classic.

If handled properly, an outsider's perspective can offer a fresh take and maybe revitalize things. Note the operative phrase: "If handled properly."
 
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Old March 27th, 2014   Amentep is offline   #20
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But those classic strip guys are the best- Caniff, Raymond, Foster? 'Nuff said.
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The reason why I picked H.G. Peter is he was in his late 40s by the time Caniff, Raymond or Fosters earliest works were published. Heck, he was 25 before Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland premiered!

But then we're talking writers, and a lot of those guys were, indeed, much younger (although many of them as influenced by the hero pulps as they were the classic adventure strips of the late 20s and 30s).

What kind of argument is this?
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Its the kind of argument where I point out that pre-knowledge of a subject as a necessary component to quality of creative writing is illogical.

Provided he can do research, being a fan shouldn't be a requirement for writing comics.

They created the Flash, how are the supposed to read it beforehand?
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And yet others are making the argument that having read the Flash - nay having read and been a fan of the Flash is a pre-requisite for writing it now. Why the double standard? Either being a fan of the Flash is a requirement to write the Flash or it isn't.

There are people saying that it is, and I'm trying to point out that probably the vast majority of people working on the Flash until the mid-60s (if not later) probably did not grow up as a fan of the Flash.

And I'm sure that a fan of said character that has read a lot of the character makes for a better storyteller than the one that hasn't.
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So, you'd rather have a bad writer who is a fan than a good writer who isn't a fan simply because you think being a fan automatically over-rules skill and ability?

Mr. Kroc, you haven't made a Big Mac before. Are you sure you know what the hell you're doing?
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What the "fan" argument is saying is, "Mr. Kroc, you're not entitled to make a Big Mac unless you grew up eating and enjoying Big Macs".

And that to me is ridiculous.
 
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Old March 27th, 2014   JRM is offline   #21
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After his Wally run and his JSA/Hawkman stuff, this is what I saw Geoff's work turn into: his Teen Titans (especially his Superboy as Lex/Kal's clone), his GL and his Barry Allen were all this, and that's why I feel his work took a bit of a dive. Also, why he went out of his way to basically mangle Bart into...whatever he was. I honestly feel good about the reboot only in the respect that Bart was put down finally. God I miss Impulse.
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There is nothing in this that I would disagree with. At one point I felt Geoff was outstanding, especially at pulling broken pieces into something that made sense - and then he went on his "rebirth kick"

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Old March 27th, 2014   flashsuper is offline   #22
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Its the kind of argument where I point out that pre-knowledge of a subject as a necessary component to quality of creative writing is illogical.

Provided he can do research, being a fan shouldn't be a requirement for writing comics.



And yet others are making the argument that having read the Flash - nay having read and been a fan of the Flash is a pre-requisite for writing it now. Why the double standard? Either being a fan of the Flash is a requirement to write the Flash or it isn't.

There are people saying that it is, and I'm trying to point out that probably the vast majority of people working on the Flash until the mid-60s (if not later) probably did not grow up as a fan of the Flash.



So, you'd rather have a bad writer who is a fan than a good writer who isn't a fan simply because you think being a fan automatically over-rules skill and ability?



What the "fan" argument is saying is, "Mr. Kroc, you're not entitled to make a Big Mac unless you grew up eating and enjoying Big Macs".

And that to me is ridiculous.
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Yikes! Blast! Holy sheep dip! I though I was keeping the greasy side down? I can't and won't argue anymore. When it comes down to a line by line surgical strike argument, I have neither the temperment, nor the time.

My opinion is this: I feel that someone that has read comics and read a certain character in particular and is a fan (has a passion) for the character has a better chance to write a better product than one that hasn't.

If that isn't a valid point (which it seems not to be), nay uneducated opinion sounds better right?, then I guess I am ridiculous.

Sorry to have wasted thread space with such an obvious lack of wisdom. My heart weighs heavy and my head hangs low.
 
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Old March 27th, 2014   Alan is offline   #23
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Interesting comment on topic from Gail Simone on her return to writing a Marvel comic.

Gail Simone: It's an interesting feeling for sure, trading batarangs for adamantium, even for one issue. You mention "exploring," and that was really the funnest thing about my time at Marvel. I knew the Marvel characters, but I considered myself more of an expert in the DCU as a reader. So every character who appeared in my Deadpool run, I would research them and that really was a blast; it did feel like exploring.

So, it can be done. People can research stuff they didn't grow up with and write moderately successful comics. Who knew?
 
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Old March 28th, 2014   darthlucifuge is offline   #24
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To me a good story matters far more than knowing every single inch of any given characters history.
Vast knowledge can be a bonus sure, but it also can stifle and lead a writer to relying to heavily on continuity or being biased.
Continuity is a tool and favoritism and character bias is a cancer on the industry.

The story should always matter... everything else is just icing.
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Old March 28th, 2014   Mr. Wrong is offline   #25
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Yikes! Blast! Holy sheep dip! I though I was keeping the greasy side down? I can't and won't argue anymore. When it comes down to a line by line surgical strike argument, I have neither the temperment, nor the time.

My opinion is this: I feel that someone that has read comics and read a certain character in particular and is a fan (has a passion) for the character has a better chance to write a better product than one that hasn't.

If that isn't a valid point (which it seems not to be), nay uneducated opinion sounds better right?, then I guess I am ridiculous.

Sorry to have wasted thread space with such an obvious lack of wisdom. My heart weighs heavy and my head hangs low.
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Your opinion is as valid as anyone else's!

In fact, on the specific point of a writer never having read any comics much at all, I definitely think that has lots of potential for "suck", because writing a comic and writing for a TV show or prose fiction is very, very different. You can't just waltz in without some understanding of how the writer and artist (and colorist and letterer) have to work together to produce a story.
 
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Old March 28th, 2014   Amentep is offline   #26
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Yikes! Blast! Holy sheep dip! I though I was keeping the greasy side down? I can't and won't argue anymore. When it comes down to a line by line surgical strike argument, I have neither the temperment, nor the time.

My opinion is this: I feel that someone that has read comics and read a certain character in particular and is a fan (has a passion) for the character has a better chance to write a better product than one that hasn't.

If that isn't a valid point (which it seems not to be), nay uneducated opinion sounds better right?, then I guess I am ridiculous.

Sorry to have wasted thread space with such an obvious lack of wisdom. My heart weighs heavy and my head hangs low.
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I clearly came off harsher than I ever intended - particularly so since I didn't intend to be harsh at all; it wasn't my intention to shut down discussion or even to say your opinions are invalid - and as I clearly did that I apologize.

Your opinion is your opinion and I support you 100% in having it. I disagree almost entirely with your opinion, but by golly feel free to have it and to express it.

I don't think its necessary to have read comics (in general) to write comics but it certainly helps to know the medium you're writing for (writing for a novel isn't the same as for a comic which isn't the same as writing for a tv show which isn't the same as writing for a movie).

IMO you don't have to go any further than Paul Malmont's Doc Savage story at DC from a few years ago to show someone who (based on praise for his novels) is a skilled author of prose but who clearly struggled adjusting to the comics medium and the flow and narrative of monthly comics.

I disagree entirely that you have to be a fan of a character to write that character (as, IMO, research should allow one to be as knowledgeable about the character as a fan). However if the writer can't be bothered to do the research...

Anyhow I am sorry that you felt attacked or that your opinion wasn't valid or wanted here, totally not my intention but entirely my fault. So again please forgive my error.
 
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Old March 28th, 2014   Scott Mateo is offline   #27
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In fact, on the specific point of a writer never having read any comics much at all, I definitely think that has lots of potential for "suck", because writing a comic and writing for a TV show or prose fiction is very, very different. You can't just waltz in without some understanding of how the writer and artist (and colorist and letterer) have to work together to produce a story.
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More often than not, writers unfamiliar with the source material usually end up steamrolling over old ideas rather than bringing new ones to the table.

Why should I be emotionally invested in the character they're writing if they never were to begin with?

I look at it this way: the writers at Marvel are fans of Marvel comics. The editors are fans.

I enjoy Marvel more because of that.

And Marvel still beats DC sales-wise most of the time.

Seems like they're doing something right with their creative staff, I don't see their freelancers or creators under contract bitching about Marvel as much as they do about DC.

And that's why there's so much editorial interference at DC. The writers are unfamiliar with the source material, so editorial (equally unfamiliar) dictates, and everyone bitches when it turns to crap.
 
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Old March 28th, 2014   Amentep is offline   #28
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I don't think the dictatorial approach to editing at DC has anything to do with unfamiliarity with the source material* as much as it does with Didio following a TV show model for producing stories which is usually heavily influenced by a show-runner as opposed to writer driven with editorial to create stories as comics typically are.

Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire both are fans (AFAIK) of some of the books they've written and the vast majority of their New 52 work leaves me uninterested, so I don't think the problem is "lack of fandom".

*Not like a complete reboot needs a lot of source material to begin with anyhow.
 
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Old March 28th, 2014   Matches is offline   #29
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I don't really view the thousands of previous Flash comics as source material for next month's issue anyway - source material to me means something that you are adapting, usually into another medium. If you're setting out to make a Flash TV show, then sure - the comics are the source material. But I don't view Robert Venditti's or Ven Jensen's job as "adapting" previous comics into next month's comic.

And yea, the previous issues are always out there, so if "research" is needed it certainly can be done. IMO the point of that research, though, is to get a handle on who the character(s) is and what types of stories generally serve him/her well - IOW what makes the character tick. That type of research doesn't necessarily improve with bulk - IOW you can gain just as much insight into the Flash from ONE previous comic than a hundred of them.

Now if the point of the research is to amass as much knowledge of continuity trivia as possible, then sure - reading 100 comics > reading 1 comic. I just don't see that as having anything at all to do with the fundamentals of putting together a good story, especially at present-day DC where all those previous stories are out of continuity anyway.
 
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Old March 29th, 2014   HushedRuin is offline   #30
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DC - "hey, we're gonna reboot The Flash mythos."

FANS: "We want EVERYONE WE HAD BEFORE, AND NOW!!!"

DC: "Uh, that doesn't really make sense to just start out with four Flashes again. So, we're going with Barry as The Flash and Bart as Kid Flash in 'Teen Titans'."

FANS: "Where's Wally!!!???"

FANS: "We want more multiculture in our comics!"

DC: "Ok, well, we're gonna bring Wally back into the picture soon."

BLEEDING COOL: "Wally 2.0 is gonna be black."

FANS: "WHATISTHIS, THISISCRAP, WHYWOULDYOUDOSUCHATHING!!!"

DC: "Guys, chill. Just let us tell the story."
 
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Old March 29th, 2014   flashsuper is offline   #31
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More often than not, writers unfamiliar with the source material usually end up steamrolling over old ideas rather than bringing new ones to the table.

Why should I be emotionally invested in the character they're writing if they never were to begin with?

I look at it this way: the writers at Marvel are fans of Marvel comics. The editors are fans.

I enjoy Marvel more because of that.

And Marvel still beats DC sales-wise most of the time.

Seems like they're doing something right with their creative staff, I don't see their freelancers or creators under contract bitching about Marvel as much as they do about DC.

And that's why there's so much editorial interference at DC. The writers are unfamiliar with the source material, so editorial (equally unfamiliar) dictates, and everyone bitches when it turns to crap.
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Maybe it would have been a wee bit clearer if I used Scott's example to help describe my opinion as well. Thanks buddy. When one is a fan of the company's product to begin with, they are more likely to produce a better product because they are more emotionally involved since they are writing about heroes/villains that mean something to them and not just somebody that knows about the character through pop culture references.

By the way, Scott, I added Iron Man to my pull list, starting the Rings of the Mandarin storyline.
 
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Old March 30th, 2014   Sp33df0rc3 is offline   #32
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DC - "hey, we're gonna reboot The Flash mythos."

FANS: "We want EVERYONE WE HAD BEFORE, AND NOW!!!"

DC: "Uh, that doesn't really make sense to just start out with four Flashes again. So, we're going with Barry as The Flash and Bart as Kid Flash in 'Teen Titans'."

FANS: "Where's Wally!!!???"

FANS: "We want more multiculture in our comics!"

DC: "Ok, well, we're gonna bring Wally back into the picture soon."

BLEEDING COOL: "Wally 2.0 is gonna be black."

FANS: "WHATISTHIS, THISISCRAP, WHYWOULDYOUDOSUCHATHING!!!"

DC: "Guys, chill. Just let us tell the story."
ddf
HushedRuin View Post
I think the point is more that DC wanted to tell stories with Barry because he has a stand-alone origin, while a large percentage of the fanbase wanted Wally, or at least a very vocal portion of it. I can understand why DC did what they did:

1. They wanted a silver age set up and team, and that means barry
2. They brought back barry and used him for the reboot, so he was clearly more on the cards
3. Wally starts off as a sidekick, so if they were to theoretically just go straight up Wally as flash, there's a lot of implied history.

However, they did not need to bring barry back, that was done as a very (imo) selfish move on Geoff's part because he wanted "his" heroes back. I think that while a large appeal of Wally is his story of growing from a sidekick into a hero, his basic character is more engaging and entertaining than Barry. In fact, Barry seems to be acquiring more Wally traits as time goes on, which really annoys me. I think a lot of fans would be fine if Wally just had Barry's origin, which worked fine in Justice League/Unlimited, and to be honest, if you really want to start from scratch and tell new stories, going with Wally as the flat out original Flash of the New 52 would have been a very bold and interesting step.

I do get that Barry is a very optimistic and earnest hero, but a lot of that seems undercut by his new "origin", which, I cannot stress, is the most frustrating and annoying plothole of the whole 52 set up: how can you have Thawne murder Barry's mom without having a backdoor out of the entire set up you have? Barry's origin basically implies the original DCU's existence, in fact necessitates it. I've been wondering how the heck this will work in the CW TV show, since Barry needs to be the Flash to have Thawne want to kill his mom, so it's not like they can say that in the "original" timeline Barry wasn't the flash, because that timeline is necessary to the Reverse Flash' creation.

The whole thing is a headache and even for the Flash is pretty dang convoluted.

As for Wally 2.0 being black, who cares? This isn't Wally West really, and would you want the original, true red-head Wally in this universe? The New 52 is pretty meh. I'm interested in the character because it will be one of the few we get to see actually built from the ground up, and to me, Wally was always a smart-alleck with a bit of a rough streak in him, so as long as that is maintained, I don't mind much what Wally 2.0 is race-wise. Again, he's not really Wally.
 
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