Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

June 6, 2005

Newsarama Covers Wizardworld Philly

If you're a fan of the back-and-forth positioning battles of mainstream comics companies, Newsarama's thorough coverage of Wizardworld Philly must be like Christmas in June. This killer page sums everything up.

I think I'm beginning to understand what's going on now, at least generally. Here's my guess. DC Comics is going through a stage of (relatively) long-range planning and consolidated (not just firm) editorial control. They've become really successful at placing various hot-shotted titles into the top 20. Their problem seems to be that very little of this sales movement becomes reflected back into the regular titles, by which I mean titles working out of their core concept as opposed to being on some special run. So while the "Whatever Crisis of Blobbity-blah" is sure to sell in great numbers, the whole key to this is the "one-year-later" recalibration of its regular titles and if that provides enough "special event" juice to make more people want to buy Batman solving a crime and not just Batman going though a deadly gauntlet that encompasses his entire career's worth of foes or whatever. The popular Superman/Batman may be the model for a book that retains some of that special event feel while working out of a relatively faithful extrapolation of concept.

Marvel on the other hand has done a better job of scoring more core-concept hits and probably has a stronger line-up of writers on a one-on-one basis, but a natural competitiveness and being unwilling to give up the floor to DC puts them in a position of doing special events, which was more of a Jim Shooter-era strength, and puts some strain on their more effective writers to do a bit more work than might be ideal.

Well, that's what I'm going with. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Newsarama also did a nice job finding someone to finally go on the record about Frank Miller being a guest at the Wizard flagship show in Chicago, something suspected and/or sworn to by people unwilling to go public. And the reveal of Peter David moving his Fallen Angel to IDW suggests that the mainstream companies may not be the most desirable place to have creator-owed work right now. IDW also gets the Ed Brubaker/Sean Phillips follow-up to Sleeper, I'm pretty certain.
posted 9:38 am PST | Permalink

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