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Summer of Love 01: Middle Tier Comics

June 4th, 2008 by | Tags: , , , ,

One post a day for as long as I can manage it. Let’s get it in!

The first post is not even on my blog, and therefore means that I lost before I even started. JK Parkin of Blog@Newsarama asked me to do a guest blog for their I Heart Comics summer piece. I wrote I Heart The Middle Tier. It went live today. My partner-in-crime Matt Silady (of MattSilady.com, natch), did one last week. It is on the new Golden Age.

An excerpt from mine:

Can you imagine a Superman comic where Clark Kent hangs up the cape and simply decides to chill out on the farm in Smallville for a few months and do nothing? Or a Batman comic where Bruce Wayne pours his Batmobile budget into the Martha Wayne Foundation? What if Tony Stark hung up his armor and we got twelve issues of Tony Stark brokering business deals, picking out thousand dollar suits, and trying to appease his stockholders– how about that?

Those books would feel weird. We’re used to getting a certain kind of story out of the top tier comics. Superman’s gotta punch people, Batman’s gotta scare people, and Spidey’s gotta make bad jokes. The stories usually need to have some kind of attention paid to continuity or something to do with shake-ups or lasting changes. If you’re writing a character who doesn’t have these expectations, though, you can get away with a lot more.

Go check it out.

While I’m here, if you’re a video game fan, go visit SOCOM.com and see what part of my day job is like.

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10 comments to “Summer of Love 01: Middle Tier Comics”

  1. Daredevil: Wrath Of The Paperwork
    Iron Man: The Audit Of All Time
    Batman: Convincing chicks the scars aren’t unusual.


  2. Newsarama? You’re officially bigtime now.

    Also I don’t like their new design (and apparently it breaks in IE6 – thanks for the shitty browser, work).


  3. “Can you imagine a Superman comic where Clark Kent hangs up the cape and simply decides to chill out on the farm in Smallville for a few months and do nothing?”

    Having watched Smallville, I don’t NEED to. Dude is convinced he needs to help run the farm, without powers, even though his dad died & his mom became a full-time Senator.


  4. Dude you had with a series about Opal.I’d draw that book.


  5. I really can’t imagine that Clark Kent hangs up the cape..

    I have not check out the page yet, but I’ll try to go over with that if I have time. Anyway, keep up the good job! ;)


  6. A more appropriate and likely comic would be a series in which Superman hangs up being Clark Kent, or Batman gives up pretending to be Bruce Wayne.

    All though 10 issues of Tony Stark running his business might be readable. The guy is allergic to stability and routine, so I’d expect that he’d play as loose with his finances as he does with his metal tights.


  7. FYI the new newsarama clickthrough scheme is an abomination.


  8. “A more appropriate and likely comic would be a series in which Superman hangs up being Clark Kent, or Batman gives up pretending to be Bruce Wayne.”

    I enjoyed Kingdom Come too.


  9. Yes indeed. That idea isn’t played out, you know.

    I maintain that an armorless Tony Stark could still work as a comic.


  10. I tried to comment on your Newsarama piece last week, but the comment didn’t come through (I think).

    Anyway, I totally agree with you. I’m usually allergic to bigwig characters and prefer the, err, C-list cannon fodder, where a writer can come in and have a long run and really make a dent. I’ve made exceptions — unusual creative teams have led to me recently getting into DC via Wonder Woman and Supergirl — but usually I tend to go for the moderately obscure.

    There are a lot of reasons for this. One big one is that newer characters often fall into this category, and characters created in the last ten years or so are much more likely to appeal to me. You’re not going to get many queer characters in the top or even second tier, nor even very many female characters.