For the last few years, DC has had a ‘Sunday Conversation’ panel at the end of Wonder-Con. Although by that time I’m usually fishing around in my back for snacks I might have forgotten about last week and stealing extra paper towels from the bathrooms to use as tissues due to the first ugly stirrings of that year’s Con Crud, I always go.
Basically, it’s a random assortment of DC people to come by and talk about comics. No announcements. No selling anything. They just sit around and talk about the old comic book stores they used to haunt, what parts of comics they love, and some banter with the audience. It’s just yakking about comics, which is why most of us go to cons in the first place.
This year, however, I heard JT Krul talk about fan involvement, and how they try to work out the best stories. He mentioned that at a previous con, Dan Didio had come to him and told him that the Cry for Justice story reaction really wasn’t what they had wanted, and that they had worked for five hours on how to respond, story-wise.
As someone who has grown out of her juvenile, “They all just sit around, stroking white cats and laughing and figuring out how to piss off the fans,” phase, but is still plenty juvenile enough to throw tantrums about storylines, especially that one, the remark caught my attention.
I know that comics creators want to write a good story, and also a popular story. Although I’ve seen gallows humor from people who had made some unpopular calls, everyone wants their work, and their vision, to be enjoyed by everyone. I also no that they never get that. There is no story so safe, so brilliant, and so popular that it doesn’t have a few people frothing at the mouth.
While Cry for Justice continuity had more than its share of detractors, I’ve seen at least some support for it almost everywhere. I wonder, what is it that makes creators decide to ‘work’ on a story they’ve already planned? It can’t be just fan reaction. Spend the entire day measuring that, and you won’t get anything else done. Trust me.
Is it the overall scale of the reaction, or the vehemence? Is it how long it’s sustained? Or whether stop the usual tongue baths that they give out at conventions and start complaining when they meet creators face-to-face? Is it the way people point the finger of blame at different people, or is it whether or not they use that old, “I’m not buying DC/Marvel/Boom/comics anymore!”
. . . Oh, let’s face it. If I knew, there’s no way that I’d use that knowledge wisely.