“Trying to guard the fortress of a king they’ve never seen or met”

April 14th, 2012 by | Tags: ,


“I’m happy to say that every single person sitting on this stage right now was at the top of the wish list,” he continued, saying he had “complete faith” in executing the series. DiDio also said he expected “more of a negative reaction” to the initial announcement. “What happened was incredible. Everyone I talked to was excited about it,” saying “all the concerns went away” when people heard about the creative talent.

After calling up a “mildly skeptical” fan to meet with Senior Vice President of Sales Bob Wayne, Wayne began showing the fan some material shown at the Diamond Retailer Summit.

After calling up a “mildly skeptical” fan to meet with Senior Vice President of Sales Bob Wayne, Wayne began showing the fan some material shown at the Diamond Retailer Summit.

“It tells it from his early childhood and becoming the Owl, his partnership with Rorschach and how that went badly,” said Straczynski, who specifically referenced the moment in “Watchmen” where the Silk Spectre found a signed picture of the Twilight Lady.

For “Minutemen,” DiDio said he felt Darwyn Cooke was the best choice for the book before Joe Kubert made a surprise appearance as a late addition to the panel.

Straczynski, characterized working with the Kuberts as “extraordinary.” “The work has just been phenomenal,” he said. “It’s so tight, you see such emotion in the characters, it’s just an awful lot of fun. What tickles me enormously is I get to see everyone else’s stuff and you guys have no idea what’s coming at you.”

The mildly skeptical fan was brought onto the stage after Wayne’s mini-presentation and said, “My skepticism has been put to rest and the artwork is beautiful.”

Good news, y’all. All of your concerns about the dubious business practices of DC Comics and how they basically robbed Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons of the rights to Watchmen have been resolved! DC found a paid shill to sit in the audience and pretend to be skeptical, all so that they could put on a song and dance to show us that the art looks nice!

Let me be the first to say WHEW! I’m glad that they managed to get the people at the top of their list, too, since Kevin Smith, Grant Morrison, and Frank Quitely all turned them down. That’s how you know they’re being truthful: there’s no hype, just hard-hitting facts. Funnybook Babylonian Chris Eckert has more on DC’s effective and inspiring marketing scheme here, and a hint for what JMS’s book might be like!

Our worries have been all for naught, so please rest assured that the art looks nice, and therefore the work is legally and morally correct! I don’t know about you, but I’m sure glad that this was resolved with a minimum of bloodshed and mealy-mouthed, spineless justificatiowhoops, hang on, I’m getting another transmission…

Straczynski addressed the online criticism of Alan Moore and said he got it on an emotional level. “Alan Moore is a genius. No question,” said Straczynski. “On the other hand, he’s been using characters like the Invisible Man, Peter Pan, Jekyl and Hyde in what one fan basically called fan fiction — in ways their original creators probably wouldn’t have approved of. … You stand on a slippery slope when you use the moral high ground.” “Did Alan Moore get a crummy contract? Yes. So has everyone at this table. Worse was Segal and Shuster, worse was a lot of people.” The writer went on to credit Dan DiDio for pushing the project through, despite the fact that most would not touch it.

He’s right! You know he’s right. Just admit he’s right. JMS has said this before, but since Alan Moore sometimes uses characters created by people who got to enjoy the money, fame, and recognition of the full lifespan of those characters before they died and the characters lapsed into public domain and therefore belong to the culture at large, enriching all of us, Moore is a hypocrite! Worse than that, he’s the most odious type of hypocrite! A fanfic hypocrite! I mean, what kind of writer works on things he didn’t invent himself? Slip and fall down your slippery slope, Alan, and take your moral high ground (how do I type with a whiny baby voice? is there an html tag for that?) with you.

I mean, who does he think he is? Have you seen this amazing moral high ground that he apparently has claimed? “Hey fellas, I got screwed over, and have been regularly screwed over the past dozen or so years by DC pulping my comics, interfering with my work, and hassling my friends. Please don’t help them screw me even more. I would like it very much if they would stop screwing me so that I can go back to smoking weed and writing books and hanging out with my wife instead of answering interminable interview questions about things that I’d like to put behind me.”

The nerve of this guy. All of us sign bad contracts, Alan. Siegel and Shuster and Kirby and Gerber and JMS, the creator of much-beloved space ships and lasers show Babylon 5 and dude famous for walking off comics because he gets bored or writes bad comics or something, got screwed, Alan. Do you think you’re better than us, Alan? Do you think you don’t deserve to be screwed like the rest of us, Alan? Huh? Do you? Are you saying that you deserve to be treated better than Jack “King” Kirby? Is that it?

Whatta prick.

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35 comments to ““Trying to guard the fortress of a king they’ve never seen or met””

  1. Not very often I agree with you, but this time, man…you nailed it.

  2. :damn:

  3. Nuke ’em all from orbit.

  4. […] and a Bold Prediction Posted by Chris Eckert on Sunday, April 15th, 2012 at 01:13:07 AM Looks like Brothers mopped up the whole odious “moral high ground” statement from today’s Before Watchmen panel, so let me offer some free advice to DC Marketing and its […]

  5. I can’t say I was really caring about these new series before much, but this has convinced me that when they do ship to not buy anything even out of morbid curiosity.

    I think what you focus on here, that many ignore, is its not Alan sayin “no” because he is selfish. It’s Alan saying “no” because he entered into a contract in good faith and got ripped off and it’s sort of annoying that so many are willing to forgive the company that ripped him off simply because they own rights to other characters that we have a childhood attachment too.

    It is a shame to, as I tend to buy any of Conner’s work that she does simply because her quality is always so high.

    A question this post raises for me, did people that turned down this gig ever make public comments as to why? Good on Morrison for saying no if he was approached.

  6. I was complaining online a few months ago about something JMS said and a facebook friend who was a pal of his said, “Oh come on, Dan, Joe’s a good guy, really!”

    Then he launched into a rant about what a petty asshole he can be sometimes.

    Joe Straczynski is WEIRD.

  7. That’s really sickening. It’s one thing when Marvel/DC refuse to acknowledge their shitty treatment of creators, but to use that treatment as a justification to screw creators over even further is unbelievable. They don’t half make it difficult to continue to be a fan.

  8. Crummy contracts now, crummy contracts tomorruh, crummy contracts forever.

    Seriously though, this fucking guy. Glad past abuse of creators justifies continued abuse of creators.

  9. “…(how do I type with a whiny baby voice? is there an html tag for that?)…”

    Like this: Swip and fall down your swippery swope, Awan, and take your mowal high gwound with you. Replace “r”s and “l”s with “w”s= instant baby voice. 🙂

    But on topic and way more seriously…

    The only thing I can really hope for is for BW to massively fail and give a much needed blow to JMS’s ego since Grounded didn’t do it.

    It’s a crying shame that the general public doesn’t care about how the product was made only that they get it. No one should be siding with Marvel and DC in regards to their treatment of their creators. It’s basically saying it’s okay to royally **** the people that got us there in the *** so long as I get my next installment of Whatever Man.

    Hey DC (and MArvel for the helluvit): Greed kills. But that’s okay, one of these days, they’ll run out of properties to exploit (’cause no one for sure is giving them new ones anymore), events will finally flatline and they’ll collapse under the massive, molasses-filled weight of their own greed.

  10. Speaking of: “I would like it very much if they would stop screwing me so that I can go back to smoking weed and writing books and hanging out with my wife instead of answering interminable interview questions about things that I’d like to put behind me.”

    This is GOOD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAfXSgRxQEc

  11. Every single time I read him make the excuse about using other peoples characters I hate him more and more because not only does he seemingly not understand what is going on with LoEG / Lost Girls / Other Things (Pastiche/New created world/Some of the characters are even dead at the end of their stories). He is also making it seem like that is an excusable response and justification to a bunch of people I have seen also use that reasoning.

    I am amazed how each successive interview manages to dig the hole a little deeper and we haven’t even gotten to when the actual comics are out.

  12. But David, we’re supposed to hate Moore because he offended us with Neonomicon! You’re not doing it right!

  13. @Ted: I think both Morrison & Smith’s responses were basically “Haha, that idea is crazy, who wants a taste of that poisoned chalice?”

    @Rick: The best part of that excuse, which I only just realized this morning, is that it betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation. It’s not about Moore feeling protective of selfish over the characters he co-created. It’s about those characters being part and parcel of a book where Moore (correctly) feels that he was wronged. It’s about the circumstances, not some proud papa demanding no one touch his little darlings. “These guys took my wallet, and it’s nice that you have it now, but please don’t spend the money in it because that money is ill-gotten gains,” in other words.

    @John Space: You can hate Neonomicon (I hated it enough to pitch a fit on this very blog a couple years ago) and still think he got a raw deal! Let’s all hold hands together!

  14. Unsurprisingly, all the creator’s who justify horrible contracts are creator’s who HAVEN’T been stabbed in the back or mistreated. I’m sure if what happened to Moore happened to JMS, he’d rant about it forever and cry bloody murder. But, that’ll never happen, JMS will never create anything close to Watchmen.

  15. Man, Straczynski needs to stop talking about this project. Whenever he opens his mouth he just comes off as disrespectful and strangely defensive. Who is he trying to justify Before Watchmen to? The public, or himself?

  16. That may be the first time I’ve ever seen Kevin Smith and Grant Morrison lumped together.

    (And I have to say, for all the building criticism of Morrison as a sellout, turning this down earns him a lot of points from me.)

    Anyway, bang on, David, about the whole “Everyone gets a shitty contract!” thing. Some variation on this logic has been trotted out time and time again to justify the complete and shameless exploitation of comics creators.

    I look forward to the next phase of this discussion, when some of Image’s big 2012 crop of creator-owned comics start to hit and the contrast becomes even more apparent. “Hey, look, most of the real talents in the comic industry are making the leap to a company that lets them actually own the fruit of their labour! Think that means anything?”

  17. Sometimes I wonder if Didio, Straczynski, and the rest are trying to confuse the issue with stunts like showing the “skeptic” the art to “prove” this is a worthwhile project, or if they really are missing the point. I mean, this is the way most of the people representing the Big Two handle criticism of their creative or business decisions (especially online criticism), that it comes across like this has been rehearsed ahead of time; on the other hand, it is often so far off from what anyone’s actually saying, that I get the sense they had been let out of the cocoon two minutes prior and someone’s asking them these questions.

  18. So, JMS’s justification is “Well, Shuster and Siegel got screwed over worse, so it’s okay?” Wow, that kinda logic is the ass-backward logic that Superman used early on for the stupid shit he said and did in that arc where he wandered around America brow-beating people for not being as good as him.

    Who wrote that again?

  19. One thing for which you can’t fault JMS: consistency. The man composes an argument as well as he composes a comic book.

  20. @Patchworkearth: It’s the only way to be sure.

    These “panel reports” (a man tries to type as some men try to hype) epitomise the writing on your noosoramas, your SeeBeeArrs: sycophantic, inelegant and inaccurate. BAD.

    JMS is terrible #490458496: “in what one fan basically called fan fiction” – Oh shit Joe a FAN said that? Why didn’t you say so?

  21. Whatta snarky article, fanboy. :barf:

  22. @Myron Fass: aw, pobrecito 🙁

  23. Man those guys are good at flogging dead horses. They’re lucky that magic isn’t real or Allan would have turned them all into newts years ago.

  24. Thanks for posting this, David. Man, using past abuses to justify their current abuse of creators? Scum. Utter scum.

  25. Like! 😀

  26. I am confused by the “LOOK THIS ART IS GOOD ART OK?” because… was anyone worried the art would be bad? I mean, you can draw a lot of bad ideas beautifully…. it is whether it should be drawn at all.

  27. Ok, I’m sure it is, and I feel rather stupid for asking, but is this being sarcastic?

  28. @MegaSpiderMan: I come down pretty much entirely on the side of “Before Watchmen is an awful idea,” if that helps. I don’t agree with DC at all.

  29. […] I wrote a thing this weekend about some frankly laughable and odios comments Joseph Michael Straczynski made about Alan Moore and Dan Didio made about Before Watchmen on a DC panel at C2E2. I wrote about it because like… it’s obvious, right? They’re actually saying stupid and demonstrably false things in public and expecting us to nod our heads. That’s worth pointing out. […]

  30. […] […]

  31. and if moore had used charlton comics characters, you’d still have a problem with this?

  32. […] vuelta por allá escribe cosas muy interesantes, y hace unos días escribió un artículo llamado “Trying to guard the fortress of a king they’ve never seen or met” en la que comenta acerca del panel de “Before Watchmen”, en la pasada convención de C2E2, […]

  33. […] about Didio’s off-the-cuff explanation of why Wally West isn’t in the New 52 and the “skeptical fan” being won over by pages of Before Watchmen over Twitter. Also a funny story about some Marvel employees getting stranded after their flight […]

  34. […] mistreated the creators? The beef between Moore and the company is legendary, and David Brothers of 4thletter has written some stellar essays about the whole ball of wax. They are […]

  35. […] from unsavory to downright offensive. It wasn’t the cheesy ‘viral’ marketing tactics or the audience plants. It was the series of interviews where the creators working on the project (most notably J. Michael […]