Another great guest column plus a shit load of reviews you should be reading right now.
THOR’S COMIC COLUMN 1/24
Great article, Devon! Here's a fascinating response by former Static Shock writer John Rozum about why he quit. Apparently there was quite a bit of editorial interference and disrespect from artist/writer Scott McDaniel. In Static's case it might not have been a case of a character being unpopular because he's black (I brought this up in my Comp 2 class today and my 18 year old students were very aware of the character from the cartoon), but a writer getting little respect because he was writing a comic about a minority that the brass decided from the get-go wouldn't work and never gave it a chance (possibly seeing it as an opportunity for one of their popular artists to get a shot at writing, like Tony Daniel and Rob Liefeld, nothing more).
D.S., Prophet was so good! Like Mtv's Liquid Television mixed with Ridley Scott sensibilities, I enjoyed it for the hard sci-fi and the offbeat sense of humor.
Great work guys.
Finally got around to reading Devon's column just now. Yeah, that is good stuff, and it does sort of beg the question - how long can comics expect people involved in other media to troll for them? I know it's always tempting to have a sure thing, but I think that comics are at their best when creators feel like have something to prove, even if only to themselves. One of the things that makes comics awesome is that they've been a place for experimentation and the constant rising of exciting new storytelling talent withing the community. The way the big two have been hiring writers for the past decade or more just makes them feel like everything else, and it makes comics subject to the same diversity problems as the rest of the creative class, which all points to a much broader and quite disturbing societal trend.
I read recently that Superman was still really popular with urban black kids, while Batman was more popular with suburban white kids. The thought that Superman (my favorite superhero) will most likely miss out on the opportunity to be written by someone who loves and understands the character, and who might have a truly unique perspective on him because DC's too timid to take chances on talent... that really sucks.
And I'm glad that you liked Prophet, Bart. But I must say that I'm getting a bit sick of first issues that feel really thin on story. Prophet gets by on its sense atmosphere and place, but there are plenty of series that don't have that going for them. I've been thinking about what makes a really good first issue a lot lately, and I'm really struggling with that.