Statistics is fun, let’s try some. 100% of you are reading this sentence….see how that works? 75% of those reading this sentence comprise 3/4ths of my readership. 12% are dying for a drop of 100 proof, which is to say 50% alcohol by volume, meaning that 12% want 50% percent while 88% could care two cents about the whole dang thing.
Now unless you’ve been living in the French Legionnaires for the past week you are aware via the internet (a series of tubes) that the Watchmen Prequel comic books have been green lit. We’ll soon have the adventures of Baby Rorschach, Nite Owl, and Silk Spectre from a variety of creators, none of whom are Dave Gibsons or Alan Moore.
There are only three aspects I want to focus on:
This purely financial maneuver by DC, the comics company with the new, boring logo, may lead to some good books. With eight new titles, statistics make it hard for them all to be crap.
I’m very surprised that they had the wherewithal to re-team Brian Azzarello with Lee Bermejo from their fun graphic novel Joker onto a Rorschach book. Azzarello writes engaging crime comics full of losers, tough guys, and snappy banter…and he is the ONLY writer capable of making Rorschach, or his other title The Comedian, worth reading.
I’m THRILLED Adam Hughes will return to sequential art in Dr. Manhattan. I’m less than thrilled that J. M. Straczynski will be penning many of these new titles. Darwyn Cooke was the right guy for a Minutemen book…but let’s look at what they’ve done.
Get the team behind the grittiest crime comics to work on your gritty crime comic. Get the best post-modern, yet nostalgic, team book writer to write your nostalgic post-modern team book. Hire a big name to handle the rest and dole out art to whomever you can. I’m not saying go outside of your comfort zone, DC, I’m just asking you to show your cards a little less.
This is “Moneyball” for comics, a game DC has been playing for some time. They’ll have some hits, they’ll have some creative misses. They’ll make money…but will they burn bridges?
2) THE QUESTIONS
WHERE is Dave Gibbons? YES Alan Moore wouldn’t cross the street to piss on these books if they were on fire, but Dave has proven he is a reliable company man and a proud papa of his comic book children. He still works and has proven he’s happy to take the check…so where is he?
NO books from Dave, and no covers from Dave either? Is this Dave’s choice or DC’s?
Another question is WHAT stories are they going to bother telling? There are no loose ends from Watchmen, no threads left to follow. If the Star Wars prequels taught us ANYTHING it’s that you can’t shed more light on a subject already perfectly clear…you just wash out the contours.
Also: WHO I ask you wants a prequel to the pirate comics from Watchmen. I love pirates and I love Watchmen but even I have no real interest in Crimson Corsair, the prequel to the Tales of the Black Freighter framing sequence.
Every choice made by DC on this topic is clearly commercial, and publishing is one of the least profitable aspects of any modern comic book company.
The race is on…WILL DC saturate it’s own market with uninspired, watered down products before they finish filming the inevitable prequel? Does anybody want that movie? Does it matter?
Statistics are fun, and let’s try some: The original Watchmen is the Citizen Kane of comics with almost 100% approval and critical acclaim. I’m going to buy 27% of these new Watchmen books, maybe even 50%. You’ll buy some too.
BUT, if you’re willing to take a chance on eight new titles, doesn’t it make statistical sense to get 100 Bullets, Darwyn Cooke’s New Frontier, Joker, Marvel’s The Twelve, Alan Moore’s Top Ten, and Promethea, Adam Hughes’ Ghost, or any of the other proven titles from creators you’re willing to take the gamble on?
More musings from Unkiedev, Earth’s own sidekick, can be read at unkiedev.blogspot.com