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Waiting For Tommy XXXII
By Richard Johnston
 
RICHARD: Only before they were called Vertigo. In many ways, and probably without your consent, you've been seen as a flag bearer for New Marvel. However, your successful stylistic storytelling skills (say that after five pints), while eminently suitable for much of your pre-Marvel writing, is a burden to Spider-Man and Daredevil. While a new (and stable) older readership has been found, that's now stabilised and is off-putting to younger readers, the future readers of the medium. In an earlier Waiting For Tommy, Bill Jemas stated that the Ultimate books weren't for younger kids, as they have sometimes been promoted. In Daredevil, the eponymous character rarely appears in costume (save for the promotional 25 cent issue) - this again fights against the appeal of the character to potential younger readers. Equally it can be argued that your fine crime fiction writing skills are diluted by what superhero stylistic aspects still remain in the comic. The books have fallen between stools, and while may be popular in contrast with the rest of the market, are stymieing the titles from ever reaching the mass appeal they once did. Again, your take?

 


ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN SPECIAL #1

BRIAN: My first instinct is to point out how successful the books are as my argument that my storytelling techniques are not a burden, but I find even typing the words to be douchy.

See - I don't agree with your flimsy premises on any level. So much so that I am sending you back to your desk to work up a better question, this premise is SOOOOO flimsy and your statements are false.

Genres are meant to be busted. They're meant to be eaten and spit up. You know it, and I do believe you love it.

And no one uses this 'New Marvel' term. No one. Five guys online.

Come on, Rich, you got my attention, you can do better...

RICHARD: This is starting to remind me of a certain conversation with Joe Quesada. Whether I love it or not, is irrelevant here. I buy more New Marvel books than I ever bought Old Marvel - and that's not a term of abuse for either. I think it's the recognition that Joe Quesada's regime is a sea change for the company.

BRIAN: I totally agree.

RICHARD: But should I really be the target market for Marvel?

BRIAN: You say on one end that these books should be for everyone and then question why they appeal to you?

RICHARD: I do. I think that these books have been written for a tighter audience, including me, using characters that should have a more universal appeal - which I was already catered for by the likes of Top Shelf, Fantagraphics.

BRIAN: Top Shelf, yes, Oni, yes. Fantagraphics needs a blood transfusion. It's 1984 there everyday.

RICHARD: But what about the 'me' of twenty-five years ago, picking up the Fantastic Four for the first time? When they books were all selling in the hundreds and thousands for a start...

BRIAN: I don't live in your shoes Rich, even though I would watch your reality show, so I can't say. You'd think you'd be happier that something appealed to you. USM has kids buying it, I meet them every week. Daredevil squares older, always has, so did the movie, Alias and Powers are adult books.

RICHARD: Okay then.. why did you feel that in the 25c issue, Daredevil had to be in costume in action so much, when in the issues before and after, he didn't?

BRIAN: That is sooo not true, first off, though he isn't in costume as often as classic superhero stories would have him, he is in costume.

You do know that the book is ABOUT him not being able to get in costume without seriously threatening his entire life. I think that's pretty clear.

He was in costume in the issue before and after by the way, so eat me :)

But I wrote the comic THEN Marvel decided to make it a 25 center. so...

RICHARD: The assumption is that that particular issue was pitched as an introduction, to grab film goers and to give the new reader as much 'Daredevil in costume' as possible.

BRIAN: No. Like I said.

RICHARD: Okay, but shouldn't that be the same for the title as a whole? Isn't every issue an introduction for someone - or shouldn't it be?

BRIAN: Absolutely!!! I hand in every script with that in my head. And a recap I write myself.

Because also, any issue might be someone's last, and I write it with that in my head as well.

Also, I hate to say this braggy sh** but you are asking me to defend myself, but sales are up and the trades are doing great. We got raves in EW and USA Today, I mean, what else am I supposed to do to convince you and those who share your opinion?

RICHARD: Have you considered writing characters for the audiences they were intended for? And writing different works for different, more targeted, audiences without having to use all-ages-intended characters? Like Powers? Even Frank Miller's Daredevil could be happily read by most seven year olds - do you believe yours can as well?

Um.

Doing anything for Epic?

BRIAN: Not this year.

Brian Bendis's work can be found at www.jinxworld.com. Rich Johnston's can be found at Lying In The Gutters. May they both find fortune, good favour and be safe from the wrath of John Byrne.

The Waiting For Tommy Archive

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