FOR TOMMY: ROB LIEFELD REVISITED
Might that not indicate the fans want a step backwards, and
everyone's just now more willing to march in line with that
No, I think it means that the alternatives were just not good
enough. Plain and simple as that. Changes were attempted with
mixed results at best. People like what they like, there's
no harm in giving them steak if they want steak. If they want
flan there's flan to be found.
Well since you've got your Nostradamus head on, what else
do you see in the undercurrent of comics? What's the future
going to hold?
Better sales at the top, less tolerance at the bottom of the
charts. Comic fans have so many more choices nowadays, it's
the same as the broadening from network to cable, they won't
just support the same old comic if the books aren't up to
snuff. The middle ground is vanishing fast. If I can get an
exciting SUPERMAN/BATMAN story by A-listers, Jeph Loeb and
Mike Turner, why do I buy the others with lesser production
values and B-list talent? I don't and neither are others.
The downside is that experimentation is left out in the cold,
but the indie market will survive and continue to push the
envelope. The big companies are getting better financial results
putting big commercial packages together, they're appetites
are growing as a result. The dilemma that will be faced for
them is if there is enough A-list talent to produce the big
results that are driving their spreadsheets.
And how about comics now compared to comics ten years ago.
What are the major differences that you see, both in the work
and in the industry?
A better balance of commerce and art.
Is it working through? Aside from the top twenty, sales are
slip sliding away right now. The market right seems buoyed
by a series of events, specials and stunt casting, rather
than a sense of continual, long-term creation. Can this be
sustained, or do we expect a new event every six months now?
I touched on that above. That's the big dilemma. Can they
continue to grab big movie talent and put them to work on
big titles? Kevin Smith broke the dam wide open, especially
with Green Arrow, are there other Whedon's and Singer's. Can
Tarantino be turned? Rodriguez? Spielberg? Cameron? I'm certain
the results would be spectacular. Is there enough pie to share?
We'll certainly see in the months and years ahead.
When last we spoke, while Youngblood Bloodsport was being
promoted, I asked you about your reputation for lateness.
I asked "How can reader and retailers trust you again to deliver
on your word? Why should they pick up this first issue when
your recent history at least indicates that they might never
get the finished story?" You agreed it was a valid point and
concluded "I can't think of anything I could say that could
convince anyone that the product will arrive on time. I just
need to produce the work, and I intend to do just that. Hopefully
the fans will enjoy the results." You've previously said that
you weren't satisfied with your work on Bloodsport and went
back and redrew it a number of times. Yet further schedules,
plans and guarantees were repeatedly made and repeatedly broken.
Is this a problem for you? It's one you've recognized, do
you think you can kick it once and for all?
Eventually I can. I'm doing my very best to synergize the
X-Force and the Youngblood work at the moment. If all works
out both will go global at the same time.
Well, you've spoken about your movie work taking up so much
of your time, putting in huge amounts of hours each week.
Considering you've been pursuing Hollywood for ten years now,
there hasn't been anything to show for it that the punters
can see. A lot of promises, a lot of expectation, but nothing
on the screen. Does this not frustrate you? Do you still believe
something will click there? Or does it not matter if the options
keep rolling in?
The movie stuff does indeed take up a considerable amount
of time, especially travel. Someday's it's faster for me to
fly to New York than to commute to L.A. back and forth. And
it's actually been more like 12 years since I started dealing
with Hollywood and trying to get a movie from page to screen.
Obviously it can be very frustrating but as long as people
continue to meet with me and buy my projects I'll continue
to work at it. I have a meeting this morning with a red hot
actor and producer about a new project which is why I'm answering
this at the crack of dawn so I can get out of here and high
tail it up the freeway. I may be as old as Stan Lee was when
Spider Man opens but I'm confident it will happen. And before
someone says, but Marvel had cartoons and T.V. long before
they had movies, I don't pursue T.V. at all as my only dealing
with networks were 10 years ago and more frustrating than
anything I've ever encountered. My focus is on movies for
the near future.
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