Yesterday’s “Lying in the Gutters” was a sound outing, with not only Rich Johnston cleverly coaxing a confession from the Fake Art Adams, but two modest items that had the hot stove league going to inferno level:
A familiar source known collectively as “New York comics industry employees talking in bars” tells me that the last issue of “Final Crisis” is further delayed as it is suffering from serious rewrites. It appears that DC Executive Editor Dan DiDio was unhappy with the way the story concluded and the implications for the DC Universe for a while and had ordered changes from a, naturally, rather unhappy Grant Morrison. Considering this is the way he wrote the pitch for the book.
Morrison is not the only person having difficulties with DiDio’s direction. I understand that James Robinson and Dan had a stand up argument that led to Robinson quitting the Superman books and the DCU in general.
Adding in the fact that in recent interviews Dan DiDio has been hinting that most of the books in the Superman and Batman families won’t be about Superman or Batman any more, and the announcement that BATMAN will be taken over by artist turned writer Tony Daniel, and you have a recipe for very long message board posts. Marc-Oliver Frisch has a succinct, if grim, analysis:
Needless to say, neither of the two rumors is the kind of thing DC should want to be dealing with right now. But both would fit into the pattern established over the last two years: hideously late major books; talent and supposedly “regular” creative teams coming and going on a range of titles like through a revolving door or even leaving in a public huff (like Chuck Dixon and Jim Shooter, most recently); repeatedly botching a whole number of high-profile relaunches; getting hold of J. Michael Straczynski, one of the industry’s few superstar writers, and asking him to work on a commercial lame duck like The Brave and the Bold; giving a major event like Battle for the Cowl to a completely unknown quantity like Tony Daniel; as well as an ongoing string of last-minute editorial changes, sometimes long after books have been solicited in Previews, like in the cases of Batman and the Outsiders or Titans.
A dull moment at DC? Unlikely.
Meanwhile, Neil Gaiman has been busy killing off Batman in a USA Today story that was covered on yesterday’s Howard Stern show.
“This is my last Batman story,” he says. “And in some ways, it could be seen as every last Batman story.” Working with artist Andy Kubert, Gaiman will try to reconcile the various versions of Batman, some wisecracking, others brooding, over the Dark Knight’s 69-year history. “There are infinite Batmans,” he says. “It has been really hard on Andy because I keep asking him to draw in so many different styles.”
In his blog Gaiman says this isn’t exactly what he said. Gaiman had issues with another piece, Graeme McMillan’s Sandman wrap up piece:
It may sound like hyperbole to say that The Sandman changed the face of entertainment, and it is, to an extent – but there’s no denying that Sandman changed the face of the comic book industry, and that comics are one of the more dominant forces in pop culture these days (Don’t believe me? My friends Iron Man and The Dark Knight may be able to convince you). The series also made a star out of writer Neil Gaiman, allowing him to step into the roles of screenwriter and New York Times-bestselling novelist, and also inspired careers for people as disparate as Tori Amos and writer G. Willow Wilson. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’re the five ways in which I think that Sandman changed the worlds we watch, read about and imagine today:
To which, Gaiman responded:
I don’t think that Sandman actually did any of the five things he lists it as having done, and a lot of the things presented on the page as if they’re facts are opinions, and dodgy ones at that. (Which sounds remarkably ungracious, considering it’s a blog entry that says nice things about Sandman. If so, blame it on the author being in bed with a cold.) (And, before people write in asking about the “lost Sandman role playing supplement”, and before it makes it into Wikipedia, the Mayfair Games Sandman event someone talks about in the comments is more or less entirely fictional. I think I had a chat about a potential Sandman game with Dan Greenberg, who wrote the DC Magic supplement, but it went no further and Mayfair went down soon after — I’ve never before encountered the idea that the two things were linked, and no Sandman game was ever written, made, solicited or cancelled.)
Internet feedback, a wondrous thing.