It’s almost time for the Pint O’ C.B. panel at Emerald City Comicon and we’re going to be liveblogging.
Get ready to start hitting refresh.
Our Cast: C.B Cebulski, Sam Humphries, Cullen Bunn, Mark Waid, Daniel Way, Jeanine Schaeffer, Matt Fraction, Sana Amanat, Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan.
Ah… no Marvel PR on the panel…
Q: How do portray heroism in your titles?
A: Way – The best way is to show some contract. Show what is not a hero.
Humphries – Look for strength to match your challenges.
Waid – Put characters in situations where they have to make choices between bad options.
Posehn – “We write fart jokes and puns.” He approaches it like an action movie.
Fraction – It all changes with the character. At a certain level, its about doing the right thing.
Bunn – He lets the characters guide him.
Amanat – A hero is someone who puts other before themself.
Q: Will you nice to Spider-Man for a change.
A: Schaefer – Liked the Spidey beat down in AVX, because it defined his “don’t back down” character.
Q: With the rise in digital comics and female readership, how hard or easy is it to have minority characters
A: Amanat – When I edit books, I edit from my perspective as a Muslim woman and editor for the perspective of someone outside of comics. Comics can be exclusive. Sometimes being inclusive will upset people used to the history of the character.
Fraction – It’s hard. You used to hear girls and kids didn’t read comics, but you’d see them reading manga at the bookstore. The DM has moved for a long time like it just serves white males. There’s a ground-up movement that’s been starting in the last few years. Making things available (like digital) is the first step in changing.
Way – At Marvel, we write to a broad market. Anyone can write to a specific market, but if that market doesn’t have enough buying power, it doesn’t work. The leveling of the playing field is in digital and making it available.
Waid – Some places, there just aren’t comic stores. Digital is every where and iPads are everywhere. Share your digital codes if you’re not using them.
CB – Digital sales are growing fast and driving graphic novel sales .
Way – We need to figure out how to monetize digital and get better printed trades.
Humphries – There’s a big change coming, in terms of accessibility. If you’re accessible, you’ll be left behind.
Q: How do you balance continuity when one character is in several titles (like Wolverine)?
A:Schaefer – It’s the editor’s job. They have a chart of where and when Wolverine is. There are a lot of spreadsheets and a timeline of Wolverine’s life.
Way – It depends how you define character. Writers may define character as how the character is in a particular book (he might act differently in a different book). Consistency is more important than continuity.
Fraction – Continuity is the devil. It makes for bad stories. It’s trivia. Consistency is important. The rest is ultimately trivia.
Bunn – As a fan he loved continuity, but a some point he backed off it and just enjoyed the stories. As a writer, he likes the shared universe, but if he obsesses over it, that obsession shows up I the story a bit too much.
Way – You end up reading the footnotes, instead of the novel.
Fraction – Morrison’s Batman is predicated on EVERY Batman story happened. What does that do to your mind?
Q: (To Way) Was it your decision to make the Thunderbolts wear Red?
(To the rest) How do you handle Deadpool?
A: Way – Most of the characters already had a red motif. Deadpool has a really wide definition of who he is as a character. You can do almost anything with Deadpool.
Q: As writers, if you could write any book what would it be?
Way – That’s a loaded question. Everything is a possibility, you need to narrow the field to probability. When you think about a dream job, it’s always a qualified answer. I’d love to do it “if this, if this.”
Humphries – Devil Dinosaurs
Posehn – Batman Vs. The Blues Brothers
Bunn – Rocket Racer
Humphries – You tend to love a book because of who was writing it.
Way – Getting what you want means you’re done and nobody wants to be done.
Schaeffer – From the editorial side, she always wanted to work on X-Men. It’s scary but fun.
Q: Have you ever wanted to write a novel with the comics characters?
A: Posehn – What’s a novel?
Q: Who does the character-based Tweets?
A: It’s the X-office. It’s the characters tweeting. It’s crazy.
Q: What’s coming up in Hawkeye and Spidey?
A Fraction: #9 is issue #8 from the women’s perspective. #10 is the guy who’s doing to kill Hawkeye. #11 “Pizza is my business” Pizza Dog solves a murder. #12 Clint’s loser brother moves in. A sign-language issue is coming up.
Spidey is the Superior arc.
Q: In Ultimates, Captain America was a bit of a dick. Was he softened for President Cap?
A: Humphries? No. The process actually started after Millar. Cap isn’t a mellow character, but he’s calmed down a little after getting used to the new time period.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.