Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Editor Simulation: The Confession

No, it's not another annoying tie-in, it's just a quick thank you from the bad guy over at Big Money.

I wanted to personally thank the three of you - Sean, Phil, and Mike - this was a lot of fun. As a matter of fact, as a somewhat jaded reader of comics for nearly four decades, this was the most fun I've had with comic books in quite some time.

Sure, it was all play, but it was incredibly interesting to watch things unfold.

Obviously, my situation was slightly different, having been canned halfway through. But as you know, I still trolled here, and continued to weigh in with what I hope were read as the fun posts they were intended to be.

Since Tom outed me, I think it's okay to confess to penning the Big Money moves that took place over on Tom's blog. And I won't deny it - those were a lot of fun to do. They were absolutely meant to try to add some levity to the experience, and I apologize if their contents ended up distracting you from the work you were doing. They were meant to lob some grenades into the mix, but hopefully they didn't detract from your experience.

I told the interviewer for Comic Book Resources that I felt like I was playing the part of the Dark Avenger from Stan Lee's Who Wants to be a Super-Hero. I was thrust into the role of a spoiler that had to be factored into the remainder of the game. Villains have ALWAYS been my favorite characters, not just in the comics, but movies, TV, etc., so this was a role I relished.

As I wrote over on Tom's blog, I was surprised/disappointed to see how much of a role that the exclusive contracts played in the creator shuffles. That's why I included so much name-dropping in the Big Money memos. I can't say I agree with or like the impact exclusivity contracts have had on the industry, but they're not going away any time soon.

Sean, like I said at the time, you made the right move firing me, and it was proven as the simulation played out. As I also said at the time, not being someone too familiar with RPGs, I apologize if I bent the rules on some of the earlier posts.

And one more thing - Phil, you seriously cannot underestimate the value this blog had on the game. Being able to talk things through, and watching everything unfold on a daily basis, for me, made the experience all the more enjoyable.

Once again, thanks to the three of you for making the simulation so much fun, and you each did a great job in your respective areas working on your titles. Hopefully, our paths will cross somewhere else out there in cyberland. Okay, gotta run - Quesada's running behind on his Zomurai: Mother mini-series over at Big Money, and I've got to try to line up a replacement...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Happy Dance!!!!

Gentlemen, we have kicked some serious tail!

Day 10: The Finale is up and Tom puts our base titles at 460,500. Plus a staggering 170,000 for BoPow #1! Giving us a grand total of 630,500.

That's 10% over the numbers before we started on the base titles and 25% over on our final target! Let me just say, "WOHOO!!!!!"

I will be showing Mr. Quesada the door early next week, and you three are all more than welcome to join me! :)

Monday, May 28, 2007

My Final Moves. Goodbye.

Okay, I posted them around 7:50, then they disappeared. I just reposted them, but I guess they will vanish as well. Sigh.

As a backup, I post the final draft here as well:

1.: I suggest a few books to Sean that Ramon Bachs can work on after Front Line. Among them a new Cloak and Dagger book (under the MAX label), a Hannibal King solo book, Hulk, an X-Book or a Frontline ongoing (if Paul Jenkins is interested in that).

2.: I talk to Christina Strain. Sean already gave his approval to an exclusive contract between Christina and Marvel Comics. Her coloring is a very important factor for Uncanny X-Men, and with Adrian already Marvel-exclusive, Christina should go exclusive as well. And with Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane ending, I offer her Balance of Power as well, arguably Marvel's biggest book right now and the perfect opportunity to showcase her talent.
Thanks to Tom Brevoort, Molly Lazer, Stephen Wacker, Ben Morse, Rich Johnston and whoever's been behind the scenes. It's been a blast.

Thanks to Marko Djurdjevic for letting me post his X-Men sketches. I think it really gave this simulation a touch of realism. And let's face it: They are awesome.

Thanks to Sean, Philip and Patrick. Working with you has been an honor.

Thanks to Vallen, Debbie, Fetsur, Huey and all the other readers who have posted their suggestions here and had my back when others started throwing dirt against me last Monday. You were great to have around.

Thanks to my girlfriend Nadine, who has given me strength those last two weeks, especially on Monday when I was already convinced that I'd get sacked.

And last but not least, thanks to my Mom and Dad for letting me use their computer when mine was not available and for letting me sleep on their couch. Without them, I wouldn't have been able to keep my deadlines. Without them, I wouldn't have been able to show you Marko's artwork.

I think there will most likely be an epilogue at Tom's blog (and perhaps somewhere else, we'll see). The Marvel Editorial Simulation blog however, I think that's it.


Replacing David Finch

Lay them on me, kids. I'm going to list a LOT of alternates, but I'd like the first four or so to be fast, fast workers. So far, Mark Bagley's the first choice. Charlie Adlard's going to be on the list somewhere; I don't think his style's right for the book, but I don't think it's totally wrong for it, either.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Final Moves Thoughts

Hope everyone's having a good weekend so far. I've been able to relax (a little) and reflect on our final moves in the sim.

Phil -- I think you've got some solid thinking on dealing with Finch. Definitely like the start by talking to other editors, and following up with getting the production staff to develop something that could be used as a cover. Rather than going down the ultra-secret QT route, though, I might suggest being more open about doing a graphic to use IN CASE you need to drop something in at the last minute. I think if you go behind Finch's back, and he DOES find out about it, he'll go totally ape-shit. So I'd make another call to Finch and say that you REALLY don't want to go this route, but he needs to understand, as a professional, that we have deadlines to meet. But so long as he can turn the artwork in on time, then we'd much prefer using that.

Also, I'd suggest NOT pointing to an actual graphic of any sort. (Or even verbally defining it that clearly.) We're not supposed to really be doing creative, and I'd be concerned that trying to tie down to a specific design within the sim might work against us.

Good work with Brubaker.

Mike -- I like your thoughts about Christina. I'll do what I can to secure her as an exclusive and, as long as Phil's happy with her on BoPow, then I think we've got a plan.

Last thing I want to throw out there is Ramon Bachs. Any ideas on what to set him on post-BoPow?

Of course, then I have to address rumors of Tom heading to BigMoney and the massive security leaks in BigMoney's email system, but I think I've got that covered. ;)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Extra Day...

I got confirmation from Tom that our final moves aren't due until Monday night at 8:00.

You guys have got some good ideas for handling our current problems. Let me think on it a day or so and I'll weigh in with my thoughts later.

Philip's Day 9 Stuff

Let Brubaker know I appreciate him sending in some pages so Mike can at least get started. We’ll try and streamline this process as much as possible, and I’ll stay on Ed to get the remaining 15 pages of script in as soon as possible. Even so, if we have to delay Wolverine a week or two, it’s not the end of the world (and hopefully Wolverine will still count into our sales figures).

I contact any editors who’ve worked with Finch before, such as Axel Alonso or Tom Brevoort, and ask them if David has a habit of sequestering himself at his drawing table. If they tell me that David going dark right before a deadline is a normal, though irritating, part of his process, I’ll cool down a little bit, though I’ll still take certain steps regarding the production of a cover for Balance of Power 1.

If, however, David’s former editors have no idea what I’m talking about, and tell me that David is usually extremely available during the entire process, we move from DEFCON 3 to DEFCON 2, and I inform the joint chiefs that they should be prepared to move to DEFCON 1 at a moment’s notice. My immediate concern is no longer getting a cover out of Finch in a timely fashion; it’s about replacing him on the book. We’ll need somebody who’s fast, who can bring the heat, who’ll attract readers, and who can start right away. Good freakin’ luck. Jimenez is too slow. Pulling Deodato off FF throws too many wrenches in the works (I'm wracking my brain; suggestions would be great, though there's clearly plenty of time). Man, this’ll teach JMS to trust my judgment.

Even if I get word that David Finch is more often than not out of touch as he puts the finishing, uh, touches on his work, I will nevertheless go forward with the production of a simple, in-house cover for Balance of Power, not entirely dissimilar from Civil War: The Return, something like this:

Except, you know, based off a drawn image with drawn clouds, but you get the general vibe. If Finch comes through whatever layout is used here could still be employed as the series' cover template, or maybe as the cover for the trade, but what I'm mainly trying to convey is that my solution to not having a cover is to create a minimalist one such as this.

I will direct everyone, since we are at least under DEFCON 3, that all radio call signs used by our forces must change to currently-classified call signs—MEANING, if the fact that we are producing a cover for Balance of Power gets back to David Finch, there will be hell to pay; as much as I’d like to (and quite frankly should have as soon as he started grumbling), I still cannot justify burning any bridges with David. Balance of Power has to ship beginning of January, and the best way to accomplish that is with him aboard.

No rush here. We have plenty of time to get this together.