Monday, May 14, 2007

A Preemptive Word about the Marvel Boards

Mike just pointed out in the comments of the previous entry that the Marvel Boards have a tendency to randomly drop comments and then have them reappear later... or not. As a backup, I strongly suggest we all post our 500-word daily entries here, on the far more reliable Blogger blog. Regardless, I already anticipate great irritation for this fact. Let us remember that the Marvel Boards are not our enemy.

The real enemy is Ben Morse of (simulated) Wizard Magazine!

jk jk jk BEEE-MORZZZ! But seriously, how are you? Where's the love, man? We never hang out anymore.

Oh, and Philip...

...I really like the invitation you posted at the Blah Blah Blog. DVD-style commentary. That's cool.

Preferred Properties and Creators


I think I could handle (at least for this simulation) Fantastic Four, Marvel's teen books (Runaways, Loners, New Warriors, Young Avengers etc), most of the Avengers-related titles and X-books. Iron Man would be a tough book to edit, but it would probably be the most challenging one. Currently, fans love to hate the character. I'd love to let a writer try to make him more relatable to the readers.
If I get any cosmic books, Ghost Rider or books outside of the classic Marvel universe (NewUniversal, Supreme Power, Ultimate books etc), I might have to swap them with one of you, since those are the areas of Marvel I'm least familiar with, which would be unfair to the fans.


Brian K Vaughan, Allan Heinberg, C B Cebulski, Joe Casey, Christopher Priest, Steve Seagle, Jay Faerber, Paul Jenkins, Devin Grayson, Dwayne McDuffie, Adam Warren and Marc Guggenheim.
Mark Millar, Brian Bendis, Joe Straczynski and other superstar writers would probably demand too high a page rate.
And Warren Ellis would probably eat me for breakfast.
I know Dan Jurgens and Geoff Johns are both DC-exclusive, but is Mark Waid? Does anyone have a list of DC-exclusive creators? Kolimar from the Newarama boards, do you read this? You seem to have a list for everything...


Mark Bagley, John Romita jr., Ron Garney (Imagine him on the Defenders), Skottie Young, Jim Mahfood, Adrian Alphona, Jim Cheung, Kaare Andrews (in his exaggerated pencil and ink style), Mike Wieringo and Ladronn.
I'd love to hire Humberto Ramos, but I'm always astonished how many fans don't like his style. While Skottie Young and Kaare Andrews have similar styles, they might charge less per page, so it's less of a financial risk.
And if they weren't DC exclusive or knee-deep in creator-owned work, Joshua Middleton.

For Covers:

From the top of my head:
Marko Djurdjevic, Kaare Andrews (digitally painted), Lee Bermejo, Tony Harris, J. Scott Campbell and Tommy Lee Edwards.


Great idea. But it depends on the books, of course. If we get Runaways, Ghost Rider, Nick Fury: Agent of Shield, Ultimate Fantastic Four and Book of Lost Souls, that idea goes straight out of the window.

Simulated War???

Sean's absolutely right: there are lots of good tips to be found from Hugh and Steve. I agree with all of your observations, Sean, and I'd like to add one of my own: I thought Hugh and Steve spent a lot of time (and a lot of words) suggesting 'radical' new marketing, publishing, letter page techniques that Tom seemed to shoot down pretty quickly. While marketing and publishing have to be kept in mind, I think we'll do better if we put out good stories with good creators and a lot of crossovers.

To that end, I was wondering how you guys felt about trying to simulate a big summer event? We could really coordinate on a Civil War type story (here's where Sean's deep understand of Marvel continuity could come in handy). This is a major undertaking, and could seriously backfire. However, if the goal of this simulation is to drive up sales, then we should probably enact the strategy of crafting an intelligent, character-driven event, cause no Marvel book's going to sell better than the (Insert Word Here) War.

My Two Thousand Cents

I agree we should keep it public. In fact, we should go ahead and announce this website's presence on the boards already out there, describing it as a behind the scenes look, and a way for people to comment on stuff before it's official.

So, on to the pre-business business.

The phrasing of the word limitation gave me a little pause, too, Mike. Assuming the worst/most challenging, I took it to mean that each day we got one move, which could be a maximum of 500 words (which I take to be only a general guideline, since it's doubtful anybody's going to get disqualified for exceeding the length by a couple words, just like you said, Sean).

As for who the EIC will or should be... I'd definitely be behind Sean, since he does have some pretty extensive knowledge of the Marvel Universe at large. The thing is, that also might make him a really valuable editor on iconic titles like Fantastic Four etc. I don't think we should spend too much time worrying about it, since it's probably out of our hands (and knowing Tom Brevoort, he'll probably have it be Patrick or Ed just to throw us for a loop) and I think that any of us would assign editorial duties to the most appropriate parties, since the lines of communication are already open and we don't even know what we're dealing with yet.

Along those lines, Mike, I agree: let's list off our favorite titles and creators, so we get a sense of who knows what. Let's also talk about some books that we don't get quite as well. I'll start:

My Preferred Properties (meaning these are books and characters I feel I get):

The Avengers (Both New and Mighty)
Captain America
The Hulk
The Irredeemable Ant-Man
New Excalibur
Cable and Deadpool (particularly the Deadpool bits)

My Preferred Writers (and by right I mean the guys whose work I consistently dig):

(Did I leave anybody out?)

And a super-edgy possible wildcard for a one shot or backup story: Michael Chabon

My Preferred Artists (this is the category I could use the most help with):

Ed McGuinness

Here are some titles I feel like I'm not the best pick for:

Anything in the X-Universe (I like it, I just don't know it that well)
Iron Man (Ever since he doesn't need the suit to stay alive, I don't get this character... oh, and people think he's a bad guy now)
Ghost Rider
The Punisher
Iron Fist (again, I like this grittier stuff... I just don't think I get it)
And, and amendment, all the teen type properties that Michael was saying he'd be good for.

My Initial Thoughts

Thanks for the nod, Mike, but let's see what Tom has to say about the EIC. Personally, I don't really have a preference since a) I don't really know you guys very well yet, and b) for this exercise, I'd be just as happy editing a couple of books as lording over everyone! :)

I have the impression that the 500 word limit is a per person basis. Whatever you want to do/change, you can only drop 500 words on the subject per day. (I have the feeling, though, that that'll be more of a guideline than a rule. I doubt Tom's going to slam anyone for a 501 word essay.)

I spent the weekend thinking about the types of things I would do if I were to be given different books, and a lot of my thinking didn't end up going anywhere because what I would do on, say, Heroes for Hire would be totally different than what I'd do on Amazing Spider-Man. I don't think it'd hurt to start thinking about creators and such, but I would suggest not going down a well-I-just-want-to-work-with-Alan-Moore-regardless-of-what-book-it's-on type of approach. I think -- and this is NOT from an EIC position, mind you -- that we should think about which creators make the most sense for any given book. So I don't know that we should start listing who we want on what until at least we know what we're each editing. Though I do think Mike's got a good idea of reviewing who's exclusive to whom and that sort of thing.

Next, in response to Philip's e-mail about making this public: I think we absolutely should. In the first place, it'll be more interesting to anyone following along -- especially with our 500 word limit -- and in the second place, it'll encourage more interaction. And while we most likely won't always get good suggestions from them (though, there may well be some brilliant ones!), I think we should follow in Stan's footsteps and let folks at least have a voice about what we're doing. Maybe use e-mail for occasional stuff -- say, if we start sliding into personal notes/comments -- but for any of the more professional editing type discussions, I vote we keep it open to the public.

More later. (Wait -- does Tom have that trademarked?)
Oh, and we should all re-read the last MES' posts. I think we can only learn from Steve's and Hugh's experience. I'll just skim over them and make a few comments, but I'll print them out and read them as a whole.

The old setup and guidelines
Simulation Begins
Somehow I doubt that the three "regular" editors will get three books each. With more people involved than just Hugh and Steve, we will probably oversee only two books each. But that's just a hunch.
Day 2
Day 3
So we can pitch new books (Hugh pitched a Nick Fury book). Any characters you want dibs on? I have ideas (and potential creative teams) for Hannibal King, as well as Cloak and Dagger. If one of you wants to use one of them as well, I suggest that we each explain what we have in mind and then let the others decide which direction suits the characters better.
Day 4
Day 5
Ah, yeah, the infamous Paul Jenkins incident. What do you think? Should we try to contact the creators we want to use (via Message Boards, MySpace or whatever) and tell them about this to avoid confusion? Or would that make matters worse?
Day 6
Remember that we always can get a 30 minute deadline for our moves. So let's try to plan ahead as far as possible through this blog or through email.
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9
Be prepared for feedback from Wizard.
Day 10
Look! A comment from me!
Day 11
I think this is the most important one.

Okay, here we go.

First virtual editorial meeting.
Let me say thank you to Philip for setting this blog up.


Two changes to last year's MES have so far been announced. One of us will be Editor in Chief (might be Ed, but I doubt it, since we don't know yet if there is going to be a fourth contestant after all), and we're limited to 500 words per move per day. What does that mean? If we change the writer and the artist on one book, does that mean that we have 1000 words? Or is one book one move? I guess this will be made clear tomorrow.

About the Editor-in-Chief thing, if we have a say in this, let me nominate Sean, since he seems to have the most extensive knowledge of past Marvel stories.

Well, anything else? Perhaps we should post our favorite writers and artists (still alive, that don't have exclusive contracts with DC or a known grudge against Marvel) before this project begins to see which creators we'll have to fight about.