Hero Chat Episode 5 – December 21, 2012

TOPIC #4 – EDITORIAL UPHEAVAL AT DC?

UPDATE! Great news! This Hero Chat had been posted for less than three hours when Gail Simone, the topic of this discussion, posted on Twitter: “Here’s a thing. Gail Simone is the new Batgirl writer. :)” which obviously makes a lot of fans of her Batgirl very happy.


I know we’ve talked some about New 52 and since it’s being compared with what they’re doing in Marvel NOW! at the moment. Over the last couple of months there have been a lot of rumors about turbulence and editorial micromanagement. The most recent visible effect being Gail Simone’s very public firing off Batgirl for no apparent reason.

And still no reason!


Yeah, I heard that but haven’t had time to read details. That book is one of my favorites though. They really don’t have to give a reason. They’re a corporation. They own the toys. They decide who plays with them. People seem to have forgotten about the past issues creators have had with the likes of Marvel/DC.

It’s not about whether they can do it, it’s about what it means for the quality of the books. You made the point earlier that you liked seeing all the new creators coming in with new ideas on the books.

Well I definitely think losing someone like Simone on Batgirl is a bad thing but Liefeld leaving his books had no effect on me buying them again. But it also ties into Liefeld leaving. He wasn’t happy with editorial either.


Now we’re at a point where almost all of those creators who launched New 52 have left.


Maybe the way they’re keeping the line cohesive is by having editorial make a lot more decisions.


No, that’s a totally different issue.


But frankly, I love the direction of the line, especially the Batman books and Vertigo ones.


I think the only ones still on the titles they launched are Geoff Johns and Scott Snyder.


And Jeff Lemire on Animal Man.


Liefeld wasn’t happy with editorial and he quit. Simone was writing a book with strong sales and a lot of critical good will — and she was kicked off the book.


True.


From the outside its mecurial and arbitrary … and you can’t produce good books on a regular basis by being arbitrary.


I doubt it’s arbitrary.


There are a few others, but you’re right a lot of the New 52 staffs are already on their third team by now.


I have a feeling that the Death in the Family was going to change the status of the character and DC had to pick between Simone and Scott Snyder, who is their Golden Boy right now.

That’s not the word from inside DC. If that were true we’d be talking about her quitting, I think.


Listen, I’m not defending DC. I’m not happy about Simone being booted, but there had to have been a reason. They know the book/character is popular under Simone. It may have been a “do what we say or you’re gone” edict.

You could be right Ed, I think the two issues that come out after her last are ‘Death of the Family’ tie ins….


The reality is DC under Dan Didio has a real reputation for being arbitrary — that’s the number one complaint of everyone who has complained about editorial, from George Perez to yes Liefeld.

Is Perez still doing stuff for DC? He’s inking World’s Finest, right?


Yes, and artist on Supergirl I think.


Listen, DC editorial has never been great. I’ve heard nightmare stories for years from former editors, from talent trying to get work there.


And it’s been part of his style for a long time … at least as far back as the mess that was the lead up to Final Crisis. No, he’s just inking World’s Finest. He didn’t quit the company after he was kicked off superman, but he was vocal about what he felt was wrong with it. I’m just saying, bad editorial makes for bad books.

 Listen, I’ve hated a lot of things DC has done over the years… that 52 series for instance.. but the New 52 is working right now and as they say, you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. Superman was one of the books that wasn’t working. I haven’t checked out Scott Lobdell’s issues. But it’s pretty clear that Johns and Lee have their favorites in terms of creators.I thought the zero issues generally worked across the board and I’m liking the current crossovers in the Batman, GL and “Vertigo” books. So I guess I disagree with bad creator relations being equivalent to bad editorial.

Yeah, but the stuff you’re reading now was finished months ago — the effects of the creators leaving hasn’t really been felt yet.


Have others followed Simone’s firing?


Other creators? Not that we know of.


It’s too recent for that. Simone is the most recent, not the first.


Sure, there were some from the first batch, like the writer of Hawk and Dove but that book was just suckass all around. I saw Ann Nocenti was off Green Arrow but she’s now doing Catwoman and Katana.

Paul Cornell. Greg Rucka. Judd Winick.


Interesting… yeah, they do kind of disappear quietly. On the hand, Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato are still going strong 17 issues into Flash and they should’ve been replaced 12 issues ago! :)

It wasn’t really that quiet — Cornell and Rucka are still grousing about it. Rucka in particular did a very long interview in the first issue of Bleeding Cool magazine about what he felt was wrong at DC and why he left.

I know Cornell was replaced on Stormwatch a while ago but Milligan was replaced on Justice League Dark and Lemire has done a better job. Was that before the New 52 though? I gotta check that out.

Yeah it was, I think Rucka was totally at Marvel when the New 52 came about.


I haven’t been reading Demon Knights, one of the few books I gave up after issue #1. Oh, wait, the entire team of Ravagers has been replaced too.

 

 Yeah, but the problems at DC go back a good ways before New 52.

 

But there could be other issues like creators not being able to keep up a monthly schedule. We’ll see how Marvel NOW! does.


After so many years as professional writers I find it hard to believe Paul Cornell or Gail Simone were missing deadlines.


Incidentally Gail Simone is still listed for Batgirl #17, an issue that will “forever change her status quo in the New 52.”


Though she’s said 16 will be her last one, kind of weird.


She’s not. That’s an old listing. Issues 16 and 17 are being written by the replacement guy.


Sigh.


Nope, she doesn’t even get 16 now.


Lame.


Well we’ll see if I notice it… I know that i gave up on Batwing with Winick gone. I’m surprised Grant Morrison has stuck through all this. He tends to have little tolerance for bullshit.

 He’s leaving too.


16 on Action is his last, and I think 9 on Batman Inc is his last.


Action 15 or 16, can’t quite remember which issue, then he’s gone.


Really? I figured as soon as they made him crossover his Super-Man with Lobdell’s he’d be gone. Action #17 still lists him, too. That’s his last issue it says.


Ah, yes, you’re right.


I havent really like his Action Comics.. not as good as All-Star Superman, but let’s see how long Marvel Now! keeps their creative teams intact and we can talk.


Or how many of the books make it past 6 issues.


Spencer, exactly. It’s hard maintaining 52 monthly books at any sort of consistent quality and DC has done a decent job. I think that’s it for this episode of Hero Chat. I know I’ll be watching the Man of Steel trailer finally and reading up on this Gail Simone firing thing.

 Yep. I’ll still be dreaming of 2015. Thanks for having me on, folks!


Can we call this one GIANT SIZED HERO CHAT?