A CCW Op-Ed: Hey Tom!

Posted: February 3, 2010 in CCW OpEd, Marvel, Opinion
Tags: , , , ,

*ring ring….. ring ring*

Locusmortis – “ Oh hey Tom. How are ya doing?”

Tommy B – “mumble mumble mumble”

Locusmortis – “That’s great Tom, so did you get my email with the analysis of your blog post?”

Tommy B – “mumble mumble…. mumble mumble mumble”

Locusmortis – “That’s great Tom, I’m so glad you think that the CCW nation should see it and be able to talk about it”

Tommy B – “mumble mumble mumble…. Mumble”

Locusmortis – “Ok Tom, cheerio”

Oh hey folks, I’m just off the phone with Tom Brevoort. I was planning on making some comments about the following blog post by him entitled REBORN Skinny and I thought it was only fair that I gave him an opportunity for rebuttal, you know? So anyway, what do I really think about Tom’s blog post?

I really love how he blames Brubaker for the complete fuck-up that was Reborn #5/6, “Ed’s first draft of #5, which was to have been the conclusion, was rushed and cramped and unsatisfying. It didn’t work” – well Tom we actually KNOW why this happened….because Hitch already admitted what went wrong.

It happened because HITCH DIDN’T FUCKING FOLLOW THE WRITER’S SCRIPT. Bryan Hitch had already said on CBR or Newsarama that scenes that Brubaker had laid out to take one page, instead took “superstar artist” Hitch 3 or 4 pages (one of the reasons the damn thing feels so padded out) and why did he do that? “So he could tell the story better” … and it DEFINITELY wasn’t so he could have more splash pages to sell on to collectors for thousands of dollars…oh no.

Tom Brevoort shits on Brubaker and protects Hitch….wtf? It sounds like someone didn’t pay Joey Q’s bar tab or something!

So, to continue with Tom’s comments – “So after looking at all of our options, and trying to take the long-term view of things as we did with CIVIL WAR earlier, we decided that it was better all around for the conclusion of REBORN to be good and take an extra issue,” – Yes Tom it’s as big a fuck up as Civil War, that’s right.

“I know this is going to irritate a lot of people.” No shit Tom, it’s a pity you weren’t as perceptive about the artist that you are EMPLOYING and made him tell the story that Ed Brubaker sent to him.

So Tom goes on – “Also, anybody who thinks that we’ve spoiled everything about REBORN #6 is clearly underestimating this creative team. There will still be some things to hopefully shock, thrill, intrigue and tantalize you and your fellow readers” – Seriously now Tom your fucking joking now right? Cap lives, Bucky lives. You put the fucking epilogue to the story out before the ending, that’s serious incompetence. Captain America Reborn #6 was for all intents and purposes useless before it was even published and ended up being completely flat and underwhelming instead of being spectacular. This was Steve Rogers coming back after being dead for nearly three years for fucks sake, this should have been BIG.

“And it’ll still look just as lovely, and make for a beautiful collection when all is said and done.” – That’s great Tom, that’s really handy for the poor schmucks’ buying monthly comics isn’t it?

Tom has more – “REBORN isn’t spot-on on time, but it’s really close, especially when you stop and consider that every issue so far has been at bare minimum 28 pages of story and art, rather than our standard 22 (and for no increase in price.)” – Ok, now your really pushing it  Tom. I EXPECT 28+ pages of story and art for $3.99 because that’s what DC gives me. How fucking dare you try to sell this as you giving us value for money by giving the bare fucking minimum that we as customers expect. You did increase the price Tom, you stopped the regular $2.99 series to give us this overpriced disappointment of a story for $3.99.

Geez, he keeps on digging – “And over those five issues, with the additional pages he drew, that’s like an additional issue’s worth of material he generated.” – Yeah, for free right Tom? No, not only does he get extra page rate from Marvel he gets way more money from collectors for all those “beautiful” splash pages and Marvel gets $3.99 per issue from everyone who was pretty much forced to buy it if they’d had to preorder their comics from their shops.

“And I understand your frustrations with this,” – I don’t think you do Tom but that hasn’t stopped you with all the other shit Marvel has done in the last year.

Now, I’m sure that there will be some people annoyed by my comments that I’ve made so let me just try and put them in context and then maybe you might understand where I’m coming from. I started reading comics in 1979, (I was a very precocious child…and the local newsagent was 2 doors down from where I lived, heh). The first comic I read was a British weekly called Battle and it was great, I couldn’t really understand it but by god the pictures were bloody good! This was the first cover as far as I recall:

The first Marvel comic I ever read was in 1986 and it was another weekly, this one by Marvel UK reprinting Star Wars and Power Pack:

I was used to science fiction stuff like Star Wars from reading 2000ad but I’d never read superhero stuff so the Power Pack stories were fascinating. Then in 1988 on a trip to Dublin I got my first Marvel comics, they had a rack of them in Easons, the biggest bookshop in the country. I vividly recall Avengers #294 with Thor, the Black Knight, Captain Marvel, Submariner, Doctor Druid and the She-Hulk battling the mysterious machinations of the mischievous Kangs…written by Roger Stern and art by big John Buscema….wow this shit blew my mind. Others I got that day were Uncanny X-Men #232 by Claremont and Silvestri (with what I still maintain is the BEST X-Men line up ever consisting of Wolverine, Colossus, Longshot, Havok, Storm, Rogue, Dazzler and Psylocke) and Thor #394 by Tom Defalco and Ron Frenz with mighty tales of the noble Asgardian warrior…just look at that cover and tell me it isn’t wonderful.

And for the next 20 or so years (barring one period of unemployment after finishing college where booze was FAR more important than comics) I’ve been loving Marvel comics…sure some of the 90’s stuff is practically unreadable now…so many foil enhanced die-cut holograms pieces of crap…but post 1998 or so till 2008 I was pretty solidly a Marvel guy. Sure I gave DC a try here and there and liked some of their stuff but it was always Marvel I felt closer to.

This is the reason I feel annoyed by so many of the shady things they’ve pulled in the last year and particularly so with Tom Brevoort who used to be a pretty sound bloke from what I can tell but who has seemed to become a clone of that sneering arrogant hack Jeph Loeb. And this is why I laugh when I see people call me a DC supporter, especially since I didn’t buy a single DC comic for 3 years until Dark Reign came along. I gave up DC comics completely in protest at the misogynistic, exploitative piece of crap that was Identity Crisis and only came back originally because of Geoff Johns and then have seen that their editorial practices have improved. See, whether for good or bad I stick by my principles and when it comes to comics the only meaningful way to let a publisher know your irritation is to reduce the amount of product that you buy.

In the last year I’ve gone from 15 Marvel titles a month to 2 Marvel titles a month and I’m only buying those because of Jonathan Hickman. I’ve messaged the comic shop I got Powers and Captain America from today to tell them to take those titles off my pull list. I know some people have the “you’ll hurt the creators too” line but I just don’t buy that argument. It’s just an excuse to not take the hard step of cutting off something that you’ve liked in the past.

Which brings me back to Captain America, Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting and the other artists involved made the first 50 issues of their run hugely enjoyable, particularly the first 25 issues but it is Captain America Reborn and Who Will Wield the Shield that have made me give up this title in disgust. I still like Ed Brubaker’s writing but for now I will not buy this title because I feel that Marvel have exploited my love for the character and I cannot just keep rewarding them for that.

Locus

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Comments
  1. Ironmuskrat says:

    Incredible post Locusmortis, very informative and funny, just my kind of post.

    I didn’t get any of the Cap Reborn stuff, but I can definitely anyone’s pain that shell out money for the series only to get screwed on the payoff due to incompetence on Marvel’s part.

    It’s like going to see a movie only to have the ending spoiled in a preview for another movie, and then find out there is a sequel to the movie you came to see if you still want to pay more money to see the ending that was already spoiled by the preview shown before seeing the movie that you just payed to see!

    Wait? what?

    Great job as always Locusmortis!

    IM

  2. I know EXACTLY how you feel Locus. I had to drop Ultimate U books after Ultimatum. They weren’t worth $3.99. Now I’ve read EVERY issue of USM. I have the first tpb and have issues#7-133 and a few of the newer issues. I just had to drop USM and believe me I have never been so conflicted about dropping a book than Ultimate Spider-Man.

    I grew up with Marvel. I’m 16 years old right now and I’ve been reading comic books since age 6. For some reason I never wanted to read anything DC related. I thought DC was stupid and Marvel ruled over all. That all changed this summer when I bought Detective Comics#854. I was quickly drawn into the DCU. I also love when people call me a DC fanatic and I keep telling them in responce, “Well I used to be a Marvel fanatic for 9 years!”

    It pains me so much to see the company I’ve loved since childhood act this way towards their fans and even their own creators. It saddens me when they crap all over my favorite characters. I hope Marvel gets their shit together soon.

    Also CBR rated Ultimate X 4.5/5… wtf is up with that???

    • What’s up with that is that the CBR reviewer is full of shit. I may be doing a review of my own and call that review out. The art was incredible but the story was as generic and cliched as every other Loeb book. That reviewer was kissing some major ass and that kind of thing really sickens we when it is not warranted.

      J.

      • Matthew Guy says:

        On the wacky tobacco w/ the kiss ass job from that reviewer.

        Matthew

      • Morlock50 says:

        Yeah, I almost broke down and bought this in my LCS because of Art Adams yesterday. Luckily, I flipped through it first and realized that NOTHING HAPPENS. Put it back on the shelf and picked up Superman Secret Origins 1-4 instead, along with the BN Wonder Woman.

      • Pobra says:

        “This is the archetypical comic story that some readers will one day point back to and say, “That was the single greatest issue I ever read.”

        Who says that about a fucking Jeph Loeb comic? I had to do a double take and make sure I was reading the right review.

      • Deemar says:

        The Ultimate X interview that shit made me laugh, the interviewer had his nose so deep up Loebs stinker I’m sure he has corn bits on hi upper lip

      • Izzy4684 says:

        The same shit is pulled by ign,they give marvel more reviews than dc and they usually give a higher than warranted review.

  3. Matthew Guy says:

    Amen & AMEN!!! I read Cap Reborn #6 and washed my hands of the series completely. No Cap 602 or Nomad backups for me, IT IS OVER!!!

    My only Marvel title now is Amazing Spider Man thru 624 (after that I am done).

    I am giving Powers vol 3 thru issue #6 to get me into the series.

    Marvel’s only success in my eyes is Hickman’s FF that is it.

    I will buy trades & HCs of older material (example Infinity Gauntlet HC from Previews) but current Marvel the pickings are getting closer & closer from slim to none in 2010.

    Matthew

  4. Morlock50 says:

    Can anyone explain why it’s so hard for artists to complete issues within a month these days? When I started collecting in the 80’s, I don’t remember this ever being a problem. I mean, Hitch is good, but it’s not like he’s George Perez in terms of level of detail. And Perez always made the deadlines to my knowledge.

    • alfred monty says:

      Gene Colan was known as a guy who would rewrite the plot as he drew. So instead of a series of panels about the story there would be a huge explosion in a giant splash page. 🙂 During Tom DeFalco & Ron Frenz’s run on Amazing Spider-Man filler issues (by different creative teams) were done. I doubt any casual reader noticed this.

      I think there’s also a problem with the structure of the Wield the Shield story. If Captain America is going to be late, they should be able to insert a filler issue. But they can’t do that during this Wield the Shield story arc, because they suspended the normal series for this story.

      • Locusmortis says:

        Thats true Alfred but Colan didn’t change the actual page count of the story. If the writer did a story of 4 issues of 22 pages long thats exactly what Colan would do, he wouldn’t end up doing 110 pages 🙂

        Colan would change the panel layout if he thought there was a better visual layout to do the story, thats what any good artist would do. Alan Moores scripts are phone book sized and Moore expects the artist to follow what he writes (he’s got a good track record after all) but if the artist convinces him that theres a better way of laying out the page, changing perspective, camera angle or whatever he is fine with that.

        A good modern example is JH Williams III, I’m guessing that a lot of the more experimental layouts in Detective are Williams but the story dosen’t suffer for it and there are no complaints from Rucka about it.

        Magazines like Comic Book Artist and Back Issue magazine are replete with stories of Deadline Doom in the 70’s and 80’s at Marvel, it was chronic during the late part of Roy Thomas reign as EIC as Marvel weren’t restricted by their distribution deal with DC any more (yes, for the whole of the 60’s Marvel were contracted to be distributed by DC and were limited in the amount of titles they could print) and the amount of titles Marvel printed boomed. I think it was Marv Wolfman that started the tactic of making several “inventory” issues for each title so that they could be slipped in to the mix when artists were running late. Jim Shooter carried that on through the 80’s and it only stopped when Quesada came in.

        About Who will wield the shield, if it was just that issue that was affected then Marvel could indeed have put it back but several other series relied on having Steve Rogers in them and you can’t hold back 3 or 4 of Marvels biggest sellers. Printers and retailers would have a shit attack if New Avengers, Dark Avengers and Siege and other things were a month late and had to ship 2 issues of titles in late Jan early Feb.

    • Deemar says:

      I boil it down too artists lack of work ethic and detailed pages in Hitch’s case.

      I feel the industry as a whole needs to move either to a slimline format, volumes or 8 – 10 issue “seasons”

  5. Pobra says:

    Cap #602 was the final straw for me. I thought that the regular series might win me back after Reborn, but it failed to do so. There’s no way I’m paying an extra dollar for a book that I’ve been buying at 2.99 for five years, just because they threw together some shitty back-up. At least DC has GOOD second features that match the tone and quality (for the most part) of their counterparts.

  6. Deemar says:

    Locus *high five* brotha

    Your right too drop CAP I’ve did the same.

    Also WTF happened to Brevoort? It’s like he’s been taken over by an alien. This is not the same man from 10yrs ago

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