« Home | Canadian store managers sell to speculators » | What politicized plans DC has for Wonder Woman » | One of the producers of Superman IV: The Quest for... » | Mike Baron's Thin Blue Line was rejected by major ... » | Axel Alonso's still voicing PC positions as editor... » | Once defunct Arizona specialty store is being revived » | LGBT specialty publisher gets nationwide grant, in... » | Hollywood Reporter acts as apologist for Image's w... » | Stephen King always chose Batman over Superman » | Canadian artist turns rappers into comic strips » 

Tuesday, December 07, 2021 

The Atlantic's pathetic interview with Tom King, Mitch Gerads, Clay Mann and Evan Shaner

The Atlantic ran a sugary interview with 4 of the worst writers/artists to work in comicdom, King, Gerards, Mann and Shaner. They tell, for example:
Beck: So most of the time you’re really relying on this relationship between writer and artist. What is that relationship like in your experience?

Mitch: It’s rare that legitimate friendships come out of the working relationship. Usually it’s a job. You get paired, you do a thing, and then you get paired with another person and do another thing. Tom and I just worked so well together that we started declaring ourselves a unit.

Tom: Historically in comics you hear more about writers and artists who eventually ended up hating each other. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had a huge disagreement. A lot just don’t know each other—probably 70 percent of writers and artists never meet or even talk to one another.

Mitch: Without conventions, I doubt a lot of people would meet each other in this industry.
The whole "friendship" has pretty much been built around condescending deconstruction of classic material owned by corporations, which is how it got to the point where they've fallen into abuse and decay. For King, it's Heroes in Crisis, and a Vision miniseries, to name but some. One can only wonder if this what he and the artists envisioning his scripts are maintaining a friendship upon.
Beck: How did your working relationship develop into a friendship?

Evan “Doc” Shaner: Mitch and Tom have been working together for so long. I’ve known them for a long time, but I’ve only worked with them for the last year or two. It was like walking into a working friendship that was already there.

Clay Mann: Mitch definitely came with Tom.

Mitch: Tom and I got paired together by an editor to do a book called The Sheriff of Babylon. We gelled really well while we were making that, and realized we gelled together as friends too. He writes things that I want to draw. When you’re working on a creative project, a lot of yourself comes out, so when two creative minds meet, it creates something more than just work.

Tom: We all got more successful together. We live in a weird liminal space between normal people and celebrities. We’re nowhere near celebrities, but we sometimes have to do things like this interview, and it’s weird. Going through that together bonds you.
All they want to draw for King is storylines about trauma and depression, not optimism and laughter. Another of the items that comes up in discussion, proving just how willing the magazine is to gloss things over, is:
Doc: Before working on Strange Adventures with Tom and Mitch, I was hopping from one book to another and working with a number of different writers. Coming on to Strange Adventures was a revelation in terms of feeling comfortable and stretching to do different things. Before, especially if it was a writer I didn’t know very well, I played everything very safe and for the most part stuck to the script that was given to me.
And what an "adventure" it was! One that did nothing more than set up one of the many depressing premises King builds a story around, coupled with anti-war metaphors, and made Adam Strange and company look bad. This is what he feels comfortable doing? What a bore this guy's proving to be, and the worst part is how they're banking on the readership of the Atlantic not knowing anything about the stories in question, or how they alienated the comics audience. That's precisely how they insult intellects here, and talk down to the magazine's audience as well.
Beck: Do you have in mind an example of a risk that you wanted to take or something creative you wanted to try that you might not have done in another relationship?

Clay: I have an example where Tom didn’t listen to his friend.

Tom: What did I do?

Clay: I said to Tom, “I don’t think this is going to fly,” but he was like, “People will love it.” It was Harley Quinn defeating the Trinity [of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman].

Tom: That didn’t work. I should have listened to you.

[Another example of how our relationship affects the work] is I know at least a little bit what’s hard to draw and what’s not. Maybe I have something in my head that took me two seconds to come up with and it’s going to take them a week to draw. It can be an asshole move, especially if you know the guys and you’re like, Oh man, his wife wants to go on vacation next week.

On the other side, when Mitch signed up for Mister Miracle, I was like, “I want to do this all as nine-panel grids.” That’s something I would never do with other artists, because it’s really hard, but I thought, Maybe Mitch will forgive me for doing this to him.
There's quite a few audience members who won't forgive King and company for Heroes in Crisis, that's for sure. I think they're joking about the HQ story, but in a literal sense, they're right there's people who find the whole notion of HQ defeating the Trinity insulting to the intellect, because of how much it sounds like cheap fanfiction. That Mr. Miracle tale was very bad too.
Beck: What have you learned from this friendship?

Tom: I learned I should trust Clay about Harley Quinn.

I have learned that jobs will come and go, but the friendships are more important. When I’m talking to an editor, whatever makes these guys’ lives the best is what I want to happen. That sounds corny, but it’s also professionally beneficial. The editor always wants things to be done faster. But if you give these guys room, you’re going to get the best work.

Mitch: Good comics can be made, but you need some sort of special mind meld in order to create great comics.
They did not turn out the best comics, and the way Gerads talks about creating good comics is laughable. Because none of the above writers/artists are qualified, based on their MO.
Beck: Do you think this isolation of artists and writers is to the detriment of the quality of the comics industry?

Clay: I think it’s a detriment to people.

Doc: It can be really harmful for folks to spend this much time alone. And then when you have an entire industry of people who work by themselves, you get a lot of weirdos who make terrible stuff.
Look who's talking. One of the same people involved in terrible storylines putting characters we're supposed to like through horrific situations, for the sake of misery and sadness. Besides, the only artists and writers actually being isolated are the ones being blacklisted, like Chuck Dixon and Mike Baron. The kind of folks King and company never defend.

And none of that matters to the Atlantic's writers. No wonder the questions they ask are so flaccid, and don't make for any challenging discussion.

Labels: , , , ,

About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
My profile



  • avigreen2002@yahoo.com
  • Fansites I Created

  • Hawkfan
  • The Greatest Thing on Earth!
  • The Outer Observatory
  • Earth's Mightiest Heroines
  • The Co-Stars Primer
  • Realtime Website Traffic

    Comic book websites (open menu)

    Comic book weblogs (open menu)

    Writers and Artists (open menu)

    Video commentators (open menu)

    Miscellanous links (open menu)

  • W3 Counter stats
  • Click here to see website statistics
  • blog directory Bloggeries Blog Directory Entertainment Blogs
    Entertainment blog View My Stats Blog Directory & Search engine eXTReMe Tracker Locations of visitors to this page  
    Flag Counter Website Audience by Country
    free counter

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

    make money online blogger templates

Older Posts Newer Posts

The Four Color Media Monitor is powered by Blogspot and Gecko & Fly.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.
Join the Google Adsense program and learn how to make money online.