Burning Questions

This week, I answer your questions! Because I know stuff! Some, anyway…
Linkara asks: What do you feel Dark Horse’s primary market is? I.E. Marvel and DC are primarily superhero stories, Image is a mixture of superheroes plus various other genres usually related to scifi or crime.
One of my favorite things about Dark Horse is how hard our books are to pigeonhole as a group. They cover a tremendous range of genres, styles, and formats, and I’d be hard-pressed to choose a single one that defines us in the way that DC or Marvel is identified with superheroes. So, our primary markets vary widely from line to line and title to title.
I do think our market is widened substantially by the volume of cross-medium and licensed material we’re involve in: for example, titles like Buffy bring people to comicsand, by extension, other Dark Horse comicswho wouldn’t otherwise seek them out. So, we both rely on and practice a lot of cross-fertilization between comics, movies, prose fiction, art, video games, toys, and other mediums I’m probably forgetting.
The other area Dark Horse has always focused on in both publication and marketing is creator-owned properties (i.e. Hellboy, Concrete, The Goon, Sock Monkey, etc.). And creators’ rights are a pretty big deal in terms of how we market ourselves to writers and artists whose work we want to publish.
amyreads asks: If you could put together a Dream Team of Writer(s) and Artist(s) on a Dream Superhero Title, who would your Dream Team be, and what would the Dream Storyline be?
Can I have more than one?
I would love to see an Arkham Asylum story with script and covers by David Mack and painted interiors by Bill Sienkewicz.
A Li’l Avengers story, Little Endless Storybook style, written and painted by Jill Thompson. MADE OF CUTE AND WONDERFUL!
Speaking of cute, I want more X-Men backup stories by Colleen Coover.
And I would kill small, defenseless…well, anyway, I’d pay a lot of money to see a Starman miniseries written by Joshua Dysart and drawn by Mike Mignola.
CEOIII says: 3 words: REWRITE CIVIL WAR. Any way you wish, any ending you wish. Cap just giving up is still jammed deep in my craw.
Ever seen the movie Baseketball? Remember when they have the big fight, and then they finally make up, and—
Oh, C’mon! You know Iron Man + Cap = OTP! And I’m not even into slash!
Okay, sorry. I’ll give it a serious try. Bear in mind, however, that I haven’t actually read much of Civil War, so I may be breaking continuity pretty hard.
First of all, I’d frame it such that Iron Man wasn’t set up as the villain. Instead, it’d be clear that he and Cap are both basically right: each has a different, totally defensible stance on a really loaded, subjective issue. So, while the conflict would escalate, it would be a case of conflicting beliefs, not Evil Authoritarian Iron Man beating down on Sympathetic, Freedom-Loving Cap.
I would retcon such that Iron Man and Cap had worked together to fake Cap’s death so that Cap could continue to operate clandestinely and help some anti-registration heroes and people whom registration would actively harm get to Canada / protect their identities. Which I think Tony Stark would be willing to leave to Cap’s judgment, because Tony’s always been all about bending the rules for the greater good.
And then they’d make out.
Fox In The Stars says: Maybe like ‘what can a male character do’, talk about ways of handling male characters that would be woman-friendly and feminist.
I’m gonna hold off on this, ’cause it could be a column by itself…
Hazel says: A feature on male writers and artists who do good stuff with female characters would be nice. Also, novels or other media who you think would make good comics spin-offs.
Y’know what? Most of the well-writen and well-drawn women in comics are coming from male creators, simply because the field is so dramatically gender-imbalanced. For now, though, I’ll just rattle off a short list of male comics creators who I’ve seen portray women particularly well (in my highly subjective opinion):
Kyle Baker
Matt Bayne
Ross Campbell
Guy Davis
Frank Frazetta
Neil Gaiman
Renato Guedes
Brian Maruca
Lawrence Marvit
Dave McKean
Mike Mignola
Alan Moore
Jim Rugg
Greg Ruth
Stephen Seagle
Dean Trippe
Joss Whedon
Tad Williams
Bryan Vaughn
I’m iffy on the reworking of other media as comics, for many of the same reasons that I’m uncertain about the adaptation of most comics and books into movies. Spinoffs, on the other hand, could be fair game if doing them as comics would genuinely add something to them.
Here are a couple characters and properties that I think could rock the comics:

  • V.I. Warshawski, who could rock her own ongoing series. Badass, practical female PIs are FAR too rare. Bonus: female creator, too!
  • Otherland, which also has the dual advantages of tremendously rich imagery and an author who we know can write some damn fine comics.
    A straight adaptation that I think would be really damn cool would be Davita’s Harp, by Chaim Potok. It’s a bit unlikely for a comic, and it would have to be the right creative team, but it could be pretty rad.
    knastymike asks: Any chance of a comic book based on the life of Anne Bonny?
    As it just so happens, my good friend Noah is hard at work on just such a series. It’s still in an embryonic stage, but when it’s done, it’s gonna rock you so hard your whole family will feel it.
    Caribou23 asks: In your opinion, who is the most awesome comics creator working in the field today who doesn’t get acknowledged as often as you think that they deserve? And where I can I find their work?
    Ooh, hard one. Really hard one, because what if it’s someone I haven’t heard of because they don’t get that acknowledgement, andOH, NOES!
    So, instead, I’m just going to write about one awesome comics creator out of many who aren’t getting acknowledged as much as I’d like.
    And that’s Matt Bayne (whose name you can also find in the above list of men who write / draw women particularly well). You can find his comic, Knights of the Shroud, here. In a just world, this would be getting about ten times the press it has thus far, and Matt would be . It’s quirky and not without its flaws, but it’s also really, really, really, really awesome and promises to grow even more so.
    Discuss this column here.
    August 28th, 2007
    Categories: Books, characters, Creators, fandom, Personal, Publishing, Questions . Author: Rachel Edidin