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  1.  (7178.261)
    was the decision to do Casanova in spot colours artistic intent or a way to cut costs while coming out with a great product and a strong visual statement (in a way that restrictions and budget limits force you to come up with things you wouldn't normally think of), and is the move to go full colour on Casanova a result retailer pressure and a way to raise order numbers - or was it the plan all along?

    It started, on paper, as both an homage to Forest's BARBARELLA and other one-color exploitation eurocomix and, we thought, a money-saver but the format actually called for what's called a "self-cover" meaning (forgive me if you know this; it was news to us) the cover stock was the same as the interior. and as the covers were full color we really were paying for full color but only printing, uh, two of them on the inside, black and the spot. the move to standard length, standard price, and full color isn't a result of retailer pressure but a reaction to the realities of what the book was selling in it's one-color, two dollar, 16pp format.
  2.  (7178.262)
    Any tips you might like to share?

    get it done. bash your head until it's done. it sucks, it's awful, it's the hardest thing ever. but just let yourself suck; give yourself the gift of sucking, promise you'll do better next time, and remember it's always easier to rewrite than to write.

    and if you can actually have a real deadline, a there-will-be-blood deadline, that helps. i was amazed at how little time i had for preciousness when there was an artist being paid to draw pages I hadn't written...
  3.  (7178.263)

    that, actually, is a ripoff from the Stern show. they made one of the newscasters do that like a month ago (which I know only because bendis and chuck bb, who are stern superfans, love to rub my face in my gagaocity)
  4.  (7178.264)
    First off, a book like X-men, I'm not even sure how you juggle something like that-- seems pretty huge, especially at a point like now-- Anyhow: Was there any advice given to you by former X-writers or editorial about tackling something like this? Bendis (again) has talked about his difficulty when he started working on a team book (I think it was specifically Ult.X-Men, where he noticed that he'd always lose track of Colossus-- like, he'd just disappear from the story b/c Bendis didn't know what to do with him)--

    It's tough. I've had the cover, these first... shit, two years... of doing a macrostory about gathering everybody together, of piling character on top of character. So if someone goes away from view, in fairness, there're at least four other people that have come forward (even though I've definitely lost sight of people sometimes).

    moving ahead you'll see the "roster" solidify and settle somewhat, even though it's established that "everybody" is around.

    I didn't talk to any team book writers, or x writers before taking the gig about how to do it.

    the "Levitz Paradigm" chapter from Dennis O'Neil's writing comics book was the key for me.

    how are you tackling such a huge cast? You've mentioned that you've got some massive wall-charts, what goes into that? Is it basically a list to track where the characters are in the storyline?

    lots of notes, index cards, and a spreadsheet during XVDA. and good editors.

    Basically wondering if you can speak for a minute about what you've learned thus far about writing a big-ass team/universe book like X-men.

    it's tough, especially when your big idea was "let's get ALL the x-men together!" and it means that... i sort of touched on this elsewhere, but there's a kind of story and continuity streamlining when it comes to character stuff. it's not that we don't know it or haven't between all of us, read every X thing ever written at some time or the other, or are too lazy to do the research, but it's easier to just have, like, Kwannon's body in a crypt rather than spend the three or four pages it'd take to explain the otherwise dull and uninteresting way it ended up there. Does that make sense? It's not that we don't know, but rather, there are more essential things to the stories to be told. It comes off as disrespectful to any given character's superfans but... well, it's not, like NIGHTCRAWLER AND THE UNCANNY X-MEN, it's UNCANNY X-MEN. To use a random character as an example.
  5.  (7178.265)
    In that vein, who do you think the impetus is on to change the system? Readers who get the books (often simply for completeness/collecting's sake), or editorial departments that are unwilling to make changes and take chances? Obviously there's some degree of chicken-egg in that argument, but which side to you think it would be more likely for change to come from?

    neither, actually; it'll be from the complete and utter failure of the economic system as it exists: retailers and distro. More people read any given issue GEARS OF WAR than read all of DC'S combined top ten content last year in any given month. Readers are out there for anything, you "just" have to grow the market. and the DM is ill-equipped to grow beyond the superhero genre. The penetration of non-superhero genres of graphic novels in mainstream outlets and in mainstream press, the growth of manga and its audience of primarily kids and girls, the success of GEARS, etc, all hold that to be true.

    And you've never met a group of people that feel more hamstrung by market forces than editorial. At any company, on any side of the street.
  6.  (7178.266)
    n the next year, is Uncanny going to be an x-book that can be read on it's own, or is going to have a lot of crossovers and events where I have to buy one-shots, x-men: legacy, x-force, dark-avengers so on and so forth.

    this isn't the X-Verse of the nineties. i've gone out of my way to make each arc as accessible as can be from the beginning. The first line-wide event since... 2005, i think, happens next year, called SECOND COMING. But by and large the books are really intended to be stand-alone experiences, each with its own unique identity. Now we might not succeed at that, but we TRY...

    Also what is your opinion on crossovers, and major events?

    They sell like crazy-cakes. They run the risk of fatigue beyond five or six months, clearly, but sales don't suffer for the online complaints. Bad stories, bad events, and cash-ins are bad. They're really hard to write. They're a lot of fun when they work well. It's really hard to make them work well.

    Do you think it is unrealistic to have self-contained stories in an ongoing series or must every issue end with a cliff hanger?

    I don't think it's unrealistic, but i think, outside of the hands of the most gifted and most talent creators of this generation, it would be overly-reliant on storytelling tools that read as dated and crude, on page. Um... that's a really big thought though. It's not impossible to create satisfying single issues that form a serial narrative-- I surely try my best to do just that. but it's a serial medium and... yeah, boy, that's a big one.

    warren, if you've got the cells to spare, i'd love to hear your thoughts on this one.
  7.  (7178.267)
    I seem to recall you listing On Her Majesty's Secret Service as one of your favourite movies somewhere, and it happens to be one of my top Bond flicks as well.
    Here's what I'd like to know: Are you a fan of the franchise in general, or just that particular movie?

    I love the franchise, up to a point-- OHMSS is a high point for me; I own up to DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER as I think the Moores are all pretty sad in comparison. Or at least just vulgar. Some days I think I might get THE SPY WHO LOVED ME because, one, the song, and two, barbara bach is hot like fire but that'd serve only as an example of why NOT to watch the Roger Moores.

    And if you are a fan, what's your opinion on the latest entries, starring Daniel Craig?

    in theory I like 'em a lot. QUANTUM sits weirdly for me, the further away from it I get; talk about serial narrative vs. self-contained narrative, yknow? I loved it-- love love loved it, was over the moon when I saw it opening night-- but the further away I get the more I think it really doesn't work as a stand-alone piece. It's like the last third of CASINO. I hope whatever's next is more of a complete thought. But... yeah, I'm loving where they're going.
  8.  (7178.268)
    From my understanding, a large part of this is due to the justified increasingly popularity of Fabio and Gabriel (by the way-I'm super soaked for Day Trippers). But if you had your way, would you like to write Casanova so as to have the issues coming out much more frequently until completion (with book 7 correct?), or would you like breaks to get a breather, and rethink?

    And, not to pat myself on the back, mine too. We didn't get paid to do CASANOVA and it wasn't until the first collection was out that money came in for the boys at all; i've still never made a dime on the series and while, no, i don't write for money, i do have a wife, son, and home to look out for, and getting paid is pretty important to all that. And the boys were suddenly getting paid top rates to do their things-- how could anyone in their right mind say don't, when they can make more on a single page than on the royalties for an entire issue of CASANOVA? So there was that; then it became about coming to an agreement on WHAT to do when we came back; then it became about working out the schedules.

    I think Ed has it right with CRIMINAL. Arc, short pause, collection, arc, short pause, etc.
  9.  (7178.269)
    feel like they don't treat each other very well. But that's just my personal reaction, and I'm glad to know you've thought about their trust issues and will deal with it more as Nation X goes on. Keep the stories coming, and thanks!

    i don't think they have recently, no-- but every relationship has ups and downs. theirs just has a higher special effects budget. anyway i hope you like where we're going and how we get there.
  10.  (7178.270)
    daaaaaavid aaaaaaja, i just wrote a ten pannnnnnnnel paaaaaaage for yooooooooou
    • CommentTimeNov 10th 2009
    Hi Matt,

    In reference to the distribution of non-superhero genres of graphic novels, I've been taking an interest in some of the newer models that have been popping up with in other markets.
    I have two examples to cite:

    1) Cory Doctorow's new book "Maker's" is available as a free ebook download. Although there is an optional caveat; donate a physical copy to a local library. His reasoning behind this is clearly explained on the donate page. Though to paraphrase; rather than receive cash donations for his ebook release, he would like you to support his publishers of the physical book by allowing a library or academic institution to receive a copy based on your donation.

    2) Open Textbooks. There is a company that exists within Canada called Flat World Knowledge. They offer free ebook downloads and a reasonably priced POD softcover for students and institution staff. Additionally, they allow professor's (and possibly students... although I am unsure on this) to remix their books into order to make course-specific texts for their students. More meat. Less cost.

    In no way am I proposing that this be an alternative to the direct market. I'm certain that mashup POD compilations & ebooks of one's favourite Marvel or DC characters is a LONG way off. As we're talking a lot of legal and a lot of properties.

    For creator-owned work, these models allow for a great deal of flexibility.

    Matt, would you consider alternative printing models for your creator-owned work to reach an audience?
    It's certainly with benefit and detractions.

    As an example, from conversations within this Q&A thread; a number of people have stated their excitement about a new printing of the first Casanova volumes, but would love to see it in the original duotone.
    Let's say that Casanova was available as a ebook or a POD book... B&W, colour, duotone, $50 oversized HC, a $5 bendy saddle stitch, a 750 page compendium or an A3 giclee print of any page.

    Do you find any merit in this? Or would this simply a terrible dissemination of your lovely format?

    Any comments are appreciated.
    -John-Paul McCarthy
  11.  (7178.272)
    Hey Matt,

    Sorry you had to miss out on the Toronto Expo. I was looking forward to giving you something I think you'll appreciate. Next year, hopefully, if you can make it and my continents realign.

    No questions. Just a fan. Thanks for doing this, always fun to peek behind the curtain.
    • CommentAuthorr_sail
    • CommentTimeNov 10th 2009
    Corey is clearly suggesting a POD t-shirt club, a la Venture Bros.!

    ...or is that me suggesting that?

    Matt, I owe you a reply. The Internet ate the one I'd typed up, so I'll get back to you in the morning. Thanks for the dialog.

      CommentAuthorDavid Aja
    • CommentTimeNov 11th 2009
    daaaaaavid aaaaaaja, i just wrote a ten pannnnnnnnel paaaaaaage for yooooooooou

    Cool, you know then I will turn it into a double splash single panel or maybe into a twenty four panel one, and you will have to rewrite all dialogues on deadline day!

    Kiddin', kiddin'...
      CommentAuthorDavid Aja
    • CommentTimeNov 11th 2009
    Hey Tim!
    Thank you sir!

    It is not a secret that I'm hardcore fan of Miller's DD run and so I am of the infuences he had there such as Krigstein, Steranko and Kojima.
    For me, it is one those perfect examples of what a superheroe ongoing should be.
  12.  (7178.276)
    I really like your short stories (annuals and such). Any more of those coming down the pike?

    yeah; the iron man annual,and... another thing... yeah. stay tuned. here's a hint: JR

    I have to say, it kind of frightened me when you knew my name this time at Baltimore Con. :) Is the con experience getting tiresome? It seems like it would be fun in year one of Marvel superstardom, say, and then you'd be over it after a spell. Not really a great question, I guess, but I have been curious about whether or not the con travelling experience just becomes wearisome.

    well, we HAVE only met like nine times. sooner or later, it'd stick...! (i haven't gotten into the stuff you gave me, by the way, but it's here. somewhere.)

    it's not wearisome, exactly-- i mean, saying hi, shaking hands, and signing my name a couple-few times is the very least i can do for the folks that afford me this ridiculous lifestyle of mine. But the thing is-- it's always in the middle of work. I don't know anyone in comics that get weekends off, so you're always dodging work, doing work during the con, or you've just powered through a lot of work to afford the few days off. They're tiring-- it's really an endurance thing, especially if you go out at night. I was sick-- sinus infection-- and my kid is old enough to know when I'm gone and was upset the whole time. It's just-- like, it's never the cons that are the problem; it's everything else that gets jacked up. it just... sometimes i can feel it weighing me down. Add to it, say, you don't always get to eat, add to it, you're about to go into an editorial retreat and... six hour flights, three hour trains and, like, shit, that really adds up.

    and Im not naturally "on," so that's... a thing, too.

    But cons are just so so so important, for so many reasons. like i said, it's the least i can do to say thanks. And there's the pro who was so shitty to me, who was such a dick-- and i don't mean tired, i don't mean over it, i don't mean distracted, i mean at the first con i ever went to there was a pro there who was SUCH an outright dick to me that i literally walked away from him, threw the shit away I'd brought to get signed, and haven't ever bought another book by the guy. Petty? Juvenile? Sure. But so was he, so fuck him.

    ANd on the flipside, Mike Allred was so amazing, so warm, and friendly, and funny, and awesome, I never want to be anything less than how he was to everyone.

    the reality is probably somewhere inbetween, alas, but I try. They can be fun, but they're work, on my side of the table, is all. i love doing them but it's work.
  13.  (7178.277)
    also you guys should totally ask aja and fábio questions too
  14.  (7178.278)
    Is there anything you're aware of already that you'll be doing differently this time out, either as far as approach and style goes (like the full-color stuff) or thematic content? Any tricks you're itching to try out, or issues you're wanting to talk about, or events you want to have happen in these peoples' lives?

    yeah, absolutely. and i suspect it's evolved even, since conceived, because of all that. (I've already had to scrap about half an issue because the opening scene was just wrong now.)
  15.  (7178.279)

    What COMICS are you reading these days?

    Rereading LOVE AND ROCKETS and the Chaykin stuff, FLAGG - BLACK KISS. Love his DIE HARD book so far. Kirby rereading-- fourth world, eternals, thor, kamandi. Hickman, Rick, and Jason Aaron are all can't-miss these days. Can't wait for the new Al Columbia or the Campbell omnibus. Or TROUBLEMAKERS. Haven't cracked GOGO MONSTER yet, or CASH, GENESIS, BALL PEEN HAMMER or REFRESH REFRESH. Loved FINAL CRISIS. Loved it. I'm behind.
  16.  (7178.280)

    Music related, have you heard of the band Quasi, that come out of Portland, OR?

    Yeah, i love Quasi. FIELD STUDIES, especially.