Monday links

April 24, 2006

Tom Spurgeon has a meaty, marvelous interview with Mark Siegel of :01 Books at Comics Reporter. It’s the first of two; the second will follow the launch of :01’s first wave of books at the end of this month. I really agree with this bit from the introduction:

“I think people are hopeful First Second’s experiment works, not just because the books are of a high quality, but because First Second’s success would say something wonderful about the audience for comics for everyone.”

I would count myself as one of those hopeful people. I’m even more in that camp after reading about Siegel’s experiences thus far and, in particular, his view of the potentially beneficial role of a good editor in the creative process:

“But there’s so much stuff that’s produced both here and in Europe where you get incredible artistry, brilliant characters, a totally dazzling premise, and then halfway through the story kind of falls apart. That’s the kind of stuff where a novelist would expect a good editor to ask tough questions and have that fine balance of how not to meddle with someone’s vision and be there coaching alongside, and sometimes being unpopular. In the second draft you might be the most hated person in their life, but you’re going, ‘Hang on, this relationship arc disappears halfway through the story. What about this?’ It’s not the same with everybody. Some people take to that, and some people really, really want to be left alone.”

I think the common perception of a comics editor is as continuity cop. Siegel’s take sounds like more of a case where an editor is a creative partner, not really guiding the artist’s work but maybe helping them mold it.

Anyway, the interview is great, and there are lots of little nuggets about future projects, creators who have signed on with :01, and plenty of insights from both Siegel and Spurgeon.

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Another fun interview comes from Lyle (Crocodile Caucus) Masaki, who talks to Mark Andreyko over at Prism Comics. Andreyko, creator of the latest (and most interesting, in my opinion) version of DC’s Manhunter character, talks about where the book is headed, the office politics of killing villains, and just why it took Obsidian so long to come out of the closet. Fun stuff, and it makes me wish DC would pick up speed on releasing Manhunter trades.

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In today’s Flipped, I take a look at the Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics controversy.