Yes! That was it. I never really understood why he was so popular at the time. He was a mix of The Crow and Johnny the Homicidal Maniac.
Neither are essential, you could get by with reading the synopses on TFWiki. First Strike is pretty wretched anyway, though Revolution is readable. That said, I highly recommend the two Transformers tie-ins to Revolution: Thundercracker and Buster Save the World (And Marissa Fairborne Helps Too); and Nothing Will Ever be the Same Again. The latter of these, the nominal MTMTE issue was deliberately written to be to Revolution what Hitman was to DC One Million
(by the way, I recommend TFWiki in general, it’s insanely well-detailed but also is fully aware of how silly Transformers is, and has a great sense of humour about the franchise and itself)
I have never read it - he’s probably more well known for the spin-off character Lady Death. From what I recall it was a more humorously violent title than the Image stuff of the time.
And yeah, the art was a bit more “indie” looking - what I remember most is that the panel borders weren’t drawn with a ruler.
Took advantage of a Dark Horse sale in comixology and bought A Study in Emerald.
A really nice adaptation of Gaiman’s short story.
Not exactly comics, but Brad and Chris have another one - this time with a contest!
Best giveaway ever! Preorder a copy of I AM NEIL ARMSTRONG today and you can win our ENTIRE library of kids books! How? Just preorder the book here: http://bradmeltzer.com/TV-Kids-and-More/I-Am-Neil-Armstrong — mail a screenshot of your receipt to bradmeltzer44 at gmail.com, and we’ll pick three winners to get the entire library of books. A whole library! (And yes, if you already preordered before, that counts too, so just screenshot your soon-to-be-arriving order and send our way — we love early preorderers the most. Can’t wait to share this one with you!
Huh, I honestly thought it had ceased being in papers decades ago.
Just a side, but…
Yeah, to be honest Neil Gaiman is an outlier. One of the best writers to have ever graced comics and a special talent.
I’m with the other two tweeters, Marvel in particular are suffering for their hire of insufficiently experienced (and insufficiently talented) writers, finding themselves leading the way on big books and multiple books, before they have even worked out how to write in an engaging manner yet.
It’s certainly the main reason so many of their books are not working for me, or anyone else judging by how deep in the toilet they are.
So with all due respect to Mr Gaiman, for that one person out of 1,000 that’s going to step onto a comic and be overnight success, there’s a bunch of guys writing substandard, mediocre comics, who seem to be getting lots of work because of their ability to come up with high concept pitches.
Constrast that to Al Ewing, who wrote for fanzines for years, before getting work at 2000ad, a few years there, then onto dynamite and eventually c list characters at Marvel where he’s just been given a big book with the Immortal Hulk, which he’s completly smashing.
There’s probably no one method to breaking through, but learning how to write comics first is never going to do anyone any harm.
DC also made a huge mistake with the new 52 in putting Justin Jordan, Mike Costa, Tony Daniel, Francis Manupal, Nathan Edmanson, Rob Liefeld, Josh Fialkov, Ivan Brandon, Eric Wallace, Kyle Higgins (who I like but he was inconsistent due to his inexperience), John Rozum, Jeff Lemire (who wasn’t ready), George Perez…as writers on their book. Either guys without the experience or artists who were not very good at writing.
The only guy who made a critical impact there was China Meiville, who was already an accclaimed and established novelist at the time.
Don’t get me wrong this isn’t the only reason it failed, putting a bunch of washed up 90s guys who weren’t very good back then either, didn’t help either.
There’s no surprise that their best books of that relaunch we’re written by the likes of Azzarello and johns.
Actually, when you look at who did write the new 52 books, it’s no surprise that it went right down the shitter.
They managed to create a lot of buzz and get people picking up the first issues but the lack of talent failed to keep them there.
And they appear to have learned from it.
Still, it’s not like the period between Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing and the creation of Vertigo was just title after title of hits. Every period of comics has plenty of forgotten garbage even from people who would later be considered great writers and artists. And some of that garbage actually finds its audience decades later.
There has always been a scattershot approach to comics from the side of publishing and editing. Today, I honestly can’t believe the amount of talent even the worst artists have compared to when I was reading comics in the 70’s and 80’s.
For me, the biggest challenges comics faces today is essentially the negativity here on the omnicommentary of the internet. It’s become the anti-letters pages and inordinately affects the marketing and publishing approach. The individual nature of the comics reading is being eroded by it, unfortunately. If we were better people, we’d simply keep negative opinions to ourselves, but that’s inhumanly impossible.
I think they did have some talented people on the the New 52 but from all indications, Editorial had such a chokehold on things that they really couldn’t do what they were hired to do.
Who argues with Neil Gaiman about the chronology of his own life? Social media really is terrible.
Yeah, that was absolutely ridiculous
Conversely I have no idea why creators argue with these people. I can see, if you don’t agree with them, publishing a column or even a Facebook essay like Bill S., but actually getting down in the social media mud and wrestling with them? It’s crazy to me that successful people would do this.
It’s true, time can cause us to review the cream and ignore the garbage when looking back. It’s as true for music and films as it is for comics.
Those early issues of Animal Man were pretty great, and then by the time that he was on Green Arrow we were into the really good stuff.
He was ready in the sense he’d already put out excellent books for Top Shelf that had won awards. I think he found some time to find the right material and approach for Big 2 comics. A lot of Animal Man was great stuff but hampered by the Rotworld stuff.
I do take Chris’ overall point but can’t quite agree on a lot of the examples, Perez had already written one of the most highly regarded Wonder Woman runs for DC. Gaiman’s example is maybe not the norm but not unknown either, today two of DC’s hottest writers are Snyder and King that got given their first books at Vertigo.
There’s an element of luck and judgement rather than a rule on using new writers like that.
Yeah the early and the very late issues of animal man were great, basically the stuff that bookended rotworld.
I think if we look at a lot of the guys who have been successes they’ve come in and shown their mettle with a Vertigo book first, then a c lister.
Guys who have blown everyone away really quickly have rightly moved onto bigger and better things - but let’s remember that Tom King received massive critical acclaim for a Vision mini series, Sheriff of Baghdad and omega Men before being rightly given the keys to Batman.
Neil Gaiman corrects the tweet about getting work at DC relatively untried, but Black Orchid wasn’t exactly a huge property at DC and neither was Sandman until he made it the case.
There will always be super talented people who are managed correctly and succeed early on with the help of good editors and wise choices, but I don’t think chucking a whole bunch of relatively inexperience writers onto books at the same time is the way to go - if talent is shining bright, like Neil Gaiman did, like Tom King did, then it’s worth the risk - but chucking everyone who has had some form of minor success or buzz on a book at Image onto your writing roster is a recipe for disaster.
I wish Marvel would take a stand against variants and spread their cover art money throughout their creative roster instead. I think variants have hurt the entire industry more than anything. I am more open to new writers than I am to the variant scene.