Funnybook Babylon

April 8, 2008

Creative Team Turnover and You: A Four Stage Healing Process

Filed under: Blurbs — Matt Jett @ 7:00 am

Whether it’s Greg Rucka leaving Checkmate, John Rogers leaving Blue Beetle, Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz leaving Booster Gold, or Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker leaving Iron Fist, nearly every comics fan has some loss to lament, and I haven’t even mentioned the numerous art changes that happen from month to month. In order to help you all through this grieving process, I’ve devised a four stage plan chronicling your feelings, to help you understand what you’re going through.

1. Shock: A total loss of emotion, due to the impact of the loss. You may find yourself looking at solicits wondering, “Is this real? Did DC really give Checkmate to Bruce Jones?”

2. Denial: Being unable to accept the situation. You may find yourself thinking, “This can’t be happening. Iron Fist is Fraction and Brubaker’s baby, they’d never give it up.”

3. Anger: Wanting to lash out at everyone you think shares in the blame. You may continually ask, “Who gave Dan Didio/Joe Quesada their job? Does anybody actually buy Bruce Jones comics?”

4. Resolution: Feeling like there is a way past the grief, an end to the sadness. You remind yourself that you’ll always have the Trades. The creators are working on new, exciting books. You may say to yourself, “John Rogers writing the JLI would be really cool.” or “At least Criminal has longer stories now.” You might even find yourself giving the new creative team a shot. Sure, it’s not the one you know and love but that doesn’t mean they won’t do a great job (unless it’s Bruce Jones).

Eventually your Iron Fist hardcovers will gather a fine layer of dust, and you’ll forget the run ever happened until you glance at your bookshelf and all the memories come flooding back. But in time, these feelings too will fade.

8 Comments »

  1. I’m super-bummed about Fraction and Brubaker leaving IRON FIST, but it infuriates me when the first bunch of comments about a news article such as the above are blunt decrees of “Welp, guess I’m dropping that book now.” I understand the dismay, but hey, why not give the new team at least a fighting chance before you throw up your hands and walk away? I’ve enjoyed the book immensely, so far, and I’m not gonna walk away from it so quickly. If you genuinely like the book, the new team might just do as good a job, or (heaven forbid) better, than the last! Are there seriously such Fraction groupies that will buy ANYTHING he’s involved with and drop it when he decides it’s time to move on?

    Sure, comics are expensive, and there’s always something “new and exciting” being produced to divert our attention away from our current favorites — many folks are just waiting for an excuse to drop books from their pull list. At least give the new guys a shot before you do, though.

    Comment by Pop-Monkey — April 8, 2008 @ 12:32 pm

  2. Pop Monkey,

    “Are there seriously such Fraction groupies that will buy ANYTHING he’s involved with and drop it when he decides it’s time to move on?”

    Yes. I’m dropping Iron Fist because Fraction (and Brubaker( are gone. I won’t buy *anything* written by Fraction, though; Punisher War Journal sucks something fierce.

    I’m not going to give the new team a shot because I’m totally apathetic towards Iron Fist without the original creative team. I only started buying it because I like both Brubaker’s and Fraction’s writing, why should I continue paying for something that’s not that? When Haynes changed their sock design, I stopped buying Haynes’s socks and started buying a different sock that was like the old Haynes style I liked. This is pretty much the same thing.

    Anyway, I’m *still* not over Shooter being kicked out of Valiant. (Those books drastically dropped off in quality when he left, btw.) I’m also still not over McDuffie’s Milestone being shut down. But every time I look at my bookshelf and see my Harbinger hardback, I get all misty eyed and wish Massarky had never been involved with Valiant.

    Comment by Kenny — April 8, 2008 @ 1:48 pm

  3. Kenny,

    “I only started buying it because I like both Brubaker’s and Fraction’s writing, why should I continue paying for something that’s not that?”

    Gee, cuz it might be really good, or (gasp) better? I dunno what to tell you man. Do whatcha like.

    Comment by Pop-Monkey — April 9, 2008 @ 11:46 pm

  4. “Gee, cuz it might be really good, or (gasp) better? I dunno what to tell you man. Do whatcha like.”

    I doubt it will be. Iron Fist was a labor of love for Brubaker and Fraction; it’s just a paycheck for the new guy.

    There isn’t any reason to believe the new team will be on par with the old team. I don’t understand the logic in thinking that just because a new creative team is different, it could be better. If someone was perfectly happy with what they had before, why would they enjoy a change forced on them? I’m not going to waste perfectly good money on a book that has an equal chance of being terrible as it does of being good.

    Comment by Kenny — April 10, 2008 @ 12:52 pm

  5. Duane (long S name) is a guy who seems to have a successful career outside of comics. I imagine he’s not doing it for the low amount of cash that marvel is going to give him.

    I don’t know why you believe it’s going to get worse. I loved the Morrison run of JLA and then the Waid and Kelly runs were good but different in their own way.

    Do you never take a risk on something being good? How do you know any comics are good? I mean we are talking about 3 dollars?

    You can do whatever you want with your dollar but I just don’t get your logic here.

    Comment by Pedro Tejeda — April 10, 2008 @ 1:19 pm

  6. “Do you never take a risk on something being good? How do you know any comics are good? I mean we are talking about 3 dollars?”

    Yes, I take risks on new things, but usually not with superhero comics. I usually start buying superhero comics based on authors I like due to their work in other genres. Duane Swierczynski hasn’t written anything that has looked even remotely interesting to me in the past. Cable with a baby strapped to him? No thank you. I don’t know how successful he’s been outside of comics, either. I looked him up on Wikipedia, and while he could probably survive off the living he’s making as a professor, I don’t doubt he’s looking for another steady paycheck, either.

    I’m just saying different doesn’t automatically equal better. In this case, two writers whose work I enjoy immensely are leaving a book that they started purely out of love for the character. Swierczynski, a writer I don’t care about, is coming on to the book to write stories in what he basically said will be him imitating the tone Brubaker and Fraction brought to the book. Imitations aren’t usually better than the original, so why would this one be?

    The logic of, “It might be better because of different creators,” isn’t exactly sound. (paraphrase) The book might be one of an infinite number of things by virtue of having different creators. The book might have more blue, it might have more comedy, it might have more scorpions, but none of these things have a greater probability of occurring than any other based solely on the creators being different.

    Duane Swierczynski writes boring books about a soldier from the future having a baby strapped to his chest. He’s doing a poor job of ripping off Lone Wolf and Cub. In other words, he’s hacking out a series and doing a bad job of it. From that, I draw the conclusion Iron Fist will be a worse book with him writing it.

    Comment by Kenny — April 10, 2008 @ 4:14 pm

  7. I was thinking about this while I was running. Swierczynski isn’t really ripping off Lone Wolf & Cub in Cable, he’s ripping off Mr. Nanny. So, a guy who’s best idea when writing a book about a soldier from the future is to rip-off Mr. Nanny is going to take over a really well written book and I’m supposed to think it’s going to be better? No, sorry, I’m not even going to download it for free from a torrent site.

    Comment by Kenny — April 10, 2008 @ 6:55 pm

  8. I agree that Fraction and Brubaker leaving IF is one of the most disappointing comic book developments I’ve heard in a long time. The upside is that the interview over at Newsarama conveys Duane’s sincere appreciation for all the good things they brought to the character and the series. He GETS what works, why it works, and he has a genuine enthusiasm to match.

    The downside is that this is also the guy who’s writing the latest CABLE series, which is so poorly reviewed I’m hesitant to even pick it up. I hate to bust on comics I haven’t read, but I can smell CABLE from here.

    So… I’ll give it a shot.

    Comment by sleeper — April 12, 2008 @ 8:40 am

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