Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Xombi Concept Art

My Xombi collaborator, the amazing artist Frazer Irving has started up a Tumblr account on which he's showing some of his lesser seen pieces of art including some of his preliminary sketches for Xombi's covers including these for Xombi #3. If you're interested in the creative process then it's definitely worth taking a look. Aside from preliminary sketches and unused art, Frazer also has some posts that show how he goes about creating his gorgeous digital art. Check it out here.


Frank Zweegers said...

Interesting work!

Anonymous said...

This is my follow up to my response to last week:

Again, it's not just Static's book being cancelled that I'm worried about. It's the character receiving the Ryan Choi/Cassandra Cain/Doctor Voodoo/Lian Harper/Forge/Global Guardians/Wally West/Bushido/Orpheus-style treatment after his book is cancelled. After that character's book is cancelled, I know exactly what happens next. And like clockwork, it happens.

Just like Ryan Choi, to DC, Virgil would be big enough of a "name" for the shock death to have some sort of "impact," but not popular for people to care if something bad happens to the character or if the character ends up being treated like garbage. So to DC, it would be okay. (Not to mention that this was done without Gail Simone's permission, nor knowledge)

It turns out DC and Marvel have gotten pretty good at this:

The problem is this type of thing completely 100% kills any enjoyment I received out of a character's prior stories. It's like DC and Marvel practically spitting in the faces of people who've read and followed these characters. It's like DC and Marvel feel that if a character can't support their own book, then that character and his/her fans are worthless. When things like this shock death/derailment crap happens, tt gives people the feeling that spending money and following these characters was all for nothing. In fact, I think this is exactly where people's "I'm not going to buy or follow this book because I know it'll be cancelled soon" sentiment comes from. It’s like DC and Marvel are saying "It doesn't matter if you read this book. Not enough other people read this book, so we're perfectly within our means to disrespect you and also disrespect these characters by using them as canon fodder. It doesn't matter if you spent money and consistently followed this character, you as a customer, are worthless because your support for this character wasn't enough. You, as a customer, don't matter to us."

It's frustrating, depressing, discouraging and dispiriting to not only see this happen once, but again and again and again.

Anonymous said...

Again, I wasn't blaming you for Xombi's cancellation. I felt it was an excellent book. These are Xombi's sales up through June:

DC usually cancels books below the 15k level. (And with DC/Warner's new policy during this relaunch, it seems they will stop publishing books that even sell at or slightly above the level.) With Marvel, the cancellation is around 25,000 and sometimes in the lower 20k's but never below 20,000. DC has never continued a book that was selling in the single-digit k's. Sadly, someone on CBR mentioned why the good word-of-mouth most likely didn't have that much of an impact:

To top it all off, Didio recently mentioned at Comic-Con that Xombi wasn't coming back, while for some reason, a couple other low-selling books were instead going to return and some are even going to be among the 52 books in the reluanch (books like "All-Star Western" aka Jonah Hex). This is distressing, as I was hoping to see Xombi among the 52 relaunch titles, namely among the announced 'DC Dark' titles. Even without a book, David could at least have been appearing as a member of the 'Justice League Dark' book. (Are you aware of any reason why he isn't, BTW? That book and team seem like an excellent fit for him.) Will David Kim at least be making appearances in Static Shock?

Again, I wasn't blaming you for Xombi's sales or its cancellation. I was blaming the retailers and the comic book audience. Once again, I enjoyed the book, but the problem was that even after all the critical acclaim from the the 1st and 2nd issues, retailers weren't ordering higher numbers of the subsequent issues. even though it was a good book and had a great deal of positive word-of-mouth. It's like people were all "This isn't Batman, so there's no way it's not garbage" or "I don't care if it's good. I don't know what it is, so I won't read it." (You “don’t know what it is”? Then what the hell is Wikipedia for?) Apparently, comic book retailers and the fans they cater to will be the reason comic books will most likely completely die off before 2020. DC, Marvel and other publishers need to do something and before readers completely kill off comics. Is there any way to combat this?

It pretty much looks like comic book readers have completely destroyed the comic book industry.

Anonymous said...

And nor did I say you were the one blemishing McDuffie's legacy. Again, it's the fans. And they're chomping at the bit for the Milestone properties to not succeed, saying there was a "reason Milestone failed the first time around." People actually asked why "a talent like Frasier Irving" is working "on a book like this" during Xombi's announcement. The fans will often use opportunities like that to say how they "were right" about McDuffie's work and Milestone. Comic book "fans" even did the same thing when McDuffie died, saying "what was so great about McDuffie" or calling Dwayne a "hack" and pointing to JLA, proving they had no idea what the hell they were talking about and demonstrating a severe lack of awareness of the events that occurred during that period. And problem is that they outnumber the fans that appreciate companies like Milestone, McDuffie and his work, and appreciate good books in general.

I'm hoping to see more involvement with the Milestone characters. Due to the modern comics audience and climate, even though I thought it was well done and served as a good sendoff to the Milestone Universe, Milestone Forever didn't sell for whatever reason. Things like this are probably making DC apprehensive about doing more with the characters. It's probably the reason that, outside of Static, very little was done with the Milestone characters up until Xombi. It's also probably the reason DC shoved Static into New York. They most likely feel taking him out of Dakota away from the other Milestone properties and having a much greater involvement with the more popular properties in DCU will increase the character's chances of success.

I think if Static ends up being a success, it would lead to not only a return for Xombi, but also DC finally doing more with the rest of the Milestone characters and Dakota as a whole. And hopefully, we'll see David Kim in his own book again before DC gets the idea to use him in a lame shock death as canon fodder.

I'd actually love to see Static Shock obtain Xombi's level of critical acclaim. It winning some awards, especially an Eisner, would draw more attention to the book.

In fact, I feel the reason Xombi's sales never rebounded was because it was cancelled before it got a chance to win a major award.

With praise like that, this has the chance to be the (or at least one of the) greatest comic book(s) of all time. In fact, I honestly think Static has a chance of becoming the first ever black or minority character to have a solo book actually succeed in the market. This would be an achievement of which even characters like Black Panther, Cyborg, Cassandra Cain, Blue Beetle, Black Lightning, or Storm have been unable to accomplish. I have full faith that you can pull it off. In an industry that made an icon out of Wolverine, but not Black Panther, Static's book could be the first book of its kind. It just has to catch fire.

John Rozum said...

David Kim cannot appear in any other titles because Dwayne McDuffie's stipulation regarding Xombi is that I was required to write it, and only I. I, too am disappointed it's not coming back.

As for everything else, I have nothing to add beyond what I've said previously. This may be something you want to take up with DC as I have no control over what they do there. My job is to try and produce the best, most entertaining stories I can within whatever parameters have been given me. Whether anyone decides to buy these stories is something I can't control.

In the future, PLEASE post any comments within the RELEVANT THREAD that they pertain to. It's hard for me to remember where they were when you have them posted under things I've written regarding a Pee-Wee Herman themed art show, among other places, including here, a plug for Frazer Irving's tumblr account. It also makes it bewildering for any other person reading your comments when they have nothing to do with the post they are attached to.