Monday, February 06, 2012

Ask Me Anything #17






It's time once again for "Ask Me Anything." This feature runs on the first Monday of every month and gives you the opportunity to ask me anything you might be wondering about me, my work, movies I've watched, books I've read, food I've eaten,  or anything at all.  

Head down to the comment section and post your question. I'll either post my answer in the comment section as well, or answer it in a special post all its own sometime later in the month.

Please take the time to view the previous questions so that we don't wind up with a lot of repetition. I've been asked a lot of good, thought provoking questions in the past as well as some really banal ones. all of which I tried to answer. You can see the previous questions by visiting Ask Me Anything  #1#2 ,  #3#4#5#6 , #7 , #8#9,  #10,  #11,  #12 , #13#14,  #15 and #16.  Answers not found following the questions can be found in the archives section for each associated month.

Now ask away.

10 comments:

Robert Pope said...

What, if any, was your favorite Super Bowl Halftime Show?

Xavier Lancel (SCARCE) said...

From your comics experience from the 90's to today, what cutting differencies (be they good or bad) would you say there is in writing comics back then and now?

John Rozum said...

Robert - I haven't watched a football game since Fran Tarkington was still quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings. I have to say I enjoyed the lack of traffic driving around on Superbowl Sunday.

Xavier -- Good question. Let me give it some thought and I'll give you an answer.

Robert Pope said...

Hope you didn't think I was gunning for a smarty-pants question; some years have been lame (Up With People?) some cool (Prince, U2) and some just plain weird (The Peanuts Gang? Uh, really? And I LOVE the Peanuts gang and thought that was insane...)

James Schee said...

Any word on what happened to the optioned Midnight, Mass tv show? I was excited to hear about it a few years ago. Hoping it'd get on and push DC to bring back it back for more adventures.

John Rozum said...

Xavier - From my perspective, the major differences are that in the 1990s comic book companies were more willing to try new things and to give them time to find an audience and that these stories were allowed more room to breathe.

Today, new, unproven, material is less likely to see the light of day (at least at Marvel and DC) and the stories need to move a lot faster, usually at the expense of character development and coherent storytelling, and new series are promoted less and cancelled far more quickly.

I also think it's a lot harder to break in now as a newcomer. When I started out, it was pretty easy to at least get a fill-in issue of something, and writers and artists moved from one title to another pretty frequently. With fewer successful ongoing titles, people do this a lot less because of the need for job security and publishers are less likely to risk a dip in sales that may occur when an unknown talent is placed on a title -- even for one issue.

There's a sameness to a lot of the comics now, which is unfortunate since there was so much innovation that was taking place in the 1990s. Even a lot of the independents have been forced to take the safe route and put most of their energy behind licensed material from other media.

John Rozum said...

James - Nothing's happening with it currently. The scripts that had been commissioned didn't capture what was appealing about the comic books as a potential tv series, and the people involved didn't feel I was enough of a commodity to write it myself.

I'm sure it will be looked at again at some point. I'd love for it to happen because the money that would come my way would be a nice gift. Even more, I'd love to return to writing Midnight, Mass. as a comic book series again. The climate in the comic book industry right now isn't really conducive to trying to do so right now, but I'm not ready to let it lie for too long.

John Rozum said...

Robert -- No. The smarty pants questions usually come from Michael Jones.

Xavier Lancel (SCARCE) said...

Thanks for this detailed answer, John, that's interesting, especially since I have a tendancy to see the 90's as one of the worst period for comics. :p

John Rozum said...

Xavier -- There was a lot of junk during the 90s for certain. All the stuff with giant guns for one thing. For the first half there was all of that insane business of trying to appeal to the speculation market with all the gimmick covers, trading cards, poly bagging plus the crazy prices the Valiant titles were selling for, all of which of course crashed almost taking the market with it. But because of all of the money coming in, books such as the Vertigo titles were given the chance to find their audiences, Fantagraphics was publishing some great stuff as was Drawn and Quarterly. The success of Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns brought in some smart writing into the field as a whole as well.

Of course, I also stopped working for Marvel because the toy company that owned them dictated which characters could be used based on their plans for making action figures. This could have been worked around had they provided the editors with a list, but they didn't, so pitching character specific stories became an impossible guessing game and a waste of time.