Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The Big Picture: "FAQ"


TheDVDGrouch said...

What a cool episode I've been a fan of yours for some time now and its nice to get a little FAQ insight.

KevinCV said...

That cheeseburger macaroni sounds really good. I might see if I can persuade my mom to make it the next time we have macaroni and cheese for a meal. Aanyway, great FAQ, Bob. I always like to know a bit more about the people from the internet that I totally admire and respect, regardless of disagreements we may have. Also, it's brilliant to meet a fellow MST3K fan. My older brothers and I used to watch when I was a kid... XD

Ezenwa said...

Big ups to you, Bob, in telling us a little more about yourself. I liked it.

Ankhwatcher said...

I'm used to you talking faster... This felt wierd.

white templar said...

He really had to push himself to be nice. U can tell by the strain in his voice towards the end. Sigh.

Dave Kraft said...

@Bob: Your comment about getting into the comic book industry is absolutely not true.

Most people who work for the comic book industry are too busy dealing with publishing deadlines on very specific projects to know what's going on in the broader continuity. Also, lots of artists and some writers don't know very much about the content they're dealing with, they're just paid to draw what they're told. This occasionally requires that they research some stuff about the characters (e.g. when David Yardin was asked to draw several characters from the early X-Men days he knew nothing about), but on other occasions artists and/or writers are asked to design newer versions of existing characters which may or may not be based on prior knowledge - or anything other than pre-existing cursory knowledge - of whatever it is they're dealing with.

There are several things about comic books which are required. It always helps if you're a fan, but in actuality, a fair majority of writers in comics today were not fans growing up and primarily wrote for other things before coming over to comics. Example: Jodi Piccoult's run on Wonder Woman.

What they really care about is that you have some pre-existing body of published work, that it is up to the standards of whatever the industry is currently publishing, and that you can stay on deadline.

That is all.

So Bob..... do us a big favor and stop shooting your mouth off as an authority on subjects you actually know little about?

And no, this is not an issue of personal opinion. Bob, you apparently have no clue what you are talking about.

Being a purveyor of misinformation to those who turn to you to provide you with answers you think you have - but don't - makes you no different than Glenn Beck. I'm sorry, but on the level of spreading misinformation, that is true.

The proper answer to that question should have been,

"I don't work for the comic book industry myself. I'm just a fan, and while I think I know the answer to that question, I would recommend you write to someone who currently works in the industry. There are plenty on DeviantArt and other places on the internet, and they can probably provide you with a much better answer to that question than I can."

That wouldn't have been to hard, would it?

By the by, I'll be at Wizard World Big Apple Con this year. I should hear about my table # within the next few months. If any of you can make it, feel free to pop on by. :)

Kyle said...

Hey Bob. Long time fan and MY favorite animal is Hippopotamus TOO!


R. Dempsey said...

@Dave Kraft

I'd imagine Bob was referring to big name A-list writers and artists; people doing comic books that rookie initiate's would probably run into while looking for the most commonly available trades. (Civil War, Crisises, 52, Watchmen, etc.)

I would hope, as someone in the industry, you wouldn't suggest that people like Grant Morrison, Jeph Loeb, Eric Powell, Todd McFarlene, Greg Rucka, Niel Gaiman, Alan Moore, Time Sale, Brian Bendis, Frank Quitely, or Alex Ross aren't long time major comic book fans. I'd also hope you wouldn't imply that they do work that isn't heavily embedded in their respective continuities. That would be silly.

Daniel said...

@ Dave Kraft

Wait, is you're complaint about Bob's comment on writers tending to be fans or about broad continuity being an essential part of comic books.

Because if its the former, I gotta tell ya; thats a whole lotta rage for an incredibly brief comment. Even if it is wrong.

If its the latter on the other hand; I'm with Bob on this one. A few months ago me and a few close friends of mine decided to try out comic books. Out of the five of us only one decided to jump into mainstream comics, I believe he bought a Green Arrow trade. The remaining four of us decided to try out a more newbie- friendly approach. Three of us including me decided to try out various books with the Ultimate imprint, I myself chose Ultimate Spiderman Volume 1. The others chose X-men and Fantastic Four. Our final companion decided to play it safe and buy Watchmen.

Of the five of us only 2 are still reading, albeit casually. I'm working my way through the Ultimate universe issue by issue (dreading my approach to Ultimatum) and trying to read my way into both the mainstream DC and Marvel universe through various trades and series. My friend is reading various trades including Civil War, Final Crisis, Infinite Crisis, and 52 Volume 1.

When I asked the three who forfeited the hobby why they did it they simply said they found the stories tiring at times (their words not mine)

Continuity is an integral part of comics in my opinion, to truly enjoy Ultimate Spiderman to its fullest I had to immerse myself not only in Peter Parkers story but in the Ultimate universe as a whole.

Wow; this dragged on a bit too long, sorry ^_^

Also; Again with the "us" when only referring to oneself, can everyone just stop doing this!

Back on topic; Really enjoyed this episode, making something calm and fun to contrast with the one last week was a good call.

Mhmmm... some Buffalo Chicken Pizza is sounding pretty good right now.

Josh said...

Hey Bob! Long time follower so I kinda knew what some of the answers were (like favourite movie), but it was enjoyable.
I'd like to see another one.

@Dave Kraft

Bob was talking about getting into READING comics, not breaking into the INDUSTRY. I've seen many comments on the Escapist and lots of people IRL who like the idea of reading superhero comics (especially because of the films), they just don't like being bogged down with continuity.

This is made a worse problem IMO becuase of movies make them want to pick a mainstream hero with a long history. Think of almost any Batman story and how man nods and tie-ins there are to the Batfamily and his history.

It's cool to see an inside source on the topic of getting into the comic book industry you just read the question the wrong way.

As to how I handle it.

I think the way I'd do it is to give somebody who doesn't read comics something that isn't so large and daunting or has it's ties somewhere else.
My picks would be the Buffy comics since they rely on knowledge of something that was popular and easy to attain that is outside the realm of comics. It should do the same thing as the Movies, but there isn't 60+ years of backstory and retcons to get to know.
My other choice would be Runaways because it's a well written and accessible story with connections outside of Marvel that you don't NEED to get the story. It helps if you have a rudimentary knowledge of the characters, but if my littler sister can get into it anyone can.

Bob's way could work too, that's how I did it.

@Daniel: I too could go for a Buffolo Chicken Pizza.

Jack T. Chance said...

I got into comics around 2005. Continuity isn't too hard to get around. A little work on google/wikipedia goes a long way.

Dave Kraft said...

@Josh: Mia culpa, you're absolutely right. Forget what I wrote, I misinterpreted that.

@Daniel: As an individual who works in this field for a living, I can tell you how it works from first-hand experience. Does it help to be familiar with the continuity when you break in? Sure, but so do solid networking connections and a decent portfolio.

After that, a job's a job.

Believe it or not, the majority of talent working in the industry today are not huge fanboys trying to "make it"; most of those get weeded out for any one of a number of different reasons. I could do a whole video on this, but that's for another time.

@R. Dempsey: Ever read a Grant Morrison comic? The man has absolutely no concept of continuity (among other things).

You see, the choices made with regard to story arcs are usually self-contained business choices.

Creative choices are actually business decisions with a different face, if you will.

The big wigs at Marvel and DC have meetings (not together) every few months with regard to their creative directions as corporate entities. This ensures some cohesion here and there, but comic book artists and writers by-and-large don't have the time to read many comics, as they're too busy drawing/writing them. This is where story inconsistencies come from (though fanboys like to blame it on the Crises..... actually, they're just a product of sloppy writing and writers who don't check their source material). People have general ideas about things and there's some cohesion which creates the illusion of a stable, linear continuity, but the gaps show the less coordination there is, and the higher the degree of corporate transparency at the time.

"Countdown" is an extreme example, a product of pressured, individual creative teams who also suffered from not being on the same page with one another. However not readily visible, the exaggerated, extreme dynamics between creative teams (or lack thereof) exist on a less-evident level regularly throughout comics.

The DC encyclopedias and compendiums exist to iron out continuity, due to the actual comics they summarize creating a total mess that needs some trimming in order to make sense of.

Quick comic-writer story:

I sat right next to Gail Simone at the NYCC this year in the artist alley. I ran the name "Katma Tui" by her, and she had absolutely no idea who I was talking about. This is even in spite of me bringing up her existence as a 1960s feminist symbol of sorts (you'd expect Gail - of all people - to know about something like that) all through the '80s, and her being featured here and there during Blackest Night, the preludes, and plastered on posters and covers.

Same goes with various editors and writers. Many of them are young, and don't remember anything about these characters, so they don't even get considered for important roles. Much of the content being worked with today is either relatively new (within the past 5-10 years) or has recently been adapted recycled into continuity from out-of-canon books and other sources.

But it's true; on average, a fan will know more about what's going on in the broad continuity of DC Comics than the people who run the company, because they're too busy keeping the wheels of the machine turning to stop and do research on characters. They have interns for that ;D

Dave Kraft said...

But Jack T. Chance is also right; there's wikipedia and google.

The problem, though, is that some of these characters have light bios and none of them are very comprehensive. The most comprehensive bio on Katma Tui currently in writing is the Unofficial Katma Tui Bio, but that isn't even finished...... the whole latter third of her stories seems to be cut out, like the guy writing it stopped at one point and forgot about finishing it.......

At that point, it can be a damn shame how limiting Google and Wikipedia can be.... :(

JDude said...


Oh, y'know what, that tears it...

You, Mister Dave, just shut the fuck up.

Why are you here? What is your purpose?

Because it seems to me, everytime I see you saying ANYTHING, it's to bitch at anything and everything Bob says in the most glaringly contrarian manner you can come up with.

For whatever stupid reason, you don't like Bob. So what are you doing popping up here to annoy everybody on HIS blog? You don't think that comes off as an obsession? Are you just a particularly elaborate troll? Do you know Bob personally? Did you have a similar idea for a similar show, but Bob made it and you didn't?

Seriously, just piss off.

Ezenwa said...

Between Dave Kraft, Popcorn Dave, and Dave (singular), apparently Bob isn't high on the Dave approval scale.

It's almost like hearing the same person. Or not.

Either way, They are all entitled to their opinions, as anyone is. I just say that it's all opinion until it's based on fact. Then, it's an argument.

So, it is what it is.

It's all on Bob to respond.

By the way:


Top 11 worst Spider Man moments in film? I watched it. Funny stuff, and yet, very insightful.

Care to comment, Bob?

akkuma420 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Kraft said...

@JDude: Actually, as I've said numerous times, I'm a fan of Bob. However, I find it intellectually offensive when he feels the need to make declarative statements about things when a) he doesn't have his facts straight, and/or b) he isn't in the least qualified to speak as an authority on a subject he clearly knows little about.

In this case, I had misinterpreted something in the video, and I retracted my statement.

As for you..... if that's all you see as far as my comments, you seriously need to go read more of them. It's like you only go fishing for the negative comments I write.

I pride objectivity, reason and journalistic integrity, and if I take issue with what I feel are violations of those, then I have that right. However, I do like his videos when they are insightful and not Bob talking out of his ass, and I give credit where it is due.

You, on the other hand.... this comment of yours is just trolling, plain and simple. So it is you who should piss off, as the rest of us were having a rather productive discussion before you barged in and chose to antagonize me.

@Enzewa: Agreed. It's coincidental that all the Dave's share similar opinions, but we aren't the same person. Unless the multiverse indeed does exist LOL!

But on the subject of the new Spider-Man movie, have you guys seen this set pic? Spider-crotch powers, activate! LOL! http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/181673_1699357777042_1630848397_1624989_6088320_n.jpg

It gives an OK view of the back of the costume, and a neat view of the shoulders, arms, ands and those web shooters...... though I'm starting to question whether or not the white on his boots are still just to help the stunt guy run or if they're actually part of the new costume.

Bob said...

@Dave Kraft,

My favorite theory currently "in the wind" is that the metal toeshoes are foot-mounted webshooters.

tyra menendez said...

This is why I stopped reading most superhero comics. I mostly the one-off specials like Long Halloween, or more independent comics, like Hellboy. Unless, maybe it's a smaller title that doesn't get caught up in all the continuity stuff, like the reboot of She-Hulk, until Peter David took over and made it a generic bounty hunter and sidekick thing, with a green chick.

RocMegamanX said...

Wait, if you don't "hate" anything, then what about Transformers, The Expendables, or ANYTHING involving Michael Bay?

That aside, that was a good Big Picture episode. Hope to see the next one!

Anonymous said...

I can´t help but noticing that "trolljegeren" or the Troll Hunter was displayed under movies you would like to see. I saw this movie recently and I have to say, if you have any chance of watching this thing, DO IT!
Hell I´ll send you the dvd from Norway if I have to, people who enjoy the alternative moviescene should not let this movie slip by.