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"Wasn't that guy dead?"
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October 13 2006

Brian K. Vaughan loves Whedon's first Runaways issue. From Broken Frontier's interview with BKV: "I just read Joss Whedon’s first Runaways script, and it was so goddamn good, it makes me want to set my stupid Powerbook on fire".

BKV also mentions his work on Pride of Baghdad and his Y: The Last Man screenplay. Don't worry, no spoilers.

Joss wrote the script already? Excellent. Can't wait till it comes out. I think Brian's work is smashing, Runaways is simply amazing. I've been kicking myself for not reading it until this week.
I invested in the back issues. Well, I say I, it was the other half, lovely man.

Very impressed with the atmosphere (is that the right word?) of Runaways. I can totally see why Joss would want to write for this comic. Plus, there's a 'raptor....can't go wrong with a pet 'raptor!
It's not a raptor...
Pardon me if I pontificate. Indulge me, I am in a typey mood, and let's see where it goes.

This kind of thing interests me. Mr Whedon has had several years of writing or controlling, every week, a big budget show or three, whereas Mr Vaughan has written monthly comics for a considerable, though smaller amount of time (As far as I know)

It strikes me as unfair to compare the two. Not so much in terms of their output, which must always stand alone, but in terms of perceived effect. A comic is (say) 10 people working huge hours to tell a story that might get imparted in half hour, if you take your time. A TV show is hundreds of people working huge hours to tell a story that might take 40 minutes, a story created by a comparitively vast reservoir of people with talent. Every week.

In terms of the sheer number of stories (and thus life lessons in terms of what works and what doesn't in presented storyworld) Joss has the edge - but also he has had the experience of a gifted team of writers working together every day feeling out the edges of successful stories - comics writers rarely have that, working alone and in deserted garrets as they mostly, and yet poetically, do - so it's harder to learn the same amount in the same time period.

That Mr Vaughn feels humbled in Joss's presence is shiny. I, for one, will be picking up Runaways back issues, and the new series if only because I like JossBrandRecommended material (because it's repeatedly good), and I trust him (sometimes post facto - Vicky Mars < BSG though they are equally cool to experience IF you watch VM first - please view through personalOpinionFilter).

But, also, ultimately - Runaways is Mr Vaughn's baby. That Joss feels it's worth continuing is a high compliment from a talented man, to be sure. X-Men by comparison is a staple, a chance to work with a pervasive and personally meaningful but already established continuum.

But Runaways is the continuance of a niche product, created by a well reputed person in a niche realm, that was observed to be wonderful and worth preserving by someone who has much greater levels of experience, through sheer necessity, in the art of story. It cannot be helped but to say that Mr Vaughan deserves much praise for his creativity, endurance, and work done thus far. That Mr Whedonesque himself has picked out Vaughan's work is quite possibly the highest kind of compliment.

That is all. Discuss :-)
love Y - the last man, love runaways, love joss's stuff, and love that joss loves the runaways and love doug petrie - and to be clear, am neither a flower person nor kidding...
So, scheduling looking good so far, then?
I invested in the back issues. Well, I say I, it was the other half, lovely man.


So, you really ARE Glory...and your other half is Ben?
For the record giles most comics are created with less than 10 people actually. You have script, pencils, inks, colors, letters, and then the editing. There can be multiple writers or editors but generally there's only 1 and most of the time inks, colors, and letters are done by the same guy (who sometimes happens to be the penciler... and sometimes also happens to be the writer.) I'd say comics average 3 creators a book. Then you have something like the early years of Cerebus were created by only 1 guy.
Well some are less, some are more. An X-book for example could be:

Group editor
Editor
Assistant Editor
other x-book group writers assisting with plotting
Penciler
Inker
Letterer
Colorist

Its way less common for the penciler, inker, colorist or letterer to wear more than one of those hats these days. I certainly wouldn't say MOST of the time and I would put the average closer to 5. For a while there, coloring and color separations were credited and sometimes you would see someone do page breakdowns, someone doing pencils, and maybe even more than one inker.
I have just recently started reading comics, loved Kingdom Come, had my heart broken by Identity Crisis. I'll have to order these on-line though.

love Y - "..the last man, love runaways, love joss's stuff, and love that joss loves the runaways and love doug petrie - and to be clear, am neither a flower person nor kidding..."

I to am niether a flower, nor a person, nor kidding..well maybe a little on that last one
I love that BKV is so humble about his own skills as a writer. I really enjoy Whedon's work on AXM and BtVS is my all time favorite TV show, but when it comes to comics, nobody tops BKV in my eyes. I'm especially enjoying his work on Y: The Last Man and can't wait to see how they translate that to the big screen...though I kind of wish he'd pitch it as an ongoing series for HBO or Showtime instead so we don't miss any of the great moments from his series.

My LCS sold out all the copies of Pride of Baghdad the day it came out so I'm waiting for my Amazon copy to arrive. Everyone I know who has read it so far has nothing but high praise. Anyone picking up Runaways in prep for Whedon should do themselves a huge favor and pick up his other wonderful series as well.
I met Brian last night at a book signing at the Barnes & Noble on Union Square in NY and he's a really down-to-earth approachable great guy. With a shiny dome (his words not mine).

For those living in NY, he'll be signing tonight (friday) at Midtown Comics on 40th st at 6pm and at Rocketship in Brooklyn at 8pm.
For those living in NY, he'll be signing tonight (friday) at Midtown Comics on 40th st at 6pm and at Rocketship in Brooklyn at 8pm.


It's awful sweet of him to go out of his way like that for fans who are hearing impaired.
Comics run the gammut as far as number of chefs in the kitchen. Huge flagship/franchise books at world-dominating corporate publishers (such as the X-titles for Marvel) tend to be more of a commitee, wherein a writer is more constrained by past continuity, corporate mandates, licensing concerns, heavy editor involvement, etc. Then you've also got at least one penciler, at least one inker, a letterer, at least one colorist (though occasionally it's a coloring "firm" such as Digital Chameleon which may be comprised of several computer color separation guys).

The smaller titles, the true independents like Cerberus (the golden example of the opposite extreme) can go on and on for decades with a single creative artist as writer/penciler/inker/letter/colorist (if it's color, which many times the indies aren't), etc.

In the middle are the vast majority of the rest of the comics industry, comprised of more-or-less mainstream but not media saturated titles involving a smaller group of artists with little to no major editorial "interference".

The true wonder of the creation process is that often one or more of the cogs in the wheel work with virtually no direct contact with the machine itself. My friend is an inker at DC Comics (primarily, though he did Fray and will be doing Buffy Season 8) and really only ever speaks with the penciler and sometimes the editor. He RARELY gets to speak with the writer. Part of that is because he does not live in New York, so he can't exactly just walk into the DC offices and chat with someone. But it's also just part of the process.

ETA: See, while I was typing that others already explained this mess. Nevermind, ignore me...

[ edited by Haunt on 2006-10-13 20:35 ]
Gouki, Old Lace isn't a raptor? Well colour me confused! Okay then, pet dino, how's that?

jaynelovesvera HA! Very funny, and erm you must be mistaken, Ben and Glory share NO connection whatsoever. Crazy fool!

EDIT: Old Lace is apparently a Deinonychus! A relative of the now World Famous raptor! There's an actual debate going on with all this, which I appear to have stumbled into. Strangely Ben/Gloryesque, can I never escape it?!

[ edited by bubblecat on 2006-10-13 20:41 ]
So, you really ARE Glory...and your other half is Ben?
No no no, I am the evil one in this partnership. (If that's ok with you honey?)
It's awful sweet of him to go out of his way like that for fans who are hearing impaired.


jlv, LOL. Between you and Alan Tudyk, I'm having a day full of laughter. Thanks.
No no no, I am the evil one in this partnership. (If that's ok with you honey?)

That's fine babe.
What I really like about Joss taking over "Runaways" is his journey from its fan:

On his favorite comic being published today:
"There are a few out there that I’m loving large, but Runaways is the one that I run to the store for." -- Joss, in "Joss Whedon Uncensored" at wizarduniverse.com, with Mike Cotton, March 29, 2006


to its creator:

“ 'I just love the book,' Whedon said matter-of-factly. 'I couldn't help myself. I seldom make intelligent choices and when I do they usually turn out to be really stupid decisions. So I'm going with love.' " -- Joss, "Joss Whedon Talks Runaways" at newsarama.com, with Matt Brady, September 11, 2006

It just tickles me that Joss is essentially creating fan-fic -- except it's canon and (one assumes) paying work. It certainly suggests that love is keeping his boat in the air.

I haven't read many comics, but I'll catch up on this one & read it for the Joss of it all. Oh, and let the killing commence...
Re: comics contributers:
I would put the average closer to 5

To be sure - I was just pulling a number from from my information suppository - exactly how many editors really contribute is an unknown factor for me, but it's still an order of magnitude fewer than a typical TV show.

The smaller titles, the true independents like Cerberus (the golden example of the opposite extreme)

Cerebus? Don't forget Sim had Gerhard doing his backgrounds.

(One of my most prized possions is a copy of Cerebus Issue 165 (pre-186 idealogical blowout), signed by Sim, Gerhard and Neil Gaiman, whose work is parodied within. At the time I had no actual Gaiman works of my own, and it must have come as quite a shock that the last guy in the signing line, sans the previous green mohawks and literallyt boxes and boxes of 'Sandman' and related paraphenalia, wanted his signature on a comic he never even wrote. He signed it "Neil Gaiman, the real one" which I thought was extraordinarily cool.

Sim had, much later, his "write me a letter and I'll send you and autographed copy" offer post finishing his Cerebus run. I sent him a letter along with the Gaiman signed issue and he, in turn, signed it "The Dave Sim of Earth 2", which is also extraordinarily cool - despite his wayward metaphysical leanings.

Now if only I could get Dave McKean (whose Sandman type covers are also parodied that ish) to sign it I would be a happy, happy geek (if any Whedonesquers know how that might happen - let me know!). That comic is more world travelled than I am, and it's certainly not what you would call 'mint condition' any more - but seriously, how cool would that be? Frighteningly cool!

And if I could get Joss to do a doodle on it - but's that's just a sick, sick fantasy :-)
On the odd chance that any future comic writer on Runaways is reading this in years to come, a Molly/Yuffie team up would be ace.
Hm... I don't know, Simon. I was planning on keeping the book crossover-free for a while when I take over the book from Joss with #101. After all, Joss will just have written the X-Men crossover and that whole thing with Nico and the New Defenders then.
I definitely think that Brian K Vaughan should be proud of what he created with Runaways, it is a completely unique idea for a series. In fact it is astonishing that it wasn't thought of before, because personally I could definitely have seen my parents as super villans out to destroy the world! Or at least aiming for world domination. He has done more than three years of this extremely engaging series (I'm not completely caught up, but I hope to be soon), which is a lot to be proud of. I am looking forward to seeing where Joss is going to take these wonderful characters, but no matter what JW comes up with, it will take nothing away from what Brian K. Vaughan has accomplished.
I'm thinking I have to get ahold of the rest of BKV's work now....
Embers, you definitely should. :-)

Brian's work on 'Y: The Last Man,' 'Ex Machina' and 'The Pride of Baghdad,' his own books, are brilliant and very intelligent stuff.

What's mentioned less often is his run on Ultimate X-Men (trade vols. 9 to 13). Fantastic light reading, and probably closest to Runaways of all his work. Don't get confused, though--it's a different continuity than Joss's X-Men, featuring younger versions of the X-Men.
jaynelovesvera:
Wait a minute...do you mean that there's some kind of connection between Ben and Glory???
Old Lace is Glory. Definitely.

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