Monday, August 3, 2009

"Fighting Mad" over Fighting American!

There is a fascinating post over at Newsarama [here] that details the fallout over a announcement made by the folks at Dynamite Entertainment during the recent Comic-Con International in San Diego about their impending intention to publish a Fighting American book, with the input and participation of Alex Ross. Guess what? It seems that the authorization to issue that statement was somewhat premature.

Apparently Dynamite publisher Nick Barrucci entered into talks with representatives of both Joe Simon and the estate of Jack Kirby, you see, Simon & Kirby had created the original character in the 1950's. Dynamite has become known for trying to become a rival to Marvel & DC Comics by utilizing as many other superheroes as they can get their hands on, whether these fictional characters are public domain properties, or acquired licensed properties, etc.

Dynamite has a slick product all right, and they have somehow managed to enchant Alex Ross into staying the course through each new title introduced into their budding "hero verse", but given the D-list talent that produces the interiors, no, D-list isn't accurate. Third string would be alot closer to reality, the end result - despite some apparent sales success - has not been worth the money.

To each his own, but the guys at Dynamite seem to be doing nothing more than "aping" every trend that either Marvel or DC has already burned through - many times over - and that is just not the way to make it long term in this business.

Valiant (and each of its many derivations), Crossgen, Dark Horse, and numerous other companies have already tried this and failed. Does that mean that nobody should ever publish a seemingly similar superhero universe? No. Still, why simply duplicate a tired formula, if you are going to go head-to-head and compete with the big boys anyway, why not at least attempt to do something unique? Short term gains, maybe?

Go click on the link above and read the article for yourself, and lets hear it for Joe Simon. Crotchety old guy or not, we as fans are always going on about creators rights, so lets be glad that at least Mr. Simon speaks up for himself against a sleazy operator and also thank the Kirby estate for opting out of a tainted deal as well.

Dynamite really doesn't get my business or dollars anyway and maybe one of these days Alex Ross will get back to a better quality publisher. In the meantime, please remember kids. Just because you have the ability to put out a nice package, doesn't mean that you have the right to bullshit anybody.


cash_gorman said...

I enjoyed the S&K Fighting American and would love to see him in a straight-forward superhero series.

I think there's room for more superheroes and a superhero universe. Especially as Marvel and DC have made themselves so bleak and tied their universes up with mega-events, deaths, etc. Problem I have with most of Dynamite is they tend to produce all of what is mostly bad about modern comics: long, decompressed storylines written for trade reprinting, modern revisionism, over-coloring etc.

Whereas, I think just a year or two ago with the death of Captain America and the bleakness at DC would have been an optimum time for Archie or another publisher to produce a book with the Shield/Fighting American/Minute Man Gruenwald style Captain America book with good art and writing. Similar but different, with flashy villains, heroic heroes and story variety with fresh threats and plots every couple of issues.

Chuck Wells said...

Yeah, but publishers like Dynamite who also wanna go "bleak" and "mega-event" with their stuff are nothing but a waste of time, Cash.

That was the point I was trying to make, why mimic what is already being done at the "big two"? Do something better, OR if a publisher wants to copy either Marvel or DC, why not take a thirty year step back and "copy" what those guys did in their heyday?

I would buy that kind of stuff?