I asked for questions, and you delivered. Let’s get to a monster selection of questions in the June/July Mailbag Q&A!
Loved the Bendis interview. I totally agree with the point that the early 2000s could be Marvel’s most creatively inspired decade. To that end, what would you say is DC’s most creatively vibrant decade? – Cameron Chittock
Oh, that’s interesting. Brandon and I sort of talked about this on Off Panel this week, and my pick for favorite DC decade was, perhaps bizarrely, the 1990s, as the Batman line was on point, Vertigo was killing it, oddballs like Hitman and Hourman were hot fire, Mark Waid on The Flash, they had a lot of fantastic teen titles in that period, Grant Morrison on JLA, Kingdom Come, etc. etc. It’s quietly a great decade at the publisher.
The most creatively vibrant, though, was probably the 00s. There was so much great, exciting work being done there. Geoff Johns resurrecting everything Green Lantern. All-Star Superman. Grant Morrison on Batman. 52. Infinite Crisis and the lead in there. Tower of Babel. Superman: Secret Identity. All of the Vertigo stuff there. A lot of the Wildstorm releases. Gotham Central. Secret Six. DC: The New Frontier. Superman: Red Son. There was a freedom there to the storytelling that allowed for some incredible storytelling. I loved it.
I will say, though, that my depth of reading at DC doesn’t go back as far as I do at Marvel. Someone will likely yell at me for not talking about the 1970s, and yeah, the 80s had some amazing stuff with Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen and New Teen Titans and Year One. Only looking at the top, the 90s win. But I’m giving it to the Aughts just on sheer depth.
Do you think that the stay-at-home, plus the 2+ month gap in new direct market comics, will change your personal comic-buying habits in any way? I know you trade-wait a bunch of books, but has this made you more or less likely to do that? For myself, I enjoyed just catching up on books I’d missed or wanted to reread, and I feel like I might be more selective about how many books I get on a weekly basis. – James Kaplan
I do think it has led to a slight change where I might read less comics as single issues. Honestly, reading graphic novels and full stories was just more enjoyable than the single issue experience, and I think I might begin to lean more in that direction. It doesn’t help that the return cadence has been so weird, but I find myself wanting to read my pile of trades over single issues, which is a reversal of where I’ve been for a long time.
We’ll see if it leads to actual, substantial change. It’s early, but I am feeling it a bit, especially with some questionable experiences upon my return.
I know you’re not really interested in being on the creator side of things, but if you could write one (Big Two) comic, which would it be and what would it be about? – Rasmus Lykke
If we exclude Stilt-Man, which I have sincerely covered many times before and have genuine plans for, it would definitely be a street level character with a hang out comic type vibe, in its own way. So I’m going to cheat and say I’d like to write a mini-series about The Bar with No Name, exploring the weirdness of that world from the perspective of six different POV characters who frequent the bar, with each getting a one-shot with a connected throughline within. None of POV characters would be Stilt-Man, but there are plenty of others to get into. I like exploring the sides of comics we get less often, and this is a rich place that’s always fun to dive into.
So I guess it would be Chip Zdarsky and Kris Anka’s Star Lord minus the Star Lord.