Saturday, September 10, 2011
Whatever happened to....?
A couple of ponderings knocking around the ol' skull this afternoon. The first one was -
Whatever Happened To.......
You remember Nonplayer, of course. Took the comic book industry by storm in April, or at least as much storm as moving 8,869 copies can produce. (Another estimated 5,956 on the second print) People were excited about it. And to be fair, the excitement was warranted. Nonplayer is a gorgeous looking book, the script was competent plus, and the whole thing had the stink of a runaway train about it.
Nonplayer bought Nate Simpson a Russ Manning award at the Eisners, and it also garnered the attention of Warner Bros, who bought the film rights to the project and handed it to Roy Lee and David Hayden.
And to be fair a second time, Simpson warned us all that it was going to take some time for the second issue to come out. Fine. But five months? Does it take five months to produce a 20 page comic book?
Nathan Edmondson's discussion board, it takes 12-13 hours of each hair-tearing, teeth-grinding, stomach-churning scramble of a day. I'm no mathologist, but if it's been five months, and he's working five days a week, that means that Nonplayer # 2 has absorbed about 1,250 man hours. And not only do we not have the book...we don't have the solicitation for the book. It almost seems like he would have better spent his time creating something less arduous, like a suspension bridge. More money in that, too, I'd wager.
I know I'm not supposed to care. I know that I'm supposed to ask myself if I want it done on time, or if want it done right, and should just feel lucky that I live in a world that might someday grace me with another issue of Nonplayer. I just don't do what I'm supposed to do, is all.
Because all I can think about is all the momentum lost, and how the industry could have used a nice runaway train these last six months, and all the revenue the retailers lost not having those issues to sell, and all the questions they had to answer about where that kick ass MMO comic book went.
I'm rational enough to recognize that Nate Simpson is his own man and responsible for his own interests, not mine. He certainly doesn't owe me anything, and I'm not so far gone that I imagine that he's "holding out on us" as some kind of punishment. I'm sure he's an upstanding cat doing the best he can and all that rot.
Here's the thing.
It's like...you're sitting around at a house party with your crew, and everything is going swimmingly, and suddenly somebody starts gushing about this guy that somebody else knows, and maybe he's on the football team or something, and everybody is now inexplicably excited about this dude.
And so you move the party over to that somebody's house, and your people are way too excited and tripping over themselves for this football cat that nobody even really knows, and there's some real energy in the room... but you're not even sure it's warranted, and sure as shit five minutes later the football guy has split to go to some cooler party you clearly aren't invited to, and now you've shot your entire evening drooling over the hint of some random dude's phantom popular aura and wondering what the fuck happened. And you feel like you've embarrassed yourself a little bit, and demeaned yourself.
You think to yourself - do we really lack self-esteem to the point where we instantly gush and melt for anybody coming down the pipe who feel's "bigger" than us? We gave this guy an Eisner, announced him the Second Coming after one issue and then he splits?
That's what the whole Nonplayer thing feels like to me. Which is, admittedly, sophomoric and reductive. But there we are. More importantly, can anybody point me in the general direction of Nonplayer # 2, because it's starting to feel like cryptozoology over there, and I'm wondering what these folks over at Warner Bros. think they're going to film.
I don't know. I hope that somewhere right now Nate Simpson is finishing up formatting Nonplayer # 6, and is about to start soliciting the rest of the series tomorrow. I hope he puts in the last touches to lettering tonight and just writes a response to this blog post that simply states "FACE!", and then it becomes a top ten selling title as it finishes monthly. I genuinely would like all of those things. But right now, that whole situation is just a bit perplexing.
Speaking of perplexing, whatever happened to....
You remember Simon Oliver, don't you? He's written plenty, but I will always remember him as the guy who did The Exterminators. It was pure Vertigo, baby - dark, edgy, smart, gross, punchy, with odd characters doing unexpected things in a plot that was infinitely more complex than you'd think bug killing could possibly get. It was clever, it was well researched, and it kicked ass.
And then....nothing. Well, almost nothing. There was word that Showtime was buying the television option in 2008, but I've heard nothing since. And then a little digging showed me that Mr. Oliver did one of those much-ignored and oddly-sized Vertigo crime books with Jason LaTour called Noche Roja. (Guess what I bought today?)
Incidentally, it's worth the effort to demand your retailer order Loose Ends from 12 gauge. They won't order it if you don't demand it, either. If you like crime books at all, what Jason LaTour is putting on his Loose Ends pages is just stunning. Hard to explain unless you read it, but the whole thing feels....raw. And alive. But I digress.
My point is that I think somebody at DC needs to remember Simon Oliver's number and have him pitch something. That's way too big a talent to just let fall through the cracks, and it feels like DC is ready for some of that edgy, punchy, clever stuff right now.