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Thread: Ask Kurt Busiek

  1. #121
    Oblio Kurt Busiek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Thunders! View Post
    Are there other artists, contemporary or all time you feel a kinship with? Do you say to yourself, "That's the kind of stuff I would do!" "Their stuff on this book reminds me of me!"
    Not really -- probably because I see my stuff from the inside and their stuff from the outside.

    Thee are writers who I'm strongly influenced by, from Steve Englehart to Archie Goodwin to Lawrence Block to Jo Duffy and more, but while I can see their influence in my work, I don't read their work and think it's what I do. And there are writers I consider part of the same creative crowd, like Mark Waid and Karl Kesel and Fabian Nicieza, but again, I don't look at their work and think, "That's me!"

    I'm more likely to read their work (or others' work) and think, "Hey, I could do something like that technique someday" or "I wish I could do scenes like that one."

    I forgot that you did the book Arrowsmith and the Autmnlands! I was getting Autumnlands at the LCS but missed issues on the run. The main character was great.
    Thanks. Working on more ARROWSMITH now, and hope to be working on more AUTUMNLANDS soon.

    There was a book you did way back where a character got his powers by being popular, getting fans made him more powerful,,, that was another book where I got the first couple of issues and then missed a few.
    That was SUPERSTAR, and there was only one issue.

    But I'd like to do more with him someday.

    kdb
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  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    How do you feel about the future of X-men comics in general?
    I think that as long as there are people treated as "the other" by general society, I think the basic idea will work just fine.

    I think mutants as a metaphor for ethnic, religious, sexual, or even political minorities has long stopped being apropriate, but I think it might be really interesting to write them as a representation of various disabilities.
    I don't agree with the first half of that, but yeah, the second could be very interesting.

    kdb
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  3. #123
    Extraordinary Member Celgress's Avatar
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    Question

    Mr. Busiek -

    What are your thoughts regarding the radical direction of comics like the current runs of X-Men, Immortal Hulk, and Venom? Personally. I enjoy something fresh that makes sense within the framework of an established property. That said, I know of many who feel comic book stories should remain formulaic and avoid taking chances. or to tinker with long-established tropes: the recent backlashes among some fans and critics to Dan Slott's Amazing Spider-Man run (Superior Spider-Man being the prime example) and Tom King's Batman run are prime examples of negative reactions to big chance taking stories. The writers who have taken over both properties have seemingly adopted a back to basics approach to, in part, placate traditionalist fans and critics.
    "So you've come to the end now alive but dead inside."

  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celgress View Post
    What are your thoughts regarding the radical direction of comics like the current runs of X-Men, Immortal Hulk, and Venom?
    As I said elsewhere, I don't really want to review comics on request. I'm fine giving my opinion of stuff that I choose to, but I just don't want to deal with "what ydo you think of this list of books?" questions. I mean, what if I hate one of them? And I say so, and that it's all over the internet that I'm suddenly feuding with Biff McColleague, who I actually like fine as a person even if I'm not fond of a particular series he's doing.

    In this case, though, I haven't really read enough of them to judge.

    I read the HoX/PoX event, which was interesting, but I don't know where things went from that, so I can't judge the individual series. I've read the first volume of IMMORTAL HULK and thought it was very imaginative and well-crafted, and I want to get to more of it, but haven't yet. And I haven't read any of VENOM because I've never liked Venom.

    That said, I know of many who feel comic book stories should remain formulaic and avoid taking chances.
    I like good and interesting comics. If they work from solid established conceptual bases, that's cool, and that doesn't need to be formulaic, I'd say, nor does it mean they can't take chances. And I like exciting experiments, too, if they're done well, and result in good comics.

    I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all approach to anything.

    kdb
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  5. #125
    Boisterously Confused
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    Astro City Question:

    I've been impressed with how you've avoided creating Mary Sue/Marty Stu figures in Astro City. Even Samaritan and Silver Agent have their flaws and faults.

    With such a personal work, how did you keep your feet out of that trap?

  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    Astro City Question:

    I've been impressed with how you've avoided creating Mary Sue/Marty Stu figures in Astro City. Even Samaritan and Silver Agent have their flaws and faults.

    With such a personal work, how did you keep your feet out of that trap?
    I just write stories as well as I can.

    To my mind, a Mary Sue character is an author-insertion -- a character who is a stand-in for the author, who gets praised by the other characters, as if the author is vicariously living among characters he or she loved and having them love the author back. That's how the term was coined, and it didn't just mean a character for whom things come easy, or a very capable character.

    I'm not actually interested in writing myself into the stories (except for humor value, as when I've made small cameos here and there, lie the time Brent, Alex and I turned up as criminal friends of Eyes Eisenstein), so I don't do it. I want to write more interesting stories than that.

    kdb
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  7. #127
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    I feel like one of the most interesting things that Amazons came from reading Marston's Wonder Woman is the uniqueness of the world he created, which is both fantasy and science fiction, and has classic historical culture mixed with progressive ideas from the 1930s. I haven't read many Wonder Woman runs but it seems to me like that hasn't been explored much throughout her history aside from Grant Morrison's "Wonder Woman Earth One". A lot of writers tend to bring in Greek Myth as a replacement for not giving Themyscira it's own unique culture and society. If you were to write your own version of Wonder Woman right now what approach would you take to developing the culture of the Amazons?
    Last edited by Alpha; 06-01-2020 at 07:09 AM.

  8. #128
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Often I’ve heard the phrase “DC is Gods trying to be Men while Marvel is Men trying to be Gods”. Does that actually hold true Post-Crisis with DC basically copying Marvel’s storytelling methods of “flawed heroes” for everyone from Superman on down? I’ve personally always thought that was an idiotic oversimplification given Thor was a founding Avenger who was literally a God trying to be a Man in those early stories. As someone who’s worked at both, are there any fundamental differences storytelling-wise between the two that you’ve noticed?

  9. #129
    Oblio Kurt Busiek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    If you were to write your own version of Wonder Woman right now what approach would you take to developing the culture of the Amazons?
    Hopefully a good one, but without meaning any disrespect, I'll save my thoughts in case I get the chance to do it someday, rather than lay them out on the internet.

    kdb
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  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Often I’ve heard the phrase “DC is Gods trying to be Men while Marvel is Men trying to be Gods”. Does that actually hold true Post-Crisis with DC basically copying Marvel’s storytelling methods of “flawed heroes” for everyone from Superman on down? I’ve personally always thought that was an idiotic oversimplification given Thor was a founding Avenger who was literally a God trying to be a Man in those early stories. As someone who’s worked at both, are there any fundamental differences storytelling-wise between the two that you’ve noticed?
    I don't think there are differences where you can't point to exceptions. And any snap description of universes built by hundreds of different voices and visions over multiple decades is not going to be complete.

    I do think DC's world is more respectful and accepting of its heroes (which is why the DCU movies often seem so weird, of late), and Marvel's heroes have to struggle more. But DC has been trying to Marvelize its characters for the last few decades, which has blunted that divide without actually eliminating it, because the characters aren't so easy to Marvelize.

    On the flip side, it also used to be said that DC's heroes were about their heroic identity, and their secret ID was a disguise or afterthought -- they were all about the mission. Marvel's heroes are about the secret identity, and even when they're in costume they're thinking about and pursuing their internal character issues from their private lives. That too has been muted, and we haven't just seen DC marbleizing its characters, we've seen Marvel on occasion iconizing theirs -- I haven't kept up with X-Men all that much, but a lot of the characters there seem to be about their costumes selves and not much about private lives.

    But at heart, the characters are largely built to be what they classically were. It's possible to make DC characters more Marvelesque, and vice versa, but to do it well requires thinking through their basic structure and finding ways to give them that level of internal personal life, or a workable focus on their costumed life that feels more complete, rather than just doing it with surface affectation.

    So the fundamental differences are there, I'd say, they're just often muted and tangled in attempts to hide or alter them.

    kdb
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  11. #131
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    That actually brings to mind another question: The Secret identity. Don’t know if you’ve been keeping up with current comics, but Marvel has pretty much eliminated it except for a few exceptions like Spider-Man. None of the Avengers have secret identities anymore, Cap is out, Tony has been out since Civil War, the X-Men are all public about their birth identities, the MCU not really bothering with it has affected the MU likewise.

    DC still hasn’t abandoned the concept, but there are some heroes who have ditched it. The GLs don’t really have secret identities anymore, WW doesn’t, Aquaman doesn’t, Superman doesn’t right now (although most of us don’t expect it to last long past Bendis). Is there really a place for the secret identity as a storytelling device anymore, or do you think it’s being phased out as a relic?

  12. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Is there really a place for the secret identity as a storytelling device anymore, or do you think it’s being phased out as a relic?
    Both?

    I think there's plenty of room for secret identities, but that doesn't mean various Marvel and DC writers might not disagree, and be phasing them out whether I think so or not.

    kdb
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  13. #133
    Out Fighting for Peace! AJpyro's Avatar
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    Mr. Busiek, I've heard nothing but good things aboit your work but never read them myself. I'd like to remedy this.

    What would you consider to be a good starter book?
    Le Suck it, Dolphin!

    -God I am so tired.

    SCOTT SUMMERS AND EMMA FROST DESERVED BETTER.

  14. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJpyro View Post
    Mr. Busiek, I've heard nothing but good things aboit your work but never read them myself. I'd like to remedy this.

    What would you consider to be a good starter book?
    Well, my breakthrough book was MARVELS -- a lot of people liked that, so that could be a fine place to start.

    Or ASTRO CITY, which is self-contained -- and the first issue, the 1995 KURT BUSIEK'S ASTRO CITY 1 -- is free on Comixology, so it's an easy way to sample it. So is ASTRO CITY 1/2, which many readers consider the best story we've done so far.

    Over at DC, my best-received work is probably SUPERMAN: SECRET IDENTITY and BATMAN: CREATURE OF THE NIGHT.

    And if you like straightforward superhero adventure, my runs on THUNDERBOLTS, AVENGERS, UNTOLD TALES OF SPIDER-MAN or SUPERMAN would all be good places to start, I think.

    Hope that helps, and I hope you like whatever you try!

    kdb
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  15. #135
    Boisterously Confused
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Busiek View Post
    Well, my breakthrough book was MARVELS -- a lot of people liked that, so that could be a fine place to start.

    Or ASTRO CITY, which is self-contained -- and the first issue, the 1995 KURT BUSIEK'S ASTRO CITY 1 -- is free on Comixology, so it's an easy way to sample it. So is ASTRO CITY 1/2, which many readers consider the best story we've done so far.

    Over at DC, my best-received work is probably SUPERMAN: SECRET IDENTITY and BATMAN: CREATURE OF THE NIGHT.

    And if you like straightforward superhero adventure, my runs on THUNDERBOLTS, AVENGERS, UNTOLD TALES OF SPIDER-MAN or SUPERMAN would all be good places to start, I think.

    Hope that helps, and I hope you like whatever you try!

    kdb
    Don't be humble. I was done with comics until I tripped over Marvels, and then Astro City brought me all the way back.

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