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Newsletter #183: Healthy Competition

Newsletter #183: Healthy Competition

Getting into DC Versus Marvel and putting a spotlight on Free Comic Book Day

Hey guys, it's Scott.

It is Friday, May 3rd, and I can't believe it. It is Free Comic Book Day tomorrow and Star Wars Day and it is Quinn's birthday. He is turning five, which I cannot believe. I still remember posting that we were pregnant with him. So he was born on May the Fourth in a year where that not only was Star Wars Day, but it was Free Comic Book Day. And so I always joke that he'll either be, like, the second coming of the Nerd King or he'll hate geeky things for the rest of his life and reject all of it. But he's having his birthday party at the aquarium. Very excited. But it's not tomorrow on his birthday, so I'm actually signing for the first time in many years, or since he was born, I think, on Free Comic Book Day at my LCS, 4th World Comics in Smithtown, New York.

Signing with the great Greg Pak this Saturday, 5/4, at 10:00am

I've been going to this store since before I broke into comics. I can still remember the day I ran in there and told them I had a chance to pitch for Marvel and DC and needed everything they had on the original Human Torch and all this stuff. It's the same guys working there since I started going. It's a mom and pop shop. It was run by a guy named Glenn and now it's run by his son, Terrence. That's a fantastic store. Incredibly friendly, warm, welcoming. They do a great job with creators. Everybody's been there from Jim Lee to me to James, all the way through. So I really hope you'll come out. I'll be signing from 10am to 12pm. Really short because then I'm going to come back and hang out with Quinn, but I really hope you'll come by tomorrow and whatever you do, go out and celebrate comics. If you're anywhere in this vicinity of this recording, tomorrow is a day to go celebrate the medium. Go to your store, have fun, bring kids, bring your parents, bring your grandparents, go get the free comics from DC and Marvel and IDW and Image and Skybound and everyone. And just enjoy being there, man. I love Free Comic Book Day. I've loved it forever as this rejoicing of the medium that we all love. So do that.

And the post I was going to make today—I'm sorry I've been really negligent about posts. I had to do traveling for work. But I've been in and out of New York for the last couple weeks. And I'm finally back here and I'm just here really until I have a couple cons coming up I'll talk about soon. But I'm not going anywhere for any extended period during the week. But we will get back to class. I want to do something on twists and turns, twist endings. I will definitely do it this month in May, but I'm not sure exactly which Thursday yet and whether or not we'll have a guest because I'm talking to a couple people about coming on as well. And so I'm very, very excited about that.

And also, I did a post a little while ago that seemed to surprise people or at least people responded to got a lot of likes and such on Twitter. But I was just talking about how it seems to surprise people sometimes when someone who's affiliated with one of the Big Two companies isn't rooting against the other company. If you're affiliated with Marvel, the surprise seems to be that you would root for DC or vice versa. But the truth is, everyone at both companies is rooting for the other company to succeed. What made me think of it was looking at the cover that Jim Lee did, that stunning new cover for the DC Versus Marvel crossover cover from a while ago.

DC Versus Marvel Omnibus | DM Variant by Jim Lee, Scott Williams & Alex Sinclair

But it got me thinking about how fun the crossover between companies is and how it extends to all kinds of aspects of comics. For example, there's just a crossover of creators. I mean, if you think about people that have worked at one company and then the other, it goes all the way back from Jack Kirby to recent times like Brian Bendis, Grant Morrison. But I mean, switching back and forth happens all the time. We're always going back and forth. But that's true of editorial too. I can name you four or five editors I know that I've worked with that came over from Marvel to DC or that went from DC to IDW or to Image or back and forth because people that are comic people like dyed-in-the-wool comic people are just looking for jobs in comics and people move from company to company. I can name you a bunch of people I'm friends with from Arune Singh, Albert Ching, people that work in marketing and publicity and promotion that are great that have moved from company to company. So there's allegiance to a company. I love DC, but that doesn't mean I don't also love Marvel and I'm not rooting for them. And it also doesn't mean I'm not rooting for indie companies as well. And of course, a lot of us work for both.

I think the danger comes when creators or people that work at a particular company in general, whether they're creative or administrative, start to feel like there's only one right way to do things. And you'll see creators sometimes shit on working at Marvel or DC or shit on working on an indie book when you can work on licensed and all that kind of stuff. And for me, it's just so self-defeating. I'm always happy when somebody finds what they want to do and does it. And if all you want to do is do ongoing indie series then great, as long as that's where your creative passion is. If you want to do miniseries for an indie company then great if that's where your best ideas are and the things you're most happy about. If you want to do licensed stuff and and write comic books about GoBots and Transformers, fantastic. Some of the best stuff coming out right now in my opinion is from that area, that corner of comics. But it's about everybody doing the thing that they're most passionate about.

Crossover Classics: The Marvel/DC Collection | Art by George Perez

And one thing isn't sort of at the odds of another. I mean, sure, we're competitive and, you know, people only have so much money and people have very strong opinions about if you're doing a miniseries, is that hurting the industry if you're not doing an ongoing? But I can name you miniseries from Superman: Red Son to indie miniseries like, right now, Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees that are flying off the shelves and are iconographic. It works. So for me, it really is just you go where your passion is, you go where you're most creatively excited, where it makes the most sense for you practically as well at times, that comes into it too. But above all, where you can tell the stories you're most excited to tell.

And again, there's no world in which making that decision needs to shut out another area of comics. And so for me, not only do I have some of my closest friends at Marvel, obviously like Greg Capullo, but also people that I'm friends with like Dan Slott. Dan and I went back and forth when I was on Batman and he was on Spider-Man. People would think, “oh, you're in competition. Who's going to get the number one slot?” But that was the first book I read because I loved it. And also I was so inspired and impressed by how many times he could reinvent Spider-Man. That competition was awesome. And I would call him or text him, congratulate him. I would tell him how much I liked what he was doing. I mean, that stuff is fun. It’s healthy competition where you are rooting for each other. You want each other to bring your best. You want there to be one big, robust industry. So anyway, I just wanted to say again, as sort of part and parcel of that sentiment, go celebrate comics tomorrow. Go out, get your free stuff, buy stuff. Thank your retailers.

And yeah, we have a lot of a lot of big stuff coming soon. White Boat #1 comes out on the 22nd of May, I'll be doing signings. I'll announce more about that soon.

White Boat #1 (2024) | Cover by Francesco Francavilla

And then I think I'm going to kind of be quiet on social media outside of this area after that for a while because we do have a lot of stuff going on over the summer. I have to focus on Wytches a little bit and all that stuff too. And so we’ll come back bigger on the other side. But this is where I would say encourage your friends, if they're not signed up for this, to come sign up because I really am going to be doing this at least once a week, probably twice, and having Tyler focus a little bit more on the Twitter and Instagram stuff going forward so that I can really try and blast away at work. All right, you guys, thanks. Have a great day tomorrow!


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