Comic Book Resources reports that at the Wizard World convention, Jeff Katz released the first four upcoming titles for his “American Original” project. He also has a spiffy logo.
I’m not sure how that will look on a comic, but I do like it. In the article, he says that he was going for a classic movie-style logo that would also look good on a book spine. (Does that mean no “floppies” or do I just feel like reading too much into it? You decide. 🙂 )Considering his background, and the “American Original Entertainment” part of the project, I can’t say I’m surprised. Still, it’s a nice design.
In the article, Katz mentions New Line Cinema’s “mantra”, “..hit them where they ain’t”. I can get behind that. My own thought is “since they won’t make it for me, I’ll make it myself”, so I can relate. Both means to serve the under served (in this case in comics), and I feel I’m under served. 🙂 Well, and anyone who may see things similarly to me outside of the nut hatch.
“We’re playing in really eclectic genres,” Katz told CBR of his vision for the launch. “What I’m hoping for is that unlike any other publishing line, there’s not going to be an American Original art style. In each book you’re going to see a mix from genre revenge to action to sci-fi kids stuff to comedy. The only thing you’re not going to see me do is superhero stuff because I don’t see a point in me competing with people who have 70 years of built in history.”
I see a point, but only because “my” style of super hero seems to be long ignored in favor of Watchmen/Dark Knight Returns wannabes. I think there’s still plenty to do in the super hero mold. (After all, what’s “super hero” but another form of sci-fi?) Still, I’m glad he mentioned “kids”, which seems to be majorly under served by most of the comics industry, not just the so-called “Big 2”. I do like that he’s going to let the creators run wild. “House style” isn’t always a good thing. Ask a Transformers fan about Dreamwave’s “house style”. He’ll (or she’ll) show you the profile books, and you’ll wonder why they didn’t draw a toilet in the scene.
Here are the four announced titles, and my thoughts. I did call him on this during the original announcement back in May, after all.
- Vengeance is Mine will be written by Katz himself (does anyone blame him?) and seems to me he’s mixing Charles Bronson with Yu Yu Hakusho. Not my style, but could be interesting.
- Daybreak is taking cues from “John Carpenter/Kurt Russel movies”, which means Snake Plissken as muse. We do seem to be shy on the traditional action hero in movies, but here’s where one of my worries comes into play. (And of course, Katz is welcome to comment here at the site. I actually got an e-mail from in via the contact page last article. Unless someone’s playing games with me. This is the internet.) Comics and movies are two different formats and thus tell stories differently. I’ve been finding that there are too many (failed) attempts at imitating the theatrical style in comics. That doesn’t mean that comics can’t do their own version of Hollywood stories, but it has to be done comic style, not movie style. Does anyone understand what I’m saying?
- “Not to be seen as a producer and publisher only interested in comics inspired by movies,” Yeah, I should have re-read this more closely. 😀
- Blastosaurus is already an indie comic from New Zealand. (Which makes it neither American nor Original. Just saying.) It’s certainly an interesting premise from what I can gather from the site. However, I can’t tell how kid-friendly it is just because it have anthropomorphic dinosaur cops. Sounds like fun if it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
- Comedy Death-Ray is probably not my kind of comedy. (Not that I couldn’t get all cuddly with Sarah Silverman. I’m not sure we’d get along personally, but she’s a cute one!) I’m hoping giving them their own comic, The Comedy Death-Ray Anthology is a good idea. We’ve all seen stand-up comics try to move to another format with some successes (Tim Allen, Kevin James) and not so sucesses (Jeff Foxworthy, Sinbad), so I’m seeing a potential hit-or-miss, depending on the writer at the time.
So will I be reading everything that comes out from this company? Probably not. Katz’s model isn’t “gee, I wonder what that would-be hack writer at the BW Media Spotlight wants to read”. (That’s my own business model. 😀 ) However, he is showing a desire to reach all markets, and that’s a good start. I wish him success, and more titles geared towards me (semi-kidding). Will it enhance the comics industry? Have any of my concerns been addressed? Only time will tell, kids.