Dwayne wrote the weekly TO BE CONTINUED… column on the comic book industry, hosted by Psycomics.com from October 1999 through February 2000.
This is To Be Continued… #1 – introducing the column, what to expect, what’s coming up. It also is where Dwayne presented what he called “The McDuffie Genius Grant”.
To Be Continued… #1
Well you’re here, so either you like comics as much as I do or you haven’t the slightest idea how to use a search engine. A hint for those of you in the second category: if you’re looking for Kurt Vonnegut, try searching for “comic novels,” instead of “comic books.” One last tip before you go, if you’re considering reading GALAPAGOS? Don’t bother. It’s just more evidence that anybody’s capable of a bad outing.
And speaking of bad outings, now that we’ve ditched the Lit Majors, I want to welcome the rest of you to the first installment of my column. I’m Dwayne McDuffie and this is TO BE CONTINUED…
Okay, here’s the premise, “TO BE CONTINUED…” is a weekly opinion column on comic books and related topics. My opinion. Frankly, I’m biased as Hell. Hope you’re okay with that. Every week, I’ll ramble on for a thousand words or so about anything crossing my mind that I can remotely connect to comics. I’ll gush over my favorite titles and creators. I’ll discuss comic adaptations to other media (“BATMAN AND ROBIN baaad. BLADE goood”). I’ll regale you with inside stories on how comic books are created. I’ll tell tales out of school about some of the people who make comics (for starters, I’ve seen some of the biggest names in the industry, very, very drunk). I’ll talk about my personal experiences with comics, as plain old reader/fanboy, as writer, editor, publisher of my own comics and eventually, as DC Comics’ whipping post. I’ll also bitch about the state of the industry. Probably a lot. And while whining isn’t ever pretty, it can be pretty entertaining, at least when I’m doing it.
What I won’t be doing is reviews, because this site already has at least two of the best reviewers in the business. I hate not being, you know, the best there is at what I do. Besides, if I did reviews, I might have to lie to you about how much I like the work of friends of mine. Actually, even the converse can be a problem. For instance, the phenomenally talented writer/artist Ho Che Anderson is one of the biggest pricks I’ve ever met. If I reviewed his work, I might be tempted to lie to you and say it’s awful, just because he’s awful. But that would be wrong, his stuff is uniformly wonderful. I’m going to try very hard not to tell any lies in this column. Feel free to remind me I said that whenever you catch me in a whopper.
While I’m being all truthful and whatnot, you should know that the only thing I like more than love or money is free stuff. I do a science fiction column on another web site and I’ve learned to my great pleasure that sometimes when I mention something, I get sent free stuff by the people who make it. I intend for that to be the case here as well (especially since I’ve unaccountably dropped off of all of the major publishers’ comp lists).
I think I’ve come up with a way to improve the whole “getting free stuff” process. Here’s the deal: If you’re a comics publisher who wants some electronic ink, e-mail me. I’ll send you an address and you can send me your books. If I like them, I’ll gush about them. Example: “Everybody should go out right now and buy Kyle (WHY I HATE SATURN) Baker’s latest graphic novel, YOU ARE HERE. Kyle draws better than everybody who can outwrite him and writes better than everybody who can outdraw him. In fact, no self-respecting comic library is complete without all of his graphic novels. And while you’re wallet’s out, the outrageously gifted Kris (MANYA) Dresen has just released a collection of her exquisitely-drawn and extremely funny MAX AND LILY strips. Surf over to Manya.com right now and pick up a copy or three, or I’ll come over to your house and hit you.”
Now, if I don’t like your stuff, relax, I’m not going to embarrass you. I’ll still mention your book, I just won’t gush. The educated reader will quickly come to understand what that means.
The good news is that at TO BE CONTINUED… the graft works both ways. In order to solicit mail from you guys, I’ll periodically have contests and the like. in addition, Every six weeks or so, I’ll devote this column to answering your letters. Whenever I do that, I’ll pick a winner and give away something cool, like hardcover collections (I’ve got some doubles), signed comics, or original art. Maybe I’ll use this to unload the box of hand-autographed Stan Lee photos I recently turned up. I must have cribbed those from Marvel when I worked there many years ago.
Finally, The McDuffie Genius Grant is a cash award of one dollar American that I give solely at my own discretion to anyone who does something that I think is particularly bright. Today I’m promoting a special McDuffie Genius Grant to anyone who can figure out a plan to prevent the seemingly inevitable extinction of the comic book industry. If you can save comics, I’ll pay you five bucks cash money from my own pocket. Serious inquiries only. And hurry, SPAWN’s under a hundred thousand copies a month, we can’t have much time left.
And I don’t have any time left, either. Next week, I’ll tell you a little bit about myself and answer the burning question, “Who the Hell does this guy think he is to be telling me about comic books?” If you can’t wait a whole week to find out, you can jump over to my home page right now and learn more about me than either of us will be completely comfortable with.
But for now, this column is TO BE CONTINUED…
Dwayne McDuffie is the creator of Marvel Comics’ DAMAGE CONTROL and Milestone Media’s ICON and STATIC. He’d like to remind you that the opinions expressed in this column are solely his own and do not necessarily represent those of Psycomics or Psylum.com, particularly the cheap shot at Ho Che Anderson.