Thursday, December 18, 2008

Agents of Yawn

A few months back, senior Marvel Comics editor Tom Brevoort complained about the boring and repetitive questions creators working on his books tend to be asked by the people writing for Internet magazines.

Has anything changed since then?

Well, judge for yourself. Here are the interview questions Newsarama's Vaneta Rogers asked Jeff Parker, the writer of Marvel's upcoming Agents of Atlas series:
So Jeff, your first issue of Agents of Atlas ties into [Marvel's latest blockbuster event] Dark Reign? How did that come about?

Why do I get the feeling that the Agents of Atlas are going to be [Marvel Universe major villain] Norman Osborn's worst nightmare?

For people who aren't familiar with the critically acclaimed mini-series that introduced this concept, what is Agents of Atlas about?

What is the story in the first issue of the new Agents of Atlas ongoing?

[Fellow Marvel series] Guardians of the Galaxy may have a talking raccoon, but you've got a talking gorilla. Really - is there anything better than a comic with a talking gorilla?

Seriously, though, this character has really captured the attention of readers. What is it about Gorilla-Man that makes him so endearing?

Introduce us to some of the other characters in Agents of Atlas.

The mini-series kind of functioned in its own little corner of the Marvel Universe, but the way this comic is starting it, it looks like Agents of Atlas is going to really interact with the rest of the Marvel U. Will that be the case going forward as well?

What can you tell us about the artwork you're seeing from Carlo Pagulayan and the visual tone of the comic?

Anything else you want to tell people about Agents of Atlas?
Now, it wouldn't be accurate to describe these questions as "superficial," granted, since they never so much as touch the surface. Rather, it's fair to say that anybody who looked at the five-or-so lines of promotional preview copy released by Marvel would have been grossly overqualified to compile this questionnaire.

So, in order to further streamline Newsarama's process and render their efforts ever more efficient, here are two humble suggestions on how to approach creators in the future, using the example of Jeff Parker and Agents of Atlas:

Suggestion No. 1: "Dearest Jeff: Please outline the concept, the plot of the first issue and the main characters of Agents of Atlas, elaborate on the group's role in the Marvel Universe and gush a little about the artists. (Also, please leave an opening or two for impromptu gags, suggestions welcome.) Hugs and kisses, Newsarama."

Suggestion No. 2: "Dearest Jeff: Please write us a 1,500-word essay promoting your new Marvel Comics series. We can proof-read it, if you like. Hugs and kisses, Newsarama."

See? Isn't comics journalism easy? Everybody can do it.

2 comments:

Steve said...

Hey, that's actually a lot better than some of the interviews I've seen lately. Usually it's like this:

Q: So, what can you tell us about your new book?

A: Well, I don't want to give too much away, but it's got some classic characters and a couple of new ones, and some things happen that I think people will like.

Q: Er...can you tell us anything else about it?

A: Just that it's going to ROCK.

Dick Hyacinth said...

At least she didn't express her distaste for people who dare to criticize the subject of her interview.