I have not written in months. Or rather, I have not written anything of much consequence. I’ve written for my day job, and I’ve posted here. But my personal work, the stories I must ply from my heart and mind, have largely sat untouched.
While reading Blue In Green, I figured out why I have not lately touched my personal work. It is because consequential work, work of the type I would like to produce, demands effort and sacrifice. It demands a level of commitment I cannot currently achieve. Hovering in a liminal state during perhaps the most liminal month of my most liminal year, it is taking most everything I have to continue being a partner, a friend, an employee, a son, and a brother. I cannot be a writer, too.
So I understood exactly how Erik Dieter felt when the pale man offered him a choice in New York City. Dieter simply wanted to cut through life’s bullshit, while he was still young and alive, and create something that felt real. Something that felt great.
It is ironic that, where Erik Dieter failed, Blue In Green succeeds. Ram V, Anand RK, John Pearson, Aditya Bidikar, and Tom Muller have created something great, while commenting on the very act of artistic creation.
Earlier this year, I laid out how Marvel Comics could streamline its monthly superhero line to just 12 books. This “What If?” scenario involved not just thinning Marvel’s superhero line, but completely rethinking how the company could and should deliver comics to readers. Most of us who want mainstream superhero comics to attract new readers know that the monthly, 20-page, $3.99 periodical has just not been getting the job done. If the Big Two superhero publishers want to increase their books’ audiences, I posited, something big needed to change.
Part of my plan was to condense several of Marvel’s “families” of titles into one, core monthly anthology. Rather than paying $12 a month to follow Iron Man, War Machine, and Rescue, Iron Man fans would be able to pick up one $5-7 book featuring all three of those characters. That way, the Marvel Universe would not contract substantially, fans would get more story for their money, and each character’s stories could eventually be split off into separate (monthly) digital series and trade paperbacks – so those who really want to read about just War Machine could do that if they liked.
I’d planned to follow up on my Marvel article by creating a “reduced” DC Universe before the end of the year … but then DC Comics beat me to it:
For a beat or two, Keys to the Kingdom might convince readers that Locke and Key is becoming a typical, ongoing comic series. By which I mean, the story could continue indefinitely, allowing Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez, and the Locke children to live in the book’s premise for as long as sales or Hill’s interest allowed.
But believing anything about Locke and Key is typical would be a mistake.