The Panel gathers movers and shakers from across the industry together to answer your questions!
Don?t miss out on your chance ask the big guns a question or two, send them in now to firstname.lastname@example.org
Most of the Panellists should be known to you but if not, don?t panic I?ve got a few details on them at the end of the column.
This week’s question comes from Saffy [who thinks that Mr Moore of the amazing beard is the bees knees]. The question is:
“Who do you believe to have been the biggest positive influence on the comic book industry and why?”
Bill Rosemann: “While we owe the existence of this industry to hundreds of amazing creators, in my book Stan will always be “The Man.” From his near limitless levels of energy to his deceptively “simple” (but universally relatable) pop ideas to his boundless love for comic books, Stan Lee put a likeable face to the entire comic book industry and propelled us all into the future. Excelsior!”
Fiona Avery: “Honestly I’d say loyal fans who love to read comics. Without dedicated readers who are enthusiastic about this genre of storytelling, would there be comics?”
Alan Grant: “Bob Kane, because he created Batman. Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, because they created modern comics. Denny O’Neill and Neal Adams, for what they did in the 70s.John Wagner and Pat Mills, because without them we might have no British comics industry at all.”
Alonzo Washington: “The big four as I call them are the most important forces in the comic spectrum. Stan Lee, Bob Kane, Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster. These guys created the super heroes that we all know. Spider Man, The Hulk, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, Bat Man, Robin and Super Man, are the ultimate super heroes that define and shape what all other super heroes are. Then you have the Todd (the creator of Spawn) and the guys from Image. However, Todd is the one who has the action figures, movie deals, and the cash. Todd and the others have made everybody realize that you don’t have to be apart of Marvel and DC to kick ass in the comic book world. Next I would say Hollywood. TV, cartoons & movies take comic books to next level. The next person is an arrogant choice, but I truly believe it. That person is me!
Since I began the Omega7 Universe back in 1992 the entire look of Black super heroes have changed. The Super Man dipped in chocolate concept has changed and the Black super heroes of Marvel & DC look like Omega7 African American super heroes. If you don’t believe this take look at the original John Stewart (Green Lantern) and then take a look at him after the rise of Omega Man. His new look is a complete copy of Omega Man and many of the Mainstream Black super heroes are. The new Black Panther in his secret identity looks just like the Mighty Ace from my Omega7 comic books. However, more importantly my company has proven to the industry that Black super heroes can work without being stereotypes or side kicks to White super heroes. Omega7 has produced action figures, trading cards, comic book & has published for 12 years. Although, Omega7’s greatest achievement is that we can make another market buy comic books. The non-comic book nerd. I have received many movie offers that I have turned down but the offers are to stereotypical for me to consider. However, when I get a movie deal or when a movie or a White comic book company or movies studio copies my concepts totally the impact will be revolutionary. Imagine a Black super hero that is not an athlete, ex-con, vampire, hell spawn, monster, side kick or a stereotype. A Black super who is not a minor player on a team of White super heroes like Green Lantern. A Black super hero who does not get his powers from the devil like Spawn. A Black Super Hero that doesn’t say sweet sister like Luke Cage/Power Man (For those of you who don’t know Black have never said that and never will). Finally a Black super hero who does not fly on a trash can lid or sewer top like Static Shock. Dwayne McDuffie is an idiot for ever putting that image out for the world to see, but I guess that is what happens when a Black man lives as a White Man. Back to my point. My mission in comic books are to create African American super heroes characters that are the equivalent of White super heroes to & for all people. When non stereotypical super heroes emerge in mainstream comic books my contribution will be paramount in starting this trend.”
Craig Lemon: “You’re not specifying superheroes, you’re saying the whole industry–implying worldwide. I could be flip and say ‘Phil Seuling’, because he created the direct market (comics shops) without which the industry (in the US) would be dead. I could say ‘Herge’ because without Tintin many kids wouldn’t even know that comics existed. I could say ‘Jason Brice’, because how else have quality comics been promoted and lovingly presented to a mass readership in recent years? I nearly said ‘Katsuhiro Otomo’ for Akira, but, in a similar vein, I’m going to shock everyone and say ‘Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima’ — for Lone Wolf & Cub. Twenty-eight volumes (in the Dark Horse complete presentation), 250-300 pages each, a complete comics collection in one series, with a beginning, a middle and an end which also the first exposure to Manga for many of us, showing us a whole new world of comics we’d previously not dreamed of.”
Alan Donald: “I don’t bloody know. Everyone is going to say Kane, Lee, Kirby, Finger, Segal and Shuster but… I dunno ? who is to say they are wrong?
Who is missing? Alan Moore I suppose but someone is sure to mention him, Will Eisner, it’d be criminal if nobody brings him up…what about the workhorses? Alan Grant, Mike Collins, Mark Buckingham (to simply name a few Panellists) guys who will always produce damned good work on demand on time. Then there is Neil Adams and Denny O’Neil…
Bloody stupid question.
I haven’t even mentioned Garth Ennis, Neil Gaiman or…
What was the question? Biggest positive influence on the industry… What about Gareb Shamus for producing Wizard magazine, there you go an answer to piss a load of you off, what do I care I’m going to be a teacher soon everyone will hate me then.”
Dawn Donald: I am afraid for me there can be only one? Will Eisner. The granddaddy of them all. With out him the graphic novel as we know it wouldn’t be here. So 3 cheers for Will! hip, hip, hooray!”
Summary: Well the usual suspects appeared here with a few surprises thrown in for good measure? Gareb and us the fans woohoo!!!
This Week’s Panel: Fiona Avery (says that she plays in the Marvel Universe, and with Wildstorm at DC and is also the creator of No Honor), Alonzo Washington (is not only the creator of Omega Man but he is also a noted black rights campaigner, God is this the 21st century? How can he still need to do that? What a bloody awful world we live in where someone like Alonzo need to campaign? Bloody sinful), Alan Grant (look, do I really have to introduce Alan frickin’ Grant? The guy is beyond legendary he wrote Batman and Lobo for years, heck some of the best Judge Dredd stories that weren’t written by John Wagner were done either by Alan on his own or with him! It’s Alan Grant for goodness sake!), Bill Rosemann (started his career with those nice people at Marvel and is now with those very nice people at CrossGen, and is their head of publishing), and Alan and Dawn Donald (we’re not interesting piss off and leave us alone).
Next Week’s Question: The earth is in danger of being obliterated by an alien force, which 3 superheroes from your chosen universe (DC, Marvel, and so on) would you choose to help you save the world, and why?