Suddenly/Meanwhile | Who is Geoff Johns?

Last updated on March 24th, 2014 at 01:37 pm

Currently reading: Chaos War TP, Lil’ Zombie, Tintin: Cigars of the Pharaohs and Innocence and Seduction: The Art of Dan DeCarlo.

Currently re-reading: Groo the Wanderer, Amulet and Urasawa’s Pluto.

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Having finished re-reading The Invisibles last week, and then having re-read the re-coloured Casanova put me in a strange mood. The two books are very much similar – not in tone, or execution – but in the fact that they’re both everything that the respective writers love/fear/influenced by/sexually attracted to/etc put down to paper.

While both of those comics have their issues, I realized that I want to see more of these types of comics. I’m not saying that I want more hi-concept sci-fi stories I just want more quasi-personal works from creators that tend to make their living scripting the adventures of our favourite caped crusaders.

I think this is my major issue with Geoff Johns.

via Let's Be Friends Again!

Nothing about his works speak to me on a base level. I’ve never read anything by him that made me relate to him in any way shape or form. The closest may have been parts of his Flash run – specifically when he made Central City a stand-in for Detroit, but even that devolved into a hackneyed parody after a while. Johns’ writing is serviceable, there’s nothing about him that really makes me identify with him as anything but a fan of comic books from his youth. There’s no growth there. Being the safe keeper to comic book characters is a pretty thankless job. I get that. Hell, Johns has done an amazing job in that respect, I just think that it’s time to actually push yourself as a writer and give back to the medium that you obviously love.

There’s that wonderful statement by Warren Ellis as he was wrapping up his 12 issue run on Thunderbolts:

“I’m okay with painting other people’s houses for short periods, because I’m good at it and it pays well and on nice days it’s fun. But I never ever confuse painting a house for owning that house. And if I spent every waking hour painting other people’s houses, I wouldn’t be able to build houses of my own.

The more creators who only took on housepainting as a part-time gig, the healthier this medium would be.”

I guess I just want him to take a risk. I mean, it’s not like it could really hurt him at this point. Hell, even Bendis takes time away from writing the Marvel Universe to give us Scarlet and Powers.

In case you weren’t aware the relaunch of ‘Dark Horse Presents’ comes out tomorrow. Check out this list of creators who are contributing: Howard Chaykin, Neal Adams, Richard Corben, Carla Speed McNeil and Frank Miller, who previews Xerxes, the long-awaited prequel to 300.

Yeah, that’s some huge talent right there, but for me the biggest name belongs to Paul Chadwick and the return of Concrete.

The hook of the series is that of the adventures smoothed down version of the Thing (Concrete is a liberal speechwriter’s brain transplanted by aliens into a concrete android body) who instead of trying to discover and explore pseudo-scientific worlds, chooses instead to travel Earth and do all the things that his new body allows him to do. Once you get past the whole alien abduction and indestructible body it’s really just the story about a timid, gentle and thoughtful man taking command of his life and doing everything he’s ever read about. Chadwick is known for his beautiful clear line style and photo realistic backgrounds which really helped sell me on the series when I personally suspected that it would devolve into horrible science fiction tropes.

Luckily, that never really happened.

Instead you get some of the best short stories this side of Adrian Tomine.

Really pumped for this, should be a pretty good week.

 

Peter DeCourcy Written by:

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6 Comments

  1. EJ
    April 19, 2011

    You know I always find the idea that somehow being a guy who enjoys writting superheroes is somehow a bad thing in the eyes of a certain faction of comic book fans. In many ways just like that little image you put up exposed the guy who wrote it, this take exposes those fans opinions.

    See me i’ve never had to connect to the writer on a personal level or have him write things that make me have to justify reading comics, I just like reading about superheroes and their adventures and imo Johns is the best at that.

    You can challenge yourself all you want as a writer but if the end result isn’t any good say Morrison and Final Crisis than in the end it’s just a waste of time. Being original and creative are just fancy words that some fans use to justify these stories, me i’ll just take something that is written well even if it’s not the most creative thing ever.

    To me what makes Johns really good at his job is that he can do both, he can take characters back to their roots and also create new and interesting concepts to make them modern. He enjoys writting about these heroes and it shows through his work and that’s why people like him and his writting he shows the respect that these characters deserve. He’s not a gun for hire nor is he a guy who thinks he’s too cool for school and looks down on capes like a certain faction or writers and fans.

    Now i’ll gladly admit that he’s not for everyone some people have a weird love hate thing with comics and it insults them that someone doesn’t make excuses for the sillyness of the concept but embraces it. Others are bitter about the fact that he replaced Hal and Barry’s replacements and don’t see the hypocrisy in why they dislike the guy. And some just are too busy worshipping at the alter of Moore and Morrison to just sit back and enjoy a very good super hero comic. And that’s fine you can enjoy what you want but let’s seperate your own personal enjoyment from what Johns does because just like different writers provide their own things to comics so does he and most people who read comics fall in his camp it’s part of why we still read comics even though were not young anymore.

  2. Charlie
    April 20, 2011

    Nice commentary EJ. I wish this site had more though provoking insights such as yours. Too bad I don’t know who Geoff Johns is otherwise I’d engage you.
     
    Okay, I just picked up several copies of DHP which is what I usually do whenever talent like Miller and Adams makes an appearance (insert ’80s joke here)… but wow $8 bucks a pop! Plus tax!! I really wish they’d start printing on newsprint again and reduce the price of these books. I miss that musty pulp scent. I’m debating whether to read a copy or not… Don’t want to chip that spine and lose that MINT grading…

  3. April 21, 2011

    I would suggest not reading it. That way if the comic goes up to $10 a copy you will have made $20 (assuming you purchased 10 copies). Of course you would have made more money working a couple of hours for minimum wage in Ontario….

  4. April 21, 2011

    It’s not that I look down on Johns for writing Superheroes. I mean, hell what would I be doing reading comics if I hated superheroes? I’d just like to see what he’s capable of if he went ‘off book’ and took all the things that interest him and put them down into his own series.

    I think he’s incredible capable of doing so, and I look forward to when he finally does.

  5. Charlie
    April 21, 2011

    You should mention that to the retailers around town who view their back issues as money. I don’t care what Overstreet says… unless the money is my pocket, my book are nothing more then… books. Having said that, my DHPs are bagged and boarded… a tucked away in a dark corner of my basement. Yes, the beauty of my persona is that I’m a mystery to be enjoyed, not figured out.

  6. April 21, 2011

    There is a lot that I need to mention to dealers around town.

Make It Good.