JMS Panel Recording Contradicts His Criticisms of ‘Earth One’ Reports
Earlier this week, Johanna Draper Carlson and Kevin Huxford posted about the possible alteration or cancellation of DC's upcoming "Earth One" graphic novels, after a Comic Book Resources report from the San Diego Comic-Con "Superman: Man of Tomorrow" panel cited the following exchange between "Superman: Earth One" writer J. Michael Straczynski and a fan:
The fan asked whether [Straczynski] plans on continuing the "Earth One" stories. The writer revealed that the hardcover release will be followed up with by single issues, which will later be collected.
Which is a simply baffling response. Why would DC print a hardcover, then serialize the issues, and then re-collect those same issues? This news spread around the comics news sites and blogs, with fans and analysts wondering what the logic behind that plan was. Luckily, JMS sent out emails and comments to correct the incorrect assumptions of the internet. Here's the e-mail he sent to Bleeding Cool (and another to Robot 6), where he denied making the reported comments about "Earth One" and took issue with the lack of fact-checking:
Could somebody do me a favor and pass this on to the folks who have been saying that I announced that plans for the OGN Earth One series have been changed? It's not what I said but it's all over the net and nobody checks with me to confirm... what was said before going out with these stories?
In brief...I was asked about the format of the graphic novels, was it going to be single issues collected as is the rule or a straight-up GN, to which I said it was a novel, unlike B&B [Brave And The Bold], which was single issues gathered into a hardcover (thus trying to promote the book, which is coming out this week), having a little fun with it when the fan said he was confused, and I said I was too. That was it. Somehow these two statements concerning two different books got conflated into one.
The one has nothing to do with the other.
Except he said exactly what people reported he said, and we know this because there's an audio recording of it. Check the transcript below the cut.An eagle-eyed fan on the Something Awful forums posted a transcript of the relevant portion of the panel, along with an MP3 link to the full audio from DC's own site.
Q: With your Superman: Earth One story, is that going to be like an ongoing graphic novel series, or is it just going to be one and done, or do you have plans for other Superman graphic novels, if this is a one and done?
A: What they're going to do is, as I understand it, first the graphic novel will come out in hardcover, then it will come out in individual issues, then more issues will follow to be gathered together in graphic novels.
Q: So, it's going to be graphic novel hardcover first, then single issues recollected, then single issues again?
A: Correct. As I understand it.
Q: That's extremely confusing.
A: You and me both.
If you want to hear it for yourself, click this link to go to DC's site, scroll down to the bottom, and download the Superman: Man of Tomorrow podcast. JMS's answer is around 57:30 in, and he said exactly what the news sites said he said, with nary a comment about "The Brave & The Bold" to be found.
Heidi MacDonald reached out to DC Comics for a response, and received a statement from DC co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio that read, "Our plans regarding the EARTH ONE line of original graphic novels have not changed – they will serve as new, unique and compelling reinterpretations of our key characters in original graphic novel form, by some of the biggest names and brightest stars in the industry." So, DC says their plans haven't changed, but also neatly sidestepped the question of serialization.
What's the takeaway here? Did JMS make a mistake on the panel and then blame the people who reported his gaffe, or as others have suggested, did he somehow forget what he'd actually said? Regardless, it's clear that the "Earth One" OGNs are still coming out, that Straczynski's recent rebukes to reporters were in error, and that the reports in question were not.