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Keeping Hellblazer Alive

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Yeah, but if you think about it, there are only so many different kinds of stories you can tell with Hellblazer.

Carey took the book in a much more Fantasy oriented direction.

I'd like to see the books go in a slice-of-life direction, but that's not going to help the books sales!

If you look at most comics, they all do the same things. For how long has X-Men been playing it safe, doing the same types of stories over and over? Yet X-Men is still one of the top-selling comic books consistently every month.

Comic readers tend to be an anal lot!

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Personally, I just want more trades.

That reminds me, have to lend a friend one of the HB trades. Am trying to get him interested enough to buy stuff on his own. (",) If he can find them (I'll point him to the only bookstore I know that carries a lot of them)

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have you forget hard time? :lol:

And sales were better then, weren't they? 8-)

 

Seriously, I think a "problem" with Hellblazer from the point of view of fanboy popularity is that T & A is mostly not emphasized in the book (other than during Frusin's time, and that I think was his thing, not editorial direction).

 

Also, I think many fanboys want buttkicking American style action heros, and don't know what to do with someone who gets his ass beat regularly but still manages to "win".

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I would be the first to go out and buy HB merchandise, especially prop replicas that can be used for.... COSTUMES.

 

But anyway I don't think I could follow HB if Gaiman did a run. I honestly don't think he can do it, yes I said it :) I don't think he'd enjoy writing it, knowing Gaiman he would respect the general 'style' of Hellblazer and not try to change the universe to fit his personal tastes. This restriction Gaiman would put on himself would show up in his writing. But god would I love to see an issue of John with The Corinthian.

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And, to get all the Goth girls reading "Hellblazer", John needs to wear black, put on make-up, listen to "The Cure", and mope around a dark mansion all night, whining about how much he hates the curse known as life.

 

 

I don't think so... Personally I would not like to feel identify with such a bastard as ol' Johnny... That is why I find the character so good and realistic, he is not trying to like me, he just is as he is. But there are all kinds of Goth girls, that's also true.

 

Pooka, your monkey idea is The Best of all this thread, c'mon.

 

ACX-sama, something funny: years ago, I believed that The Corinthian was originally a Hellblazer character!

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Have you read The Corinthian mini? A Constantine is in it :biggrin: I totally think The Corinthian would make an excellent Hellblazer appearance, but because he's iconic as a Sandman character it would feel too much like an HB/Sandman crossover. Sigh.

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I would have wanted to read the Corinthian mini (is it in the Sandman trades? I dont remember)

 

The stuff of nightmares. Which is why Dream created him, right?

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Have you read The Corinthian mini?  A Constantine is in it :biggrin:  I totally think The Corinthian would make an excellent Hellblazer appearance, but because he's iconic as a Sandman character it would feel too much like an HB/Sandman crossover.  Sigh.

 

I haven't... And I don't know if there exists in my country... sigh :sad:

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Alternate History: Neil Gaiman was in the running to be the first Hellblazer writer but of course lost to the then better know Jamie Delano. I wonder how different the character of John Constantine would be had this happened? It probably would have also meant no Sandman. Would his Hellblazer had been as popular as Sandman? Or would the whole thing been a miserable failure delaying literary stardom for Neil Gaiman?

 

It's impossible to know but something to ponder.

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Alternate History:  Neil Gaiman was in the running to be the first Hellblazer writer but of course lost to the then better know Jamie Delano.  I wonder how different the character of John Constantine would be had this happened?  It probably would have also meant no Sandman.  Would his Hellblazer had been as popular as Sandman?  Or would the whole thing been a miserable failure delaying literary stardom for Neil Gaiman?

 

It's impossible to know but something to ponder.

 

Don't know what his run would have been like, but the comic itself would be vastly different - we would have no Cheryl, Gemma or Tony; no Nergal, no Chas, possibly a different interpretation of the Newcastle event, if it had one at all - no Astra Logue. Probably no internal monologue. No Gary Lester or Mucous Membrane. Perhaps less social commentary. No Liverpool, either.

 

Delano was also the one who made John into a full-on conman. The only moment that comes close in Moore's Swamp Thing is the scene where he convinces Baron Winter to lend his house out by lying to him.

 

And he would most likely have less angst - the idea of John's friends getting killed left, right and centre was something that Delano introduced as a recurring feature of his life. In Moore's Swamp Thing, the deaths of John's friends come during a big, apocalyptic build-up so it's not unreasonable to imagine it's a one-off thing.

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Judging on how Gaiman used Constantine in his Books of Magic mini and in "Hold Me" I'm guessing that his Constantine might have been more of a supernatural magician type and may have had more interaction with DC characters. I'm basing that more on the early issues of Sandman were Gaiman actively used characters such as the Martian Manhunter and tried to use the Joker for a story if I'm not mistaken.

 

I think Gaiman's very first pitch to DC was a John Constantine story about John's refridgerator being haunted which supposedly had a 'wonky' ending and was never inked. It'd be interesting to read that story today.

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John Constantine would have been very different.

But I dont know if everything that followed would be very different, because there are possibly time eddies that make certain things regardless of the mechanisms that went into getting there.

 

But I would have loved to read those stories.

Not too late is it?

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How was Delano better known? "Hellblazer" was his first mainstream comic work. Maybe Delano was some huge cult favourite in England before coming to America? I can't even see that, as his work before DC didn't consist of very much (mostly 2000 A.D. shorts, some Dr. Who) or very high quality.

Gaiman at least had the "Black Orchid" mini under his cap.

 

I would not trade Jamie Delano as the first "Hellblazer" writer for ANYONE! His run is as close to perfection as you can get, for me, and I'd be afraid to lose that, as Delano's run is the J.C. I love.

 

"In Moore's Swamp Thing, the deaths of John's friends come during a big, apocalyptic build-up so it's not unreasonable to imagine it's a one-off thing."

Not to mention that all of the deaths of John's friends in S.T. was so fast with no time to react, so it didn't come across as that big of a deal, just some one-off people being killed in an apocalypse.

 

Gen-"would have wanted to read the Corinthian mini (is it in the Sandman trades? I dont remember)"

It's a 3-issue mini-series written by Darko Macan called "Sandman Presents:The Corinthian-Death in Venice". It's never been collected.

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Thanks Christian.

That means I wont get to read it unless someone's got a scanned copy.

Ah well, the perils of coming in late....

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I'm pretty sure that Gaiman's "Black Orchid" mini-series was published after "Hellblazer" had started. I remember buying the Black Orchid issues as they came out in 1989 I think. "Hellblazer" was what brought me into the comic store so I'm sure I wouldn't be getting "Black Orchid" before I knew about "Hellblazer".

 

I think Delano was a friend of Alan Moore and his "2000AD" and "Doctor Who" work was at least something on his CV.

 

I don't regret a Gaiman-less "Hellblazer" but what was really a missed opportunity was the possibility that both Gaiman AND Delano were each supposedly set to do a 6-month trade off run on "Swamp Thing" after Veitch left but the plan was scrapped after the whole 'Last Temptation of Swampy' flap. I read this in an interview with either Neil or Jamie so I assume it could have been a reality and wasn't just fan-boy wishfull thinking.

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Imagine the massive jump from Gaiman to Ennis if the following writers had been the same :lol: I suppose if Gaiman were to start writing after Mina it'd be like a return to a Jenkins era, only more popular.

 

GenGris, The Corinthian mini focuses on the first Corinthian after World War I. You can find issues on eBay :biggrin:

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Yes, it certainly was a shame for "Swamp Thing", considering how things went for that book after Veitch.

I don't really think Gaiman had the time to do S.T., and considering the output we got from Gaiman during the period he'd have been writing S.T., I'm happy that things went the way that they did.

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I found this exchange in an old Neil Gaiman interview where he talks about his potential "Swamp Thing" run:

 

 

CE: You were slated to write Swamp Thing after Rick Veitch finished his run. Without getting into the politics of the situation, what were your plans for the book?

 

NG: I didn't really have any. We never quite really got that far. I had a few ideas about what I was going to do. It was going to be me and Jamie Delano. We were going to split it, and do sort of three issues each on a turnabout basis. Neither of us could have done another monthly book at twelve issues a year, but we could have done it on that basis. It really hadn't even got to the plotting stages.

Having said that, there was a lot of stuff that I did, back when I was originally creating Black Orchid, in terms of working out an unified vegetable theology in the DC world. So there is a lot of stuff in the background that I know about the Swamp Thing world that we never used. Some of that was hinted at in the Annual. (ED NOTE: Swamp Thing Annual #5)

 

CE: It seemed in the Annual that you were setting up a lot of plotlines.

 

NG: Yeah, I was setting up a lot of plotlines which I never actually got to do anything with. Doug (ED: Wheeler, current writer on Swampy) should have a copy of the essay that I did, "Notes Toward a Vegetable Theology", and may well be picking up on some of that stuff.

 

CE: Was the decision to make Jason Woodrue (The Floronic Man) insane again yours?

 

NG: That was mine. I heard around the DC offices that New Guardians was going to get cancelled. I went over to (ED: Editor) Andy Helfer, and said, "Great! Can we have Jason Woodrue back, please?" He said yes, so I started messing with Jason Woodrue.

 

CE: Were you going to turn him back into a villain?

 

NG: I was going to bring him back as a villain. He was getting back to being Woodrue, the Rue of the Wood, and probably on a much bigger scale, a much nastier scale. It would have been fun, but again it didn't happen.

I probably would have brought back Black Orchid in there. I don't know, because as I said, it never got that far. Rick still had a few issues. I talked to Rick, we sort of co-plotted Rick's last few episodes, which never saw print. When I say co-plotted, I mean that we had long bull sessions about them when I stayed up in Vermont for a couple days last Winter. I spent a day with Steve Bissette, a day with Rick, and the evening I spent with Rick we were plotting out Rick's final sequence.

Rick had the end of the time travel sequence, and some Arcane stuff. We talked through what we would have done during the birth of the baby story. We would have done a whole "Gifts of the Magi" number, with various characters coming up, and bestowing the newborn child a gift. What John Constantine would have done, and so forth. That would have brought tears to your eyes, it would have been one of the most moving comics you would have ever read, Brian. You would have wept. It would probably have filled you with hope and inspiration for the rest of your life. And when you were feeling down, you would have taken that comic out, and read it, and felt good again.

 

CE: (Laughter)

 

NG: Unfortunately it never saw print.

 

CE: But that seems to be too ideal. After all Constantine, who was the, uh, vessel, was tainted with Demonblood. It seems that is too rosy of a situation.

 

NG: Yeah, well, let`s put it this way: That particular story would have been the business, it would have been gorgeous! Unfortunately...

But the point was Rick had six issues to go on his story. I had a few vague ideas rolling around, but I hadn't actually rolled up my sleeves and gone to work. I probably would have had a big meeting with Jamie, we would have talked stuff through, we would have bounced ideas back and forth. We would have talked to Rick, we might well have talked to Alan. And then we'd have rolled up our sleeves and put it all together. I wanted to do stuff with old Swamp Things as well, just because of my fetish for the Historical.

 

CE: Just parenthetically, have you read any of the Doug Wheeler Swamp Things yet?

 

NG: Not really. Not properly. Looks okay. His Constantine has problems. I find Americans writing Constantine normally get his dialogue wrong. Rick got him right towards the end of his tenure, but even Rick was off when he started.

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I have scans of The Corinthian so I'll stick 'em online using yousendit.com seeing as a few seem interested in reading it.

 

#1 | #2 | #3

 

You'll need Jomic or CDisplay for the files. Or just unzip them and open each image in order I guess....

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I have thing about ordering from the Internet - ebay included.

Just a little aberration.... ACX. So I guess I have to some shopping around, in me sneakers.

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I have scans of The Corinthian so I'll stick 'em online using yousendit.com seeing as a few seem interested in reading it.

 

SO kind from you, damn, so kind :icon_cry: I... I don't want to get emotional...

Thank you, A.C.

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Grpahic Novels are Vital. (tis already been said)

 

I would number the graphic novels, and reprint the whole lot. There are issues missing despite whats been published. aving them availble in order is so important. I think to new readers.

 

I would reduce the price slightly, and give the comic a one page letters column.

 

I have ideas about a tactic for both artists and writers. But It would cost money.

 

If I were in charge, I would Kick off with neat arcs, of between 6 and 10 issues. These would have a few interesting authors and artists. Clarity would be important from the artists point of view.

 

I would love a Gaiman arc, A Morrison Arc and then to top it off a Bendis arc.

 

I would get David Mack, Alex Maleev and Frank Quietly to do the art.

Then I would ask Mike Mignola to do a four isue run, followed by a Matt Wagner four issue and a Millar and Hitch four issue. That would be about 3 years worth..

 

At that stage I would look for two new people, to take on a 30 issue job with a selection of different arcs, but the key would be good stories.

 

Covers - would need to be strong. I would go for artists in lione with the arcs.

 

I know its apipe dream, but I DO think that an injection of really good artists and writers witha track record of entertainment would increase interest and sales.

 

I would be keen as editor not to lose any of the things that make constintine work, but am sure those creators could do the job.

 

 

Jamesb

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I think they've done a reprint of the trades.

Ah well, you see - some of my trades (the newer ones - not necessarily the latest ones - 3 of those I dont have - yet. On order which means I get a call when it arrives at the bookstore) already carry the Keanu movie. I dont mind, you see -

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