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Andy Diggle

Andy Diggle's Q&A thread

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I don't know what Andy Diggle will reply, but probably the fact that everything Diggle brought to the book was reversed within a few months would make me regret even bothering.

 

I wish "Bad Seed" would've stayed a mini-series. It would've been a nice way to wrap up the story of Swamp Thing.....until DC decided to relaunch the character in a few years again, anyway.

 

 

Personally, I thought "Bad Seed" was a very weak story. It had continuity problems galore with the end of the Mark Millar run, and it ended on a cheesey note. With all due respect to Mr. Diggle, I much, much preferred Josh Dysart's take on the series.

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I wrote:

 

Personally, I thought "Bad Seed" was a very weak story. It had continuity problems galore with the end of the Mark Millar run, and it ended on a cheesey note. With all due respect to Mr. Diggle, I much, much preferred Josh Dysart's take on the series.

 

 

I forgot to add that this is my biggest concern with Diggle taking over the series. He wrote a Swamp Thing story that contradicted many points that had been established by previous writers (for example: the very premise of his story arc, that Alec Holland's soul was rejoined with his elemental side, completely ignored the end of the Mark Millar run, in which his soul was reincarnated in the body of a newborn, who would be close to 10 years old at this point -- what happened to the kid when Constantine brought his soul back...did he fall down dead and soulless?) I'm worried that the same thing will happen here. Mike Carey, Denise Mina and John Shirley, though all clearly well-meaning and all clearly fans themselves, have both added some doozies to continuity. To make the next writer someone already known to mess up continuity on another series makes me worried for the future of Hellblazer.

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Andy Diggle stated himself that he didn't want to mess with continuity. I don't think continuity should be a big issue with a book like H.B. After Jenkins wrapped up the Newcastle story, continuity really never figured into H.B. again until Mike Carey decided to make the book continuity heavy.

 

John Shirley's book isn't meant to be canonical anyway, from what I understand.

 

You're right about "Bad Seed" though. I forgot about that. Yes, it seems that Mark Millar's run was completely striken from the record of S.T. continuity.

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I wrote:

 

Personally, I thought "Bad Seed" was a very weak story. It had continuity problems galore with the end of the Mark Millar run, and it ended on a cheesey note. With all due respect to Mr. Diggle, I much, much preferred Josh Dysart's take on the series.

 

 

I forgot to add that this is my biggest concern with Diggle taking over the series. He wrote a Swamp Thing story that contradicted many points that had been established by previous writers (for example: the very premise of his story arc, that Alec Holland's soul was rejoined with his elemental side, completely ignored the end of the Mark Millar run, in which his soul was reincarnated in the body of a newborn, who would be close to 10 years old at this point -- what happened to the kid when Constantine brought his soul back...did he fall down dead and soulless?) I'm worried that the same thing will happen here. Mike Carey, Denise Mina and John Shirley, though all clearly well-meaning and all clearly fans themselves, have both added some doozies to continuity. To make the next writer someone already known to mess up continuity on another series makes me worried for the future of Hellblazer.

 

-Denise has said that the return of the two Lords of hell was deliberate and that the validity of the events from the Empathy is the Enemy finale are already in question.

Basically, Big Ugly got played like a fool.

 

 

-Mike's only real cock up was Straffe's mom.

He deliberately brought the demon blood back .

Personally, it would have been nice if it had been incorporated into a story, but there.

Remember he was the only one since Jenkins to really use Hellblazer continuity.

 

-I don't belive that Shirley fucked continuity (The deliberate Lucifer-FOTF namechange aside), he just added a fair whack.

Personally not all good though.

 

I'm a continuity hound (atleast in a manageable "organic" character based title like Hellblazer anyway) too.

Continuity errors should really be blamed upon the titles Editor, as he/she really is the last line of defense.

None of this would have happened on James's shift though.

 

Like many here, Andy's posts have eased my mind.

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I'm sick to fucking death of heavily continuity-based stories. It killed much of my interest in the final year or so of Mike Carey's run, it's been my most significant problem with Denise Mina's run (bugging me far more than the pacing issues), and I'll be absolutely delighted if Diggle taking over the title means we get a new writer who's more interested in facing forwards than backwards.

 

Continuity on a book like Hellblazer should be limited to a handful of recurring characters and an editor who can make sure new stories don't contradict what's gone before too glaringly. Stories based on events which happened more than 10 years ago, whether the writer gets the details of those events right or wrong, are not something I'm interested in.

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-Mike's only real cock was up Straffe's mom.

 

 

... heavily continuity-based stories. It killed much of my interest in the final year or so of Mike Carey's run, ...

...Stories based on events which happened more than 10 years ago, whether the writer gets the details of those events right or wrong, are not something I'm interested in.

What he said. Once a franchise starts to cannibalise its own history, it's fucked.

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-Mike's only real cock was up Straffe's mom.

 

 

... heavily continuity-based stories. It killed much of my interest in the final year or so of Mike Carey's run, ...

...Stories based on events which happened more than 10 years ago, whether the writer gets the details of those events right or wrong, are not something I'm interested in.

What he said. Once a franchise starts to cannibalise its own history, it's fucked.

 

 

 

Yes, but there's a big difference between cannibalizing history and getting it wrong. I agree that Carey's run was weakened by all the history it involved, but at the same time, for me the worst run was Azz's, who made Constantine a visitor in his own book and jettisoned all the history. My concern about Diggle is that he's going to do what he did on Swamp Thing, which is to write a story that completely messes up what's already been established. The Bad Seed storyline threw out the entire ending of the second series, which was one of the most important developments in the Swamp Thing mythos -- and, what's worse, it wasn't even that good a story, especially the ending. It would be like setting Hellblazer story in America, with an American Constantine who wears mysterious tatoos and carries a holy crossbow to force demons back into Hell so he can get into Heaven.

 

Oh, wait...

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Azzarello's run didn't directly contradict anything that went before. It was just a completely different view of John Constantine.

Azzarello was trying to show the reader a view of John from a stranger's perspective.

If John showed up in your town, how would you percieve this guy?

Now, it didn't really work, but it didn't contradict anything that came before. Azzarello didn't reveal that Newcastle never happened, or bring Astra back, or reveal that the First doesn't exist, or make John an American or a policeman, or anything like that.

It was completely lacking in all continuity.

Personally, for all the fault I give Azzarello for his story-telling ability, I don't find anything wrong with this approach to John. It's really the same approach Ennis brought to Hellblazer after Delano.

And Ellis totally ignored all the changes Jenkins brought to John Constantine, and moved him back more towards where he was after Ennis.

Hellblazer is a book that shouldn't be bogged down in continuity.

 

John is British, over 50, cynical, smokes a lot, Left-Wing, and is a black magician.

There you go. That's all you need to know to write Hellblazer.

Now, like Mark said, I want the writer to know enough about Hellblazer that he isn't going to directly contradict anything that went before (for example, introducing a character called Satan as the Lord of Hell and meeting John for the first time), but outside that, I say fuck continuity.

 

I'm not sure how much Diggle is to blame for what happened with Swamp Thing. I think the Vertigo editors may have had a big hand in the plot that Diggle worked with.

I think Vertigo wanted Swamp Thing brought back, and gave Diggle the job to bring him back.

The biggest fault lies with Vertigo, as after the end of Millar's Swamp Thing, we never should have seen the Alec Holland Swamp Thing again, but Vertigo wanted him brought back.

 

Andy Diggle has already stated that he plans to move John Constantine forward. He isn't going to mess with continuity. Those were his words. So, I really don't think you have anything to worry about.

It all comes down to if Diggle has a strong grasp on John Constantine's character or not.

We saw some good glimpses that Diggle does in the first part of "Bad Seed", before that story went south.

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Anybody know anything more about this story from LITG (when is it due to run? Will it be a miniseries, or part of Hellblazer self?):

 

"Ian Rankin is an Alan Grant fan and they met for the first time - Mr. Rankin had just received confirmation that he can go ahead with his "Hellblazer" story, likely to be a seven issue arc based in Hell - with a brief appearance for Rebus at the Hell bar. "

 

http://www.comicbookresources.com/columns/...cgi?column=litg

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It'll probably end up being an OGN or a mini-series.

I highly doubt it's going to be part of H.B. now that Diggle has been named to take over the book full-time after Mina.

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Personally, for all the fault I give Azzarello for his story-telling ability, I don't find anything wrong with this approach to John.

Whereas I thought Brian's run showed a mastery of storytelling, but I didn't like the way he wrote John. Funny old world, innit?

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No, there were some serious problems with his characterization of John, in my opinion.

He took the bastard John too far.

 

It was just that idea of writing John Constantine without any continuity. That was something I didn't have a problem with.

 

And, Azzarello really didn't write John any more out-of-character than Ennis wrote John after Delano.

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Why do you feel that you made a mistake on trying up loose ends on the Swamp Thing book? I quite liked it.

Where to begin? Bad Seed was supposed to be a 6-issue miniseries specifically designed to tie up loose plot threads left over from the Millar and Vaughan runs, and to hit the reset button on the impenetrably overly-complex continuity. I wanted to take Swampy back to the point where he was simply a plant-monster again. That way, if DC ever wanted to start a new ongoing series with a new issue number 1, it would be a nice simple starting point for new readers. Alec Holland got turned into a monster and then found out he was the last Plant Elemental - and that’s all you need to know.

 

However, once I was into writing it, DC decided to make it an ongoing series instead. And you don’t start an *ongoing* series by tying up loose continuity threads from old stories - it’s completely alienating to new readers. Which is why I declined to continue writing the series, and they brought in two new writers.

 

I don't know what Andy Diggle will reply, but probably the fact that everything Diggle brought to the book was reversed within a few months would make me regret even bothering.

One of the first things I tried to do was get rid of Abby and Tefe. One of the first things the new writers did was bring them back again. *shrug*

 

He wrote a Swamp Thing story that contradicted many points that had been established by previous writers (for example: the very premise of his story arc, that Alec Holland's soul was rejoined with his elemental side, completely ignored the end of the Mark Millar run, in which his soul was reincarnated in the body of a newborn, who would be close to 10 years old at this point -- what happened to the kid when Constantine brought his soul back...did he fall down dead and soulless?)

Brian K. Vaughan’s run had reunited Swampy with Alec Holland’s soul long before I got to it. If you didn’t like my story, that’s fine; but if you really want to nit-pick the minutiae of continuity, at least get it right.

 

See, this is exactly the kind of thing I was trying to iron out, for better or worse. The fucking C-word again...

 

Any chance of a Demon Constantine appearance?

Maybe, if I think of something really cool to do with him. He’s a potentially great villain, and hasn’t really been used much. On the other hand, he kinda screams “continuity”...

 

Will you be sticking around these boards once your run starts or will you disappear into the ether only to return after you've finished up?

I’ll stick around. I’ve been posting on and off here for years... although I can’t seem to find my old posts any more. John?

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Unrelated just wondering what series or mini series have impressed you most in the last couple of years?

To be honest I don’t read many new comics these days. There’s no comic shop in my town, so pretty much all I see is the stuff that arrives in my DC comp box, i.e. impenetrable crossover stories about guys in tights agonizing about their own 50-year old continuity. No thanks.

 

I did just get the first issue of Jonathan Hickman’s THE NIGHTLY NEWS thanks to a kindly fan who sent me a copy. It was the first new comic I’ve seen in ages that actually caught my interest. Of course, I haven’t actually read it yet...

 

What I am doing is picking up trades, so I can sit back and read a whole series once it’s complete. I’m looking forward to devouring the complete collections of LUCIFER, TRANSMET, STRAY BULLETS, Y, 100 BULLETS, Y etc. It’s like watching a whole TV series on DVD instead of waiting for the weekly episodes. Much better.

 

Is it true that Pete Berg is attached to this? I really like that guy. All the way back from his great role in The Last Seduction.

Not any more. Pete had to push back directing THE LOSERS when THE KINGDOM got greenlit, and he’s now just been offered some Will Smith superhero movie (*gag*choke*). WB are reportedly very happy with the LOSERS screenplay which Pete co-wrote, so now he’s stepping back to just co-producing it, and WB are looking for a new director.

 

Concerning the Green Arrow: Year One mini-series you are writing, is it going to be grittier, as in the tone of the Mike Grell series, or more light-hearted superhero oriented?

It’s grittier than Grell.

 

Will it be focusing on Green Arrow's political beliefs?

Inasmuch as it’s about how Ollie Queen went from being a rich selfish prick to a rich selfless prick.

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Any chance of a Demon Constantine appearance?

Maybe, if I think of something really cool to do with him. He’s a potentially great villain, and hasn’t really been used much. On the other hand, he kinda screams “continuity”...

 

 

I've never thought of Demon Constantine as a "villain." I'll admit, however, that it made my mouth water just thinking about the things that could happen.

 

 

I hope there's a Demon Constantine story arc in the future. In fact, I'd like to see him become a main villain character. I think he'd be a perfect fit for the series.

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Concerning the Green Arrow: Year One mini-series you are writing, is it going to be grittier, as in the tone of the Mike Grell series, or more light-hearted superhero oriented?

It’s grittier than Grell.

 

Will it be focusing on Green Arrow's political beliefs?

Inasmuch as it’s about how Ollie Queen went from being a rich selfish prick to a rich selfless prick.

 

:laugh:

 

Great!

I'm very much looking forward to this series!

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Is it true that Pete Berg is attached to this? I really like that guy. All the way back from his great role in The Last Seduction.

Not any more. Pete had to push back directing THE LOSERS when THE KINGDOM got greenlit, and he’s now just been offered some Will Smith superhero movie (*gag*choke*).

Please don't let that be Captain America....

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I'm glad we didn't scare you off, Andy.

 

Allow me to third the love for Demon Constantine as an actual villain.

I think he'd make the perfect adversary/arch-enemy for John.

They should try to outcon each other, with as little magic involved as possible.

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Pete had to push back directing THE LOSERS when THE KINGDOM got greenlit, and he’s now just been offered some Will Smith superhero movie (*gag*choke*).

Please don't let that be Captain America....

Nah, it's some thing that's been trapped in development hell for years called Tonight, He Comes.

 

... I know, it sounds like a porno.

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