Discuss the Ghostbusters Comic from IDW, as well as the now defunct Ghostbusters: Legion series.
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By Erik Burnham
#4803872
You're about facts? I don't think so. You're looking to one set of numbers to justify your fandom, I think. "This isn't selling high enough! No one will think it's cool!" That's my opinion.

If you want facts about whether the series is working, I'll ask: what are we selling in foreign markets? How about digitally? What are the FOC numbers? The reorders? How do the trades do? What is our cost vs profit? How do we do against similar properties (ie, dormant licenses with ongoings that have run for more than a year.) You don't and won't have those numbers. IDW and Sony does, and that's why we kept going for 3 years.

The direct market is a lot more than one set of numbers.

I can accept folks not liking the book, not everyone will. But you *don't* have the facts. You have one part of a fact. I told you the book ending had nothing to do with sales numbers, or the creative team. That's the truth. And a fact.
User avatar
By M.Thunder
#4803896
Mr. Shandor, I know you think the numbers are low. That's your opinion. It was not, and never has been, IDW's opinion. Though I'm sure nobody would object if sales were higher, your hypothesis that the low numbers are why the Ongoing is being discontinued is not the case.

I mean, I'm like Fritz: I love nitpicking and sometimes even mocking each new installment of this series. I don't always agree with every choice made. But it's new, and alive, and made by people who love the franchise. If you want hope for the future of Ghostbusters, it's right here.

But I have to question some of your helpful suggestions. Lets see...
1) Forget the Real Ghostbusters.
The Real Ghostbusters was one of the most popular, memorable, well-written and fondly remembered cartoon shows ever made. It gave millions of children nightmares right before making them laugh. Certain episodes have written themselves into the mythology of the characters so completely you will have a hard time disentangling them (Egon was terrorized by the Boogieman as a kid. Ray came from a small town with a haunted house in it. Peter's dad was a con artist. And so on). I wouldn't recommend forgetting the Real Ghostbusters.
1a) I don't want to see the characters based, even tangientally, on the cartoon series. Peter should look like Bill Murray. Egon should look like Harold Ramis. Ray should look like Dan Aykroyd, Winston should look like Ernie Hudson. Secrure the rights to these actors likenesses, and use them. No more pointy glasses on Janine. Revert the characters to their original looks.
The characters DO look like the actors...or more specifically, they look like the characters. I know you don't like the Real Ghostbusters at all, but they intentionally didn't go for the likenesses when they designed those characters, and it's easy to see why when you look at a cast photo: you would have had three tall, brown-haired middle-aged white guys in khaki and their tall black friend also in khaki and also their brown-haired lady friend. You can't do that in a cartoon. You'd be asking for a ton of continuity errors.

Dan Schrodding's art strikes a different balance. He has the benefit of anime and Bruce Timm style influence, and his characters are closer to the actor's looks (they at least have brown hair, just different shades of brown) while being distinctive enough from each-other to avoid continuity issues. The mark of a really good character design is, "can you black out all a character's features, look just at the silloette, and know at a glance who that character is?" Dapper Dan has passed this test repeatedly, and so well that the people who made the Stylized version of the video game had to cut him a check after they used his art style without asking him first.

But hey, keep on believing there's an unnamed mass of people who don't like his designs, if it helps validate something for you.
2) Stop trying to shoehorn all the accessory characters into the Ghostbusters comic. The video game for the XBox also suffered from this flaw.
The video game had a good many flaws, but an excess of returning characters wasn't one of them. That's one thing I never saw anyone complain about.
We don't need Walter Peck. We don't need Jack Hardemyer. We don't need Janosz Poha. Develop some new characters and leave these old characters in the movies. No need to ever see Extreme Ghostbusters characters either. Let's stick to the core 4 GBs (and maybe Janine) and then develop new characters.
Why would you go to the trouble of developing all new original characters for niches where characters already exist? Doesn't that seem like a waste of time? If you want to keep continuity with the films, populating the world with familiar faces is the way to do it. You don't get to demand total fidelity to the film and then complain about too much continuity with the film. That just doesn't make sense.
3) Start the new Ghostbusters comic with a long, slow-building storyline. At least 8 issues, maybe 12. Start slow. Take it easy. Develop an air of menace, of foreboding. We don't see Gozer until the last 10 minutes of the orginal film!
Not every enemy they face is going to be Gozer. Different villains require different approaches by the heroes, and besides, in case you haven't noticed, our guys are REALLY POWERFUL. They're smart, courageous, heavily armed, and have no qualms about killing or destroying what they cannot capture. Your standard enemy isn't going to last long enough to make the build-up worth it. Besides, we're not here for the Big Twinkies, we're here to watch the characters interact. That's the key of Ghostbuster's appeal.
4) The writing: hire someone who is a good writer, with comedic talent.
Comedic talent? You were just complaining that the stories needed to be longer, more disconnected and more realistic. You sure you want comedy? Because Erik Burnham brings the comedy. Of all things you can say about his work, he writes some of the best comedic dialog in you'll find.
The plotting and comedy aspects of Ghstbusters are tough to balance correctly. Avoid trying to write too many jokes.
They already do that. What else?
Peter Venkman can be funny at times, but trying to write for Bill Murray comes off as forced and awful if you're not as talented as Ramis & Aykroyd (and who in the comics-writing business IS as talented as those two writing comedy?? No one).
Bill Murray actually would rework and improvise a scene while he was performing it, as would Ramis and Akyroyd. They all had backgrounds in improvisational comedy and if you look at the shooting script, and then the finished film, you'll see layers of detail that could only have come after the three of them arrived, got into character, and started interacting.

Obviously you can't replicate that in a comic book, but getting the tone of the banter right is a good place to start, and Burnham has that part down.
Keep the jokes to a minimum. Use situational humor, physical humor, maybe the occasional one-liner from Pete. It's a delicate balance. The current writers can't pull it off.
So you want comedy but without any of the comedy. That's not a "delicate balance," that's a nonsensical jumble of contradictory demands.
5) The art: hire someone who can draw realistic-looking people.
They did. His name's Tristain Jones, and his art is so dark and gritty you could use it as sandpaper. He's already spoken to you.
One of the problems with the stylized art is it makes the book look like it's for children. Do you feel proud opening a copy of the current Ghostbusters comic in mixed company (i.e. in front of non-comics fans)? It looks like you are reading an Archie comic.
Even allowing for the comparison, you know what else looks like Archie comics?...Archie comics. And people read those in public all the time. They're in every supermarket check-out isle. Kids, adults, random guys will reach over and grab one just on a whim. I don't understand what the embarrassment is supposed to be.
The art is childish-looking and cartoony. It's fine art, but it's not going to make the Ghostbusters comic cool. Like it or not, you need to cultivate a "cool" vibe in today's comic book market. People aren't ashamed to pick up Batman comics. Walking Dead comics. Avengers comics. These books are cool. Ghostbusters is not - but it SHOULD be. It COULD be. Change the art, get some realistic art, gritty art. Watch the first movie - it's gritty. Get some of that vibe.
So now you are an expert in what's "cool?" Chasing fads, or altering what you are doing so you can be more like whatever is selling big right now.... that's a recipe for disaster. That's the death of creativity. What you do won't be true to your own vision, and whatever fad you are chasing will be instantly dated anyway. I advise against chasing "cool."
6) Promote the book. People love Ghostbusters. They go to screenings, they wear GB t-shirts. University dorms are full of GB posters on the wall. Do these people know there is a GB comic? Some don't. Advertise.
Finally, something we agree on. I'm sure it's not IDW's fault: they are an indy publisher without a ton of cash to spend on advertising campaigns, but I think something like an animated trailer or even a tweet by an A-Lister (Mr. Akyroyd!) would help get the word out in a big way. The problem isn't that people don't like the comic. The problem is not enough people know about it. Most people who pick it up, seem to like it.
An initial outlay of some marketing dollars will announce that this NEW Ghostbusters comic is different from past GB comics.
So you want to promote your new comic by insulting people who've bought your GB comics in the past? Killer marketing plan.

So to summarize, you want a dark gritty realistic long slow-burning comic with photorealistic art, comedy but not too many jokes, and you want it to be "cool."

If you want a "cool" series about people vs. the parnanormal, there are so many options. Hellboy and Constantine instantly jump to mind. They are not Ghostbusters.

I like the series we have, and I'm glad as hell that we can (probably I HOPE I HOPE) count on volume 3 happening. That's the best news I've heard in months.
User avatar
By *NormalGamer*
#4803903
^Well put. ^_^

With the Ghostbusters universe and it's mythos begging to be explored, it dosen't need to be put in a box simply for nostalgia reasons, as I said before.
By Halloween Undead
#4803918
This ongoing Ghostbusters series is what got me into comics. I never read them as a kid. I suppose I've regressed in maturity over the years. Oh well...worse things have happened.

I've also started picking up the Tomb Raider series based on the video game. Hopefully, it will spawn a new movie that doesn't star Angelina Jolie.

It would be awesome if IDW picked up the rights to make a Dick Tracy comic with art that resembles the 1990 movie more than the original comic strip. I would totally buy that. It's unfortunate that that franchise has been dead for decades in nearly every capacity.
User avatar
By Razorgeist
#4803947
1) Forget the Real Ghostbusters. I don't want to see the characters based, even tangientally, on the cartoon series. Peter should look like Bill Murray. Egon should look like Harold Ramis. Ray should look like Dan Aykroyd, Winston should look like Ernie Hudson. Secrure the rights to these actors likenesses, and use them. No more pointy glasses on Janine. Revert the characters to their original looks.
Screw that. I applaud IDW and this creative team for even bothering to acknowledge the cartoon. For a while there (this particularly came up during 88mph's run on the franchise) seemed to be a small backlash against RGB.
The Real Ghostbusters was one of the most popular, memorable, well-written and fondly remembered cartoon shows ever made. It gave millions of children nightmares right before making them laugh. Certain episodes have written themselves into the mythology of the characters so completely you will have a hard time disentangling them (Egon was terrorized by the Boogieman as a kid. Ray came from a small town with a haunted house in it. Peter's dad was a con artist. And so on). I wouldn't recommend forgetting the Real Ghostbusters.
Also the cartoon had some brilliant writing from some brilliant writers and came up with some story plots that put GB2 to shame.
User avatar
By Fritz
Moderator
#4803978
It would be awesome if IDW picked up the rights to make a Dick Tracy comic with art that resembles the 1990 movie more than the original comic strip. I would totally buy that. It's unfortunate that that franchise has been dead for decades in nearly every capacity.
Well, the comic strip itself is still going, and it's been spectacular lately:
http://www.gocomics.com/dicktracy
By Halloween Undead
#4804041
It would be awesome if IDW picked up the rights to make a Dick Tracy comic with art that resembles the 1990 movie more than the original comic strip. I would totally buy that. It's unfortunate that that franchise has been dead for decades in nearly every capacity.
Well, the comic strip itself is still going, and it's been spectacular lately:
http://www.gocomics.com/dicktracy
That's awesome! I had no idea either.
By Troy
#4805167
The fact that both Tristan Jones and Erik Burnham replied here leaves a smile on my face! Thanks for all the work, dedication and amazing fan support, guys!
Worth saying twice.

I hope you guys know that this particular wheel that's getting your grease is one of the few squeaks... plenty of people loving the hell out of what you're doing including myself.

I don't know when any of the creative team on GB sleeps with as much love and work as you all put into the books, and then on top of that all of the interaction that you have with the fans.

Bring it in, let's hug it out.
By SPJ
#4805198
I love the new book. Sad to see it go. My middle daughter loves that, TMNT, and Transformers (yeah, I guess I am raising my kid 80's style).

If the sales were as poor as you say though, then why is it ALWAYS sold out whenever I go to pick up a copy for ME?!?
User avatar
By TristanJones
#4805202
I love the new book. Sad to see it go. My middle daughter loves that, TMNT, and Transformers (yeah, I guess I am raising my kid 80's style).

If the sales were as poor as you say though, then why is it ALWAYS sold out whenever I go to pick up a copy for ME?!?

How many is your store ordering for its shelves?
User avatar
By groschopf
#4805258
The TFAWs here in the Portland area also have a hard time keeping the book on the shelf come Wednesday. The store near my work in Beaverton has sold out of the latest book within the first hour or two of opening.

As I understand it (and an employee of TFAW is welcome to tell me if I'm wrong), subscribers receive a decent chunk of the stock sent to the stores. In turn, anyone with an intense interest in the book gets theirs first -- and then there's nothing on the new release shelf to indicate to the casual reader that new book came out.

Could skew results if stores nationwide do the same thing.
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By groschopf
#4805260
Also, I've got to bring this up because it's bothering me...

The original post of this thread was spent tearing down the work of the most successful and stable Ghostbusters comic book ever. I get that's it's couched in opinion. I've certainly had strong ones myself that aren't widely supported. Nothing wrong with that in of itself.

The author then just happened to bring up their work as a fan-fic writer... that's hungry for the opportunity to write for the franchise... at a time they presume the present writer is stepping down... insinuates that they can do it better... and later drops social networking info and a link to their work.

Can't help but wonder if this thread is in service to constructive criticism or subtle self-promotion. Intention does make a difference in how I perceive the content of this conversation.
User avatar
By TristanJones
#4805268
Groschopf. TFAW are great people. That's not how it works. Shops will only put what they think they can sell on the shelves. They need the space. If there's not a tremendous amount of public interest in a title, some shops won't put it on the shelves at all.

What a lot of you guys need to understand is that when Tom, or Erik, or Dan, or myself ask you to go to your shops and preorder it, it's really important. I explained it all loosely in the TMNT/GB thread. So, seriously, take a look.

http://www.gbfans.com/community/viewtop ... 7#p4804597
By SPJ
#4805326
I love the new book. Sad to see it go. My middle daughter loves that, TMNT, and Transformers (yeah, I guess I am raising my kid 80's style).

If the sales were as poor as you say though, then why is it ALWAYS sold out whenever I go to pick up a copy for ME?!?

How many is your store ordering for its shelves?
Good question, whenever I ask, the owner gets a deer in the headlights look, mumbles something like "It's been canceled. Be back in a minute." Wanders off and finds another customer to help, never to be seen again. I waited ten minutes one time to check out, and I was the only other person in the store. :sigh:
User avatar
By Ivo Shandor
#4805339

The author then just happened to bring up their work as a fan-fic writer... that's hungry for the opportunity to write for the franchise... at a time they presume the present writer is stepping down... insinuates that they can do it better... and later drops social networking info and a link to their work.

Can't help but wonder if this thread is in service to constructive criticism or subtle self-promotion. Intention does make a difference in how I perceive the content of this conversation.
Haha...yes I am in intense competition to write the Ghostbusters comic. I'm sure my name is high on the list of possible replacements. This is all a big scheme to become the next writer of the GB comic. I'm waiting for that phone call with baited breath.

I didn't "insinuate I can do it better". But I'll flat out STATE that I could write a GB comic *I* would like better. Don't know if that would sell 7,000 copies a month though.
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By Ivo Shandor
#4805494
With a pompous attitude like that, I wouldn't touch anything you wrote, let alone pay for it.
I don't think that word means what you think it means.

It's not pompous to think you could write something you like better than someone else could write. After all, I could fix anything that I don't like about the GB comic (or anything else I dislike). Most people have an idea of what they like and don't like about things, and could probably change something to make themselves like it more. What's pompous about that?

I'm not saying my version would be better, or that other people would consider it better. I just said that I would like it better.
User avatar
By M.Thunder
#4805505
The author then just happened to bring up their work as a fan-fic writer... that's hungry for the opportunity to write for the franchise... at a time they presume the present writer is stepping down... insinuates that they can do it better... and later drops social networking info and a link to their work.
Not only that, but the work that was linked to...is an introductory chapter full of stilted language, contradictory statements ("Dr. Wyseman was the comedian of the group, always willing to lighten up a dour situation with a joke or flip comment. On a case, however, he was (usually) deadly serious.") (So he's funny except when he's not funny! Good to know!) (Heard of "show, don't tell?"), obviously derivative characters and no reason whatsoever to be interested in what happens next.

This does not indicate a seriousness about writing as a craft. I have noticed that, generally, the better someone THINKS their fiction is, the less they actually know about fiction. I vote we leave such things to the professionals.
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By Ivo Shandor
#4805553
Not only that, but the work that was linked to...is an introductory chapter full of stilted language, contradictory statements ("Dr. Wyseman was the comedian of the group, always willing to lighten up a dour situation with a joke or flip comment. On a case, however, he was (usually) deadly serious.") (So he's funny except when he's not funny! Good to know!) (Heard of "show, don't tell?"), obviously derivative characters and no reason whatsoever to be interested in what happens next.

This does not indicate a seriousness about writing as a craft. I have noticed that, generally, the better someone THINKS their fiction is, the less they actually know about fiction. I vote we leave such things to the professionals.
Hey, you read it! Cool! Part 2 is up now, please read that too! :) :) :)

Yeah, my characters are derivative. They are based on a Ghostbusters RPG I designed years and years ago after the GBI game was discontinued. That's generally what I do in my spare time, create RPGs and try to get them published (no luck so far).

My partner and I also have a superhero universe and RPG --> http://heroicsuniverse.wikispaces.com

But enough about me...
By zeta otaku
#4805684
With a pompous attitude like that, I wouldn't touch anything you wrote, let alone pay for it.
I don't think that word means what you think it means.

It's not pompous to think you could write something you like better than someone else could write. After all, I could fix anything that I don't like about the GB comic (or anything else I dislike). Most people have an idea of what they like and don't like about things, and could probably change something to make themselves like it more. What's pompous about that?

I'm not saying my version would be better, or that other people would consider it better. I just said that I would like it better.

You're right. I misused the word. I'm a bit under the weather and medicated, so you'll have to forgive my previous mistake. Egotistic fits better. Regardless of the correct descriptive word, my statement holds. I would not read or pay for anything with your name on it solely for the way you have carried yourself here.

And with that, I'm done with this thread.
User avatar
By pyhasanon
#4805687
I don't think anybody here is really fond of his attitude/personality... he hasn't even earned any karma, and if he ever did, he's lost them by now...
User avatar
By M.Thunder
#4805698
Yeah, my characters are derivative. They are based on a Ghostbusters RPG I designed years and years ago after the GBI game was discontinued. That's generally what I do in my spare time, create RPGs and try to get them published (no luck so far).
Maybe because your characters are derivative. Really though. It's not luck that you need. Good writing isn't a thing that just happens, it's an actual skill you need to develop.

If you want to be a writer, go read. Any kind of book will do as long as it's good. Read a bunch of them. That's step 1.
User avatar
By Ivo Shandor
#4805714
I don't think anybody here is really fond of his attitude/personality...
Yeah, I'm an acquired taste. But I grow on you. Sort of like fungus.

Actually, I'm an awesome guy. One might even say froody. I have a bunch of friends and everything. Really!
User avatar
By Kingpin
Moderator
#4805837
Yeah, I'm an acquired taste. But I grow on you. Sort of like fungus.

Actually, I'm an awesome guy. One might even say froody. I have a bunch of friends and everything. Really!
A writer worth his salt wouldn't have missed the opportunity to throw in "Actually, I'm a fun guy" after that reference to fungus.



This topic was titled "requiem", but this wasn't about marking the passing of the comic or paying tribute to it. It's been two pages now and what could be argued to be the original poster's ulterior motive has been revealed.

I think you'll all agree this "requiem" has run its course.
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