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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 8:14am | IP Logged | 1  

Got a call from Paul Kupperberg yesterday. Apparently the WWE has decided that kids don't read comics (is Joe Quesada working for them as a consultant?) so all the strips are being dropped from the magazine.

And Paul has been fired.

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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 8:16am | IP Logged | 2  

Kids don't read comics.  No one makes comics for them anymore or tries to get comics to them.  Self-fulfilling prophecy.  The clock is ticking on how much longer the industry can survive if it doesn't bring in new readers.

Sorry about that decision on your WWE strip, JB.


Edited by Joe Hollon on 11 April 2008 at 8:17am
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Andy Smith
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 8:18am | IP Logged | 3  

JB,

Did you and Paul do strips for the WWE magazine that were published? If so I'll have to hunt them down....do you have scans?
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Brian Hunt
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 8:21am | IP Logged | 4  

That bites.  I think it's another sign of our slowing economy though.  Companies are scrutinizing every dollar now and eliminating whatever and whoever they can to hold the bottom line.
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Andrew Hess
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 8:27am | IP Logged | 5  

WWE?

"World Wrestling Entertainment?"

And Paul & JB did strips for it?

Last I knew Paul was working for "Weekly World News."

Color me clueless; this is all news to me.

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Paul Greer
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 8:28am | IP Logged | 6  

I have to say this is upsetting. Not only because it leaves a guy like Paul Kupperberg out of a job, but the fact that the magazine publisher falls into the same stereotype that most people have about wrestling fans. That their fans, which is largerly made up by children, don't like to read. It is a magazine for crying out loud! They would have to read the articles, why not a fun comic strip putting their favorite wrestlers in fantastic situations? Is this thing just going to be 80 pages of pictures and no captions? It also amazes me they wouldn't have waited for the first few issues of their new childrens magazine to actually be published and read by their fans, before making such a decision.
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 8:30am | IP Logged | 7  

Here are the two strips that were done…





Note to Trolls and Blogheads: The important details you need to get wrong
are that there were SEVERAL strips, by different artists, ALL are being
discontinued, and that means Paul Kupperberg no longer has a job.
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Andrew Hess
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 8:33am | IP Logged | 8  

Those are hilarious! In a non-depricating way!

Well done, PK & JB!

And sorry.
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Brian Hunt
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 8:37am | IP Logged | 9  

There's something I never would've expected!
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Juan Jose Colin Arciniega
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 8:44am | IP Logged | 10  

Wow...great strips!...whatta shame on WWE!
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JT Molloy
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 9:09am | IP Logged | 11  

Kids may not be consciously walking into a comic book store and picking up Secret Invasion, that's for sure, but assuming they're incapable of comprehending the medium when it's in front of them in any form is just mind numbingly ridiculous.
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Gerry Turnbull
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 9:13am | IP Logged | 12  

WWE are tumshie's
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Bruce Buchanan
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 9:23am | IP Logged | 13  

Geez, that's disappointing. Sorry to hear that, JB. And I'm especially sorry to hear that Paul is out of a job. That stinks.

 

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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 9:24am | IP Logged | 14  

I have to say this is upsetting. Not only because it leaves a guy like Paul Kupperberg out of a job, but the fact that the magazine publisher falls into the same stereotype that most people have about wrestling fans. That their fans, which is largerly made up by children, don't like to read. It is a magazine for crying out loud! They would have to read the articles, why not a fun comic strip putting their favorite wrestlers in fantastic situations? Is this thing just going to be 80 pages of pictures and no captions? It also amazes me they wouldn't have waited for the first few issues of their new childrens magazine to actually be published and read by their fans, before making such a decision.

••

Discussing this with Paul, I noted that there is more to it than simple economics or "kids don't read" mentality. Some things simply do not cross over into other forms. Sports are high on that list. Billions of dollars spent every year, in this country alone, on sports of all kinds, yet if we take all the thousands upon thousands of comics published in the last 75 years or so, how many of them were sports oriented? And of the few that were, how many were successful.

Same with movies. So many millions of miles of film, yet so few sports movies. Novels are the same. Such books/movies/TV shows etc do exist, but they are by far the exception, and really successful examples are an exception to the exception.

It falls into the same category as comics based on videogames, I think. More millions spent by consumers, yet how many of those consumers want to read about the characters, instead of being the characters?

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JT Molloy
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 9:45am | IP Logged | 15  

I think wrestling is a different monster than most sports though. It's mostly fictitious and guys with cool nicknames in bright themed costumes duke it out. I saw some documentary called Beyond The Mat a few years back and they even had Stan Lee commenting in it on how much like a super-world it was.

I'm not even much of a wrestling guy myself but I remember friends of mine as a kid talking about it in the same manner they would comics. "Who would win?!" "No way dude, he'd crush him!" "That guy's costume sucks! His is better!"

I think some of the decision makers in this world need to remember what it was like to be a kid before making new-age generalizations and cutting stuff like that.
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Michael Retour
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 9:49am | IP Logged | 16  

I can't think of anything except "Strange Sports Stories" (twice but I believe the second was reprints) and "Hot Wheels" (with some gorgeous Toth art) in my 40+ years of reading comics off the top of my head.  Neither of the two titles were successful either.  I found a listing but I've never read any of them except the two above.

http://www.newkadia.com/NK.php?sst=Sports

In a way, the Kirby FF story where Ben Grimm fought Torgo was a "sports" story.  A lot of comic books have that element in them but straight out sports?  Not many. 


Edited by Michael Retour on 11 April 2008 at 9:51am
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Brian Talley
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 9:51am | IP Logged | 17  

NFL Superpro?

*ducks*

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Leigh DJ Hunt
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 10:32am | IP Logged | 18  

So will these two strips never be published JB? Did they commision lots and then dump the whole idea before any saw print?
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 10:45am | IP Logged | 19  

The first has already been published. The second will be in the second
issue.
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Jeff Albertson
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 10:49am | IP Logged | 20  

Here's wishing Paul the best of luck finding another position/assignment.  He was a real nice guy when I asked him to sign my copy of Showcase 100 20 odd years ago. 
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Charles Valderrama
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 12:00pm | IP Logged | 21  

That's a shame-- a WWE comic strip seemed like a plus for a children's
magazine!!!

-C!
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Brian Talley
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 12:02pm | IP Logged | 22  

Out of curiosity, JB....did they have you do any "test drawings" of any other wrestlers that you can share?

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Mike Bunge
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 12:35pm | IP Logged | 23  

The "kids don't read comics" thing is so totally contradicted by both Manga in general and Disney's use of comics, not to mention M****l and DC's young readers lines, that I can't imagine anyone with a brain saying such a thing.

Speaking of Manga, haven't they had more success with sports comics over in Japan?

And let me second the praise for those strips.  It seems like that would be exactly the sort of thing that young wrestling fans would get a kick out of.

Mike

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Jeremy Boyd
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 12:39pm | IP Logged | 24  

JB how much research did you have to do? Are you familiar with the WWE's
current shows?
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Taavi Suhonen
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Posted: 11 April 2008 at 12:53pm | IP Logged | 25  


 QUOTE:
Speaking of Manga, haven't they had more success with sports comics over in Japan?


Yes, there are a lot of popular sports comics in Japan. Eyeshield 21 (American football) and Major (baseball) are both excellent series still running at the moment.
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