Monday, July 23, 2007

Chad's Challenge part thirteen: cancellation for the best

(So several days ago, Chad asked me the question below, but then some book came out and I got too busy to answer it. So here I am finally getting around to it.)

Has there been a book that teetered on the edge of cancellation that eventually turned to crap and made you wish it HAD been cancelled earlier?

No. I've tried and tried to think of a scenario when this might have happened, but I can't.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that many of the books I have loved that have been cancelled were saved from suckdom BY their cancellation: Automatic Kafka (where could it have gone, really?), Chronos, Chase, Doom Patrol, Hourman, Manhunter (the Mark Shaw series)... so many books that I loved ended early and I reflect on them and realize they could only have turned to crap had they kept going.

(That's true of TV shows I loved which were cancelled as well. Firefly... would any more of it actually have been an improvement? can you top the arc you see in the two seasons of Sports Night?)

The only book I can think of that I followed which was even SPARED from the axe was the most recent Manhunter series, and it actually managed to improve when it was saved, I felt.

There are plenty of other books I followed that reached a natural conclusion, which I felt could have been better: Transmet and Starman, for example. Shorten their conclusions, and you have a much better book, in both cases. Grand Guignol in starman could have easily cut two or three issues, as could have the space saga, which would have made the pacing a lot better. And Transmet's pacing too was a bit out of whack in the end, a bit too decompressed.

But that's not really answering the question is it? I guess my "no" from the very beginning still stands.

I'm very interested in hearing your reply to this one.
How much longer are we going to go on this? I'd say we should try to go to twenty, but i leave for California on Wednesday, will spend most of Tuesday afternoon packing, and will spend most of tomorrow catching up on grading before I go.

At the very least, you should answer one more question, since that puts us at fourteen, seven each, one for each day of a week of posts.

So: we both I think tend to follow writers more than artists, but what would you say it takes for an artist to catch your eye? what qualities do you look for in the artwork of those creators you follow?