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  1. #1
    Senior Member AJBopp's Avatar
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    Default Valiant - A Triumph of Editorial

    While it is certainly true that there's some amazing talent doing the scripting ad art on the Valiant titles, one of the things that is clear to me is the role that editorial can have on creating successful, well-done titles.

    Valiant hasn't had a misstep yet, either with titles or individual issues. Even Bloodshot, which isn't to my taste subject-wise, is an extraordinarily well-done title.

    One of the great reasons for this consistency of excellence is putting together a great plan, as well as great teams, for their titles. Lack of a great plan is, to my way of thinking, why Marvel has disappointed for years and DC stumbled badly with a promising concept in the Nu52.

    It's not just the storytelling that Valiant is excelling at. It's the preparation, the detailed creation of a universe. It's clear they understand the rules and the creators are living within the rules of the universe they are telling us about. It reads as though no detail is too small to be thought out in advance.

    That's the way to be successful. Each month that passes, I can see Valiant catching up to become the third best-selling line in the industry. I really think they can push the big two, and I hope that they respond to that pressure in positive ways in their own lineups, reversing long trends in the other direction.
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  2. #2
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    Default Indies:Valiant Editorial Triumph

    Quote Originally Posted by AJBopp View Post
    While it is certainly true that there's some amazing talent doing the scripting ad art on the Valiant titles, one of the things that is clear to me is the role that editorial can have on creating successful, well-done titles.

    Valiant hasn't had a misstep yet, either with titles or individual issues. Even Bloodshot, which isn't to my taste subject-wise, is an extraordinarily well-done title.

    One of the great reasons for this consistency of excellence is putting together a great plan, as well as great teams, for their titles. Lack of a great plan is, to my way of thinking, why Marvel has disappointed for years and DC stumbled badly with a promising concept in the Nu52.

    It's not just the storytelling that Valiant is excelling at. It's the preparation, the detailed creation of a universe. It's clear they understand the rules and the creators are living within the rules of the universe they are telling us about. It reads as though no detail is too small to be thought out in advance.

    That's the way to be successful. Each month that passes, I can see Valiant catching up to become the third best-selling line in the industry. I really think they can push the big two, and I hope that they respond to that pressure in positive ways in their own lineups, reversing long trends in the other direction.
    Remember success is also due to the fact that they aren't flooding the market with too many titles at the same time.DC's Nu52 in one month was just stupid at the outset despite creative teams and quality considerations.Editorial mandate interference also contributed to the problem although at least they tried for variety as opposed to Marvel's flooding the market with core teams mashed together in formulaic nonsense like AvX.

  3. #3
    NEW VALIANT blog is up! Manga4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJBopp View Post
    While it is certainly true that there's some amazing talent doing the scripting ad art on the Valiant titles, one of the things that is clear to me is the role that editorial can have on creating successful, well-done titles.

    Valiant hasn't had a misstep yet, either with titles or individual issues. Even Bloodshot, which isn't to my taste subject-wise, is an extraordinarily well-done title.

    One of the great reasons for this consistency of excellence is putting together a great plan, as well as great teams, for their titles. Lack of a great plan is, to my way of thinking, why Marvel has disappointed for years and DC stumbled badly with a promising concept in the Nu52.

    It's not just the storytelling that Valiant is excelling at. It's the preparation, the detailed creation of a universe. It's clear they understand the rules and the creators are living within the rules of the universe they are telling us about. It reads as though no detail is too small to be thought out in advance.

    That's the way to be successful. Each month that passes, I can see Valiant catching up to become the third best-selling line in the industry. I really think they can push the big two, and I hope that they respond to that pressure in positive ways in their own lineups, reversing long trends in the other direction.
    I agree with pretty much everything here. No misstep's and I don't see anything crazy being done in the future and they really seemed to have mapped everything out to the point to where they can profit and gain from their success, if they keep it up they'll be in a position to make a lot of money over a very long period of time and that's awesome for them and they truly deserve it. Their stories have been compelling so far, their artwork has been phenomenal, and their business practices have been spot on, I see nothing but success for them as the future unfolds.

  4. #4
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Am I the only one who thinks that all this praise for Valiant is a bit presumptuous? None of the titles have even completed their first story-arcs yet. The most we've seen of any of them yet is 3 extremely decompressed issues of X-O, and he's only had the armor for one of them thus far.

    Granted, I'm enjoying the titles thus far, but they've far from proven themselves at this early point.

  5. #5
    Senior Member AJBopp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Am I the only one who thinks that all this praise for Valiant is a bit presumptuous? None of the titles have even completed their first story-arcs yet. The most we've seen of any of them yet is 3 extremely decompressed issues of X-O, and he's only had the armor for one of them thus far.

    Granted, I'm enjoying the titles thus far, but they've far from proven themselves at this early point.
    It's true that any company can stumble at any time and go the wrong direction, but based on what we have so far it seems clear that the creative teams are firing on all cylinders and that the editorial direction is clear and focused.

    Compression/decompression seems to be the critique du jour these, but I really don't get the application in the case XO or Harbinger. I don't understand what inspires the comment of extremely decompressed. Is it that it's taking so long for the characters to get into a costume? I'm not sure. These titles are telling a story in a way that other publishers don't seem to have the courage to try. Based on what I'm seeing so far, I don't see arcs so much as I see a continuous character story. I find Aric's tale to be engaging and clipping along at a very fast pace, with a lot of action and development per issue. Same is true of Harbinger. Is it decompressed because Aric didn't get into the armor for two issues, or Peter hasn't got into the Harbinger foundation for two issues? To me, that's careful development, and they've done it without making the story drag, as they do so often at the larger publishers.

    So no, I don't think its presumptuous at all. The praise based on what we have, and on what we can see of what's to come, is very well deserved. Whether it continues to be deserved is up to Valiant.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Am I the only one who thinks that all this praise for Valiant is a bit presumptuous? None of the titles have even completed their first story-arcs yet. The most we've seen of any of them yet is 3 extremely decompressed issues of X-O, and he's only had the armor for one of them thus far.

    Granted, I'm enjoying the titles thus far, but they've far from proven themselves at this early point.
    I agree with you. I never read the original Valiant and I'm currently only reading X-O Manowar (which I think is great and compressed perfectly so far), but it seems a little early to call everything a complete success one issue in (or less). It certainly seems headed that way, though, and I plan to check out a couple other titles due to the hype, so it's not necessarily a bad thing.

  7. #7
    NEW VALIANT blog is up! Manga4life's Avatar
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    The only fault I keep hearing about Valiant is that their books are "decompressed" (which matters nothing to me), if that's the worst that anyone can say about them than I think they're doing just fine. To me, the stories have been very fun and enjoyable as well as well written, and the art has been top notch with fantastic interiors and covers for their books and I have no reason not to praise them for that. What may not be so good to one person may be a masterpiece to someone else regardless of if there has been only 1 issue or 1,000, and I've been feeling the books and believe they are well deserving of all the awesome reviews and press they've been given up to this point and I will continue to support them until they give me a reason not to.

  8. #8
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJBopp View Post
    Compression/decompression seems to be the critique du jour these, but I really don't get the application in the case XO or Harbinger. I don't understand what inspires the comment of extremely decompressed. Is it that it's taking so long for the characters to get into a costume? I'm not sure. These titles are telling a story in a way that other publishers don't seem to have the courage to try. Based on what I'm seeing so far, I don't see arcs so much as I see a continuous character story. I find Aric's tale to be engaging and clipping along at a very fast pace, with a lot of action and development per issue. Same is true of Harbinger. Is it decompressed because Aric didn't get into the armor for two issues, or Peter hasn't got into the Harbinger foundation for two issues? To me, that's careful development, and they've done it without making the story drag, as they do so often at the larger publishers.
    If you take a look at how Jim Shooter paced the original Valiant titles, the contrast reveals a lot. Shooter made sure those characters were already "in motion" so to speak, by the first issue -- in costume, clearly defined as characters, and setting up the scope of the remainder of the series. If he felt the need to go back and explain how they got to point A (and he often did) he used later released zero issues to do so. Harbinger #0 and X-O #0 are both great origin stories, but they wouldn't have been good starting points for a series. I've now purchased (and, to be clear, enjoyed) all six Valiant issues that have been released, and I still don't have a sense of the three series as a whole yet. Harbinger and Bloodshot could go anywhere at this point, and 3 issues in, I'm only beginning to get a sense of what Aric is going to be all about in this series.

    Again, I've enjoyed the stories, but I still have little sense of the "personality" of each of these series at this point -- what kind of characterization, tone, and overall direction I can expect from month to month.

  9. #9
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    Valiant has been great and I really love where all 3 books are going so far. Can't wait for the rest of the books to continue to come out with all the new series. XO Manowar has been near perfect!

  10. #10
    Senior Member gwydion's Avatar
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    Decompression has been and always will be a subject of controversy. Personally, I think it's just another tool in the writer and artist's bag, and like any other tool can be used well or misused. In the case of Valiant so far, I think that it has been used fairly---one of the big uses of the technique IMO is for origin stories. Not all origin stories require three issues of course, but some do benefit from the space. There are of course other places where it can be used well, and places where it isn't appropriate---see the last Johns run on JSA and the Great Gog Walking Tour for an example of misuse.

    I think the second arcs will be telling---how will the pacing go, will there be use of multiple panels to convey thoughts and expressions, that sort of thing. Most of all, will whatever they do use work well to tell the story? If they can pull that off, and for me so far they have, as I've been engrossed by all three extant series to varying degrees; then they will be succeeding.

    Still, the point of the OP is well taken. So far, the Valiant relaunch has seemed well planned; in comparison to the DC reboot, which seemed to have barely been planned at all.
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  11. #11
    Verily VALIANT! BugsySig's Avatar
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    I think, if we are comparing to DC, the launch has been more successful in its approach. By month 4, DC was already cancelling titles and replacing creative teams on others. Some were due to editorial differences, others to mediocre sales for under promoted or unwanted titles. Valiant has shown great skill in selecting creative teams, as well as in their marketing and PR of the launch. However, with 52 books vs. 4 (now 5 and eventually more), DCs launch was a totally different animal.

    If we are comparing to other indies, such as Atlas or the Stan Lee books at Boom!, then Valiant blows those out of the water in terms of a successful, shared Universe launch. It is early, but the Valiant titles seem to be very sustainable for a long time even at this stage. part of that may be name recognition, but then again, who has more name recognition than Stan Lee?

    I prefer to compare the new Valiant to Marvel's Ultimate line. That followed a similar pattern of releasing one book at a time over the course of a year or so that relaunched known characters in a modernized, accessible manner. The problem the Ultimate books have always had is as time goes on, they grow closer to the 616 books in terms of continuity and accessibility. This has lead to the recent relaunch of Ultimate Comics and a decline in their popularity (and quality IMHO). It will remain to be seen if Valiant can remain accessible to readers over the course of time, but at least they don't have to compete with another universe of books within their own publisher.
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  12. #12
    Verily VALIANT! BugsySig's Avatar
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    In the spirit of this thread, here is an outstanding interview with Valiant execs Warren Simons, Fred Pierce and Dinesh from Newsarama
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  13. #13
    Senior Member AJBopp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugsySig View Post
    In the spirit of this thread, here is an outstanding interview with Valiant execs Warren Simons, Fred Pierce and Dinesh from Newsarama
    Just read that myself, and it raised an eyebrow. It appears that something has happened to their plans for future titles. There was virtually no mention of Eternal Warrior, and it sounds like Shadowman is going to be the last new title for a bit. This could be interpreted as in conflict with some of their earlier statements about the schedule for new titles, and anyone looking for a chink in the Valiant armor could point to this as plans not getting executed well. They haven't given me cause for concern yet in terms of the quality of what they are delivering, but they are changing their minds about what's going to be released and when within the next 6 months, then we have some food for thought.
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  14. #14
    Verily VALIANT! BugsySig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJBopp View Post
    Just read that myself, and it raised an eyebrow. It appears that something has happened to their plans for future titles. There was virtually no mention of Eternal Warrior, and it sounds like Shadowman is going to be the last new title for a bit. This could be interpreted as in conflict with some of their earlier statements about the schedule for new titles, and anyone looking for a chink in the Valiant armor could point to this as plans not getting executed well. They haven't given me cause for concern yet in terms of the quality of what they are delivering, but they are changing their minds about what's going to be released and when within the next 6 months, then we have some food for thought.
    I think it goes along with what I mentioned earlier, and what they talk about in the article about being fluid within the framework of their long term plan. They likely had the plan to execute a 5th title in the Fall/Winter. Originally the idea was probably Eternal Warrior, maybe by one of the writers of another Valiant book (Josh Dysart said he would love to work on Eternal Warrior). Once Zircher was brought on board, Jordan's pitch came up, and Warren and the VEI team chose to shift to Shadowman (possibly the 1st or 2nd most recognizable Valiant character). So maybe EW gets pushed to the Spring, and Rai goes out even further, or they go back to plan and follow Rai with EW at an even later date.

    I do hope there is still something big planned with EW for the Winter for the sake of living up to the FCBD teaser either in terms of a big Crossover in another book or even a trade collection.

    I also doubt ShadowMan will be the last new title "for a bit." If the goal is 15 titles in 3 years, there is no way they will wait too long between titles.
    Last edited by BugsySig; 07-27-2012 at 12:34 PM.
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  15. #15
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    I agree w/ Bugsy Sig...comparing Valiant to DC's New 52 relaunch (or even Marvel Now) is comparing apples & oranges. Totally different #'s, etc. I do think comparisions w/ Atlas or the Stan Lee Boom! titles is valid. I would even throw in the DH/GK relaunch.

    And so far Valiant is doing very well compared to those books.

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