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  • New B5 comics?

    I've done a little searching on the forum and I haven't seen a discussion about this. Please redirect me if I am mistaken.

    I've been wondering. With the success of Joss Whedon's characters (Buffy, Angel, Serenity) being continued in the comic world, is there a chance that we could see some B5 stories brought back in comics, too? We could see the whole Crusade story arc, The Memory of Shadows, the Telepath War, all those things, in comic form. JMS clearly has the comic writing chops to accomplish such a thing and with the success of The Lost Tales there is clearly still an interest in new/continued storytelling. It would probably be cheaper, too. And, set up as a series, JMS could play out arcs over time instead of the one-shot TLT stories (which I didn't really care for).

    Anyone? Good idea? Bad idea?

  • #2
    I wish I would have seen this before the convention today. That was a much better question than the one I asked.

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    • #3
      There is a B5 graphic novel jms has been working on between projects, that is hopefully going to be finished soon.

      from Jan's report on Wondercon in Feb:

      Originally posted by Jan View Post
      - B5 comic with Wildstorm: JMS is looking to turn that in within a couple of months.
      Maybe if that's successful there will be interest in bringing back an ongoing monthly comic.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would love to see it, but as with all things B5 it is dependent on someone coming forward and wanting to publish it, since JMS isn't going to be out there pitching for it.

        I doubt there would be any chance of seeing Crusade this way, since I imagine any comic company wanting a B5 comic would want just that ... a B5 comic, not a spin-off story.

        TMoS would also be off-limits since JMS wrote the script for that as a commission so he can't do anything with it without the commissioners' permission. He could probably wieve those actual story elements into another story if he wished to though I guess, provided he didn't use anything lifted from the actual script.

        However ... do we know why the original comic run was only a dezoen or so issues? Was that a deliberate choice of JMS, or did the numbers just not stack up to encourage DC to extend that further? If the latter, it seems unlikely we will ever get further comics 10 years after the fact, if sales were not enough to support it when the show was on air.
        The Optimist: The glass is half full
        The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
        The Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Garibaldi's Hair View Post
          However ... do we know why the original comic run was only a dezoen or so issues? Was that a deliberate choice of JMS, or did the numbers just not stack up to encourage DC to extend that further? If the latter, it seems unlikely we will ever get further comics 10 years after the fact, if sales were not enough to support it when the show was on air.
          It was one of those corporate stupidities that boggle the imagination. DC gave JMS editorial control *except* for any issues that he wrote. He could contol whatever went into the issues written by others but not his own. I've got their 'reasoning' someplace, I'll have to see if I can find it unless somebody else can chime in here?

          Now I would think that licensing the rights might be an issue since it is so much later. At least until JMS proves to DC how his name on an issue can really sell comics.

          Jan
          "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jan View Post
            Now I would think that licensing the rights might be an issue since it is so much later. At least until JMS proves to DC how his name on an issue can really sell comics.

            Jan
            He's done a pretty good job selling comic over at DC's marvelous competition so I doubt it's a "Does JMS' name selling books" issue.

            Given the fact that WB and DC are under the same corporate umbrella, I would think licensing fees would be $0.00 (Unless they want to charge themselves?)

            The Wildstorm imprint, has developed into a testbed for a lot of artists and writers. It seems like Jim Lee would give JMS at least a one-shot book on B5.
            My only real concern would be it's actual connectivity to the series. I would imagine it would have to be more of a TLT stand alone story than a "In The Beginning" tied to everything story.
            What a wonderful world you live in. -
            Yeah, well, the rent is cheap, the pay is decent and I get to make my own hours.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Jan View Post
              It was one of those corporate stupidities that boggle the imagination. DC gave JMS editorial control *except* for any issues that he wrote. He could contol whatever went into the issues written by others but not his own. I've got their 'reasoning' someplace, I'll have to see if I can find it unless somebody else can chime in here?

              Now I would think that licensing the rights might be an issue since it is so much later. At least until JMS proves to DC how his name on an issue can really sell comics.

              Jan
              As I recall JMS said that DC policy at the time was that a) only the editor of a comic series could have full creative control over it and b) the writer and editor of a series could not be the same person.

              He started out as writer, had the word 'bastards' replaced with 'demons', found out he had no say in any revisions, and then was editor for the rest of the series, which varied wildly in quality of art and writing.

              I'd love to see more B5 comics, with JMS writing, unhampered by direct-to-dvd budget and paired with a great artist (surely he would be, being such a big name in comics and having worked with so many great artists already), and I've been really keen on seeing this graphic novel come out for ages. I may have to research Wildstorm's artists in anticipation.

              Comment


              • #8
                The 'original' B5 comics you're talking about, are those the ones of which excerpts were published in the official B5 magazine or is it something different all together?

                Belgium doesn't get many cool comics, if any ;-)
                And so it began - The Minbari point of view
                (A Babylon 5 universe story reaching from before the Second Shadow war until well afterwards)

                read it on B5 or on fanfiction.net

                Latest chapter: The Awakening of the Soul Updated August 25th, 2008

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                • #9
                  I don't know, this all pre-dates my being a fan of the series (I was only a kid when it first came on). I've got the comics because I bought them on eBay, but I don't know about the magazine. Someone else will probably know.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The comics that made up the third graphic novel "In Valen's Name" were featured in the original run of Babylon 5 magazine, which I believe was only available in the UK/Europe. The other comics made up the earlier two graphic novels ("The Price Of Peace" and "Shadows Past And Present").

                    I beg to differ about the quality of art in the early comics. It didn't vary wildly ... it was all rubbish!

                    Given the fact that WB and DC are under the same corporate umbrella, I would think licensing fees would be $0.00 (Unless they want to charge themselves?)
                    Actually, that is exactly what large companies with various subsidiaries generally do ... the logic being that whilst ownership may be shared, the separate subsidiaries still have their own financial and performance targets to meet.

                    My 'experience' is with physical stuff, specifically construction plant (cranes etc) Example ...

                    The Construction company is going to have to pay to hire plant for a project, and the Plant Hire company needs to charge fees for any time that the plant is in use. So, they charge the other subsidiary at normal market rates. The money stays within the overall group of companies, and both subsidiaries achieve their goals.

                    If the Plant Hire company were expected to rent plant to the Construction company for free, they would have grounds for refusing to do so, since that directly impinges on their ability to meet commercial goals when they could be hiring the same plant to someone else for a fee.

                    Same thing in comics (although you might not imagine so). If a B5 comic is going to get made, why would WB allow DC to have the licence for nothing when they could potentially license it to another comic company for a fee? I doubt WB would consider a non-exclusive deal (meaning multiple companies could all produce B5 comics), so it make far more commercial sense to just charge DC for the licence as they would anyone else.

                    The only reason I could see them to do it for $0.00 would be if WB were so desperate to get a B5 comic on the shelves that they would rather do it for nothing. Can't see that, myself.

                    I am sure Colony Earth has greater insight than me into these things, but it is said that the various subsidiaries of WB really do behave towards each other as though they were completely separate entities ... as do many large multi-faceted commercial organisations.
                    Last edited by Garibaldi's Hair; 05-12-2008, 07:47 AM.
                    The Optimist: The glass is half full
                    The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
                    The Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think there would still be a license fee, but probably greatly reduced, such as Fox licensing The X-Files to FX for a greatly reduced fee. Of course you then get into the market value of a property, which is why Duchovny and Carter got so angry at Fox when they basically lost a money because of that sweetheart deal.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jan View Post
                        It was one of those corporate stupidities that boggle the imagination. DC gave JMS editorial control *except* for any issues that he wrote. He could contol whatever went into the issues written by others but not his own. I've got their 'reasoning' someplace, I'll have to see if I can find it unless somebody else can chime in here?
                        Jan: It's in the Script Books. Volume 9 where jms mentions this and provides the script that was in progress that was being re-edited by DC. It was going to introduce Marcus and the story of his brother. The story was later used in the book To Dream in the City of Sorrows. 11 pages were scripted so far when he gave up dealing with DC (in the message below he says it was the 1st issue of a 4-part mini-series).

                        jms:

                        Then I wrote an outline, which they bounced because it was supposedly too complex for readers. When a script of my own came back dumbed down, I put everything back as it was, as I had done for others...only to find DC put all of the dumbness back again. When I pointed out that I had creative control by contract, they replied, "Our editorial position is that writers don't have control of the books they write. So you have creative control as long as you don't write an issue. If you write an issue, then you can't have creative control."
                        Originally posted by raw_bean View Post
                        He started out as writer, had the word 'bastards' replaced with 'demons', found out he had no say in any revisions, and then was editor for the rest of the series, which varied wildly in quality of art and writing.
                        He was pissed about that bastards/demons thing, but that's not when the whole creative control dispute happened. jms outlined the stories for Issues #2 - 8. This dispute would have been with the 2nd DC contract, during which jms was writing and never ended up being finished ("The Book of War" is the script referred to in the script books):

                        8/21/1995:

                        #11 is the last regular, monthly issue. However, DC has contracted
                        for roughly 13 more issues to be published in one-shot specials and
                        4-issue miniseries over the course of the coming year. This is a done
                        deal, ink on the contract and all that
                        10/17/1995:

                        also finished writing the first issue of a 4-part miniseries for the DC comics B5 book, which will still come out at irregular periods, titled "The Book of the War."
                        3/16/1996:

                        Basically, we hit a snag we're trying currently to work out; it's a jurisdictional question between B5/WB and DC. Business stuff. I haven't yet heard a final disposition on this.
                        4/05/1996:

                        I will not, however, be writing directly for the comic anymore. DC has a policy that they will not allow writers final say on their books. Only the editors.
                        Last edited by JoeD80; 05-12-2008, 10:48 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Garibaldi's Hair View Post
                          I beg to differ about the quality of art in the early comics. It didn't vary wildly ... it was all rubbish!
                          Actually you're right. I was remembering that the writing varied wildly, but thinking on it none of that art was any good.

                          JD80, I'll bow to your more detailed understanding of the situation.

                          All I know is, I'd love to see more B5 comics/GNs, with good art and unadulterated JMS writing.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm so desperate for something new to come along for Babylon 5 I'd accept a story written on a dinner napkin!

                            I've got the original 9 series comic run and the "In Valen's Name Trilogy". The latter is excellent. The original 9 leave something to be desired. The later ones especially, where nearly an entire issue is devoted to a terribly drawn G'Kar and Garibaldi floating down the middle of the station with embarrassing dialog, were awful.

                            That being said, I'd love some new comics... preferably as a good thick several hundred page long graphic novel that tells a story we wanna hear: like Valen's War, Dilgar War, Drakh War, (Dare I say it...) Telepath war. Not a story that's been invented just to have another story... (IE: This Lost Tales mumbojumbo about the devil being released from earth or whatever the hell is it)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Orta View Post
                              I've got the original 9 series comic run and the "In Valen's Name Trilogy". The latter is excellent. The original 9 leave something to be desired.
                              Just to clarify, the original comic run was 11 issues. #1 - #4 - Sinclair on Minbar. #5 - #8 - Garibaldi & Keffer on a planet and Garibaldi & Sinclair's past on Mars. #9 - #10 - G'Kar and Garibaldi. The last issue was a Psi Corps propaganda comic.

                              Originally posted by Orta View Post
                              The later ones especially, where nearly an entire issue is devoted to a terribly drawn G'Kar and Garibaldi floating down the middle of the station with embarrassing dialog, were awful.
                              I liked this issue. It's a good lead-in to the Garibaldi / G'Kar friendship that starts to form.

                              Originally posted by Orta View Post
                              That being said, I'd love some new comics... preferably as a good thick several hundred page long graphic novel that tells a story we wanna hear: like Valen's War, Dilgar War, Drakh War, (Dare I say it...) Telepath war.
                              The graphic novel for Wildstorm that is supposed to be published will be about 100 pages.

                              Originally posted by Orta View Post
                              Not a story that's been invented just to have another story... (IE: This Lost Tales mumbojumbo about the devil being released from earth or whatever the hell is it)
                              I'm confused by this statement. All stories are invented to have stories. There were plenty of plots in the 5-year show that didn't directly affect the Shadow War, or the Civil War, or the Drakh War, or the Telepath War. Think of episodes like A Distant Star, Soul Mates, A Day in the Strife, Passing Through Gethsemane -- those all have stories that are pretty self-contained. There's one or two hints about things in those episodes, but they're not part of the main plot of those episodes.

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