Batman 644 SPOILERS: Explanation, please!

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Batman 644 SPOILERS: Explanation, please!

Postby BBayliss » Fri Aug 26, 2005 11:21 am

"I'd originally planned to claim it was a legitimate triage decision - allocation of time and resources under emergency conditions. But we both know better, Bruce. Truth is I wanted to end it all -- all the secret warriors in hoods and capes. The endless violence. I could no longer be a party to such madness. Best to sacrifice one to caution others from putting on those stupid masks."
-Dr. Leslie Thompkins after letting Spoiler/Robin IV die to prove a point to Batman.


Isn't this a HUGE violation of the hippocratic oath?!?!?!? Holy Crap! Please, please, PLEASE give me some sort of further explanation of this!
Last edited by BBayliss on Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Carl Spicola » Fri Aug 26, 2005 12:51 pm

Yes, I second that notion for more information. Now I don’t pretend to be an expert, but it just seemed to be completely out of character for Dr. Thompkins to do what she did. To willingly take the life just to teach Bruce a lesson? I don’t get it. I just don’t get it.
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Postby KKeller » Fri Aug 26, 2005 4:22 pm

Bill, this issue left me completely gobsmacked.

And not in the good way.

I'd really like to talk to you about WTH is up in the BatBooks. You know how to get in touch with me.
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Postby Adam K. » Fri Aug 26, 2005 9:12 pm

Uh . . . is this about the Spoiler's death or something else?
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Postby Eduardo Blake » Sat Aug 27, 2005 7:25 am

Adam K. wrote:Uh . . . is this about the Spoiler's death or something else?


More about who killed her, and why.
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Postby Bill Willingham » Sat Aug 27, 2005 8:37 am

Yes, deliberately withholding treatment, except in the context of a legitimate triage decision, is quite the unequivocal violation of the Hippocratic oath. In a court of law one could reasonably expect to be found guilty of murder.

Seems like Leslie snapped. Seems like Batman doesn't like her much anymore (though he still couldn't bring himself to be the one who brought her in).

After this issue came out, I took a rare tour of other message boards to try to gauge what the general reaction might be. As expected, it was overwhelmingly negative, with lots of "how dare Willingham do this!" What I didn't expect is how much message traffic this book would generate. Message boards that might have one or two regulars post every few days, or so, suddenly exploded with five and six pages of new messages per day.

Here's something you readers need to realize: Though we generally hope readers will like our stories, hating them is almost as good. Hating them so much that yours is the one book everyone is talking about now -- well that's golden. One can't hate without passion and involvement. The one reaction we most fear is indifference.

Yes, I'm a little put out by the (at least three and counting) reputedly male readers who posted testimony that they wept after reading this issue (one claiming it was for the loss of innocence). Not that I believe they actually did. But I'm still from an early enough American generation to find men claiming to act like overly dramatic little girls just a little bit cringe-making.

And of course there were scores of those claiming that this incident was the last straw and they're giving up my books, or the Bat books, or all comic books, forever. Here's a splash of water for everyone who ever has or ever will make such an hysterical claim on a message board: We never believe you. If you're the type to indulge in "how dare they do that!" we know you'll always be back for further outrages. Those addicted to indignation need constant indignation feeding.

But, that aside, all is good. Feel free to blame me for ruining Batman. I could claim that editorial mandates were in force here and thereby split the blame a bit, but I think this time I won't. I willingly took the job, and I'm too greedy to want to share the credit this time.

How do you like them apples?
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Postby KKeller » Sat Aug 27, 2005 10:17 am

But, that aside, all is good. Feel free to blame me for ruining Batman. I could claim that editorial mandates were in force here and thereby split the blame a bit, but I think this time I won't. I willingly took the job, and I'm too greedy to want to share the credit this time.

How do you like them apples?


Don't make me drive over to your house and shove them up the tail pipe of the BillMobile.

;)

But on a serious note, it is the role of recent editorial mandates that I'd like to discuss.
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Postby Bob Schwabauer » Sat Aug 27, 2005 1:13 pm

As a fan of old Batman, I think Bill Finger would very much enjoy the intelligence and originality Bill Willingham brings to Batman and Robin stories. Everyone here, of course, whatever their Batman take, is grateful to Bill for the attention he gives to this board.
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Postby Cindy McShane » Sat Aug 27, 2005 4:48 pm

You are far too tolerant, Bill. ANY adult claiming to act like an overly dramatic little girl needs a good smack of sense, preferably upside the head.

That aside, I think you've started this right. As much as I personally enjoy the Oreo cookie approach, tragedy is the more powerful storyline, esp. when all players are people you've cared for and respected. I'm hoping for this to become a major turning point, much like the Killing Joke became.

Looking forward to see what happens next....
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Postby TW George » Sat Aug 27, 2005 6:19 pm

Bill Willingham wrote:
Yes, I'm a little put out by the... reputedly male readers who posted testimony that they wept after reading this issue... But I'm still from an early enough American generation to find men claiming to act like overly dramatic little girls just a little bit cringe-making.

And of course there were scores of those claiming that this incident was the last straw and they're giving up my books, or the Bat books, or all comic books, forever.



It makes me weep to think that men showing emotion causes you to cringe. I'm not sure I can in good conscience continue to read your work or participate in this forum.

Just kidding :-P
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Postby Lukecash » Sat Aug 27, 2005 7:50 pm

After this issue came out, I took a rare tour of other message boards to try to gauge what the general reaction might be. As expected, it was overwhelmingly negative, with lots of "how dare Willingham do this!" What I didn't expect is how much message traffic this book would generate. Message boards that might have one or two regulars post every few days, or so, suddenly exploded with five and six pages of new messages per day.

Here's something you readers need to realize: Though we generally hope readers will like our stories, hating them is almost as good. Hating them so much that yours is the one book everyone is talking about now -- well that's golden. One can't hate without passion and involvement. The one reaction we most fear is indifference



Apparently you didn't read the message boards close enough. What the main compliant was...that this ending came OUT OF NOWHERE! There wasn't any build up to it, there wasn't any clues before hand. A character known for 30 years as a beacon of passificsm and saving lives thrown away at a writers whim. Nothing led up to it.

The complaint was about your ability as a writer and storyteller... not neccisarily what heppened in the story.

And the fact that you enjoy people HATING your stories is a good as people loving them. That reduces you to the equivilant of a professional wrestler. A good controversy is when people HATED the story and and liked how it was written. Or you get an even split amoung readers who loved it and hated it.

What you have is an overwhelming hatred for this particular story.

And what WILL happen is that if DC continues on.... they will begin to loose sales. The only reason why people have been sticking around is for the hope that it will get better...or that the ending will make the journey worthwile. That's what a fan does.

I have in fact already dropped two Batman books because of recent storylines.

Looks like I may have to drop more.
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Postby Bob Schwabauer » Sat Aug 27, 2005 8:43 pm

Bill Willingham wrote:

"Seems like Leslie snapped. Seems like Batman doesn't like her much anymore (though he still couldn't bring himself to be the one who brought her in)."

Note the twice use of "seems".

For those who have read Harry Potter #6, think of Professor Snape.
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Postby rpi » Sat Aug 27, 2005 9:21 pm

Hi Bill. I want to thank you for posting a response to the latest issue of Batman. It's a shame you weren't willing to post on the DC boards, which I'm assuming you check out, but anyway. I actually would have liked to post to you sooner, but I wasn't aware this forum existed. I've enjoyed your work on Day of Vengence, I've heard very good things about Fables and plan on reading the trades soon, and found your issue of Legends of the Dark Knight to be enjoyable as well.
I've also found your run on Robin to feel very forced, portraying the characters in extremely out-of-character ways. I still cannot wrap my head around Batman saying "I'm so proud of you I could burst." That is one of the worst lines I've seen come out of Batman's mouth in years. Robin has suddenly become freakishly talkative in dangerous situations. Yeah, you explained it but that still doesn't make it in-character. He's also become quite a bit of a jerk, something he wasn't before your run. Sure, you may say this is a result of how he's dealing with the deaths of his loved ones, but he was doing it before they died. He also took down Mr. Fun rather easily in War Games, a man who has been shown to be able to give Batgirl troubles in a fight. Where his suddenly-excelerated fighting skills came from I cannot say.
Your Batman work is even worse, I feel. I have no doubt that you're a good writer on the right projects. I've seen very good writing from you. I do not feel that carrys over to Batman, though. I found War Games to be one of the worst Batman stories post-Crisis, and the final issue was the greatest offender. Even with the "explaination" given in the recent issue of Batman of how Black Mask was able to hold his own against Batman in the final fight in the Clocktower, the last issue was bad. Black Mask was beaten up the day before by a Spoiler that was near death, yet the world's finest hand-to-hand fighter, even in an exhausted state, can't even hold his own against a reject from the burn ward. And this is what, the next day after Batman easily takes down Zeiss, someone who he's never been able to take down without extreme amounts of effort before? Oracle feels the only way she can convince Batman to stop fighting is by blowing up her home, rather than using the myriad defenses she has in it. On top of this, there were also any number of unconcious gang members in the lower levels of her building. She willingly crushed them all in the rubble and explosion of her collapsing building just to get Batman out of there? Were these things even thought through by yourself and your editors before they made it to print? Was no forethought given to these ideas that any joe-schmoe fan could pick up on immediately after having read the issues?
War Crimes, though, is without a doubt the worst story of any Batman title I've seen with your name on it. Yeah, the Batman editors as of late have been making dictates that are bizarre at best, crap at worst, but this one takes the cake. All the screwed up events as of late probably tie in with the Infinite Crisis but that still does not excuse them in the slightest. The very idea of having the ultra-pacifist Leslie Thompkins kill a teenage girl in cold blood makes ANYTHING to come out of Infinite Crisis not worth it. There is not one single ending or resolution or future development that can make this tale worthy of being told. The price you guys are making us pay for the Infinite Crisis is nowhere near worth it, no matter how it all ends.
You say that while you would prefer to get positive feedback, negative is almost as good because at least it's not boredom with the work. Perhaps you should try to get some positive feeback then? When someone does something with the knowledge that it will piss people off just for the sake of doing it, which is what War Crimes is, that person is generally called a jerk. Now, you may feel that to be over the top and uncalled for. This is just a comic book, after all. Well, it's not that simple. For starters, this is how you earn your pay check, so it's more than just a comic. It's your livelihood. It's also what I've spent thousands of dollars on over the years. I'm 27 years old and started reading Batman comics when I was about 5. You cannot expect your readers, many of whom are in similar situations, not to have personal stakes in the comics after we've put so much into them.
On top of this, comics are supposed to be fun, enjoyable. Granted, what happens in them may not always be pretty but there should be material in them to get the reader excited. The Batman comics have not been doing this lately. They've been pulling all sorts of half assed plots out of nowhere and cramming, forcing the characters into them. Superhero comics are a character-based medium, not a story-based one. That is why they have survived for as long as they have. When they are written with the story first it does a disservice to the character, making the stories feel horribly inorganic and unnatural in flow. There is no fun in this. Sure, there may be great sales and lots of hype and readers, but you can also get a lot of people to watch a train wreck. That doesn't mean its a good thing or worth it. There is no joy in the work coming out of the Batman office anymore. I'm not going to give up on the Batman comics as I know eventually things will turn around and writers more suited for the title than folks like yourself and A.J. Lieberman will take over the storytelling. I know things will eventually get better. I've spent far too much time, effort, and money collecting comics to flake out over bad spells.
You're probably either pretty pissed or frustrated from what I wrote by now. Now you have a bit of a feeling of what the Batman titles have been doing for me as of late. Heck, even if I get a negative reaction out of you, that's a good thing, right? That's not be a jerk or being insensitive of things others care about. I'll start to finish my rant by saying I cannot wait for the Batman editorial staff to switch over next year. Maybe some plot and idea control will come into the Batman titles again, rather than the anything goes style that is currently being employed. I mean, Alfred lusting after Dana? Yeesh! I will also say that there is nothing in here that I wouldn't be willing to say to you in person. This is not something I'm doing out of internet safety. Your work on the Batman titles has really pissed me off (as well as a lot of others) and I would be willing to tackle anything that pissed me off like this in real life.
I saw someone post this on the DC Boards:

Here's something that comics writers and editors ought to realize (but self-evidently do not): Hate gets your book talked about for a few days or weeks or months. Admiration gets your book talked about for YEARS.

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Postby Kat Snyder » Sun Aug 28, 2005 7:56 am

Bill Willingham wrote:Seems like Leslie snapped. Seems like Batman doesn't like her much anymore (though he still couldn't bring himself to be the one who brought her in).


I dearly hope, Mr. Willingham (I'm sorry if this sounds silly, but it always seems rude to me to refer to anyone I haven't met personally by their first name), that you used the word "seems" for a reason. Because otherwise, I have a very hard time buying that Leslie has, truly, snapped, with no other signs of this, and it coming out of the blue. Leslie, after all, is the woman who wouldn't kill a proven serial killer. Killing Spoiler for a point isn't a plot twist, and isn't particularly good writing of a character noted (almost exclusively) for her pacifism.

Bill Willingham wrote:Here's something you readers need to realize: Though we generally hope readers will like our stories, hating them is almost as good. Hating them so much that yours is the one book everyone is talking about now -- well that's golden. One can't hate without passion and involvement. The one reaction we most fear is indifference.

Yes, I'm a little put out by the (at least three and counting) reputedly male readers who posted testimony that they wept after reading this issue (one claiming it was for the loss of innocence). Not that I believe they actually did. But I'm still from an early enough American generation to find men claiming to act like overly dramatic little girls just a little bit cringe-making.


I...can't help thinking that considering in the first paragraph you said the thing you fear most is indifference, you're just resorting to insulting in the paragraph below. Tears, after all, are a sign of someone who was deeply moved, even if it's not in a positive way.

Not that you're required to turn the cheek or anything, especially not on your own message board, but it's not the most admirable thing to see, from my perspective.

I do adore your work on Fables, Mr. Willingham, and your other Vertigo work, but I can't help thinking less of what you're doing with Batman. I hope that you have something up your sleeve to make this make sense, and I know you're more than capable of having done so.
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Postby TW George » Sun Aug 28, 2005 8:35 am

TW George wrote:
Bill Willingham wrote:
Yes, I'm a little put out by the... reputedly male readers who posted testimony that they wept after reading this issue... But I'm still from an early enough American generation to find men claiming to act like overly dramatic little girls just a little bit cringe-making.

And of course there were scores of those claiming that this incident was the last straw and they're giving up my books, or the Bat books, or all comic books, forever.



It makes me weep to think that men showing emotion causes you to cringe. I'm not sure I can in good conscience continue to read your work or participate in this forum.

Just kidding :-P




Hmmmm.... Maybe hiding my "just kidding" behind white text was a bad thing given some of the other more serious replies on this board. :-/


I guess I'm an oddball reader. If I stop enjoying a title I stop reading it. I don't search out the creator for opprobriation, either.
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Postby digitalwave » Sun Aug 28, 2005 9:36 am

I thought it was a horrible, non-realistic ending too. And, this is from the aspect of my being a nurse for a long time, much less a doctor who has shown, over and over through the years not only how much she values EVERY human life but as someone who loves Bruce.

I hated that this has been done to Leslie just to use her as a tool to isolate Bruce further. No matter what, the Leslie that they've written for years in these comics would never have done this. She couldn't have, especially with knowing what it would do to Bruce.

This is not the woman who opened a clinic in the worst part of town in order to take care of the people that no one else wanted or cared about. This is not the woman who has patched up Batman and all he holds dear all these years because she loved Bruce like a son. The sanctity of human life meant everything to her.

I mean, my god, she not only murdered someone by with-holding needed medical treatment, she murdered a child because that is what Stephanie was, costume or not. The Leslie I've read all of these years could not and would not ever do something like this and I hate their assasinating her character just to make a convenient plot-point.

I'm praying for mind-control of some kind at some point just because Leslie doesn't deserve this any more than we do. I don't care how strong the scenes were, I still think it was shoddy writing no matter what the excuse was.
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Postby Bill Willingham » Sun Aug 28, 2005 10:12 am

I'm going to answer Ian's post in some detail here, because I think this will be instructive to other members. Don't everyone expect such detailed answers to every post, please. These things take time out of work.

Ian Ryan: Hi Bill.

Bill Willingham: Hello, Ian.

I: I want to thank you for posting a response to the latest issue of Batman.

B: You're welcome.

I: It's a shame you weren't willing to post on the DC boards, which I'm assuming you check out, but anyway.

B: No, I only check it out rarely, because I find it a distastful place, which DC in its infinite wisdom has decided to let become a cesspool. Life is much too short to spend time in such places.

I: I actually would have liked to post to you sooner, but I wasn't aware this forum existed. I've enjoyed your work on Day of Vengence, I've heard very good things about Fables and plan on reading the trades soon, and found your issue of Legends of the Dark Knight to be enjoyable as well.

B: Thanks.

I: I've also found your run on Robin to feel very forced, portraying the characters in extremely out-of-character ways.

B: Yes, I get that impression from many message-board posters.

I: I still cannot wrap my head around Batman saying "I'm so proud of you I could burst." That is one of the worst lines I've seen come out of Batman's mouth in years.

B: Yes, the line as originally written, "I'm so proud of you I could drop kick an innocent little puppy," didn't make it past he editors. Darn those controling martinets.

I: Robin has suddenly become freakishly talkative in dangerous situations. Yeah, you explained it but that still doesn't make it in-character. He also become quite a bit of a jerk, something he wasn't before your run. Sure, you may say this is a result of how he's dealing with the deaths of his loved ones, but he was doing it before they died.

B: Here's the part where I begin to have a problem with your posting. By all means express critical opinions of my work. I can take it. But if you're also going to add my possible responses, and try to provide both sides of the conversation, why should I bother to weigh in at all? So, as instruction to future posters, please limit your arguments to your side of the question. If you try to add both sides, just to be able to dismiss possible answers in advance, one might reasonably conclude you're not actually open to an actual debate and simply intend to have your own say, and that's it. We don't do that here. So, Ian, if you intend to participate here in the future, please don't do this sort of thing again. Trying to premtively defend your stated opinions paradoxically only weakens them.

I: He also took down Mr. Fun rather easily in War Games, a man who has been shown to be able to give Batgirl troubles in a fight. Where his suddenly-excelerated fighting skills came from I cannot say.

B: He got them from the suddenly-excelerated fighting skills store -- a division of Wall Mart. Seriously though, street fighting is a tricky thing. They aren't formalized, with clear rules, and there is no referee on hand to keep things fair and balanced. Two folks taking an hour to fight each other one day in no way guarantees that the same two combatants must take a similar amount of time the next time around. Too many variables. Robin seems the type to plan ahead for such things. Maybe he questioned Batgirl about her encounter, with an eye towards what he could learn from her after-action debriefing? Those are the kind of things that one assumes happens among the Bat folks, but which will seldom be shown in the books, due to space and a desire not to bring generally action-oriented stories to a screeching halt by adding extra pages of talking heads.

I: Your Batman work is even worse, I feel.

B: An opinion you are absolutely entitles to have and even entitled under the rules of conduct here to express.

I: I have no doubt that you're a good writer on the right projects. I've seen very good writing from you. I do not feel that carrys over to Batman, though. I found War Games to be one of the worst Batman stories post-Crisis, and the final issue was the greatest offender. Even with the "explaination" given in the recent issue of Batman of how Black Mask was able to hold his own against Batman in the final fight in the Clocktower, the last issue was bad. Black Mask was beaten up the day before by a Spoiler that was near death, yet the world's finest hand-to-hand fighter, even in an exhausted state, can't even hold his own against a reject from the burn ward.

B: Actually Batman did hold his own against him. If he couldn't hold his own, Black Mask would have been clearly winning the fight, which wasn't the case.

I: And this is what, the next day after Batman easily takes down Zeiss, someone who he's never been able to take down without extreme amounts of effort before?

B: See my above answer about the always mercurial nature of combat.

I: Oracle feels the only way she can convince Batman to stop fighting is by blowing up her home, rather than using the myriad defenses she has in it. On top of this, there were also any number of unconcious gang members in the lower levels of her building. She willingly crushed them all in the rubble and explosion of her collapsing building just to get Batman out of there? Were these things even thought through by yourself and your editors before they made it to print? Was no forethought given to these ideas that any joe-schmoe fan could pick up on immediately after having read the issues?

B: Well, see, there you have us, Ian. At the big secret Bat conference wherein all of this was planned, we didn't think anything through. One of the dirty little secrets of the funnybook biz is that no one currently working can outthink the joe-schmoe fans. Pardon the mockery, Ian, but this is the kind of statement from you that wanders into unreasonable discourse. By all means dislike or even hate what we've produced. But taking that extra step of speculating openly that we didn't put any thought into it crosses the line. Don't do this again.

I: War Crimes, though, is without a doubt the worst story of any Batman title I've seen with your name on it.

B: Once again, this is a fair statement to make. By all means express your opinion of any story in the harshest possible terms.

I: Yeah, the Batman editors as of late have been making dictates that are bizarre at best, crap at worst, but this one takes the cake. All the screwed up events as of late probably tie in with the Infinite Crisis but that still does not excuse them in the slightest.

B: Now you're once again crossing that line, speculating about things you have no knowlege of. I've never had to ban anyone in any forum I've run, but this is the sort of thing that will quickly earn a banning.

I: The very idea of having the ultra-pacifist Leslie Thompkins kill a teenage girl in cold blood makes ANYTHING to come out of Infinite Crisis not worth it. There is not one single ending or resolution or future development that can make this tale worthy of being told. The price you guys are making us pay for the Infinite Crisis is nowhere near worth it, no matter how it all ends.

B: I'm not making you pay anything, Ian. We still practice a few freedoms in this country and getting to decide what reading entertainment you buy or choose to bypass is still one of the things in your hands.

I: You say that while you would prefer to get positive feedback, negative is almost as good because at least it's not boredom with the work.

B: Not quite, but close enough of a paraphrase of what I said.

I: Perhaps you should try to get some positive feeback then?

B: I don't try to get feedback at all. It comes or it doesn't. Go back an read what I actually wrote.

I: When someone does something with the knowledge that it will piss people off just for the sake of doing it, which is what War Crimes is, that person is generally called a jerk.

B: And this is the final example of why I chose to give a detailed response to Ian's post. This is the sort of statement that, though it seems perfectly allowable in other forums is not allowed here. Even though Ian dances around with his sentence construction, a careful parsing of the above statement shows us that he intended to call those people who worked on War Crimes jerks. Name calling isn't allowed here. Not at all, no matter how one disguises it in odd sentence construction. In addition he accused us of intentionally setting out to piss people off. This kind of speculation is also not allowed. Ian, you have no idea what motivations we had in doing this story. At no time have I ever said I or anyone else involved with this story set out to intentionally piss people off. This is the point at which you need to step back, think things over carefully, then come back with an apology in your very next posting, or go away from this forum forever. Since we've gotten to the point I wished to show, where you've passed far too far over the line, I think we can forgo the rest of your post.

B: Once again, people, we practice manners in this forum. And though we can't protect people from getting insulted -- no one can do that, especially in this current indignation-loving culture -- but we can and will prevent people from being insulting.
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Postby Bill Willingham » Sun Aug 28, 2005 10:30 am

Lukecash: Apparently you didn't read the message boards close enough. What the main compliant was...that this ending came OUT OF NOWHERE! There wasn't any build up to it, there wasn't any clues before hand. A character known for 30 years as a beacon of passificsm and saving lives thrown away at a writers whim. Nothing led up to it.

Bill Willingham: Yes, I did read the message boards closely enough to get that, but that wasn't the reaction that I commented on. Complaining that the big surprise came out of nowhere is a legitimate complaint, so why would I consider protesting it? I posted comments on those reactions I did think deserved my attention.

L: The complaint was about your ability as a writer and storyteller... not neccisarily what heppened in the story.

B: Yes, I got that too.

L: And the fact that you enjoy people HATING your stories is a good as people loving them.

B: I never said that, did I? Go back and reread what I actually wrote. I would prefer everyone love my stories. What writer wouldn't? But hate is almost as good, because at least it isn't indifference.

L: That reduces you to the equivilant of a professional wrestler.

B: Once again we stray close to name calling. Please read the above post to Ian and see why this sort of thing isn't allowed here.

L: A good controversy is when people HATED the story and and liked how it was written. Or you get an even split amoung readers who loved it and hated it.

B: Your opinion.

L: What you have is an overwhelming hatred for this particular story.

B: No, I don't have a hatred for this story at all. I rather enjoyed it.

L: And what WILL happen is that if DC continues on.... they will begin to loose sales. The only reason why people have been sticking around is for the hope that it will get better...or that the ending will make the journey worthwile. That's what a fan does. I have in fact already dropped two Batman books because of recent storylines.

B: Which you are perfectly free to do.

L: Looks like I may have to drop more.

B: Enjoy that extra coin in your pocket, freed up by the books you drop.
Bill Willingham
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Postby Bill Willingham » Sun Aug 28, 2005 10:50 am

Kat Snyder: I...can't help thinking that considering in the first paragraph you said the thing you fear most is indifference, you're just resorting to insulting in the paragraph below.

Bill Willingham: No, what I did was confess my reaction to such dramatic displays, and even in doing so was careful not to single anyone out. This is no more an insult than expressing other likes and dislikes. Let's use a silly example: The fact that you might be disgusted by the taste of lemon cake in no way insults me for enjoying it. I confessed to be from a generation that believes where little girls can be expected to carry on in overly dramatic ways in public, grown men shouldn't. I dislike it and always will. By all means disagree with me.

KS: Not that you're required to turn the cheek or anything.

B: Turning the cheek doesn't enter into it, since that's what one is supposed to do when receiving injury, and no one has injured me in any way. So I didn't get the intention of your metaphor. But feel free to restate it. My suspicion is that you were implying that, I should be willing to accept criticism on my own message board (which I am, as long as certain rules of conduct apply) but should never criticise here? Was that your intent? If so, we've got quite a debate coming.

KS: I do adore your work on Fables, Mr. Willingham, and your other Vertigo work, but I can't help thinking less of what you're doing with Batman.

B: It's okay. You're not required to enjoy everything I do. I certainly don't.

KS: I hope that you have something up your sleeve to make this make sense, and I know you're more than capable of having done so.

B: Well, here is where I definitely have to disappoint you. Nothing up my sleeve. I am not continuing in the Batman title. I was one of those brought in specifically to write this War Crimes story and then leave. The War Crimes story will have to stand on its own, at least as far as my involvement. Others may come along and undo the Leslie-as-murderer thing (by showing she was a fake, or Spoiler isn't really dead, or any number of other "outs" I have seen speculated), but it won't be me. Though I can't say I will never write the Batman title again, in my busy schedule there are no current plans to do so -- although I did try to stake an advance claim to write Batman issue # 666, which is coming up not too terribly soon.
Bill Willingham
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Postby Bill Willingham » Sun Aug 28, 2005 10:58 am

Kate: But on a serious note, it is the role of recent editorial mandates that I'd like to discuss.

Bill: Yeah, I got that. But, as I said, I'm not inclined to do that, especially with a member in good standing of the comic press. It's not a matter of trying to cover up anything, but a matter of it's just not my place to do so. If you want to talk about any possible editorial mandates driving the War Crimes story, you'll have to talk directly to Bob Schreck or Matt Idelson. They are both very fine fellows and easy to talk to. I suspect you have DC's phone number, but if you don't, I'll be glad to give that to you, though not in one of these public messages.

Great use of Gobsmacked, by the way.
Bill Willingham
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