The JSA and The Blackhawks: Train of Destiny

Jeff Weigel contacted me with the information that he had prepared a proposal for a JSA/Blackhawk team-up story. The proposal was for a 48 page Prestige Format book or a two issue story arc for Legends of The DC Universe. DC had declined interest, which is a real shame, but I am pleased to present it here for Blackhawk fans to see.

I asked Jeff to tell us something about how he came about creating this proposal, and he sent me the following:

I did this as a proposal for DC a couple years ago when their big Summer event was the 12 part JSA series intended to launch the monthly series. I'd been working for a few years for Image's Big Bang comics. Big Bang is a retro anthology book that's been successful enough to stay around for almost 40 issues, but not successful enough to turn a profit. It's always been more of a labor of love for its contributors than anything else. I'd reached a point where I wanted to make a little money off my labors, and since I'd been nominated for the Russ Manning award for most promising newcomer in comics that year, it seemed like a good time to strike out into the paying mainstream. I prepared the Blackhawk/JSA proposal and the Batman proposal to submit and DC artist Rick Burchett, a casual friend of mine, liked it enough to volunteer to deliver it personally to DC editors on his next trip into New York.

A few weeks later I got a call at my office from Mike Carlin himself. Carlin basically told me I was expending way too much effort for no good reason-- DC lawyers advise against any editors reviewing unsolicited proposals for fear of plagerism charges that could result. He also said it was too long (two single-spaced pages) and that editors don't have the time to read such a lengthy unsolicited proposal. As for the artwork, I was told it was too old-fashioned (specifically, "...too Curt Swan, Reed Crandall...") and that I wasn't up to DC's current standards. Carlin was very frank and polite. We spoke for a good 5-10 minutes. In the end it was clear DC didn't have much use for what I wanted to offer them. That's life.

I thanked him for contacting me and taking the time to have an honest discussion about the proposals. Frankly, the "old-fashioned" label is one that's dogged me with most publishers I've contacted. I have to plead guilty-- Curt Swan and Reed Crandall are role models for me, as opposed to Todd McFarlane or Jim Lee. I honestly accept such comparisons to Siver Age artist with a degree of pride. It's just that the aesthetic values I hold are out of vogue in modern comics.

I don't know what clearer proof is needed that the current comics world is a strange place when comparing an artist's work to Curt Swan and Reed Crandall, two of the greats in the field, is detrimental to his career. If more comics had art like that by Swan, Crandall, and Weigel, I'd be buying more on a regular basis. But since comics average three dollars for a 16 page story these days, maybe it's a good thing (for my wallet) that they don't.

Click on the "Forward" button below to go to the first page of Jeff's proposal.

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All characters, pictures, and related indicia on these pages are the property of DC Comics. All text is 2000 Dan Thompson, except where otherwise noted. This website is not intended to infringe on the copyright of DC Comics to its characters, but was created out of gratitude to all the wonderful writers, artists, and editors who created the Blackhawks.