Sequart Podcast #2:

The Art of the Event

Guests Julian Darius and Kevin Thurman discuss event comics, their pitfalls, and their possibilities.

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File: Sequart Podcast #2: The Art of the Event
Host: Cody Walker
Runtime: 78:18
File size: 37.7 MB

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Cody Walker graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelors and a Masters of Science in Education. He is the author of the pop culture website and the co-creator of the crime comic . He currently teaches English in Springfield, Missouri.

See more, including free online content, on .

Also by Cody Walker:

New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics


The Anatomy of Zur-en-Arrh: Understanding Grant Morrison\'s Batman


Keeping the World Strange: A Planetary Guide

editor, contributor


  1. I can relate to the problems with event comics as they affect normal comics.

    Gotham Central was a really interesting (anti)superhero comic by Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka, whose final arcs were horrifically mangled by the effects of Infinite Crisis (down to having certain lead characters simply ‘disappear’ and their long-developed arcs forcibly jettisoned).

    That kind of editorial override became part of the reason why I’ve basically stopped reading any DC or Marvel comics.

  2. So far, I’m about half way through the show, and I’m hoping to finish it this afternoon while doing some writing. The first point that was brought up with the danger of “event fatigue” which I believe Julian and Cody brought up. I think this is, perhaps, one of the greatest sources of where cynicism develops–and is subsequently maintained–in modern readers. To borrow a line from Syndrome, a la “The Incredibles” (my son’s latest Pixar fixation): “And when everyone is super [insert evil laugh here], then no will be.” The bottom line is that when every story is a major, game-changing event… none of them are truly significant. I might be looking at this from the oft-inaccurate rose-colored lens, but I just don’t seem to recall being so thoroughly inundated with these events as a kid–maybe one major event every year or so, but that’s it.

    I was also interested in the way these events affect the businesses’ bottom line. Perhaps it would be interesting to looking into this data at some point. I know “The Comic Chronicles” [] covers much of the sale figures.

    Anyhow, great show thus far, and I’ll be looking forward to checking out the second half later today!

  3. Speaking as mainly a DC Guy who has only really come into comics over the past decade, I find the variety in styles of events quite interesting.
    In looking at Infinite Crisis, Final Crisis and Blackest Night, they all took a different approach to the same sized “event” (even though BN didnt influence the multiverse it did consume the entire line for its duration so ill count that as equivalent).

    IC brought in the tie ins in an attempt to flesh out story and to have characters situations spin off into other titles or to see the repercussions of events in IC within a separate title. So the tie ins were more “plot/character” directed.

    BN pushed the gimmick of the main series (old characters rise from the dead) out into all the tie in minis and tie in series. Not all of them referenced the main event and the main event referenced even fewer in return. So the tie ins were “gimmick” directed.

    FC used the theme of the event as the over arching connective tissue, with very few of the ties actually referencing the main event (with the exception of those penned by Morrison and FC: Submit), but the “idea” of “evil wins” being the element that made them related. So the tie ins were “thematically” directed.

    I think the ordering that I presented here (IC – BN – FC) is the same order as most to least meaningful in terms of their necessity to the universe as a whole and therefore the same order as publisher returns, or decreases in profits (working off the assumption that the more meaningful a title or tie in the more likely the fans will pick it up).

    Personally, I prefer the FC approach, where there is little to no explicit connection between the tie ins and the main series, that the artists have the freedom to create what they want within a very broad and loose theme. This resulted in a number of satisfying self contained stories (i.e. FC: Revelations) and other stories that were able to maintain their original series’ creative vision and flow (i.e. FC: Rage of the Red Lanterns). The obvious argument here is that the FC banner becomes less and less meaningful and is just a marketing strategy to hook the already hooked a little more. But once we open the individual book I think we are smart enough to independently evaluate the content within. This approach overall leaves maximum room for good stories, not just in the main event (that doesnt need to mention irrelevant character beats or situations) but also in the tie in (that usually dont impact much at all) and even ongoing series (that will usually have their own story they are trying to tell at that time).

    The third option, BN, is my least favourite, because it tries to have its cake and eat it too. It is explicitly related to the event through the use of the gimmick (in this case the dead rising) but doesnt necessarily need to reference the event or visa versa. The result is that we get dozens of tie ins and crossovers that are all trying to address the same plot and character issues, those being the plot of dead rising and the character beats of unresolved grief. There are only so many times we can see a dead character return before the novelty/impact wears off, the character beats become repetitive and the resolution becomes tediously predictable. It corners the artists with an illusion of creative freedom. (during BN Morrison did a thematic tie in with an issue that saw Batwoman and clone Batman being raised from the dead via a Lazarus pit……again, thematic connection was the best option).

    I understand that this list is purely subjective and that the “World building” appeal of direct cross overs and tie ins certainly has its audience, I just prefer artists to be given as much freedom as they can within the corporate universe structure. It doesnt always result in good stories, but I believe it is much more likely to than editorially mandated tie ins.

    Disclaimer though is that every issue/series/event/tie in is a team effort between the editors and the artists. Every series has editorial mandates upon it, just to varying degrees, and it is up to the artists to make a story work within those restraints. Its just part of working in a corporate universe.

  4. I just realized, to my horror, that my reference to how seeing Batman with all the various Robins illustrates how completely untenable the new DC continuity is was cribbed from Colin Smith. I didn’t realize it until I was listening again, and now I feel very guilty. It was his observation, and I wish I’d remembered where I’d gotten it from and credited him during the recording. Anyway, if you like that observation, go read Colin at his brilliant blog, Too Busy Thinking About My Comics.

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