The Unofficial Defiant Comics Archive
Last Update: 1/23/2016
DEFIANT COMICS  
Transcribed Editorials
 
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Here are the transcribed Editorials of
Pauline Weiss
SENIOR EDITOR
June 1994 Source: Dark Dominion #9, Charlemagne #4, Dogs of War #3, Good Guys #8
I'm still learning DEFIANT office culture, and early on I caught onto a phrase these folks use a lot: 

  Lets see if we can harness 
  his power for good. 

  That's great isn't it? I've heard it applied in reference to everyone from a penciler discovered at the last convention to the new summer intern. It's particularly apt used in a comics company because it's one of those Truth, Justice, and the American Way phrases: in a melodramatic, but sincere way it conveys an energetic dedication to the values that heroes stand for. Sure, it's corny, but it feels right. 
  About a month ago, Jim Shooter told me he wanted to harness my power for good.  
  Last year when Jim asked my husband, Alan Weiss, to help build him a universe, it was the beginning of a dizzying and fun ride for both of us. Not only did I get to witness a universe a'borning, but I had the opportunity to watch DEFIANT grow. I remember walking into these offices when they first moved in and remarking to Debbie Fix on how much room there was, and now that I'm here, all I can see is how much room there isn't!   
  The best part was developing friendships with these marvelous people. Beyond the hours spent in the office, we did the summer conventions under the DEFIANT banner. Janet and I became immediate, fast friends, discovering a shared fetish for cowboy kitsch. I loved hearing the sonorous voice of publisher Winston Folkes, telling tales of his adventures when he was Vice President of Finance at Time-Life. Nothing is better than sharing a laugh with marketing director Clark Smith a.k.a "The King of Infectious Energy". Speaking of energy, there are a few people with more than that than editor Joe James...and he looks darn good in a cowboy hat! 
  A great moment: sitting at a long table in a restaurant with about thirty DEFIANT creators and staff after the Great Eastern Convention this past January, toasting the late Jack Kirby, and other people in the restaurant raising their glasses with us. Good Times. Really good friends. 
  More impressively, I watched all of them, the staff, and the creators, pull together some of the most original and well-told comics stories under some very arduous conditions. 
  And there's Jim, the hub around which all of this revolves. Tireless, energetic, dedicated, tenacious, endlessly creative, you've heard all of this before; Alan says Jim's superpower is focus. Putting aside the fact that I grew up on the comics he wrote: watching him through the "starting over" process of building DEFIANT, what impressed me most are his abiding obsessions with quality, honor, and loyalty. It's clear in his dealings with creators, staff, and our readership; it's clear in the high standards he applies and upholds for all DEFIANT product. My predecessor, Ed Polgardy (to whom I'm highly indebted--thank, Ed), told you about it last month, and I'm a willing witness to it as well.  
  It came down to this: I believe in these people and I believe in their vision. So when Jim asked me to consider leaving the corporate world of advertising behind and invited me toformally join Team DEFIANT, how could I refuse? 
  I'm proud to officially be a part of the DEFIANT family. I'll make a solemn vow to you now (in the great comics tradition!) that I'll work very hard with these good people to bring you the very best stories we can. It's not just a job, it's an adventure. 
  Sure, it's corny. But it feels right.  
  
Website Commentary:  This is further indication that employees at DEFIANT must not have expected the sales to drop so dramatically. This would have been written about 4 months before the doors were closed. Pauline surely would not have quit one job to work for Defiant if there were any signs of Defiant closing.   

The product quality setbacks during the lawsuit with Marvel created a ripple effect of damage that grew until the final days of publication and it could not be reversed. Many of  the loyal readership had dropped out because some story elements were suffering and inconsistent in the first 6 months of released product. The speculator sales dropped because everything had been overordered and there was no shortage of supply. Retailers had no incentive to order extra copies when they couldn't even sell their excessive overstock at cost (or less).  Any potential customers saw everyone around them trying to get rid of Defiant Comics. The potential readers were also bombarded with a large amount of negative publicity. The negative publicity was coming from multiple angles and involved critical attacks which could not be countered or disproved. Retailers had been price gouging on the limited edition card products trying to make up their losses from overordering the comics. This gouging preyed on the speculator and occasionally the reader. The River Group fueled any price gouging by creating more and more limited products. The River Group also published a press release which was basically a resume of Jim Shooter. They released it as a marketing attempt to help promote their products by promoting Jim Shooter, the company founder. The trade magazines were nitpicking the press release and they exagerated the information, the wording, the semantics. The trade magazines were clearly throwing out negative publicity based on negative assumptions.  

Unlike Valiant comics where the product quality started high and continued high, Defiant's quality started high, dipped drastically, and then resumed its stride a few months later. Not all Defiant titles had this dip in quality, but they were meshed so inseparably that readers only had to read one story that was unclear and it affected the reader's perception of the whole Defiant Universe. 

 
July 1994 Source:  Good Guys #9
In the short time I've been editing comics, I've found that there are an awful lot of fun things you get paid to do. So far, everything having to do with getting to know our readership has been the best, but nothing has quite compared to the weeks I spent sifting through the hundreds of entries in our "Bad Guys" contest, co-sponsored by Wizard and Entertainment Retailing Magazines. One reader and one retailer would be chosen on the basis of a short essay. The prizes are a cash award of $1000 and a special guest appearance in a future issue of The Good Guys...in which their characters get to die! 
  All of the entries were tremendously creative, and nearly all of them came up with fabulous characters with equally fabulous (and occasionally hilarious) powers, ready to go up against the Good Guys. Some of my favorite powers included a passion for colorful clothing (Dori Ann Granger, Orwell OH), the ability to consume vast amounts of meat (Tasadduq Hussain, Tampa FL), and a lip curl Elvis would be jealous of (Aaron Parker, Rancho Cucamonga, CA). I'd agree--these are definitely qualities any bad guy worth his salt ought to have! 
  After long rounds of difficult deliberations, judges Jim Shooter, myself, Good Guys writer Len Wein and artist Greg Boone are happy to congratulate our winners, Dina Gamboni from Short Hills, NJ, and John Such,  the owner of Papa John's Comics in Greenville, SC.  
  Dina is a senior at Barnard College in New York, majoring in psychology. She's currently spending her summer working at a camp with disabled adults. Dina's been reading comics for about two years, and lists Spawn and Catwoman among her favorite titles. Her essay describes her bad guy character as the ultimate seductress, who will "make you fall in love and will break your heart...will take not only your heart, but everyone you hold dear...will discover your goals, your ambitions, you secret dreams...and shatter them like so much worthless china." 
  John's "secret identity" is a design engineer. He grew up on the classic Marvel books--Fantastic Four and Iron Man were his favorites. His son is an avid comics collector, which drew John back into comics, and he decided to start his own store as a sideline about a year-and-a-half ago. He's created his on character named Apap, the Dream Stealer. "I sell imagination, and I want yours. I want to thrive to see your thoughts totally wrapped up in a comic I sell you...the more you imagine, the better price I get for your thoughts... my world feasts on your dreams."  
  As you can tell, these two folks are truly evil, but they got into the spirit of the contest, had some fun with the idea, and ultimately they both locked into part of the essence of the Defiant Universe: dreaming and imagination. Look for their appearances--and their demises--in upcoming issues of  Good Guys. 
  Our thanks to all of you who entered the contest. However: after weeks of reading entries from all of you bad guys out there who threatened to kill my goldfish, eat my left leg for dinner or cause the next 7.2-on-the-Richter-Scale earthquake in the New York area if DEFIANT didn't pick you as the baddest guy in the universe, I have to ask--y'all were just joking, right? 
  I mean, my goldfish are safe...right? 
 
Website Commentary:  The end. This was the last month of publication.
 

 

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