Monday, June 13, 2005


Is Chuck Austen Really the Devil?

There is a lot of slinging towards Chuck Austen. His writing is considered the worst in the world. People rag on his soap opera stories, his lack of character consistency, and his lack of strong storytelling. But does that make him a bad writer?

Well, OK, it does. But is he as bad as everyone says he does, including Chuck Austen himself? Austen always plays that the fans hate him for no reason. He even went as far as to call himself “JD Finn” at the end of his Action Comics run because “Chuck Austen” was too hated by the fans. Bull.

Austen is a one man publicity machine. And what he does best is play the “underdog” to the “evils” of the online community. And by doing so, he becomes the villain, hoping to be the villain everyone “loves to hate”. Unfortunately, you have to have enough talent to get people to feel that way. John Byrne gets a lot of bad press, but still holds onto some talent. Austen just uses his confrontational behavior to attempt to get people to buy his stuff. Instead, he is a writer of mediocre stories which do not leave a lasting impact with the readers and does not stand out much against all of the quality work out there. But it does not reach that level of bad that makes everyone want to read it. It has too much good in it, but the execution fails. All it would take is more thought, and better execution to make something good.

So, stop your whining. No one wants you to fail, only yourself. Write great stories, and the fans will come. Writing the equivalent of a train wreck may help sales initially, but people merely slow down to watch the wreck as they drive to their real destination, the don’t stop and stay there. You must become something better. Let it all hang out, and prove that you are as good as you say you are.


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