Since I started building Djinnborn, I’ve gotten comments on how big and in-depth the world is. The detail is intentional. I going a little overboard, but the more I design this world, the more I’ve fallen in love with it. I know not everyone will come to love the world as much as I do, but a guy can dream, right? It’s my hope that someday the Djinnborn world would become popular enough that other people will want to write and draw their own tales and characters within the setting.
Big dreams, but if a guy can’t dream big, what can he do?
I’ve considered releasing the Djinnborn setting (not the comic) under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License.
This means I’d be giving the world permission to freely use the Djinnborn setting to write their own stories and characters. All they need to do is credit me as the Djinnborn creator and they can’t sell their creations for money. I know it might be years before anyone does this, but again, a guy can dream, right?
This idea came about from a conversation with a few people on Google+ (add me if you’d like!). We’d briefly discussed our frustrations with the current Marvel Comics meta-plots. One idea tossed around was similar to what I’m considering for Djinnborn.
The thought was that if the Big Comic Companies let indie developers create and publish non-canon stories using their worlds, good things would happen. It would open the market to a lot more potential — who knows how many amazing comic writers and artists are out there that could make great use of this opportunity?
My big problem with Marvel is that lately they don’t seem to know what they want to do. Their metaplot jumped the shark sometime in the past decade or so. To me, it feels like there is no end-point for the metaplot (and there probably isn’t). I get the sense Marvel knows there’s no planned end-point and that they probably should have an endpoint. I get the feeling Marvel just doesn’t know what to do with itself anymore, so each successive metaplot point gets more and more ridiculous. I feel like ever since M-Day, if not earlier, their big story is just one fumble after another.
On the other hand, I’ve loved a lot of their new lines. I thought Ultimate X-Men was a lot of fun. I loved New X-Men until the Belasco/Magik parts. Runaways was a whole lot of fun. In addition, I’ve really taken to a number of DC’s New 52 titles like Teen Ttians and Legion of Superheroes. To me, this is a sign that Marvel needs to pull its head out of its rear end and try another reboot or draw their metaplot to a conclusion.
One thing I’ve learned in writing is to write with an end — a final end — in mind. This clearly is not what Marvel’s doing, and I think it really shows in how shoddy their storytelling’s gotten lately. Characters and ideas do get stale and there just comes a point where it’s better to gently retire characters rather than keep trying to shoehorn them into horrible ideas.
I know I’m not alone in this belief, though I also know I might be in the minority. Still, I can’t help but wonder how Marvel and DC might benefit from both an expanded universe and from drawing metaplots to a final close.
Marvel and DC universes are both large enough that people could play in them and make their own characters and stories without watering it all down too much. And when a particular writer or artist gets popular enough, Marvel or DC could go look at what that creative person is doing and maybe even hire him or her to make that storyline official.
Even if it didn’t work out that way, imagine the potential for other storylines and other characters. Only things officially published by Marvel, DC, etc., would be canon. But it would allow other people to express their views through their own creations. I think that’s a good thing.
Personally, if Djinnborn ever gets big enough that people do write other stories that aren’t part of my canon, I’d love to see what they come up with. I’m curious how other people’s contributions can enhance my own vision of the setting.
What do you think about this idea? I know it’s far-reaching and might even involve some delusions of grandeur, but it is fun to think about. I’m hoping to make my own expanded universe for Djinnborn, even if others don’t. Once Osoron’s story draws to its conclusion, I just might start a new comic in another part of the Djinnborn world. Perhaps others will get motivated to do similar!