Trouble is, I ended up singing along to a slightly different tune! Plok imagined a bunch of comic book collaborations made possible by sinister technology and asked people to fill in the details; my response was sort of in line with the premise, except when it wasn't:
I was going to hold off from doing this, but it’s too much fun!
Let’s take this too far, shall we?
Ditko/Morrison – a psychotic early 60s New York period piece starring a lousy, fourth rate Jackson Pollok rip-off artist. Ditko would think of it as being a brutal morality tale wherein his protagonist’s gloopy, technicolour amorality is crushed by a series of encounters with the AA-Agents, who break him down and make him see the world AS IT REALLY IS (i.e. in harsh, jagged black & white). Morrison’s scripting would subtly amplify the horrific absurdity implicit in this premise — the queasy nature of which is already clear in every line of the artwork.
Unfortunately, Ditko would soon clock Morrison’s agenda, and the work would most likely remain unfinished, never to be reprinted again.
Gaiman/Kochalka – this requires a little bit of that “what if?” flavour, I think.
What if Gaiman’s post Sandman career had been one slow trip round the u-bend?
What if his attempts at becoming Neil Gaiman: Gentleman Novelist had been if not a complete disaster then something close to one? And what if his return to comics had been even less successful, to the extent that Marvel and DC were unsure if they wanted to touch his work, Image were weary of him, and even Avatar were starting to feel burned after a couple of quiet failures.
This is fantastical stuff, I know, but bear with me while I make it even more fantastical!
Let’s say that while all of this has been going on, James Kochalka has become a genuine, massively unlikely SUPERSTAR, and that his TV show (James Kochalka Superstar) is pulling in Hannah Montana numbers. Yeah, madness, I know, but let’s all just keep going and see where it takes us. (Count yourselves lucky that I’ve not described the Richard Linklater directed feature movie — which would be the missing link between School of Rock and Waking Life, naturally!)
Despite his newfound fame, Kochalka’s still churning out those sketchbook diaries, and he still has some pals in the comics world, including Eddie Campbell, who lets him know about Neil’s plight.
Kochalka’s sympathetic, but there’s an evil whimsy in him, so this is what he proposes: Marvel will publish a comic written by Gaiman and drawn by him: this comic will be a potential big seller, due to his name and fame, but it will also be a hard sell, because Kochalka will insist that it’s called CUNTS!.
The story itself will be pretty fucking Gaiman, but with a twist: it takes place in a city within a glass bottle that’s tucked into the back pocket of a Glasgow youth, a magical world of freedom and possibility, where everyone poos out sentient clouds of purest hate. It will star George Bush and Tony Blair in exile, but will eschew direct political satire in favour of scatological excess.
Every issue will end with one of the two exiles saying of the other: “Fuck me, what a CUNT!”
Biggest comic of all time? I think so.
Shame I needed to push past the guidelines to make it happen!
These next few are a little less filled out, because my batteries are draining fast today:
Veitch/Steranko – these chaps could collaborate on creepy modern spy story called Ghost World, in which a cute, disaffected young woman carries out vicious, horrible acts in the name of her masters and tries (half-successfully) to stave off the rapprochements offered by friends and family members from her previous civilian life. Think Grosse Pointe Blank crossed with Spook Country, but with lots of unnecessary formal pyrotechnics going off all over the page.
Byrne/Sim — yeah, I think this pair could have a blast disrespectfully adapting China Mieville’s Iron Council. Or, shit… could I handle their version of The Left Hand of Darkness? Could I handle Dave Sim’s post-comic essays on the topic? Probably not, but the evil part of me would like to see how it turned out.
Englehart/Adams — I’ve got to admit, this one has me stumped, probably because I’m not too familiar with their work.
Can I suggest that Steve Aylett and Duncan Fegredo’s Kafka biography instead? Or how about Mike Allred and Ursula LeGuin’s Wonder Woman? Too obvious? Maybe, but I’d still read ‘em!
Miller/McCarthy/Conway — this trio could happily butcher Moorcock’s multiverse of fantasy characters, I’m sure. It’d be a mess, naturally, but it would have waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more life in it than any comic book universe out there at the moment.
Plus the existence of a Miller/McCarthy Elric would echo back through time and make an eleven-year-old David very, very happy indeed!
There are lots of other good responses in that comments thread -- go check it out, if you haven't already.