In what seems to be the latest in a wave of internal (and vocal) criticisms directed at some of the larger comic book publishers, Marvel writer Greg Rucka recently opening up in Mark Millar’s CLiNT magazine about how his patience is wearing thin with the current practices at both Marvel and DC Comics. With DC’s New 52 relaunch last year and Marvel’s upcoming Marvel NOW! initiative, there’s no question that there’s been a great deal of shuffling among creative teams, abruptly pushing many talented creators off of books they’ve held long runs on. In addition to these changes, many in the industry have begun to raise an eyebrow at the current directions that the companies are taking when it comes to quality over quantity on their many different properties.
I’ve reached the end of my Work For Hire rope. I’m enjoying The Punisher, but that’s not mine, it’s Marvel’s, and l knew that going in. I have spent a lot of my comics career in service of other masters, – and I’ve had enough of that for now. I’m sick to death of the way the Big Two treat people.
I gave seven very good years to DC and they took gross advantage of me. That’s partially my fault, but not entirely. At this point, I see no reason why I should have to put up with that, I can sink or swim on my own.
Greg Rucka also brings attention to to “grotesque Hollywoodisation” of the two main comic book publishers, noting that they’re treatment of the current (and past) creators is unworthy of the time and effort that these individuals put into the Marvel and DC’s properties.
You are seeing a grotesque Hollywoodisation of the two main companies. There was at least a period where I felt that the way they wanted to make money was by telling the best story they could; now the quality of the work matters less than that the book comes out. There is far less a desire to see good work be done.
Dan DiDio has gone on record, and this is the same man that said Gotham Central would never be cancelled as long as he was there, telling people what a great book Gotham Central was, but it never made any money.
Well, take a look at your trade sales! That book has made nothing but money as a trade. What I’m now being told is, ”lt was never worth anything to us anyway.”So, you know what? They can stop selling the Batwoman: Elegy trade and stop selling the Wonder Woman trades and everything else I’ve done, because clearly I’ve not done anything of service and those guys aren’t making any money off me.
Right now, where the market is, I have no patience for it.
Greg Rucka recently spoke about how he was told, in a seemingly abrupt manner, that he was no longer going to be continuing on his run of The Punisher after issue #16. Instead, Marvel had expressed to him that the company was going to focus more on having The Punisher being mixed in with a team book in addition to possibly having his own new series.
My run on Punisher ends on #16, and we are then doing a five-issue mini called War Zone and then I’m done. That’s it! The Powers-That-Be at Marvel, without talking to me, decreed that he’s going to join a team on another book.
That’s their choice, they own him, but I don’t have to be happy about it. I am glad I had the opportunity to work on the character and I’m proud of the work I’ve done.
So are the financial interests of these two large companies taking precedent over the time and efforts being put into their titles? After all, Rucka’s run on The Punisher has been nothing short of amazing and many who’ve seen the the upcoming Marvel NOW! solicitation are at somewhat of a loss when it comes to the new creative teams. I can think of one in particular talent on the upcoming Iron Man book that I can’t seem to wrap my hand around. Many have also complained about such mass-hyped stories such as Avengers Vs. X-Men event, which sold big in the market, but has left many fans wishing for a higher quality piece of storytelling.
Despite what the publishers say, their interest in the talent is minimal now, the interest is only in promoting the financial worth of their properties. That was not the case as of two or three years ago, when there was an ‘Exclusives war’, but that’s all gone by the wayside now. Ultimately, they are saying, “We don’t need you,’ because they can get a million more just like you.
For every person who passes on the opportunity to write Spider-Man or Superman, I guarantee there are 5000 hungry writers who would give their eye-teeth to do it. But just because they want to do it, it doesn’t mean they are capable of doing it. It comes down entirely to Warner Bros. realising what they owned but had not exploited. At the end of the Harry Potter franchise, they went “Oh, crap, we need something else fast’, looked over at Marvel’s very very successful film program.
DC are playing catch up with Marvel, because of things like The Avengers breaking six hundred million domestic. That’s a lot of money, I don’t begrudge Warner Bros wanting to make bank it would be like blaming a shark for eating, but l do think that the pursuit of that financial windfall bears a detrimental effect on the creative and artistic side.
Do you agree or disagree with Rucka’s sentiment about the two big publishers? Are you noticing an uncomfortable shift towards bigger sales over quality storytelling?
via [Bleeding Cool]