Mark Waid Slams Dan DiDio and DC Comics
Comics book writer Mark Waid is perhaps best known as the writer of DC’s ‘Kingdom Come‘ and The Flash,’ but now that’s he’s the Editor-In-Chief of Boom! Studios, Waid no longer has to hold his tongue about other comic book companies. And in an often scathing 9000-word interview at Ain’t It Cool News, he really, really doesn’t, taking aim at DC Editor-In-Chief Dan DiDio and CrossGen owner Mark Alessi, among others.
The ‘52‘ comic book series, which came out every week for a year from the superstar creative team of Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid was very popular among fans — unlike its successor ‘Countdown,’ which was panned by critics and fans alike. According to Waid, Didio had his own ideas:
“The biggest challenge [of 52] was actually, wisely, kept from us by [editor] Steve [Wacker]. EIC Dan Didio, who first championed the concept, hated what we were doing. H-A-T-E-D 52. Would storm up and down the halls telling everyone how much he hated it. And Steve, God bless him, kept us out of the loop on that particular drama. [Editor Michael] Siglain, having less seniority, was less able to do so, and there’s one issue of 52 near the end that was written almost totally by Dan and Keith Giffen because none of the writers could plot it to Dan’s satisfaction. Which was and is his prerogative as EIC, but man, there’s little more demoralizing than taking the ball down to the one-yard line and then being benched by the guy who kept referring to COUNTDOWN as ‘52 done right.’”
More juicy quotes after the jump.There were even harsher words for Mark Alessi, the owner of CrossGen Comics, where Waid worked before it went bankrupt in 2004:
“Alessi was a spoiled eight-year-old with a checkbook, and he was the biggest bully I’ve ever met in my life–and, coming from a lifelong comic book geek, that’s one hell of an indictment. I could make a fortune charging his employees for Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome therapy. He would, and I’m not joking, make (admittedly spineless) grown men stand in the corner when they displeased him… He’d punish guys who drew perfectly well without his help by focusing on some detail or another on one of 22 pages–some face that somehow wasn’t exactly what he saw in his head, whatever the hell that was–by berating them at the top of his lungs and then sending them home for the day, ‘and don’t come back until you can draw it right!’”
On Writing ‘The Legion of Superheroes’ for DC
“While we were busting our asses to rebuild the franchise (and getting periodic fan notes from Paul Levitz, which were gold to me), a whole different editorial office was allowing [novelist] Brad Meltzer to undo absolutely all our hard work for one of his JLA stories, which (he’d been told) could star the 1980s Legion, as if ours never existed. I don’t blame Brad at all, but boy, was that mismanaged on all levels–because it was deliberately kept secret from us until it was on the verge of being printed.
On Writing the 2006 ‘Flash’ Relaunch for DC
“…once I committed to the project and we’d solicited the first issue, before even one script was finished every single promise that had been made to me to get me back aboard was reneged upon, so integrity and backbone demanded I quit on principle before the first issue even came out. The only reason I stayed six was because of my loyalty to my editor, who didn’t deserve to be screwed.”
This is only a tiny fraction of a truly epic interview, including gems about insanity at Fantagraphics and the internet firestorm that blazed after he got fired from ‘Fantastic Four’ by then-Marvel President Bill Jemas. Head over to Ain’t It Cool News for the main event.