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John Byrne
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Grumpy Old Guy

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Posted: 02 April 2024 at 10:53am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Creators get the credit, editors get the blame.

•••

Some editors may believe this. It increases their sense of self importance. But in fifty years working professionally in comics I have not once encountered it. Most fans, I’ve found, don’t really even understand an editor’s function.

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 02 April 2024 at 12:27pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I didn't have the slightest idea what a comicbook editor did when I was a kid-reader. And, hmm, even right now, I wonder if I really know what a comicbook editor did or does? To make sure the issues are produced in timely fashion? To coordinate the creators? To monitor storylines? Quality control, broadly speaking?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 April 2024 at 1:03pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The best editors hire talent they think are best suited to the job, then mostly stand back and let them do it.

The worst editors consider themselves the most important part of the equation, and treat what the talent gives them as raw material.

I’ve dealt with both, plus myriad layers in between.

And as I have said from time to time, nobody ever saw a new comic on the rack and thought that looks well edited!

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Dave Kopperman
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Posted: 02 April 2024 at 1:23pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

 JB wrote:
nobody ever saw a new comic on the rack and thought that looks well edited!

Huh. That is true - even as it's a thing I do think in almost every other media - prose, music, especially film and television (where editing makes or breaks the work). But at the same time, I was always aware of who was editing the books I liked and Marvel's 60's success is in large part due to Stan's editorial choices and his editorial voice - which in him was one and the same as the writer's voice.  But I wouldn't just go buy a book because Stan was editing it.

Comics are a weird medium...
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 02 April 2024 at 1:33pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Yeah, but at the time Roy Thomas was the EiC… 
Also, Marvel Studios won't credit Herb Trimpe as a co-creator, despite he technically illustrated Wolverine's first appearances (using, obviously, John Romita Sr.'s character design)

Thomas, Trimpe, and John Romita, Sr. are all listed in the Special Thanks credits of X-Men 97. I have to think that's mostly (if not only) because of their early association with Wolverine. 

For more obvious reasons, JB, Cockrum and Claremont are on there, too. 


Edited by Brian Rhodes on 02 April 2024 at 1:36pm
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 02 April 2024 at 2:44pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Creators get the credit, editors get the blame.

**

Someone should knit a hair shirt with this on the front.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 April 2024 at 3:09pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Heh!

There is a curious dichotomy. So many fans fully immerse themselves in the stories and characters—they become real. But those same fans, when something goes “wrong”, know exactly who’s to blame: the writers and artists.

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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 02 April 2024 at 4:00pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

 JB wrote:
The best editors hire talent they think are best suited to the job, then mostly stand back and let them do it.

The worst editors consider themselves the most important part of the equation, and treat what the talent gives them as raw material.



My impression of Bob Harras is that he went from the latter to the former with his transition from X-Men editor to Marvel EIC. He was partially responsible for the mess of the early 90s with stunt crossovers, putting the hot artists above the writers, variant covers, filling books with terrible 90s artists, etc - and was very much dictating the content - but when he became EIC right after the collapse of the industry in the late 90s (and after the Heroes Reborn mess), he seemed to have learned his lesson and took the opposite track - Busiek and Perez on Avengers, JB on Spider-Man, bringing Claremont back to X-Men, and more. The crossover events stopped as well. It did feel like a re-emphasis of quality over quantity.

Unfortuantely for him, he presided over Marvel during its bankruptcy, and he was blamed for not monetizing on the X-Men movie well enough - leading to him being ousted.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 April 2024 at 4:09pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I’m reminded of when royalties were introduced at Marvel. Only they didn’t call them royalties. Again, the lawyers were afraid that might imply ownership. So they called them “incentives”.

When I received my first “incentive” check for the X-Men reprint book I called Shooter and said I would work to raise the sales on the next issue.

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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 02 April 2024 at 7:31pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Okay, so I recall in interviews in such publications as The X-Men Companion, and others, going all the way back to the early 1980s, that Roy Thomas was involved in creating Wolverine.  This was, as I recall, mentioned by the other creators, not just by Thomas, himself.  As I understand it, Thomas came up with the name, the country of origin,  his temperament,  and that he was a mutant. If Thomas never brought up the idea, this character wouldn't have been created,  at all.

John Romita, Sr. came up with the look in costume.  Gil Kane and Dave Cockrum altered the mask,  and Cockrum designed Wolverine's unmasked features. Chris Claremont,  Cockrum, and JB added important details to the character,  as far as the name "Logan " Adamantium bones, the claws being a part of him and not the costume,  etc.

Herb Trimpe was the first artist to draw Wolverine in publication.

Len Wein wanted Wolverine to be a teenager,  and meant for the claws to be part of the costume and not the character, himself. Wein was the firsr to write the character. 

Honestly,  seems to me that Wein and Trimpe, while the team that introduced the character in a published format, had the least to do with that character out of everyone else mentioned above.

And I forget if I read it before, but who thought of the claws to begin with?


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Steve Coates
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Posted: 02 April 2024 at 9:25pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

"If Thomas never brought up the idea, this character wouldn't have been created, at all."

Is a false assumption. Ideas are not unique, what circumstance spark an idea in one brain can also spark it in another. For all we know it could have been an article in National Geographic Magazine which ignited the idea. Or a bunch of people sitting around, throwing out words for a new Hulk nemesis. Once you have the word Wolverine the claws and the temperament are easy. Country of origin was just a matter of where the hulk appears next, which was incorporated into Wolverine. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 April 2024 at 11:35pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Len told me he chose to make Wolverine Canadian as he, Len, was already making plans for a new international X-Men team. He intended Wolverine to be a founding member.
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