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Tuesday, May 18, 2010 

The big two lost quite a few contributors of recent

Comics Alliance reports that DC and Marvel lost a lot of writers and other contributors in past years:
The past couple years has seen a rise in those fires. A number of creators have left the Big Two, meaning Marvel Comics and DC Comics, under less than friendly circumstances. These creators also felt comfortable enough in their career to fire shots back publicly at the company that they felt wronged them. While the two companies have never released a statement about the dismissals and accusations, having several angry ex-freelancers talking about their practices in public likely indicates something going on behind the scenes.
Not all the people they've lost as writers are a really big deal, and J. Michael Straczynski, who's among the mentioned, certainly isn't. Still, this same article even points to at least one other surprising item, a Mark Waid interview with Ain't it Cool, that tells how even something as overrated and worthless as 52 failed to impress Dan DiDio even at that level:
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. 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."
It is kinda surprising that 52, cruddy miniseries that it was, still failed to satisfy DiDio. Waid also had some negative comment about Bill Jemas, former CEO of Marvel, about his attempted mandate of the Fantastic Four:
Brevoort and I were just gobsmacked by this. Just speechless. And there was no arguing with Bill--he wanted the MUNDANE FOUR because they'd be more "relatable." BUT--he was the boss, and Marvel owns the characters, not me, so we actually took a stab at trying to give Bill what we thought he wanted without destroying the FF. We planned a story arc in which Reed had been forced to brainwash the entire family, including himself, into this basic scenario for reasons I forget. It was actually a pretty elegant workaround--I can't remember the details, but I promise it was better than it sounds--but Bill decreed that it was too little, too late (three days later was "too late") and one Friday, poor Brevoort called me to tell me that I didn't have to bother with the next script because Bill had already written it himself and had dropped it on his desk. I was fired. I had never been fired off an assignment before. I was stunned. Artist Mike Wieringo was asked if he'd stick around, but in a gesture I thanked him for till the day he died, he told Jemas to take a hike.
Luckily, Jemas was removed by the board of directors, but by now, it's clear he was little more than a convenient fall-guy for Joe Quesada, who put Straczynski on the Fantastic Four afterwards, and it turned out to be a short-lived run, as his work on the FF was considered even more unpopular than his Spider-Man work. And, since then, Marvel's sunk neck-deep into the quagmire of crossovers...

Some of these writers have moved back and forth between companies, but if the editors in charge continue to increase their iron grip of editorial mandate upon the kingdoms they've been given the keys to, chances are the freelancers will leave them completely and go full-fledged independent. Alas, we cannot expect Marvel or DC to come to their senses that easily.

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It certainly does seem like the day of the competent, low-key EIC is done and that both of the big two have seated pro rassler wannabes in the big chair.

Didio is just the third coming of Jemas, Quesada being the second.

In his review of the Didio-approved Countdown, Linkara of the web show Atop The Fourth Wall said that Dan proclaimed it as "52 done right", in other words, it was editor-controlled rather than writer controlled. It seems the editor doesn't just want to maintain the overall universe anymore, but control it and make it in their image. That never ends well.

Screenwriter William Goldman once famously said that in Hollywood, "nobody knows anything." It seems the same can be said for the writers and editors at DC and Marvel comics.
As for Waid, I'm surprised he can get through any doors, seeing as how his ego has given him a super-sized swelled head. Too bad he's not as talented as he thinks he is.

@ The Drizzt

Quesada is his own monster. Didio is indeed the second coming of Jemas.

If only folks just stop buying crap and stop supporting the regime instead of just saying "they're done", be can put an end to this madness. I don't give a damn how great Morrison's recent Bat-stories are. They're not worth feeding into that bald-mustached ego

Marvel and Qrapsada suck, but I can't help but be amused by anything that pisses off Mark Waid.

Can't argue with you there, Degu.

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