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Friday, September 21, 2012 

Greg Rucka tells why he's quitting both Marvel and DC

Here's an excerpt from Clint magazine that's run by Mark Millar, where Rucka explains why he's one of the stable of writers now bolting from the big two's employment:
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.

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.

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.

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.
Yes, but so does forcing quite a lot of liberal politics and diversity down the throats of the audience, and Rucka was no exception, what with his exploiting Renee Montoya for turning her overnight into a lesbian and then making her a replacement for Vic Sage as the Question (they're reverted back to the Vic Sage rendition recently and seem to have dropped Montoya out of their universe altogether lately), and he introduced a new lesbian protagonist for the role of Batwoman, Kate Kane, all for the sake of diversity in the Bat-world too. And, he was also one of the writers who willfully participated in killing off Ted Kord and defaming Wonder Woman for breaking Max Lord's neck.

And what talent did they really seek this past decade? Very little, if at all, because if they're going to allow so-called writers like Geoff Johns and Brian Michael Bendis to run amok with their obsessions with shock value violence, sleaze and increasingly blatant leftist politics, and hire overrated "screenwriters" and "novelists" like J. Michael Stracynski and Brad Meltzer to write publicity stunts like the Identity Crisis, Sins Past and One More Day disasters, and hire rock bottom artists like Rob Liefeld to litter their art departments, then there's no real talent involved at all. The same goes for Rucka.

There's a lesson to be learned here that no matter how left-leaning Marvel and DC are, and no matter how much Rucka himself is (I won't be surprised if his liberal politics show up in the Punisher volume he's written too), that doesn't mean they'll be totally respectable of his creative freedom even within that framework, nor will they consider him for a top role in their inner circle. At least he's beginning to understand some of that, so maybe he'll at least devote some more of his own time to creator-owned work as Marvel and DC both fall into decay and one day are bound to come to a sad but understandable end.

Though hardly a loss, Rucka's departure from Marvel just like he did previously from DC does suggest quite a few writers have become tired of working for them too, and are bound to set a good example by focusing on their own work and not lending themselves to destroying famous fantasy universes now under the dominance of managers with no respect for the original visions.

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Hey, Avi, did you hear about this? They're continuing to foster their demonic visions, this time in Amethyst.

http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/09/20/so-theres-an-attempted-gang-rape-in-the-first-issue-of-amethys/

I'll try to write about it soon, thanks.

Wow. DC has been in stunt mode for a while but really went bananas around the time of Infinite Crisis. Now it is stunt after stunt after stunt. Character and story are no longer important. Comics fans have been a peculiar lot in that they continue to buy product that they decry as poor quality. After the bizarre disconnect between the buildup to Infinite Crisis and the mini itself, I made a concious decision to not purchase from the company after confirming my suspicions. Rucka did fantastic work while he was there.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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