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Monday, August 27, 2012 

Mark Waid's weak interview with Paste magazine

Paste magazine interviewed Mark Waid, who had the following to say about the grisly plague brought upon today's storytelling:
The grimness is just absurd. It’s “how do we out-grim each other, how do we out-violence each other”. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not offended because I want comics to be like they were when I was a kid. I don’t care. I don’t want comics to be like they were when I was a kid because I still have my comics. If I need that I’ll go look at those. What I need is for comics to not cheapen out and just do what they think a bunch of bloodthirsty 15 year old fans want. Stop trying to gross us out with blood and violence. It’s just cheap. It’s bad storytelling. I’m not offended on a moral or ethical level, I’m just offended on a creativity level. There are other ways to create tension and drama than to have somebody stabbed through the back with a sword.
Wait a minute, didn't he sell off much of his collection to help finance Thrillbent? In that case, he may not have much left at home to justify what he's said, if at all.

And again, hard to see how a guy who created Irredeemable and went along with DC's direction when he was still writing for them is making the argument now without acknowledging clearly that they committed some grave offenses in Identity Crisis, or admitting that he regrets any mistakes he made by lending them his services at the time. Interestingly enough though, when CBR's Robot 6 highlighted Paste's interview, he replied in the comments with the following about the ending of 52:
...to the issue of ‘I think Waid wrote the story in which the Elongated Man was “brutally killed.’”–for the record, no, the entire back half of that one sequence (52 Week 42?) was the one sequence in the entire series that was actually written not by any of the 52 writers; I haven’t the time or inclination to get into the whole backstory right now, but after handing in numerous last-second rewrites on “Ralph’s End,” all of which were 180 degrees from what we’d been telling our bosses all along what we were building to and all of which still allowed Ralph to die with, apparently, too much intelligence and dignity, I gave up. I told the editor I couldn’t do what was being asked, and the other three 52 writers (to their credit) stood in solidarity with me and wouldn’t touch those pages either.

Those sorts of changes are, of course, absolutely the full prerogative of editorial to make. No argument. Their sandbox, etc. If you’re freelancing for any company, they can change the work however they please, their right. I just wish our four names weren’t on a comic that, in large part, none of us actually wrote.
Okay, maybe he didn't write the ending where Ralph Dibny went to the next world, but he's still guilty of agreeing to send Ralph slumming in a sad, humorless story that otherwise made no attempt to resurrect Sue Dibny or exonerate Jean Loring of the killing (and the story featuring her in 52 is also repellant). And, he admits it himself that he was still quite willing to send Ralph along with Sue to ghostland. In that case, he's no better than J. Michael Stracynski. So what's he trying to prove then? He's never shown the courage to state publicly that he recognizes Identity Crisis as the misogyny-strewn mess it was, and to make matters worse, he was quite fine with splitting up Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson, an idea that stemmed from the same mindset that led to the direction Identity Crisis was built on too.

In fact, that's also why his claim he's not offended from a moral perspective is pretty weak too, because the lack of morale is another reason why superhero and adventure comics have become so awful.

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I'd love to see comics like when I was a kid.

I'd like to see a return to the pre-Bendis, pre-Didio/Johns, pre-Quesada world of comics.... back to when comics actually were good.

Remember, Mark Waid, like all of the Spider-writers at the time, was pretty hostile to fans who were opposed to One More Day/Brand New Day.

"I'd like to see a return to the pre-Bendis, pre-Didio/Johns, pre-Quesada world of comics.... back to when comics actually were good."

Ditto. Is there *any* way to get the companies to understand this?

I doubt if the minions of Quesdidio ever figure it out again in our lifetimes. Probably would have to start fresh with a new universe or somehow change society as a whole so that it trickles down to them. Meanwhile, I'll be reading my cool new Showcase Presents: GHOSTS book.

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