A post from my old Marvel blog reporting back after one of our frequent Marvel creative summits. (The photo below isn’t from the Retreat being talked about, but a much later one–best I could lay hands on.)
April 28, 2007 | 1:00 AM | By Tom_Brevoort | In General
So our creative summit ended yesterday—three days’ worth of intense creative brainstorming that, as usual, was invigorating, frustrating, terrifying, mind-expanding and chaotic. It’s always a wild ride at these things—as Steve Wacker says, they’re exactly what most people think we do all day every day—sit around and debate whether the Hulk is stronger than Thor (Jeph Loeb was at this meeting and JMS wasn’t, so this week the Hulk wins…)
I obviously can’t tell you any of the specifics of what was discussed—it’ll all come out in the books over the next year-and-a-half. But I can tell you that there was the typical balance between good-natured camaraderie and all-out screaming fights—some of them not even involving me. But it was ultimately productive, and we wound up with a bunch of good new ideas and a lot of food for thought that will turn into good ideas over the next two or three weeks as people digest what was said.
And we had some nice meals (Five Guys Famous Burgers & Fries) and some nice get-togethers along the way. It was great to meet Matt Fraction face-to-face, and it’s always a pleasure to spend time talking with Allan Heinberg. I sat in on a couple of minutes of a smaller X-MEN discussion and got to see how Axel Alonso runs such a group, and get a glimpse into what his crew is planning for after Messiah Complex, much of which sounded very cool to this very jaded old X-Men fan.
There’s a ton of great stuff percolating up ahead. I swear, at one point I thought I could feel the DC Comics building up the block shudder a little.
2 thoughts on “Blah Blah Blog – Post-Retreat”
Seeing the writers, Bendis in particular, makes me wonder how often Tom’s idea “Creators get the credit, editors get the blame” is true. Tom’s shown in other posts that some of the good ideas on Brian’s Avengers run were from behind the scenes, from editorial. Looking at Brian’s recent stint writing the Superman books, Bendis gets a lot, most, of the blame in the backlash to/for the portrayal of Jor-El, Superman’s secret ID going public, aging Jon Kent, and changing the cause of Krypton’s destruction. But how much of that was really just Bendis, and how much of it came from DC corporate? Anyway, I think it depends on the profile of the creators. High profile creators could get more blame, because of the assumption that they’d have more freedom than a less known talent, and so the decisions could mostly be their own, including the ideas that were booed.
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I think you’re on to something. My suspicion is that Tom’s line is meant to be the mindset that the editors adopt to manage expectations and instill a sense of responsibility — rather than a rigorous analysis that applies to every situation. It may be impossible to truly know.
You’re right to ask “HOW MUCH” because creative collaboration is a fuzzy process and is rarely consistent from one project to another. Hell, even the people involved in the process may not agree on who is more responsible for a choice (human memory is astonishingly malleable and faulty).
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