A post from my long-ago Marvel blog, this one an example of a positive interaction with then-Marvel Editor in Chief Joe Quesada. I don’t remember what photo was posted with this story originally, so I substituted what I could.
All right, I need to leave out some of the specifics so as to protect the participants, but here’s a perfect example of why I and so many other people like Joe Quesada, the most hated man in comics.
A number of months ago, a particular editor assigned a particular artist to draw a certain title. This choice was controversial in certain circles, and there was a whole lot of hand-wringing and second-guessing as to whether the artist in question was the best selection for the gig. Joe himself made no bones about the fact that he was concerned about the choice.
So right here, thing one: he let the editor’s assignment stand–he didn’t ask for the assignment to be revoked, even though the artist in question hadn’t begun drawing yet, and it would have been a simple enough thing to do, and well within his rights as editor in chief. Instead, he chose to trust his editor’s judgment.
As the first issue was being drawn, the editor tried to make Joe feel more comfortable by forwarding him pages from the issue as they got done. But Joe just wasn’t feeling it.
Eventually, the book in question came out, and the response to the artist’s work was overall positive. So that’s a win. But on top of that, once the book hit the stands, Joe Q sent the editor in question the following e-mail (slightly edited here so as to eliminate any tells):
Just got done reading this issue and seeing it all put together, lettering,
coloring etc., I think you made a smart call with _______________. As I said, I’m a
big fan of his work but I didn’t think he would be suitable for _____________________________.
I was wrong, you were right. Great call, good job.
That said, what’s been the fan reaction as of right now. We could both be wrong 😉
Right there, that’s one of the reasons why I like Joe Q. Even if he’d had a change of heart when he saw the final product, he didn’t have to say so–and beyond that, he didn’t have to put it in writing. Any number of other guys wouldn’t have addressed the issue at all, for fear of looking weak or foolish or whatever. Joe, though, is man enough to say that he was wrong, and praise the original call.
(And just to be clear about this, I wasn’t the editor.)
Of course, none of these good feelings are enough to prevent me from posting the photo at the left…