A post from my ancient Marvel blog concerning the fact that it’s the creators, not the editors and back-staff, that readers care about.
Read a piece over the weekend in which, in speaking about a particular project that had recently been completed to some acclaim, an editorial personality complimented the sales, marketing and production teams, as well as himself and his fellow editors, on the success of the series. One group, however, was missing from his litany of back-patting:
Now, maybe it simply goes without saying that the creators are those most responsible for the quality of any given project on which they work. Still, to list off everybody else in the pipeline without even mentioning them struck me as a very odd way to run a railroad.
There was a time at Marvel, way back when I first started here, when the common wisdom at the company was that the editors were the ones who made the comics, and the creators were just the tools they used to get the job done. I didn’t buy into that line of thinking then, and I don’t now either. It assumes that all creators are created equal, more or less, and that simply isn’t the case. I can instantly tell the difference between a story penciled by a world-class talent and one drawn by only a nation-class talent, and so can you.
Myself and my fellow editors work damn hard, but without the creators, without those talented people who write and illustrate and embellish and paint and letter these stories month in and month out, we have nothing. And Marvel has remained on top for so long by both attracting the best, most talented people we can, and then giving them the freedom and the respect to follow their muses and create the stories they want to create.
And absolutely, the sales, marketing and production personnel make miracles happen, and aren’t often lauded for it publicly, so there’s nothing wrong with tipping your hat in their direction. But not at the expense of the people who gave them something to sell and market and produce in the first place.
The creators are the stars. Everybody else is just the Key Grip and the Gaffer to one extent or another.