Blah Blah Blog – Twenty

A post from my old Marvel blog commemorating the 20th anniversary of my first day as a Marvel intern. I just passed my 33rd anniversary in this respect earlier this month.


June 5, 2009 | 1:00 AM | By Tom_Brevoort | In General

Today marks the twentieth anniversary of my first day as a Marvel intern. So it’s not quite my actualy twnetieth anniversary, but close enough. On the one hand, it feels like no time at all has gone by, on the other, it feels like it’s been forever.

In that time, I’ve been fortunate enough to work alongside a lot of talented people, and to produce my share of memorable quality comic books (and a stack of stinkers as well, despite my best efforts.)

Almost every aspect of the business has changed in that time. When I first arrived at Marvel, there was only one small computer in the place, and I was more knowledgable about how to use it than virtually everybody else. Lettering was still done on the actual art boards, and the boards themselves were sent both between the various contributing artists and eventually out to the printer as well. Coloring was done using color guides, xerox copies of the artwork that would be colored using a variety of dyes. Old ladies working at a separations house for peanuts would then create the individual film for each page using the guides as a basis. There were only 64 color possibilities, maximum.

I’ve lived through the boom years of the early ’90s, the rise of the Image creators, the explosion of new companies, the advancements in digital coloring and digital lettering, Marvelution and the fragmenting of editorial into five fiefdoms, the reunification of editorial under Bob Harras, the Marvel Bankruptcy and the waves of mass-firings that laid off two-thirds of the staff, the outsourcing of titles and characters to Extreme and Wildstorm, Heroes Return, the beginnings of Marvel Knights, the turnaround of Marvel’s fortunes, the creation of the Ultimate line and the restoration of Marvel as a creative force. I’ve been around for something like a dozen Marvel movies and twice that many animated cartoons.

I’ve worked with the greats of yesteryear, and helped to find, foster and develop the greats of today. And hopefully tomorrow.

I’ve worked for four Editor in Chiefs, and alongside four more. I’ve had twelve assistant editors, some of whom got promoted along the way, as well as three subordinate editors.

I’ve not yet been at Marvel for half of my lifetime, but it’s getting close–a few more years will do it. I’ve been editing AVENGERS for more than half of my professional life, longer than anyone else.

There is nobody else from my generation left in editorial (though Ralph Macchio, who precedes me by more than a decade, is still on staff.) The next most tenured person after me is Joe Q, who’s only been attached to Marvel since the start of Marvel Knights in 1998. I am the last man standing from a generation.

And I still love doing this.

This weekend a big crowd of people who worked at the Marvel of the ’80s and ’90s are getting together for a big reunion. And while I wish them all the best, I won’t be attending myself. I’ve got no need for a Marvel reunion–I haven’t left yet.

More later.

Tom B

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