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Waiting For Tommy XXIV
By Richard Johnston

Interview with Bill Jemas

THE TRUTH #1 – SIGNED BY ARTIST KYLE BAKER!
RICHARD: That is not an answer. Okay, for a start, Mark Millar, in a previous interview in this series stated that the Ultimate books were not intended for children. He said "The Ultimate line was never about comics aimed at children. Bill and Joe were very, very clear about this from the start because they knew, from experience, that these kinds of books didn't work." Is he lying?

BILL: I've always said that Ultimates are written for intelligent 12 year olds - you can look it up.

RICHARD: Okay, there's young readers and then there's young readers. But can you see a perversity in using comic

characters intended for children to tell adult stories? What would your reaction be to hearing about Disney publishing Winnie The Pooh: The Crack Years on CNN?

BILL: How about VH1's, "Behind the Pooh?"

RICHARD: And the question?. Using characters intended for all-ages audiences to tell adult stories. Do you see an inherent problem?

BILL: Yes, I see a problem with the proposition that certain characters are "intended for all ages" because the relevant "intent" is that of the person writing the book at hand.

RICHARD: I look forward to hearing your kids extol the virtues of the Tigger Video: What He Did With His Tail Next, from Miramax.

Talking of the intent of the person writing the book, that doesn't always seem to be what comes through on the printed page. Your Editor-in-Chief and leading light Joe Quesada said that the trick of being editor was to hire the talent and then get out of the way. Given reports from the likes of Steve Uy on Eden's Trail, Gail Simone on Agent X and Night Nurse, Mike Grell on Iron Man, Robert Weinberg on Cable, Brian Wood and David Choe on NYX, Joe Casey on Uncanny X-Men, would you say that policy is in effect at Marvel?

BILL: Did Joe say Marvel is a catcher's mitt? Everybody gets to write the book they want to write. Then, either the line editor, or Joe or me - and ultimately the readers - decide whether their book gets, and stays, in print.

RICHARD: But in a number of the stated cased, it's more about editorial changing the work, so creators leave or ask for their name to be removed. It's not just a case of whether a book gets printed or not.

BILL: You are relying on rumors, and this one has a very low rating.

RICHARD: Very specifically, Gail Simone left Agent X over creative differences with the editor. Steve Uy has talked in detail about the changes made to Eden's Trail, and asked for his name to be taken off. Other creators have told me the similar stories (though not wishing to be named). I am not relying on rumors, Bill. The creative freedom extolled by Joe is enjoyed by some, not all...

BILL: Rich, I know you'd like a nice juicy quote or two, but you are barking up the wrong vine. The more you understand about the creative process, the more you know that the editor/writer relationship can't be boiled down to slogans like "creative freedom". Gail and Steve are talented people, but those two projects didn't work.

Continued here...

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