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WAITING FOR TOMMY
By Richard Johnston

RICHARD: So who is writing Fantastic Four then? Any ideas? And is it true they already have a written script and bible?
FELICIA: Here's the thing I'm unclear of at this point. The plans to fire Waid were in the works for a while. I don't think anyone aside from Joe and Bill knew the EXACT time frame.

But it was between the time they decided to fire him and the time that they actually did it, that Bill Jemas either worked on what he was going to eventually release, or had some kind of middle person come up with a short story to smooth over the transition which would be the switching of gears from Waid to Jemas.

One thing I can tell you without a doubt, is that either of these plans lead ultimately to Bill Jemas writing the book. And both you and I know that isn't a very good thing.

RICHARD: Well, I liked Marville 4 and 5. I may be alone in this, but I did... FELICIA: Are you serious?

RICHARD: Mmm. A bit Promethea Lite, but quite engaging with interesting ideas. All together now. "It takes Diff'rent strokes."
FELICIA: (PAUSE) Yes. Anyway. The way Joe is going to make sure what he said about Jemas comes true is by putting on some mid-level creator on the book. That way, if fans stay angry enough, maybe they'll even leave him on it, just to "prove" Jemas was never going to write FF.

So going back earlier to the other question, Marvel did get hurt from this decision. Mainly because Waid pre-emptively announced that he was fired and added that Jemas was replacing him. I think it was the timing combined with the decision that did them in...

RICHARD: So what now for Felicia?
FELICIA: Well, I need to wait how this whole thing goes over. I need to see who Marvel goes after or how they react. Maybe they'll tie up a few loose ends, start treating people a bit worse over this whole thing. I really hope not. I'm feeling somewhat guilty over it as it is.

But the part that keeps me talking is how they only flinched. Expect this not to be the last wacky Bill Jemas antic you hear about. He doesn't care about what some faceless female has to say about him or the company, so he'll continue to do his numbers, and like I said, so long as people over there keep getting treated like garbage, I'll be hearing about it. And so will you.

Also, to clarify, he doesn't care in the sense that he'll keep doing what he does. After all he cared enough to make them scramble around yesterday to cover up for that jackass move.

(LONG PAUSE)


MARVILLE #1 SPOT FOIL SIGNED VERSION

RICHARD: Sorry, yes?
FELICIA: I was going to say something about some other creators that may defend Joe, but I thought to hold my tongue.

RICHARD: Might be best... don't want to get anyone else into trouble... FELICIA: Absolutely.

RICHARD: This has certainly been an interesting one, will you keep posting on the Bendis boards? You seemed to give them a farewell message...
FELICIA: When Bendis came down to tell me I had no idea what I was talking about, it was kind of stunning. Because on one hand, I knew what I said was fact and in the other someone who I have an incredible amount of respect for was basically calling me a liar.

Which brought me to think the little fact I had forgotten while I was caught in the midst of all this. That Bendis and Joe are really, really good friends. But I have to wonder if Bendis is biased, sticking up for Joe, or if Joe or someone really told him that there was no meeting.

Bill can force Joe to lie for him now, it's been this way for a while now. Bill can also tell editors to lie on his behalf, and most of them do so reluctantly. So if Bendis gets his info from someone at Marvel, especially with the kind of pressure there is over there right now over all this, then who's to say that Bill won't make sure everyone will cover for him?

So I thought, you know what?... Bendis himself is thinking I'm a pretty sh***y person, though he doesn't really want to say it to me. So eventually, if I stay at that board, I might end up slipping up and revealing who I am, because I am sure they are gonna keep a close eye now on what I'm saying.

You should see how many private messages I got asking what I was going to reveal next, because I said I would. So sticking around was simply a question of whether or not I wanted to risk my friend(s) job at Marvel.

RICHARD: Well, that all seems...
FELICIA: I want to say something to Joe, if he reads this. Joe, what happened to that guy who started Marvel Knights way back in the beginning, when he was appointed EIC after Harras and reflectively wrote about the feeling of being in charge?

You took the company and us to great places, and now it seems like you are no longer a shadow of the man you used to be. Bill Jemas tells you what to say, and you do what he tells you to do. I know you have a family to support, and you can't really stand up to the man, because he just lost it, but Joe, the old Joe, would stand up to this "lawyer" and self-proclaimed comics guru, the old Joe would find a way to stick it to him. Instead, you're standing around watching the very fabric of the company unravel before you, as editors and loyal workers walk out the door and are fired.

This fabric is the tapestry you wove these past years, and you're gonna let some punk tell you what to do? I know somewhere, behind all the fake smiles and grins over there between all of you, are real people.

Will you ever be real again Joe, or will you just stay around to make sure you have a means to support your family, which is completely understandable, but nonetheless, very sad.

Do you remember that time Marvel spoke about putting the best writers on the best books with little editorial interference? Well I think that's what this is kind of about. Marvel made all these promises, you did, about how it was going to be different this time around, but now it seems like there is some kind of repeating loop, where this regime will fall to similar mistakes from the past one.

RICHARD: Felicia, I think if nothing else, you've made your position very clear. Thank you for your time.

Felicia will also be contributing to this coming Monday's Lying In The Gutters by Rich Johnston.

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The Waiting For Tommy Archive

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