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WAITING FOR TOMMY: JASON LIEBIG
By Richard Johnston

As for climbing the ladder beyond that. I learned and studied under Mark Powers and Bob Harras. I watched the examples they set, listened to every story from every editor, creator and artist that I was fortunate enough to come into contact with, and applied my own passion and sometimes frustrations to the problems you encounter in an editorial office. It was great fun, and everyday was an adventure. I listened to everyone who came in, and being in the office of the EIC, that meant a lot of people.

I learned a lot, and aside from the practical editorial knowledge I learned from Mark & Bob, I learned their ethical principles. Let me be more specific: I listened when Bob said, for example, that you shouldn't take artwork as gifts from artists, because as an editor, it's a conflict of interest. "That artwork is food on the table of the artists' families." And I listened to how dangerous it could be to allow editors to also write comics for the company they worked for, and how incestuously disastrous the results could be. And a million other things. I watched how Mark and Bob approached the press; not by doing a lot of talking, but by working on their books. Neither one of these guys was looking to see their name (or their pictures) in Wizard.


NEW X-MEN VOL. 1: E IS FOR EXTINCTION TPB

That's not why they were in this business. They were trying to make sure that the stories coming out of the X-office were compelling AND successful. Not always easy to do, but that was the mission. So I listened, I learned, and some of the time, I fought against what I heard. I fought with Bob. One of my favorite memories was arguing with Bob about skimpy costumes. I seem to remember that my argument went that "back when you were the editor of the X-Men, Rogue appeared popping out of a bathtub covered only in suds." And "now I have to lower Jean Grey's skirt?!?" Ah, great fun. My feeling was that Bob had gotten a little less reckless now that he was editor-in-chief, but I eventually realized that he was trying to protect more than just the lives of a bunch of fictional characters -- he was trying to preserve the jobs of his editors: a responsibility that Bob took extremely seriously. So we would on occasion fight, but ultimately, Bob, Mark and myself were a team, and it was a fun office to share.

Mark and I moved out of that office after a year, and around a year after that, changes occurred that allowed us to bring all of the X-Books under two editorial offices, Mark and myself. So I was promoted to full editor, and that's where I remained until the day I left. About a million stories in-between, but there you go, that's how I "climbed the ladder of Marvel."

RICHARD: Well let's look at one story. What was the Marvel internal reaction to Joe and Jimmy setting up Event Comics in-house as Marvel Knights?

JASON: Marvel Knights? I can't speak for the rest of Marvel at the time, as I don't really remember everyone's reaction, but I was pissed. And it wasn't because I didn't like Jimmy & Joe. Let me explain.

Well-before Marvel Knights, on the week that Heroes Reborn launched with Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld (and to great sales success), Bob Harras called a meeting, asking us if we thought that Marvel Editorial could have done Heroes Reborn WITHOUT Jim & Rob?

A valid question at the time. I said something to the effect of, "yes, but we'd have to have some mighty big balls to do it." Think about it: Firing all of your creative teams, and setting up the new teams with months of advance planning, time and so on. Of course, some of the flare of Heroes Reborn was that it simply was taking place outside of Marvel, and that you couldn't create from within...

Well, when Marvel Knights showed up, it felt like Heroes Reborn all over again. Once again, someone was coming in from the outside saying they could "do it better", as long as they didn't have to follow any of the rules we had to follow, and as long as their budgets were handled differently.

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 Continued Here...

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