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WAITING FOR TOMMY: JASON LIEBIG
By Richard Johnston

And so Marvel Knights happened. The structure of the deal was annoying to someone working in editorial row. We had all sorts of limitations regarding budgets, computer coloring, and scheduling that Marvel Knights ultimately got to ignore. As I said to Joe Quesada shortly before I was fired, if I had a MONTHLY book in MY office that came out 13 times in two years (as in his OWN Daredevil), I would have been let go, or at LEAST the book would have changed offices to get it on time. Marvel Knights didn't have those restrictions, and that was definitely a note of frustration, certainly for me.

So many things annoyed me as an editor. I was thrilled that Marvel Knights put out an exceptional Punisher series when they did, but they had the luxury to fail miserably with two previous Punisher series. No one would have gotten that many swings of the bat, but they did. It seemed as if Marvel Knights got to use more money, have more time, with less restrictions, all so that they could look good in relation to the standard editorial row. It shouldn't have been a shock, then, that a percentage of the time, it worked. They put out a few really nice books, and some stinkers, but a few really nice books.

 

BATMAN: HUSH HARDCOVER

So ultimately, to me at least, Marvel Knights was a perfect example of another executive "pet project" at Marvel. A new president gets hired at Marvel. They want to make an impression, so they fiddle with editorial. First it was Heroes Reborn, then Marvel Knights, and ultimately later on... the Ultimates. Well, every president creating those projects has a personal vested interest in seeing those succeed, and they have the power to pull purse strings and schedule strings to make sure they DO succeed. Right or wrong, it was just fabulously annoying, when we had to struggle at the time just to get computer coloring on a small percentage of our books.

RICHARD: You were there when the 'coup' happened - Bob Harras and his cohorts deposed, Joe Quesada instated and Bill Jemas' role made more public. How much of a surprise was this, and how did it go over?

JASON: I WAS there when the coup happened, and I was one of Bob Harras' cohorts. I can only speak for myself about how this went over when I say that I saw Bob Harras, a man I respected, and whom I was intensely loyal to, get fired. The editor-in-chief position had been a tough one for the years leading up to this. Leading an editorial department through a bankruptcy and a rotating door of presidents could not have been easy. It didn't look it from where I was sitting, so a part of me was happy for Bob to get out of what had become a thankless position. But you also see someone whom you respect and who had given a company over a decade of their life get pushed out, it ain't pretty. And the truth is pretty ugly on this. Joe went after that job, and he had to go after Bob to get it. Make no mistake. Coup d'etat is a more accurate term. Look it up: "the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government". Quesada worked hard to make it happen.

As for Joe Q? I liked Joe Quesada up to that time. As for Bill Jemas, I just thought he was another loud-mouth (and somewhat angry) president at that point. Ultimately, for me, the change went over badly. I was really pissed off. And I am not one to keep my opinions to myself. I don't rely on the internet to vent, I tell people to their faces what I think of them. (This interview being a rather ironic twist on that, but I guess I'm only doing this once.) And as the weeks went on, I began to see that much of what was being talked about in the press (and there was an exponential increase in the amount of talking to the press when Joe and Bill took over) was how horrible the previous administration had been. Well, I WAS that previous world, and I took it personally. Also, I thought a lot of what was being said by Bill & Joe was self-serving bullsh*t.

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

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