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WAITING FOR TOMMY: JASON LIEBIG
By Richard Johnston

Shortly before I was let go from Marvel, I was in a meeting with Joe Quesada. Joe had told me I could "be frank" with him. If Joe Quesada or Bill Jemas tells you they can take an honest opinion, don't believe them. Tell them what they want to hear. Well, I told Joe that I had read a lot of negative comments about the pre-Joe/Bill Marvel, and it bothered me. And I read in one particular article that Joe Quesada had "earned the editor-in-chief's position". Well, I was sitting in Joe's office, and I said to Joe's face that when I read that, and let me quote this: "Joe, when I read that, I think F**k Joe Quesada!". He told me to be frank, and I felt at that moment I had to be. And I was. Understand, I was telling Joe what I felt when I read these articles. I did NOT tell him to f**k off, as I believe the story devolved into. I suspect the reception on Joe's end was the same.

In retrospect, I'm sure I could have communicated my emotions differently, but I had learned to behave with a level of directness with Bob Harras, and I saw no reason to not be as direct with Joe. But I found that Joe required something less than that level of frankness...

Hey, at least I was honest.

RICHARD: In many ways you were doing what Joe Quesada began to do - put non-traditional Marvel names onto Marvel titles. Warren Ellis, Steven Grant, Whilce Portacio, Brian Wood, Steve Pugh - yet you found yourself fired.

What reasons were given, did you see it coming, and what was the fallout?

JASON: Well, I don't know that I was doing it BEFORE them. Really, Heroes Reborn showed me something, and Marvel Knights reinforced that idea. I looked to those things when I started forming ideas for Counter-X -- Jimmy Palmiotti was quite helpful in giving me advice regarding Counter-X, if you must know. He explained a lot of the approach of Marvel Knights to me, and it gave me ideas about how to approach Counter-X. But Counter-X was toward the end of my Marvel career.

Early on, I was lucky enough to help champion Jim Mahfood doing the Generation X Underground Special (Scott Lobdell was the man who brought his work to my attention). While working with Jim, and due to it, other non-traditional comic talent names would cross my desk. And I called many of them about the possibility of doing Marvel Work. Some of those names are now super-hero stars...

A funny story: Although it never happened, while we were still working on creative teams for Heroes RETURN, I endlessly lobbied Bob Harras and Mark Powers to put Mike Allred on the Fantastic Four when the book came back to Marvel. I had two hour-plus-long conversations with Mike Allred regarding this back then. As I remember, Mike was into it, but only for a limited run, and on condition that Jay Stephens be involved. I thought it would have been great. Bob was initially intrigued by the idea, but I seem to remember Bob finally telling me it wouldn't work, after having discussed the idea with Mark Waid (kinda ironic, seeing as he would go on to do some great work on the book years later, from what I understand). Mike Allred on FF probably wouldn't have sold, but I loved the idea, and it would have been fun. It was nice to see Mike Allred finally get his hands dirty with some Marvel Characters years later. But that was one of my crazier ideas back then.

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

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