UPCOMING PRODUCT
EVERYTHING STAN LEE!
INCENTIVES
THIS JUST IN!
COMIC BOOKS
TRADE PAPERBACKS
HARDCOVERS
3D SCULPTURES
CGC GRADED COMICS
LITHOGRAPHS AND POSTERS
TRADING CARDS
PRODUCT ARCHIVE
DF DAILY SPECIAL
CONTEST
The All-New Comicon.com! from comicon.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WAITING FOR TOMMY: ETHAN VAN SCIVER
By Richard Johnston

I first came across Ethan Van Sciver's work on Cyberfrog years ago, when it seemed the colour indie boom was about to do what the B&W indie boom did earlier. Cyberfrog was a frenetic, action-packed tale of an amphibian cyborg and it certainly made an impression on my young eyes. Since then, Ethan has made a name for himself on superhero work, keeping that same energy but finding more subtle ways to express it. His recent work on New X-Men gave him prominence, as has his devil-may-care attitude about what he says and who he says it about on internet message boards. A natural for Waiting For Tommy you might think. You might think right.

RICHARD JOHNSTON: If you could take young Ethan, about to start work on Cyberfrog, what advice would you give him? And how much of it would you think you'd have listened to?
ETHAN VAN SCIVER: I'd have listened to anything I would have said to myself. I always have.

I was about 19 when I started Cyberfrog. I came from a very large and very poor Mormon family, and my mom and dad were divorcing right at the moment I got involved with Harris Comics. We lived in South Jersey at the time, and they both decided to live far away from home and each other. Harris Comics literally became my family at that point, and the excitement and awe of getting paid to do comics was as close to a band-aid as possible for having a fresh broken home. And the money was better than anything I'd ever seen before. So I was absolutely miserable and angry and happier than I'd ever been, all at the same time. I was travelling, meeting professionals, and having books published and read by comic book fans.

If I could go back now, I would tell myself to stop buying up all of those horrible toys with the money I was making. TOY BIZ and Star Wars was not the answer to finding a lost childhood. I wish that money had gone into the bank. Also, I would have found a collaborator to write Cyberfrog with me. But circumstances being what they were, I don't have too many regrets. Things turned out okay.

 

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

RICHARD: You're talking to a man sitting opposite a row of Clerks toys so... what do you make to the nostalgia boom that's been erupting through comics over the last few years? Another symptom of the same problem?
ETHAN: I guess so. To be honest, I haven't thought much about the nostalgia boom (which seemed more like a whimper to me) in that light. I suppose I believe that this generation is the first one to really want to hold on to the things of their childhood, and not place such a high value on growing up. Which is fine with me.

In my own case, it was the mere fact that I was the second oldest of nine children, and therefore, I didn't get any toys. I would get a few Star Wars figures, C3PO over and over again, but it hurt somehow that I didn't have what the other kids had. When I was very small, (and this is utterly pathetic) I would take the backs of the cards that the Star Wars figures came packed on...remember how they used to have a big shot of all of the individual figures that were available there? Well, I'd take a pair of scissors and cut them out, one by one and play with them. I think I wanted to buy toys for that kid, the kid that had to do that.

RICHARD: Oh that brings back memories. well you're a big boy now, and have put aside foolish things. Or so it seems. How have you found the internal politics of both Marvel and DC? You've worked/are working on Impulse, Flash, Wolverine, New X-Men, all of which have attracted attention, publisher/editor/creator conflict and general unease in their time, while being quite an outspoken individual. How does a creator cope at a time when other people on the project are divided?
ETHAN: I've said before that I prefer the "internal politics" of DC, and that's pretty much how I feel. Marvel feels chaotic to me. Maybe that comes through in their product, and perhaps that's part of their appeal. But I'll be absolutely upfront here. I went to Marvel to work on New X-Men the same way a young man joins the Marine Corps. It wasn't really something I wanted to do, but it was clear that I needed to do it to take that next step in life. I had conversations with the editors I had established relationships with at DC beforehand. They were a terrific support. Although if I had stayed at DC following IRON HEIGHTS, I probably could have done almost anything, I knew, and they were good enough to agree with me, that working with Grant Morrison on X-MEN would finally break me out. I told them I'd be back, shortly.

I had NO interest in X-Men. It seemed like a relic out of my childhood that I didn't care to return to. I also didn't really care to work with Grant Morrison, since I had a longstanding rule that I'd only work with writers that I was on equal footing with. The writer and artist should serve each other, that's how good comics are made. When the scales are unbalanced, things don't feel right in the book itself. Nevertheless, on to war. DC had given me lots of self-confidence. And so did the fans.

Within the first few weeks at Marvel, I was dealt a devastating, ugly and underhanded blow when I was shown the private email of Grant Morrison to X-Men editorial regarding my work thus far on the series, over the charade of being taken to lunch. I had been told that the work I was doing was 'lovely, and Grant was very impressed by it'. They didn't have the balls to tell me what was really going on, and so they sat me in front of a computer to read 'Grant's brilliant plans for Cyclops', which turned out to be something completely different. I learned through the email that no less than three other artists were chosen by Marvel Comics to fill in on the title, without Grant's consent. I was the fourth, and he was very unhappy.

You've got to understand, this sort of tactic was utterly ALIEN to me. I wasn't prepared too be lied to by my bosses like that. I wasn't used to being kept that much in the dark about how my writer was feeling. Usually, I correspond with them. And here I was, three weeks into a two year exclusive contract and this sort of sh*t was what I had to look forward to.

Frankly, I couldn't draw anymore. I would sit at my table and just stare at it, convinced that I had no talent, no hope, and had been swindled away from a situation where I had been creatively flourishing. But I had a family to support. I wrote a stammering, apologetic email to Grant, telling him I wasn't aware of what was going on, and I would happily quit if that would be better. He wrote back the sweetest, most sincere letter to me expressing sympathy for me and rage at them for invading his privacy, and said we'd be fine working together. I never told Joe Quesada what happened. I didn't know if he knew or not, and I figured it'd be better if I kept it to myself.

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 Continued Here...

Latest News
Updated: 09/23/19 @ 1:30 am

1. MARVEL WAITING UNTIL AFTER 'AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.' TO REBOOT INHUMANS

2. EMMYS: 'GAME OF THRONES' TAKES ONE LAST BOW WITH FINAL AWARDS HAUL

3. 'SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME' GAG REEL ONLINE

4. 'SUPERGIRL': SEASON 5 EXTENDED PREMIERE TRAILER RELEASED

5. 'FEAR THE WALKING DEAD': SEASON 5 FINALE TRAILER RELEASED



DF Interviews
RODNEY BARNES



CNI Podcast
EPISODE 980 - SHINING THE CNI SIGNAL!

Reviews: King Thor #1, Pretty Deadly: The Rat #1, Steeple #1


Newsletter Sign-up


Dynamic Forces & The Dynamic Forces logo ® and © Dynamic Forces, Inc.
All other books, titles, characters, character names, slogans, logos and related indicia are ™ and © their respective creators.
Privacy Policy