QUOTE OF THE WEEK!!!
"That’s one of the main struggles in this medium, anyway, is the struggle for sovereignty over storytelling and art. I believe this is a language. I think of it as a literary form. Comics is literature."
-Will Eisner (from an interview in HERO GETS GIRL! By TwoMorrows Publishing)
"I feel the same as the other winners ... proud and pleased by the approval of my peers. Of course I'm embarrassed at winning an award that has my name on it. But it will not stop me from continuing to produce the very best I can do. Perhaps I ought to change my name."
-Will Eisner (who won a 2002 Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album for his "The Name of the Game")
"I look at comic book sales – while we’re still heading down, there are bright spots, some books that are climbing upwards. We’re not out of it yet. I heard the mood at San Diego was upbeat, and I hope it was a cautious optimism, not one that we’ve already rounded the corner, and have smooth sailing ahead. I mean, if we continue touting major special events that people have waited years for, and then put out dreck like Dark Knight 2, we’re in big trouble."
"I know why I left Marvel but no one else in this universe knew or knows why. It may be of a mild interest to realize that Stan Lee chose not to know, to hear why, I left."
"I have always considered Steve Ditko to be Spider-Man's co-creator."
-Stan Lee (in a letter to Ditko)
"'Considered' means to ponder, look at closely, examine, etc. and does not admit, or claim, or state that Steve Ditko is Spider-Man's co-creator."
- Steve Ditko's response appeared in the May 2001 issue of THE COMICS
"At this point, I don't know what to say, I don't want this to turn into a feud, because I love the guy. But I don't know what to do to make him happy."
"What happened was that Marvel decided to return the pages to the artists, and they sent the releases out to the various artists that did work for them over the years. My release was quite different than the others. It was a release I couldn't sign, and that created a controversy. It mystified me; I don't know why I got this kind of a release. It was a four-page release; it was almost like a contract, whereas the average release was something I could sign. I would've signed it, and there would have been an ordinary exchange of release and pages. They created a situation in which I was stuck; it became a legal thing, and I'm sorry about the circumstance itself - but it was they who sent the release out, and it was I who can't sign it. So they kept my pages."
-Jack Kirby (from the 1986 KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles science fiction talk radio show, where Jack Kirby, Frank Miller, Mark Evanier, Arthur Byron Cover, and Steve Gerber discussed Jack's battle with Marvel Comics over the return of his original art.)
"It's very important to keep in mind that we're talking about an extraordinary situation here. Jack's work is the basic stuff that Marvel Comics has, across twenty years or so, turned into the most powerful comic book publisher in the country. The ideas that sprang from him into pictures - into a visual style they use full-time, all the time now - have not been credited to him by Marvel. Everyone in the industry, everyone anywhere near it, knows what his contribution was. Marvel is refusing to acknowledge this, and now they're withholding from him his own physical artwork which they are withholding from no one else. I read these documents they want him to sign; it's the most offensive legal creation I've ever read. It's very insulting."
-Frank Miller (from the 1986 KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles science fiction talk radio show, where Jack Kirby, Frank Miller, Mark Evanier, Arthur Byron Cover, and Steve Gerber discussed Jack's battle with Marvel Comics over the return of his original art.)
"My perspective on comics in general, is that I think we are not underestimating what kids can handle, but I think we are maybe not offering enough of a choice to them. I think that there are too many creations out there that aren't for kids at all. And that's fine for the industry to have a wide spectrum of bizarre and outrageous stuff, but we have to go the other way and offer a lot of variety in the all ages category. Give kids something to start with and grow up on. Unfortunately, we may have gotten too harsh and extreme for kids. We've all collected and are now grown up and want more types of comics that push the envelope subject-wise, but maybe we've forgotten what it was like to be just starting out collecting comics and appreciating the innocence in stories."
"Villains are as easy to identify in real life as they are in fiction. Yet sometimes they aren't. Basically, villains are people who cause damage to people's lives unnecessarily and unfairly. The world should get it's act together and start focusing far more on the good people than the bad. The news media, specifically, should think seriously of all the destruction they've caused by focusing on all the world's ills and the people who've caused them in the name of ratings and entertainment."
-Steve Rude (interviewed: http://www.comics2film.com/WFH/WFHRude.shtml)
"Bob Kane was, by all accounts, a strange guy. He didn’t have much talent, but he had a certain amount of luck, and most people know that Bob Kane was the creator of Batman, even if they don’t know that he didn’t write or draw any Batman stuff. No-one else who did anything got any credit in Bob Kane’s head. The other people who drew Batman – even Neal Adams, or Frank Miller, in Bob’s mind, were just his ‘ghosts’. The only thing that was important to Bob Kane was Bob Kane...
And I keep thinking of him after a conversation a couple of nights ago with Joe Quesada, Editor in Chief of Marvel. “Todd McFarlane says to tell you that on this Miracleman stuff, he’ll take it all the way. He’ll take it to the mat,” he said. “He told me to tell you, though, that if you could sort it all out by just getting in a room with him, man to man, and hammering out an agreement. And he made me promise to say that, if Neil keeps up, Todd’s going to go public with all the dirt on Neil he can find, and Neil’s fans won’t like him any more.”
And the last lingering shreds of respect I had for McFarlane just went away, like that."
-Neil Gaiman (Neil Gaiman's Journal: http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/journal.asp)
"The only complaints I get about my comics stuff (other than "He's late again...") is that there are too many useless words. Isn't that sad? Some folks want their dialogue short and sweet. Me? I always loved the overly dialogued books, so I write overly dialogued books. If folks don't dig that style, I discourage them from jumping onto any book I write."
"Once comics abandoned the newsstand market and went with the direct market, I think they began cutting themselves off from their wider audience. They began working seriously for a narrower audience for the first time. And the companies began producing a lot of material designed to appeal specifically to that narrower audience, a specialty audience, something that comics hadn't done before. A lot of wonderful work had been produced, including a lot of work that is no longer for kids--which I think is pretty nifty. But by essentially giving up the "kid" market, I think comics gave up much of their future audience. And maybe their future. If some way isn't found to reestablish a connection with that young audience, I would think that comics will keep heading in the direction it's going now, a field of specialty items for what is essentially a smaller and smaller coterie of readers."
"Life under (Jim) Shooter's reign was like life in any benevolent dictatorship. At least he had a vision and was passionate about it, and underneath him the suppressed masses had fun in their insurgency meetings, and eventual revolt that overthrew the despot."
"There is no scientific evidence to support the fact that comics keep people young. But there is something about the profession that keeps one feeling young. As for me, I am in pursuit of excellence. I have no time to get old."
"Personally, I'm sick of evil, particularly the psychotic, nihilistic garbage that's pitched as entertainment and has signaled the twilight of the comics era. All I have to do to witness evil in its highest form is to look out any window--it's FREE! I don't have to pay $2.95 to know that I'm surrounded by hatred, fear, destruction, and death. And I'll be damned if I'll endure having it thrown in my face by those who clothe their contempt for the rest of us with tragically-cool posing and bubble-gum arrogance.
…we are confronted with an avalanche of over-priced booklets in which it's no longer possible to distinguish between the heroes and the villains because of panels choked with numbingly repetitive fangs and claws, blood and gore, fan-boy rage and T&A chaos. Instead of social mythology, the lollipop esthetic has produced a monument of intellectual and moral poverty. It would be laughable if it wasn't so damned pathetic. Am I being too subtle?
I'd like to know what side YOU're on."
-Jim Steranko (The SPLASH- September 21, 2001)
"The Golden Age was, to me, about like the days of galley slaves. We were paid miserably and we were treated like unskilled factory workers. When the Golden Age ended we were all relieved, although we were out of work and many of us almost starved to death until we found other jobs. In my opinion, the Golden Age is golden only in retrospect."
"As a sort of novelty thing, like Joe Kubert - who answered for us the question, "What would happen if Stan Lee had created the DC Universe?" It would suck. Because according to Stan Lee, what DC needs is more pig-nosed super-heroes."
Frank Cho: Sometimes, I'd just like to tell the newspaper people to "stuff it." Let me do it my way...
Ray Cuthbert: Well, wait until you build up your circulation first, and then you can tell them whatever you want!
Frank Cho: Yeah, right. But at the rate it's going, it may be a while... (laughs).
"The strongest force behind artists who are seeking to have equity in the product they create is the direct-sales market."
-Will Eisner (WILL EISNER'S SHOP TALK- July 23, 1983)
"I think comic book people are outlaws. We SHOULD be outlaws."
-Frank Miller (paraphrasing from UNBREAKABLE DVD 2001)
"Okay, I came back to Marvel there. It was a sad day. I came back the afternoon they were going to close up. Stan Lee was already editor there, and things were in a bad way. I remember telling him not to close, because I had some ideas."
-Jack Kirby (WILL EISNER'S SHOP TALK- July 1982)
"My stuff was so contrary to what was going on, I learned lessons from that contrariness. The lesson seemed to be: you can decide what is going to happen. You don't have to do what a publisher wants, you don't have to do what sells. You can do anything you want, as long as you do it SO WELL that they can't say no."
-Neal Adams (WILL EISNER'S SHOP TALK- June 23,1983)
"We grow older; we don't necessarily grow up."
-Archie Goodwin (October 9, 1979)
"I've only been recently informed of Joe Quesada's promotion to editor in chief at Marvel. I don't know Joe well, but I do know him. I hope he'll strive to keep the flavor of the Marvel that we've always known and loved as in tact as possible. Hopefully, he can hold up under the pressure of the people that run the company who see comics just as a stock in trade commodity."
-Steve Rude (POPIMAGE Interview- http://www.popimage.com/industrial/102400steverude.shtml)
"And keep this in mind, if you lie down with dogs, you get fleas. If you lie down with tapeworms, you get [holds up a copy of Wizard] tapeworms [laughter]. I feel that’s over Hollywood. That’s the only reason publishers kow-tow over this rag, this bible written by Satan. Hollywood executives are notoriously poor readers. And they really are. Why do you think they hire people called "readers?" [Laughter]. Duh. Readers. Those are wanna be writers who provide coverage and that’s a term you’ve gotta love. Coverage. I mean we’re talking about scripts, not the damned Gulf War. These envious wanna-be writers provide coverage for executives who don’t read much. And get this, they’re proud of not reading. One TV guy I met, full of hyperactive disdain, he sniped at me, "I don’t read comic books. I read scripts." You’re lost pal."
-Frank Miller (Harvey Awards speech- April 27, 2001)
"The words editor and creative, first of all, don't belong in the same sentence. Editors are pretty much ballast that weigh down books, with very, very few exceptions. I will qualify that by saying I was brought up in comics under guys like Julie Schwartz, Murray Boltinoff, Dick Giordano, Joe Kubert, Ernie Colon, and then I graduated to people like Andy Helfer and Tara Berger - EDITORS. I don't know what the hell these guys in the offices are now. They're taking up space and using oxygen that could be put to better use! The cult of the editor has arrived in comic books full-blown, and to me, the cult of the director is almost as insidious as the whole "director" thing. It's like - take a "Steven Spielberg film." Well, what happened to the writer, the cinematographer, and everyone else involved? Yes, the editor is taking more creative control, but I would say that maybe one out of every ten editors is capable of actually doing it. Now, I'm not going to name any names, but I work with some talented people, and then I work with some people if given a chance, I'd push into traffic."
-Keith Giffen ( KOMIKWERK - April 2001- http://www.komikwerks.com/content/interviews/interview_giffen.html )
"(It’s probably because) the (comic book) industry is afraid to recognize that the creators are the pillars of the medium."
-Carlos Pacheco (COMICOLOGY #3 Spring 2001)
"Comics offers a medium of enormous breadth and control for the author, a unique, intimate relationship with its audience, and a potential so great, so inspiring, yet so brutally squandered, it could bring a tear to the eye."
-Scott McCloud (REINVENTING COMICS-2000)
"Working on an independent comic gives me total control of all aspects of the creation. I have talked to creators in other fields and even mainstream comics in which the creators’ vision is filtered through so many other people and there is usually disappointment in the final result."
-Stan Sakai (SEQUENTIAL TART interview March 2001)
"Contrary to what I've said in the past, an inker does far more than trace."
-Kevin Smith (January 8, 2001)
"Understand that the silent issues are a sort of celebration of the art form of sequential storytelling. I believe it was Neil Gaiman who said you could write words and it would be considered literature and you can draw pictures and it can be considered art, but put the two together and all of a sudden people look at it as a child's medium. We're just sort of branching out and showing people the beauty of what it is that we do with comics. It doesn't necessarily always need words. We can tell these stories in pantomime."
-Bill Jemas (Marvel President of Publishing, Licensing, and New Media- January 25, 2001)
"(SHOP TALK interviews) reinforced the feeling I always had about the fact that this (comics) is a valid literary form and also a valid field to be in. And when you talk to guys like Joe Kubert and Jack Kirby- as simple a guy as he was- you got the feeling that you were part of group of giants. That’s exactly what they were."
-Will Eisner (on his new book, SHOP TALK, 2001)
"Let me tell you, that was the hardest I ever worked to make nothing."
-Jeff Smith (after a two year attempt in developing the BONE animated movie, January 2001)
"No ifs ands or buts about it. Ownership and control of creative work by the creator who created it, or who assisted in its creation are, to me, absolutes. You can't hedge on it, modify it, chip away at it or rationalize it by the fact that there are a thousand people willing to go along with it. Work-made-for-hire and the advance game are exploitation, pure and simple. Ownership and control which do not constitute true ownership and control are just words. Empty rhetoric. You can forgive, or at least understand a company which takes control and ownership away; without exploitation, the companies do not exist."
-Dave Sim (Address to Pro/Con April 1, 1993)
" I LOVE superheroes. But don't say you're doing something bold and new, then do superheroes."
-John Byrne (COMICS INTERVIEW # 25 1985 prior to THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and WATCHMEN)
"(Popular humor) is heading toward the course and vulgar. The comic page has the same pressures. I got weary. (That pressure) comes from the public. It’s (SCARY MOVIE) the most vulgar movie ever produced by a mainstream Hollywood studio. It’s like car wrecks: They are fascinating, but it’s not good to spend too much time staring at them."
-Berke Breathed (Summer 2000)
"If you don't know who Kal-El is, you should'nt be producing "Superman"."
-Kevin Smith (after his experience in writing a SUPERMAN movie script- 1999).
"When you find out you've been standing in shit, you don't jump up and down to punish it; you walk away!"
-Alan Moore (after leaving DC Comics for the last time)
"Like everybody else of my generation, I knew the score coming in. I knew that I was playing with the company’s toys. I knew that any characters I created would be turned into cannon fodder for other people. I knew that when I was promised that nobody else would be allowed to write Elektra, I knew that promise would be kept right up until the moment it was convenient for them to break it, which is exactly what they did. I knew all my efforts wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans if some editor wanted my job, or had a buddy who did, and fired me. No matter how well the book was selling.
Don’t take my word for that one. Ask Chris Claremont. Ask Louise Simonson. Ask Jo Duffy."
-Frank Miller (Keynote Speech at the Diamond Comic Distributors Retailers Seminar- June 1994)
"The things of the moment, things of transience, that this culture will always throw in our face, but there are things that will transcend it because they’re based on a basic, simple truth about the human heart. For me, that calling is the medium of comic books."
-Steve Rude (COMIC BOOK ARTIST #8- May 2000)
"I think you really need to, as a writer, set things up so that people know there’s a depth and significance behind each character’s appearance. It like: Let’s try and do this by example and see if it works. If it DOESN’T work, I can always go back to being incomprehensible."
-Erik Larsen (COMIC BUYER’S GUIDE #1403-October 6, 2000)
"In terms of the last five years or so, the comic book industry has evolved into something... let me put it this way. I love the artform. Comic books themselves, I love. But I hate the industry that’s grown up around it. I hate what the industry has evolved into. I think the primary purpose of the comic book industry right now is screwing kids out of their allowance."
- Keith Giffen (THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #29-2000)
"If you want to know what it would be like to bump up against a completely alien race, like a close encounter or a first contact thing, go deal with animation and comic book people."
- Keith Giffen
"All aspects of comics have the potential for self-expression, even when economic survival is the artist’s main concern. There’s always room for a certain amount of ART."
-Scott McCloud (UNDERSTANDING COMICS-1993)
"To some, comics is a vibrant and exciting art form precisely because of its outlaw status, and the art establishment could do nothing to help it—and much to stifle and spoil it. But then again, art and the art establishment are hardly one and the same."
-Scott McCloud (REINVENTING COMICS-2000)
THE COMICS JOURNAL: "You think cartooning is a particularly good medium for showing how the artist feels?"
-BILL SIENKIEWICZ: "Cartooning cuts through all the shit, if it's done well."
"It’s the greatest strength and the greatest weakness of the discipline (inking) involved. The greatest strength because there is an inherent rightness, an inherent satisfaction in being able to reduce your focus and awareness to two microscopic points. It isn’t Zen-like. It is Zen. When it is working, you achieve a state of inner serenity and calm that is unmatched elsewhere in day-to-day life."
-Dave Sim (CEREBUS GUIDE TO SELF-PUBLISHING-1997)
"The way I see it right now, the Internet is a vehicle of transmission. And the vehicle of transmission does not alter the fact that comics is a language that combines image and text. Whether it's transmitted or broadcast over a computer screen or done digitally, it's still going to involve the same kind of intellectual process that anybody working in comics today has to employ. I don't believe that print will disappear. It may no longer dominate our communication world, but it will not disappear. The whole process of arranging images in a sequence to convey an idea--whether it's transmitted electronically or by paper and print--remains. The only difference is in the technological skills that are employed."
-Will Eisner (2000 interview from THE ONION: http://avclub.theonion.com/index.html)
"I think comic books are far more than two mutants trashing each other."
-Will Eisner (September 1986)