How Chris Sims Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Rob

dpoolbadbloodognhc-fcvr-158788Chris Sims is writing an original graphic novel with Chad Bowers, to be drawn by Rob Liefeld, Deadpool: Bad Blood. But hasn't Chris said a few negative things about Rob over the years? Well yes, Chris Sims has said negative things about most everything.

But people change, people move on, it's very churlish to compare what someone once said with what they say now and brand them as a hypocrite. It's a Daily Show speciality (a show Chris was on once!), but people do change their mind over time.

As it is with Chris Sims and "The Rob" as Chris dubbed him. Let's look at a timeline – what hasn't been lost or deleted at least.

In 1998, Chris recalled how he used to like Rob Liefeld as a young teenager. Really like him. And gave his Captain America #1 a hgh graded class report.

That original review has been lost to time, and the only things I really remember about it were that I thought it was super-deep and symbolic that Loeb and Liefeld decided to set Captain America's new origin in Philadelphia — or as I phrased it back then, "his beloved Philadelphia" — because, you know, that was the nation's first capital and stuff. I should probably go ahead and say that 14-year-old Chris was pretty dumb about a lot of stuff.

Ten years later as a respected Batmanologist, he was a lot less kind. In January 2009 he wrote,

Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #53 is the worst comic book I own.

It's tempting to say that it's the worst comic I've ever read, but let's be honest here: It might be in the running, but I read three issues of Rob Liefeld's Youngblood and that Jeph Loeb Buffy comic just last month, so it's up against some stern competition on that front.

Still, when you look at something like Youngblood, you get the idea that Rob Liefeld just couldn't do any better. Maybe, if he wasn't hampered by his (considerable) lack of skill as an artist and (even more considerable) lack of skill as a writer, he could've done a better job getting what was in his head onto the page, and maybe–however unlikely–it would've been a tiny bit better.

Only one month on in February he was just as cutting.

Youngblood #8: And on the flipside of this week's Image Comics Obamapalooza, we have this one, where the main story trundles on enjoyably, while the backup celebrates the historic election of President Barack Obama by having him drawn by Rob Liefeld.

It is exactly what you think it's like.

And that of course means that it is hilarious. It's four pages of stet panels that are traced from photographs, and then boom, the president smiles and yep, that's Rob Liefeld all right. The only way it could be better is if he had a bandolier made of pouches and a gun three times bigger than his arm.

And in October of that year he was incredibly harsh, looking back at a nineties video Rob made with Stan Lee.

He's still the guy that never gave Rick Veitch his art for "Supreme." So, you know, there's that.

4:07 – "If you become lazy with your product, it's going to result in the readers, you know, a disinterest on their part," says the creator of Team That's Just Like Teen Titans, Guy That's Just Like The Hulk and Forearm, the man who has four arms:

8:48 – Liefeld on writing: "If I had to be the guy to put words in their mouth, it'd be gibberish."
A year after the release of this video, Liefeld would be writing his own comics at Image, pretty much proving this statement to be 100% correct.

But then, in June 2010, they met. Very briefly.


For the record, Liefeld was as nice in person as you've probably heard, and was totally cool with three people running up to grab a picture when he was picking up a package at the front desk. We imagine he gets that a lot.

But it was enough. And things started to change. I mean he was still sarcastic…

Even a bit mean,

But by late 2011, dissonation was in the air…

Talking about Liefeld's attitude towards "haters", November 2011

I'm not a fan of Rob Liefeld's art, and I disagree pretty thoroughly with some things he's said in the past, but this isn't one of them. When he's right, he's right.

Things were changing. Slowly. In July 2012

I realize this isn't the way that it's supposed to work, but the older I get, the more I like Rob Liefeld. I'm the first to admit that I don't care for his art, but the more you think about the climate that he came up in, the more you kind of understand how he got there.

He was no longer a hater… and by September 2012 he was stating it. Loud and proud.

As for the art… Look. I'm not the rabid Rob-hater that some people are, but I'm not going to lie to you folks either: There is some pretty dodgy art in this, and it does not take long to get there. Captain America looks bored out of his mind standing there for his Joel Schumacher crotch close-up. And who would've thought that costume would look so wrong without the "A" on his forehead? Besides Jack Kirby, I mean.

In fact he was starting to be a lover, not a hater.

L3D 5And then last year, he fully acknowledged it. In August 2014 writing,

The older I get, the more genuine, un-ironic admiration I have for Rob Liefeld,

And now? Rob Liefeld is his artist on an original graphic novel, Deadpool: Bad Blood co-written by Chad Bowers coming from Marvel. From teenage lover to twenty-something hater to thirty-something lover again. The circle of Rob Liefeld.

Just one thing you need to remember, Chris…


…I had him first.


Look everyone, she has four arms.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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