Tom King has been talking to Slate about his career in comics, moving from the CIA to becoming a writer, and more. First, his original published superhero story with Tim Fowler, and then his plan to stay on the Batman monthly comic for a hundred issues.
Slate's Jacob Brogan has summarised the interview for his Slate audience, but there are a few factoids he skipped that may be more of interest to his comic book audience than to the general audience.
Tom talks about his choice of David Finch to draw the Batman/Catwoman scenes in Batman #24, the issue that featured Batman proposing to Catwoman, which involved a lot of standing around and talking. Clay Mann and Seth Mann drew the other scenes with Batman and Gotham Girl, but the proposal and the scenes that led up to it were drawn by David Finch and Danny Miki. Tom talked about how he wanted the proposal scene to be one from the high-sales-friendly David Finch — but his editor Mark Doyle didn't:
"Batman #24, there are two editors listed for that book, we switched editors half way though… it's not normal, it's very weird.
I got in a big fight with my editor about it, an editor I love, Mark Doyle, he wanted to bring in an artist on it who had not worked on the book before, I knew it was this big moment, Batman proposing to Catwoman, you're going to turn on Twitter there it's going to be that stupid image, I want this to be an image with David, I want him to draw this issue. 'No, no, David's too busy going on vacation', just call him, We got in a big fight over it, and in the end we switched editors and got David and that's how we brought Jamie Rich on the book.
That's something I could not do earlier in my career, say I'm putting my foot down, that's something you can only say when you've had a lot of success…. When you first come in you have no power at all, you are at the whim of your editors who are in control of whether you eat this day."
Shortly after that Mark Doyle would leave Batman and Jamie Rich take his place. That this meant the issue was credited as edited by both Doyle and Rich — described by King as an unusual situation, In fact the shared editorial credit got extended to the previous issue, as presumably Rich had some extra work to do on that and a few issues subsequently, presumably reflecting work Doyle had already done on that, and then just Rich there on.
Batman #24 came out at the beginning of June and will most likely have been put together in April or early May. In early May we discovered that Mark Doyle was getting promoted from Batman group editor to executive editor of Young Animal and Vertigo, though he kept editing Scott Snyder on All-Star Batman. It could be that this fight may have precipitated that move. It could have made the move easier. But it doesn't seem coincidental. Doyle, King's first editor at DC Comics at Vertigo, who then hired him to write Batman, has not edited a King book since. Jamie Rich also edits King's other DC title Mister Miracle, though Doyle got a "thanks" in the credits.
Here are how the credits changed from Batman #22 through to the just-released Batman #30… how long before editor credits are on the cover?