I've been hearing recently about a number of Marvel artists with exclusive contracts, who have been asked if they wouldn't mind bringing those contracts to an end a little bit early.
Exclusive contracts guarantee creators certain amounts of work at certain page rates, along with health benefits and other perks that come with regular employment. As a result such creators are usually expected to work on the bigger selling titles to justify the extra costs. But sometimes those costs can be a little too much.
No one would go on the record about the current situation, and it was hard to find any specific corroborating evidence. That's until Ariel Olivetti chose to talk about Marvel and the American comics industry to an Argentinian magazine published recently.
You were working until now Iron Man 2.0, which was cancelled and a lot of readers didn't expect to be ended…
Luckily it finished.
Don't you like the story?
The scripts were awful at the end, at first it worked well with the other story that Marvel was publishing
Yeah, that story. But later it went to hell. Then invented an archivillian that made no sense. The scripts were backwards, the writer married in the middle, leaving everybody stuck, they put an replacement writer who was worse. The editor kicked the replacement writer off and he wrote the scripts. A disaster that thankfully ended.
In the penultimate issue I could draw ten pages and nothing more, because the script never came. So I had a week to deliver the rest and the script was not finished yet. And in the final issue I draw five pages nothing more. I got the script and they said, "How many pages you can do for next Friday?". And we had five days, five pages. Because I color directly, How would you do it? It's impossible. So they called in other guys and you will see for yourself. The last issues of Iron Man 2.0 are a disaster. There is one woman who is blonde, then in the other frame is a brunette. It is impossible that in a week all the artists could agree and say "Man, the blouse you have to draw is red, and the girl who was drinking tea, I did drinking beer. "
How strange to hear this from a publisher as big as Marvel and old …
McDonalds is also great and the burgers are disgusting. At one time Marvel worked like a little clock, but it melted down 2 or 3 years ago and in the middle of this (Iron Man) they fired about 15 staff. So it was a mess.
And this series is not the only one that closed.
No, they cancelled a number.
For 2012 What are your plans?
To be honest, I have nothing. I have an exclusive contract for 2 more years at Marvel and the last number I finished Iron Man 2.0 two weeks ago and I am not insisting much but they didn't give me more work either. So, within two weeks, if they not give me work I will exercise my right to contract and tell them "I need money, and you have to pay me even if I don't work" So I do not know, they do not know yet, they're looking for work for me but they don't know what to give me.
Today it was announced that Ariel Olivetti will be drawing The War That Time Forgot for the new title GI Combat (previously Men Of War) at DC Comics. The last time DC announced a Marvel exclusive creator on one of their books, it didn't actually happen. This time… I think it will.
A Marvel source asked me to note that some of what Ariel said was untrue and speculation on his part as to the inner workings of editorial at the company and that Marvel editors do not write scripts.
Iron Man 2.0 editor until being made redundant, Alejandro Arbona declined to comment.
Nick Spencer, writer of Iron Man 2.0 did the same. The credits show Nick wrote up to issue 9 and then provided plots for subsequent issues.
Josh Fialkov then scripted an issue and told Bleeding Cool "I worked on issue 9, and just about every word I wrote was in the final comic" but he then had to leave for personal family reasons.
Will Pfiefer then joined scripting duties and told Bleeding Cool "Obviously, I don't know what was communicated between Ariel and the Marvel office. All I can tell you is that I was hired to write the script, based on Nick Spencer's plot, for the last half of issue 10 and issues 11 and 12. The deadlines were tight, to say the least, and I was usually sending in a few pages at a time. (Not the rarest thing in modern comics, as you probably know.) The plot didn't change much, though obviously it was tweaked and fleshed out in the script process."
Nevertheless, we might look for other Marvel exclusive creators who suddenly… aren't.