Rob Liefeld On The Many Comic Creators He Has Mentored

Yesterday, I reported on Rob Liefeld talking about current up-and-coming comics creators he works with in rather disparaging tones. ". The talents I let go are terrible with directions, they love to argue and have zero accountability. No matter how polite I share, and I write every exchange as if it would be shared in public, the reactions are a style and manner that I haven't encountered before."

Rob Liefeld Says Goodbye to the X-Men With Love Letter to Claremont/Byrne/Austin
Youtube screencap of Rob Liefeld

Given the attention that post got, he then followed up with another, celebrating comics creators whose early work he published. He posts to Facebook;

OPPORTUNITIES/MENTORSHIP – I've had a great pleasure to either mentor or provide mentorship to generations of talent. I have provided dozens of talents their first break in this amazing comics business.

A DC editor I don't even like pulled me aside at San Diego Comic Con in the early 2000's and said, "You produced not only great talent at Extreme Studios, but damn if you didn't instill in them responsibility and the importance of deadlines! All your alumni hit their marks!" It remains the compliment I value highest among the rest. I was 24 years old when I opened Extreme, a kid leading kids, I had plenty of flaws but the results with these amazing talents speak for themselves.

When I talk of talent and launching talent, I know what I'm talking about.

  • Andy Park
  • Marat Mychaels
  • Dan Fraga
  • Norm Rapmund
  • Jeff Matsuda
  • Danny Miki
  • Jaime Mendoza
  • Eric Stephenson
  • Chap Yaep
  • Matt Hawkins
  • Marlo Alquiza
  • Todd Nauck
  • Lary Stucker
  • Aron Lusen
  • Chris Lichtner
  • Tim Townsend
  • Brett Evans
  • Don Skinner
  • Chuck Jones
  • Anthony Wynn
  • Sam Liu
  • Mark Pajarillo
  • Jon Sibal
  • Pat Lee
  • Shelby Robertson
  • Tanya Horie
  • Richard Horie
  • Elizabeth Lewis
  • Andre Khromov
  • Pop Mhan
  • John Stinsman
  • Dietrich Smith

I brought in veterans like Art Thibert & Dan Panosian to give further guidance and mentorship just as I had received from Jim Valentino. Mentorship cannot be understated.

In the 2000's I continued to break new names, giving these talents their highest profile work and recognition right at the outset.

  • Jon Malin
  • Adelso Corona
  • Matt Yackey
  • Juan Rodríguez
  • Jim Towe
  • Matt Horak
  • Jacob Bear
  • Joe Keatinge
  • Sophie Campbell

Still smooth sailing. Up until the last couple of years and as I stated previously, now it's a whole new ballgame.
A couple real good eggs I just helped cook up into their big first mainstream breaks on Prophet Remastered #1 …

  • Thomas Hedglen
  • Rob Willis
  • Raymond Leonard

Guys with hustle and no entitlement. Hoping for more great talent along the way but no time for drama. The one's that came before have crucial experience to share.

And a few popped by to comment…

Andy Mangels: And, at a time when homophobia in the industry meant that I was not getting work, you hired me to work on some fantastic books for you! We've known each other since we were teenagers, but I will always value the fact that unlike many in the industry, you did not allow my being gay to frighten you away from hiring me

Marat Mychaels: Always grateful for the opportunities and the mentorship buddy.

Rob Liefeld: now you are mentoring me!!

Dean Haspiel Creating comics takes a whole lot of commitment, passion and labor. It can be lots of fun but it's no joke. I was 17 going on 18 when I was an assistant to Sienkiewicz (on New Mutants and Elektra: Assassin), Chaykin (on American Flagg!) and Simonson (on Thor) my senior year of high school. I learned more about making comix in 1985 than anything I learned in an arts high school before that and arts college after that. Stuff I employ in my work ethics today.

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Rich JohnstonAbout 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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