Rob Liefeld Versus Tom Brevoort. Oh, It's On.

Rob Liefeld Versus Tom Brevoort. Oh, It's On.Alan Moore once told me that he liked to overreact to situations, just so there was no chance of a more reasonable future version changing his mind and being more reasonable, betraying his current state of righteous fury.

Rob Liefeld seems to have gone down a similar road.

Fresh from his litany of accusations against DC Comics' working practices, Rob Liefeld seemed clear to set the record straight over his relationship with the folks at 1700 Broadway on Twitter, in the belief that they were about to spin against him. And he wanted to get in first.

When I speak of re-writes at DC, I'm speaking of having to implement the latest editorial directive. Mostly at the last minute. Deathstroke was left alone, mostly due to the fact that the sales on that series went up the most, furthest. GRIFTER is an important book to DC they want it to succeed. Grifter was supposed to be part of a huge fall cross-over. Grifter was to cross-over into a larger story with Helspont and the Daemonites. The other titles were Superman, Supergirl, Red Lantern.. I was told that Voodoo was ending and to implement her into the story. I had to connect to the events in the Superman annual. Grifter was featured in the Superman annual, as was Hawkman. I wrote Grifter #13 and it placed him in the center of the Daemonite plot.

I arrived at Comic-con to be informed that the Superman office changed their mind, whatever that means and there was now no fall cross-over. So issue #13 had to be re-written from page one. The Superman annual was also changed and Grifter was removed as was Hawkman. Voodoo still needed to be featured though as Grifter was her new home. All fine and good. You take a corporate assignment you take direction  But when I speak of re-writes, they are of this nature and agenda. Then followed by, how are we going to get Grifter sales up? Again, part if the freelancer workload, but wanted clarification as to what I'm referencing in regards to re-writes. Not a dialogue change.  After getting clearance on Grifter #0, late in the process, he could no longer be of alien heritage as I was writing him in issues #9-12. Took pride in making every change as fast as possible. But eventually U realize the loop is non-stop. I chose to exit-Loved the opportunity.

Deathstroke had not been problematic, the smoothest sailing until the #0 and the co-opting of Dstroke origin by another office doing Team 7. You roll up your sleeves and try to be fair dividing the baby up, fought to keep important plot and origin motives in the Dstroke book. Lots and lots of territorial fights. The entire time you must keep in mind that your book needs to show sales traction. I loved being deep in the corporate culture for a year. Did my best to be a good team player, was well compensated. Hawkman really worked, they let me rip, then there was an editorial shift and everything I'd laid out and was approved was unraveling.

I stood my ground in defense of what I thought was a strong, positive vision. Felt the editor wanted to write the book himself, quit July 4. On July 5th I was assured that there would be an editorial change, this cat had a bad track record and had previous creator conflicts. The top brass approves, is enthusiastic and then the editor says, let's change things. You're like, no, this is what has been approved… There was a directive of let's make Helspont and important figure, let's make him the focus. I like Helspont, no problem, then, sea change. And no, this isn't juicy stuff, this is nuts and bolts stuff. Work process.

The new corporate culture of both companies has never been more stressful because they are in the cross hairs of parent companies. Hope that clarifies the nature of changes, comes with the game if you accept the assignments. The burn out us accelerated on your workload. There are plenty chairs that are being re-arranged as I type this. Guys on books now that won't be there in January.

Ann Nocenti, God bless her, read my Hawkman #0 and suggested that it be a dream, uncertain, something we could drag out… I said NO, the readers deserve clarity and certainty, a reward for their investment of the last 6 months. My editor entertained her notion..

So I left. Then they said they would remove him. He was gone and 3 months of trying to undue what I'd started with previous editor was gone  By July, I had a new editor, my 3rd on Hawkman in 6 months. My concern is it will be all Batman comics in 2 years as the Batman brand holds strong across the board. Batfamily accounts for 16 books.

Hawkman came together really well for all involved. I wrote 3 parts of WANTED, be interesting if those make it through. The synergy in trying to fuse the comics with the larger entertainment component can be very exciting. And rewarding. Last thing, there was one editor that had like 5 books canceled and was given a promotion? I was like huh?

All my DC work is going up for sale the next few weeks … everything must go

Note how Rob seems to conform Bleeing Cool rumours of big creative and title changes in January. Though I've also been hearing rumours of how the switchovers may not be as neat as previously rumoured.

Then Marvel's Tom Brevoort, when asked if there was room at Marvel for Rob now, posted;

After that Twitter flame-out, I can't say I'd be in a hurry to get onto that train.

And on Twitter, wrote in defence of DC editor Brian Smith, who had edited Hawkman.

Tom: I wasn't there, I don't know what happened, but having worked with him, I can vouch for @yourpalsmitty as a stand-up guy. Not as he's being made out to be.

Hey, you back the horse you like. All I can tell you is that his characterization of @yourpalSmitty is off-base

With others joining in;

Gail Simone: Could not agree more about @yourpalsmitty. Thanks for that, Tom.

David Gallaher: very interaction I've had with @yourpalsmitty in the last 12 years has been super

Cue Rob, responding to Tom's earlier comment;

Rob: Someone told me that loser fat ass Brevoort was talking trash about me today. I dropped him awhile back . I gotta coach football games..out

Sorry they passed you over for EIC Tommy B. Get over it and get back to mixing and matching Avengers and X-Men #doucher

I know, Tommy B, why don't u all tell Kirkman how "concerned" u are for his future post Marvel. That's our funniest bit that we HOWL at.

Tom: You remain a sweetheart, Rob. Don't go changing. Also, feel free to say any of this to my face, you feckless bully.

Takes a big man to go postal publicly on a young editor like that. #kickspuppiestoo

Rob: happy to @TomBrevoort then u can bump me with your gut

And FYI, I don't drink. Haven't touched liquor in 30 years.

And while all these tweets are publicly available, at least one was deleted…

Rob Liefeld Versus Tom Brevoort. Oh, It's On.



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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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