Rob Liefeld Vs. Don Simpson Round Two – The Splitting Image Years

Yesterday comic book creator of Megaton Man and Bizarre Heroes, Don Simpson, posted criticism of a Rob Liefeld Whatnot variant cover that went viral, and was covered by Bleeding Cool. This seemed to surprise Don Simpson who posted "The social media echo chamber! Believe everything you read! (Guess I can't take back my remarks now!)" and telling me "C'mon, if this is the most momentous thing happening in comics, it proves my point! It's over, baby!"

But those remarks go way back. We begin on Twitter back in the pandemic times, when Jim Rugg promoted his June 2020 Cartoonist Kayfebe interview with Rob Liefeld.

Jim Rugg: "In the early 90s, young @robertliefeld set the comics world on fire!!! The legendary comic creator tells us about his start in APAs, New Mutants, X-Force, Extreme, Alan Moore…plus his NEW podcast Robservations and his GIJoe comic – Snake Eyes!"

Don Simpson replied: "Dudes, until you interview Larry Marder, you haven't even scratched the surface of Image Comics history. (Fanboys — YEESH!) @larrymarder"

Professional Rob Liefeld baiter Ted Lesst tweeted in reply: "Oof. Well Don, you won't be surprised to learn that Rob is still a dumpster fire, frauding backers on Kickstarter and indiegogo for 7 years now and still not delivering what was promised, but paid upfront for."

And Don Simpson, who will reply to anyone, posted: "Still?! Historic Footnote: Splitting Image #1-2 were two of the only issues ever to come in on time, and Extreme Studios sat on them so long they became returnable. Figure $50k-$100k lost, no accounting, & worst coloring I've ever seen; thank God JVal put it right 25 years later." Jim Valentino, there.

Splitting Image was a two-issue comic series published by Image Comics in 1993, the year after the publisher was founded, that parodied the publisher. Created by Don Simpson, based on an idea from Image co-founder Rob Liefeld, and published by Image Comics, it included versions of all the main Image Comics teams but ended with previous indie comics characters such as Megaton Man, Captain Everything from Jim Valentino's normalman, and Mr. Spook from Larry Marder's Tales of the Beanworld. The story was then continued in a Megaton Man/normalman Special. In 2017, for publisher's 25th anniversary, Image released an 80-Giant Special collecting both issues of Splitting Image along with the Normalman/Megaton Man special and more. This is important.

Because two years ago, Rob Liefeld responded to Don Simpson with a quote tweet, which was then deleted;

Rob Liefeld Vs. Don Simpson Round Two

Skip forward to yesterday when Don Simpson posted those brief criticisms of a Rob Liefeld cover that went viral. And eventually, Rob Liefeld replied, sub-posting on Facebook; "Comic Book Facebook Drama Alert!!! When someone you have had no contact with for 25 years suddenly goes unhinged on social media and rants incessantly, I can't do anything about it. What I can do is share the last interaction that I had regarding business with the work I commissioned from him. You will see how simply and easily this was handled back in 2016. I'm on the right side of this, always have been. Apologies to Jim Valentino but this is a necessary share as the rants …"Rob Liefeld Vs. Don Simpson Round Two

Copies of Splitting Image are available on eBay for around $2. The 25th anniversary collection for around $8. If you want to see what all the fuss is about.

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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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