Friday, August 06, 2004

Ringo star: At Newsarama, Alan David Doane has "Five Questions For ..." Mike Wieringo:

"I got pretty angry over the whole situation at first when Bill Jemas decided to go in a completely different direction with Fantastic Four last year. But after thinking about it for a while, I realized that the characters belong to Marvel -- and at the time, Bill Jemas was Marvel, essentially -- and so whatever he wanted was what was going to happen. And I don't think that the internet furor that happened in the wake of Mark's removal had much effect on our return. I think it was more that with the success that Marvel has been having in Hollywood and all the money and added attention/scrutiny that it's bringing to the company, Bill Jemas's 'risk taking' style of helming the company made the higher ups uncomfortable and they removed Jemas from his position of power and started guiding the company back in a more conservative direction. The kinds of stories that Mark and I were doing fall into the 'mainstream superhero' mode, and so I think it made sense to continue in that vein-- so they brought us back.

"I look back at that time as simply an odd one for me. It was kind of fun having a 4 month 'vacation' from the grind of drawing comics ever day all day long -- but on the other hand, it was an unpaid 'vacation.' I don't think that there's much the industry can learn from the situation -- but I think that creators should learn and plan their careers keeping in mind that the neither Marvel nor DC have our best interests in mind. They're in the business of making money, and they will do whatever they feel is necessary to do that without regard to any individual creator. So it behooves everyone in the creative community to make themselves as independent from the whims of the majors as they can. It's not something that I can say that I've done myself, unfortunately. But after working full time as a comic book artist for around 12 years, I've seen too many creators getting tossed to the side at the drop of a hat. It could be anything -- an editor's whim, a change in editorial teams - who usually bring in their own favorites to a book they're taking over, an artist's style simply falling out of favor -- no longer 'hot,' a creator having fewer and fewer editorial connections to the point that they're 'frozen out' of the business ... it's any number of reasons. So ALL creators should do what they can to build their own financial legacy to carry them into the future. It's the only way to feel safe in such a volatile situation as we find ourselves in -- especially in the present market."