happened to the Real Pros?
March 3, 2005
By Avi Green
When I read reports
William Messner-Loebs ended up in poverty in the past few years,
mostly due to the fact that the industry wouldnít hire him for any
more work in comic books, it led me to think about how a lot of
veteran names seemed to have largely dropped out of sight in the
past decade. Steve Englehart, Joe Staton, John Ostrander, Jim Aparo,
Roger Stern, Roger McKenzie, etc.
Whatís really disturbing and troubling about all this is that a lot
of these fine folks were given the shaft mostly due to the fact that
Marvel and DC just had to make way for all the hot new writers of
recent, whether we current readers like them or not, including J.
Michael Strazcynski, Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, Brian Michael
Bendis, Judd Winick, Geoff Johns, etc.
These writers, if not artists, seem to get a lot of work by
companies that consider them the best there is for a job, and will
give them the first available top project being worked on within an
instant. And not because of how good they are, but rather, because
their names garuntee sales.
So in other words, what we have here is a situation wherein artistic
quality is not what matters, but rather, that the books will sell
well. And itís simply not good. Simply put, thanks to this kind of
thinking, a lot of good writers end up being left out in the cold,
and, come to think of it, artists too.
And it really tires me. What I want is dedicated writing that isnít
based on writerís popularity alone, nor the artistís. And Iíd
appreciate it if the freelancers of my choice were invited to return
to working on some major books, like the Superman franchise, or even
the Batman franchise, certainly if they know what really makes it
And Iíd really be happy if Messner-Loebs were to get the job in
writing Batman, if he knows how to restore something that the Masked
Manhunterís been sorely lacking in for quite some time now:
humanity. Just like when Denny OíNeil was writing Batman during the
So I should hope then that work will be found in eventual time for
Messner-Loebs, and that heíll return to working on some of the stuff
he made work well back in the late 80s, and the 90s.
Like Neal Adams and others who are trying to help Messner-Loebs and
his family back on their feet, I too would like to issue a plea to
Find him work!
Simply put, itís not creatorís popularity that should matter, but
how well the writer can understand and manage the series at hand.
And Messner-Loebs, if you ask me, can do just that.
Copyright 2005 Avi Green. All rights reserved.
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