I don't want to turn this into me slamming the guy personally. Friends I've talked with know that Peter David, who used to be my writing god, didn't fall off the pedastel so much as it blew apart from under him. But I didn't drop the book because I am personally annoyed with the guy. It's basic fan nature to, if you like someone, you cut them a little more slack when they slip up. A good example is something my buddy Mornblade went through. He loved Buffy The Vampire Slayer, so much so that, when his dish didn't get the show, I was recording them and getting them to him to watch. I remember one season that started and he asked my opinion because it appeared Joss Whedon had blown it -- the episode had a sister for Buffy, which Mornblade clearly remembered wasn't there. We discussed all kinds of writing options for why it wasn't mentioned before. Mornblade decided that Whedon had done enough right that he would stick with the series just to see how things work out. The result was one of the greatest storylines in BtVS, all the better because Mornblade had stuck it out. You can only experience something for the first time once. Just like the opening of Super Troopers, you can't reclaim the magic you would have felt had you seen it cold.
The thing is is this: I had been on the fence about dropping X-Factor for a long time now, but was keeping it mostly as a show of support for Peter David. On the fence, but tilting like the Leaning Tower Of Piza. Like the anime fandom, I no longer have the patience or will to forgive or defend. In fact, had X-Factor been written more the way I remember David's writing, I likely would still be collecting it. Mark Waid has a lousy reputation for interpersonal relations (turns out his tone when he edited Amazing Heroes was not manufactured for show. Go fig), but I love his writing enough to continue picking up his books. I picked up the first issue of The Incredibles comic book mini today, in fact. But that is because Waid continues to deliver the goods. David hasn't delivered the goods in quite some time.
I can't tell you exactly what it is, it's more of a general dissatisfaction. X-Factor has an emo vibe that I just don't care for. It isn't fatalistic enough for its depressing atmosphere to ring true, and it isn't fun enough for those moments to really make me believe the characters live. Sure, David's inventiveness with Maddrox is still there. But I skim the issues lately, just keeping track of plot points instead of actually READING them. Even if he wasn't constantly getting mixed up with whatever "change the universe forever!" company crossover is going on.
I noticed that David is still writing a variety of comic books, but I just couldn't be bothered to get involved with them. He did a run on She-Hulk up until the end. I didn't know about it until after the book had been cancelled. He's apparently writing Marvel's Dark Tower (yes, based on Stephen King's series), but I just don't care. His involvement became incidental to my reading. Even more telling is this trip to the comic shop -- they could have not put the current issue of X-Factor in there, and I honestly don't think I would have noticed. But thumbing through the stack, I saw a Deadpool miniseries (5 issues, running concurrently with the regular series) that made my eyes light up. The newest Pearls Before Swine book was in there. No new issue of Dresden Files or Shojo Beat. Even though my hopes aren't very high, I am wondering what the new Power Girl regular series will be like. In short, X-Factor is a non-entity, even when I have the issue in my hand.
Now, I don't regret things like giving David a copy of Morbid Myths (my first officially published work) at the ChicagoCon last year. I debated it, because I wasn't sure I should. As I explained to another friend there, David could say no, ignore it, or even rip it up in front of me. I don't care. His reaction was not my focus, but me doing the right thing. Whether or not I would have developed as a writer without him doesn't matter. The fact is, he was the teacher and I learned much from him, and I felt I had to at least honor that.
But that is the proof. This was before the "I'm fed up" phase I hit. When you have the chance to share something you've created with someone you admire, you shouldn't be debating. When George Lowe asked to look at a small sample of my writing, I couldn't wait to have him look it over. Even if he hated it, I was still sharing something I created with him. Likewise, Matt Feazel has seen Stress Puppy. He was nice and apologetic because he didn't like the strip and said, "No offense." I told him none was taken -- I still got to share my work with him, and I call that a win. But David? I actually had to resolve to give him that copy of Morbid Myths. So this isn't something recent. It's just, as I like to say, the drop that spills the glass.