That's right, I said it.
There's a reason rumors are so prevalent in the comic book industry. It's because the truth remains hidden, and the only way to learn what is really going on, who the good people are, who the bad people are, is to go underground.
I've had a beef with JMS for years. I admired the guy's writing talent. Babylon 5 is one of the true classics of sci-fi. However, people like me have seen a side of him (no, I still can't talk about what it was) that threw him into a very unflattering light. The only thing people can do is keep presenting a good public face so that the rumors remain just that...rumors. No one can step forward to say what they really think and feel. They'll be branded as haters or whatever, and your fans with white knight for you. But for that to happen, you cannot, under any circumstances, let your real self be shown.
JMS just threw away his protection and showed the world what a dick he is.
This started years ago, when JMS was writing The Amazing Spider-Man. He wrote it for years, and left just as Marvel was launching the Brand New Day continuity. Circumstances were supposedly less than acrimonious. JMS went to Thor, then jumped to DC, where his reputation for pretentious storytelling and egotism started to grow, culminating in Superman walking across America while refusing to use his powers to help anyone.
Everybody still with me so far? That's good!
So, a few days ago, JMS shows the fire still burns. He posted this little graphic to his public FAILbook page:
He also made this little note: "Sales on The Amazing Spider-Man since my departure. Just sayin'." (Editorial note: the links I could use are no longer working, suggesting that this got pulled down for reasons I will get to anon.)
Now, how do you interpret this post? Is there any way it could possibly be construed as anything other than a passive-aggressive slam on the current editorial and creative staff at ASM? I would like to point out that JMS wrote under Joe Quesada, who isn't even EIC anymore. Steve Wacker is the line editor now. Wacker came out swinging, and JMS told him he was overreacting, he never said anything to put down the creative staff. In fact, Dan Slott (one of the good guys) had contacted JMS and they had a civil discussion about whether or not this was an attack on the current creative staff. JMS wrote, "If you choose to continue the conversation, please try to do so in a grown-up fashion, as did Dan Slott. You might find it a refreshing change." JMS has a lot of balls doing this then saying Wacker should act like a grown-up.
Wacker returned fire with damning evidence -- not only did he pull up the official statements showing the print run numbers, but he also pointed out that the chart JMS posted came from a site that hates Marvel, cooking the numbers and threatening people like Dan Slott with physical violence. JMS got awful quiet after that.
Dan Slott, as is his way, tried to calm everyone down. He wrote, "Hugs for everyone. *hugs*"
And then, Mark Waid came out of the booth. I've already covered how outspoken Waid is. He is the one person in comics I am afraid to get into a verbal sparring match with. Completely unbidden, Waid posted this:
"Dick move, Joe. Flat out, a dick move, and you know it. Either your point was to show people how awesome you were, or to show people how things have deteriorated since your absence. There’s no other way to interpret your post. None. Are you really that hard up for approbation and fan love that you can’t rise above that sort of shit? I understand Wacker’s frustration. Maybe he overreacted a bit, in the way good friends DO react when they perceive their friends and employees being attacked by a bitter man with a bottomless ego, but you made the first move, and it was a dick move. And if anyone doubted you were doing it for anything other than informational purposes, adding “Just sayin’” was the snarktacular icing on the cake. No one says “Just sayin’” unless they’re doing exactly the opposite of “Just sayin’
"Half an hour later, still fuming at JMS’s shitty passive-aggressiveness. I should probably go walk it off. Maybe with a long walk. A long, dull, pointless, boring walk. Across America.
"That I won’t finish."
While opinion initially was that Whacker hyped a little but JMS was being a bitch, Waid is now (deservedly) considered a hero for putting the smack down on JMS.
And now, the rest of the world sees what we have seen.
JMS is a dick. A talented dick, but still a dick.