Rob Liefeld seems to still think he's in the early Image days.
Here's what you need to know about Liefeld -- people talk about how he's such a nice guy at conventions and such. And he does present himself publicly as someone who is just having fun and lets all the negative criticism about his art and writing and such run off his back, such as the infamous Yellow Hat Guy incident from three years ago.
This, however, is at odds with the private Liefeld. When Image was hot shit, no one spoke a bad word about Liefeld. And not because he was a great guy. People talking about Liefeld watched what they said very carefully, and the trenches had plenty of stories of Liefeld using his clout to ruin people who got too in his face. Combine this with his tendency to pick pissing matches for bullshit reasons, and you have someone you might want to watch your back around.
Since then, Liefeld got bounced from Image for undisclosed reasons (although the truth is out there and very easy to dig up, especially if you know anything about how Liefeld operates his studio), came back to Image, and was brought to DC Comics by his buddy Jim Lee. Liefeld is no longer King Shit of Fuck Mountain. But that doesn't stop him from acting like it. Especially on the Internet.
For those who came in late -- Liefeld announced on Thursday that he was leaving DC Comics effective with the zero issues next month. He stated it was because of editorial interference and editors who didn't have a clue what they were doing. The dirt:
"When I speak of re-writes at DC, I’m speaking of having to implement the latest editorial directive. Mostly at the last minute. Deathstroke was left alone, mostly due to the fact that the sales on that series went up the most, furthest. GRIFTER is an important book to DC they want it to succeed. Grifter was supposed to be part of a huge fall cross-over. Grifter was to cross-over into a larger story with Helspont and the Daemonites. The other titles were Superman, Supergirl, Red Lantern.. I was told that Voodoo was ending and to implement her into the story. I had to connect to the events in the Superman annual. Grifter was featured in the Superman annual, as was Hawkman. I wrote Grifter #13 and it placed him in the center of the Daemonite plot.
"I arrived at Comic-con to be informed that the Superman office changed their mind, whatever that means and there was now no fall cross-over. So issue #13 had to be re-written from page one. The Superman annual was also changed and Grifter was removed as was Hawkman. Voodoo still needed to be featured though as Grifter was her new home. All fine and good. You take a corporate assignment you take direction But when I speak of re-writes, they are of this nature and agenda. Then followed by, how are we going to get Grifter sales up? Again, part if the freelancer workload, but wanted clarification as to what I’m referencing in regards to re-writes. Not a dialogue change. After getting clearance on Grifter #0, late in the process, he could no longer be of alien heritage as I was writing him in issues #9-12. Took pride in making every change as fast as possible. But eventually U realize the loop is non-stop. I chose to exit-Loved the opportunity.
"Deathstroke had not been problematic, the smoothest sailing until the #0 and the co-opting of Dstroke origin by another office doing Team 7. You roll up your sleeves and try to be fair dividing the baby up, fought to keep important plot and origin motives in the Dstroke book. Lots and lots of territorial fights. The entire time you must keep in mind that your book needs to show sales traction. I loved being deep in the corporate culture for a year. Did my best to be a good team player, was well compensated. Hawkman really worked, they let me rip, then there was an editorial shift and everything I’d laid out and was approved was unraveling.
"I stood my ground in defense of what I thought was a strong, positive vision. Felt the editor wanted to write the book himself, quit July 4. On July 5th I was assured that there would be an editorial change, this cat had a bad track record and had previous creator conflicts. The top brass approves, is enthusiastic and then the editor says, let’s change things. You’re like, no, this is what has been approved… There was a directive of let’s make Helspont and important figure, let’s make him the focus. I like Helspont, no problem, then, sea change. And no, this isn’t juicy stuff, this is nuts and bolts stuff. Work process.
"The new corporate culture of both companies has never been more stressful because they are in the cross hairs of parent companies. Hope that clarifies the nature of changes, comes with the game if you accept the assignments. The burn out us accelerated on your workload. There are plenty chairs that are being re-arranged as I type this. Guys on books now that won’t be there in January.
"Ann Nocenti, God bless her, read my Hawkman #0 and suggested that it be a dream, uncertain, something we could drag out… I said NO, the readers deserve clarity and certainty, a reward for their investment of the last 6 months. My editor entertained her notion..
"So I left. Then they said they would remove him. He was gone and 3 months of trying to undue what I’d started with previous editor was gone By July, I had a new editor, my 3rd on Hawkman in 6 months. My concern is it will be all Batman comics in 2 years as the Batman brand holds strong across the board. Batfamily accounts for 16 books.
"Hawkman came together really well for all involved. I wrote 3 parts of WANTED, be interesting if those make it through. The synergy in trying to fuse the comics with the larger entertainment component can be very exciting. And rewarding. Last thing, there was one editor that had like 5 books canceled and was given a promotion? I was like huh?
"All my DC work is going up for sale the next few weeks http://www.ebay.com/sch/mtwice/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_trksid=p3686 … everything must go"
(I would like to point out that I had an opportunity to purchase a page from Liefeld's Hawk And Dove last week. $30. NO ONE was buying it, highest offer the guy received was $10. I just passed.)
Now, any of you looking to work in comics? What Liefeld just did is burned his bridges and nuked the site from orbit. You whisper about companies, one ear at a time, you don't broadcast it so that everyone, even non-pros, knows about it. You will kill your career with editors if they think they can't trust you. But Liefeld not only can't keep his mouth shut, he can't wait to mix it up with people he doesn't like, even if it's patently obvious he can never win against them.
Enter Tom Breevort. Breevort is supposedly a nice guy, people talk about how great and personable he is. But, like lots of people, you put him on the Internet and he turns into an Internet Tough Guy, talking lots of smack on the Marvel message boards. I like to think he's just responding in kind to the posters, showing he's one of them and he doesn't really mean it. Reflecting this is how, when it's not something corporate, moments of true wisdom shine through. A Tweet came in that said, "now that rob lieffeld had left dc, can we get him back at marvel? would love to see him back on x-force or deadpool!!"
Breevort's response was short and sweet -- "After that Twitter flame-out, I can't say I'd be in a hurry to get onto that train."
Breevort also stepped up to defend Brian Smith, the editor on Hawkman that Liefeld blasted -- "I wasn’t there, I don’t know what happened, but having worked with him, I can vouch for
(Side note: this also got responses from Gail Simone -- "Could not agree more about
Naturally, it was just a question of when before someone in Liefeld's personal army reported back to their emperor with recon. And now, Liefeld is picking a fight against Breevort.
"Someone told me that loser fat ass Brevoort was talking trash about me today. I dropped him awhile back . I gotta coach football games..out
"Sorry they passed you over for EIC Tommy B. Get over it and get back to mixing and matching Avengers and X-Men
"I know, Tommy B, why don’t u all tell Kirkman how “concerned” u are for his future post Marvel. That’s our funniest bit that we HOWL at."
Tom? You're up.
"You remain a sweetheart, Rob. Don’t go changing. Also, feel free to say any of this to my face, you feckless bully.
"Takes a big man to go postal publicly on a young editor like that.
@TomBrevoort then u can bump me with your gut
"And FYI, I don’t drink. Haven’t touched liquor in 30 years."
Uh...sorry, Rob, but that's not quite the awesome burn you seem to think it is.
Oh, and while all those Tweets are still online, one did get deleted for some unknown reason. Duuuuuuh, what's a "Google cache?"
Excuse me for a minute, I'm going to grab myself a sandwich....