Without a doubt, the must-read piece of the day belongs once again to Tom Spurgeon, whose interview with Mark Waid is just downright amazing – and features revelations like this:
I was actually offered this job about four or five years ago at DC. Dan for a while wanted to move on to a different part of the company. He invited me to take the job, and I went up there and had serious negotiations. We talked about it. Unfortunately, it fell through on some counts that had nothing to do with me. For that week I thought that was the next step of my career? Tom, I felt ten feet tall every day. I really felt like, “Man, this is it. I’ve been watching the Yankees since I was six and I’m finally on the mound, pitching.” Not because I felt, “Everything is broke and I have to fix it.” Or “Oh boy, I get to play with all of these fabulous toys.” It wasn’t quite that simple. It was more of a sense of having gotten to a point where I’m almost as good a teacher as I am a writer. I yearn to be able to work with younger creators and pass along what I know. That doesn’t mean I have all the right answers, and doesn’t mean I’m necessarily going to teach the right things. I’m going to be wrong in a lot of my philosophy, too. That’s just the way it is. I enjoy that part of the job. I would have enjoyed the idea of sitting down with that stable of characters and that stable of writers and having a meaningful dialogue about here’s what I think you’re trying to do, and here’s how I might be able to help you accomplish that. I think I have enough experience under my belt that you can take my suggestions seriously.
Dick Giordano was a hero to me. When I was an editor at DC, I worked directly under Dick. Man, he just defined the whole job for me. You hire the right people, advise and consent from the sidelines but basically try to stay out of their way as much as you can.
Elsewhere, Waid says “My career at DC, about two or three years ago, ended when I was blackballed and forcibly ejected from the place. I’m not saying that out of any sort of bitterness or anger. It’s just a fact.” As a Mark Waid fan and a DC fan, the combination of those two quotes is almost impossibly heartbreaking for me; not only do I consider Waid to be a great writer – and, perhaps equally importantly, a smart writer – but his DC work has always been in tune with my idea of what DC “is,” if that makes sense. As fans, we all have our irrational biases and beliefs about characters and companies and the like; mine is that, despite how genuinely, surprisingly, wonderful Daredevil is, Waid “belongs” at DC. Reading that his career is over there is just sad. Knowing that we missed out on a DCU more infused with Waid’s sensibilities and love of the characters is going to be one of the great “If Only”s of comics for me. I thought Boom! under his tenure of Editor-in-Chief put out some really good, interesting projects, and my mind reels at the idea of what a Waid-led DC with the talent-base of DC five years ago – Morrison, Johns, Simone, Rucka, etc. – could’ve come up with.
All of which is me spinning off of two brief moments in a long interview about many other topics. You should definitely go check it out.