Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Recent Question and an Answer

ja commented on yesterday's post:
"I must say it's very impressive that you've saved so many items from your tenure at Marvel, and I assume, the rest of your career.

Is this some sort of an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder-kind of thing, or did you one day make a conscious decision to save everything for posterity?"


Toward the end of my time at Marvel, Marvel's upper management duo, Galton and Calamari, along with Shelly Feinberg and a few other Cadence bigwigs (as "CMI" -- Cadence Management Inc.) had taken Cadence, Marvel's parent, private and sold the Marvel division to New World Entertainment (NWE).  Throughout the process, as they furthered their quest to cash in and line their own pockets on what we, the comics people had built, they took certain unethical and, I believe, illegal steps.  
 
I was senior enough that all I had to do was keep my mouth shut, help them sell my troops down the river and I would have been handsomely rewarded. One executive on a lower level than I ended up with a $3 million payoff. Mine would have been bigger, if I had merely cooperated.  
 
I chose instead to become a "labor leader."  As the pension plan was cashed out, benefits were withdrawn, health coverage was diminished, etc., all done to fatten cash flow to increase the value of CMI's sale-price multiple, I resisted. They even tried to retroactively eliminate the royalty plan. That battle I won -- by threatening a class action lawsuit. At the top of my lungs.
 
While all this was going on, to marginalize me as much as possible, Marvel upper management did their best to undercut me with my own people and destroy my credibility. They didn't have to work at the latter too hard -- I was already being blamed for the Kirby mess, the Gerber mess and everything else that cropped up by the fan press and the comics community in general. They simply allowed that to happen and threw fuel on the fire when possible.
 
They would have simply fired me, but, as I learned, I was a "key man," and they couldn't get rid of me without jeopardizing the deal. I would have simply quit, but I kept thinking, perhaps naively, that I could do more good staying and fighting.
 
I couldn't do much in my own defense downstairs. Should I have told Walt that they were deliberately not paying his (or anyone's) foreign royalties? Then he would have quit and gone to DC, and the buzz would have been that Shooter had driven away another talent.  
 
Anyone on staff who supported me was subtly punished for it. Anyone who opposed me was rewarded. Not much I could do. Telling them I was the good guy and it was the evil suits who were doing all the bad things and taking away their benefits wouldn't have done much to cheer them up.
 
When CMI closed the deal with New World, I wrote a letter to Bob Rehme and blew the whistle on Marvel upper management, whom the new owners had left in place. But NWE was even more corrupt than they were. As it became clear to me that there was no future for me at NWE/Marvel, I took home some files. A lot of files. I thought I might need them if things got really ugly and ended up in court.
 
Shortly before my last day, I took a walk around the tenth floor. I hadn't spent much time there during the war with CMI. There were more than a few people on "my" staff that I didn't even recognize.
 
Ultimately, I was fired. They let cretins who particularly hated me pack up my office. They did things like twist the head off of a statuette I had, shattered the glass on the Sienkiewicz portrait (I had to have the painting restored later), and crumple or damage anything they could.
 
So, the bad guys won. They got away with the money, I was no longer there to hassle them, and bonus, I was the pariah of comics. I couldn't get a job. No one would hire me. The phone never rang.
 
So, I started all over again.
 
Details on the above coming eventually.

60 comments:

BenRose said...

Jesus Christ, Jim, this blog certainly has shattered my delusions about the industry, yet my hat's off to your honesty and for standing by your ethics.

It's a crazy line you walked - between art and business.

EilisFlynn said...

I'm surprised you didn't walk away from the industry completely after that! You're a strong man, Gunga Din.

niederklopfer said...

A very sad story. Makes me glad I don't read too many mainstream comics anymore.

Marc Miyake said...

Dear Jim,

I've "heard" you tell this story several times and it still shakes me up. I didn't know that even the movers had to add insult to injury. So low. Yet you rose above them all. They were villains, but you were VALIANT. You couldn't get a job, so you created your own job. Your own company.

If only more had your strength.

Anonymous said...

Any chance we could hear some more in depth details on the deal between CMI and NWE? This seems to be a hazy part of Marvel history with lots of conflicting information.

ja said...

I knew asking this question would trigger this story, but HOLY SHIT, I sure didn't know the extent to how deep the vitriol and politics were that you had to contend with! The extent the corruption was there at Cadence/New World... DAMN!

Which, of course, seems to pale by comparison with the avarice demonstrated during Ronald Owen Perelman's tenure as he was helping to divert $553.5 million in notes when he controlled Marvel Entertainment Group.

Starting over wasn't easy for you, either, I'm sure. You had an advocate at Neal Adams' Continuity Comics (which ultimately turned out to be a false start) along with whatever you were doing before you were able to form Valiant. There was another dealing with Marvel concerning a live stage show that you were part of (through the protesting of Marvel) also, correct?

I wonder if or whom you were being headhunted by after that, from outside the comics industry? I have so many questions.

I'm sure everyone here would be very interested to know how you navigated that path from when you were fired at Marvel, to when you were able to form Valiant.

If you hadn't been such a forward-thinker, prompting you to begin the practice to take home files for an accurate recounting of history, then you really would have been way more fucked in this industry than you were.

EilisFlynn is right. You are a strong man.

And retroactively, you have a great many people's respect and admiration for not only what you've gone through, but for how you fought for the things you did, even though life was raining wet turds down upon you constantly.

Be safe with the hurricane. I hope your cable tv holds out.

gn6196 said...

I'm Glad that You've stuck around Jim.

Chris said...

I know it ends badly, but I'm eagerly awaiting your VALIANT stories. For a time, those were the best books coming out, and for the first time in my comic reading career, I was buying books based on the writer's name attached--yours--rather than for the character. (I'm probably younger than a lot of the others here, because for the longest time to me, "Secret Wars" was only an action figure line. It was cool to discover later that you were the driving force behind that, too.)

Speaking of "Secret Wars," I noticed a TPB for "Secret Wars II" that's scheduled for a late December release. I don't know anything about that event, I'm looking forward to reading it, and I hope you could share some thoughts or behind-the-scenes stuff like you've been so generous to share with us all along.

moklerman said...

Once again, I must thank you for this blog. I have spent most of my comic collecting life hearing about you as the villain and while there are certainly multiple sides to every story, your version of events is much appreciated.

Seeing what Marvel has become and how that evolution has taken place is very disheartening. You used the term caretaker a while back and that really brought to focus the problems that these companies have let themselves become.

Instead of really caring about the characters, much less the customers and the future of the industry, these suits were just like any other suit in America. Greedy slimeballs.

Brunomac said...

Just three quick comments:

Please excuse my language, but that is some fucked up shit. But hell, the last 10 years have shown us that just when you think corporate America could not get worse...

I'd like to think I would have stuck up for what was right. But part of me thinks I'd have taken the money and ran. That's without even knowing what a beast whore Marvel would actually become, tricked out eternally by her corporate pimps. Especially the one with the mouse ears. Ugh. Anyway, sticking to your guns and what you thought was right, therefore giving youself an uncertain future, was truly heroic in an almost classic sense. The Serpico of comics.

Sorry about the bad winds on the east coast. Out here on the best coast it's 90 degrees at the beach and a beautiful day. Stan the Man discovered paradise and stayed out here. You guys need to California-up as well.

GePop said...

Jim, I vaguely recall after you were fired from Marvel an announcement that you had taken an editorial position with...was it Hallmark? But I never heard anything further about it, so I wasn't sure if it was a legit fact, or just fan press speculation.

Glenn B Fleming said...

The 'Kirby' mess has become like the JFK assassination. It seems all those 'in the know' don't want to go there. I had the pleasure of meeting with Jack and Roz on two occasions, both at their house in Thousand Oaks for lunch. I was there for many hours. Things were said.
As someone 'in the know' just WHAT did happen during that period, Jim?

Neil Anderson said...

Thank you for writing this blog. As someone who grew up on the comics you edited, and who's been frustrated with the sloppiness and partisanship of most comic book histories, this is a revelation. Your decision to stay in the comics field after all you went through was very brave. Do you still have a copy of the letter you wrote to Bob Rehme? The thing I really appreciate about your writing is that you provide documents from the period, instead of just making assertions like some writers do...I particularly enjoyed reading your blog on Roy Thomas, including correspondence from the period...as an admirer of both you and Roy Thomas, it was great to finally have some real insight into why Roy Thomas left Marvel in 1980. As has been oft observed, we're all human...

jimshooter said...

Dear GePop,

There was some speculation I'd gotten a job a American Greetings, but no. I did have friends there in the toy development division, TCFC (Those Characters From Cleveland).

Diacanu said...

All the vilification in the fan press, did people just mindlessly swallow it in "believe what you read", mode, or did the villifiers (is that a word? Chrome spellcheck says "no") actually HAVE a good line of bullshit?
It just blows my mind how you shepherded Marvel through its most creative and successful years, and yet everyone was so easy to turn.

Dale said...

Jim

From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for posting this blog regularly. I have been a lifelong comic book fan and find these behind the scenes fascinating. I especially find your story intriguing and enthralling

I have been a John Byrne fans from the beginning and have continued to be a huge fan of his work despite his propensity to having foot in mouth disease - "mouth open, both feet go in". The one thing I could never reconcile properly though were his reasons for various unpopular decisions in the past being "It's Shooter's fault". Shooter caused Roger Stern/Byrne's Captain America run to end, Shooter ordered them to kill Jean Grey, Shooter suddenly decided all issues should be done in one issue, etc. It never sat right with me that the Editor-In-Chief of Marvel Comics while they were going through their best period since the 60s would be a melodramatic ego maniac with delusions of Godhood.

Cut forward a couple decades and it was said that you would return to writing the Legion of Superheroes and I couldnt believe when I heard it was a very unpopular move and that Shooter still had many detractors at DC.

Jim, I am a huge fan, and now an even bigger fan. Walk tall, keep your head held high and know that there are many here who really appreciate you.

Clay Griffith said...

As a comics reader, your tenure at Marvel spawned a 2nd Golden Age because of the combination of gifted creators (who sometimes needed to be reigned in) and skilled editors (who sometimes needed to be pushed). As a prospective pro in those days, you and many of your editors actually responded with helpful comments on UNSOLICITED submissions. I've since worked in comics, but more in fiction. And the sense of "you can do it too" that you helped spawn at Marvel in the 1980s has a lot to do with it.

jimshooter said...

Dear Diacanu,

I don't know. Some people are easily swayed.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jim:

I wholeheartedly agree with Dale, above.

Cheers.
--Rick Dee

Anonymous said...

Dear Jim:

Wow. Art and business and ethics. What else can I say?

Speaking of ethics... I remember you saying once that you'd been told by a lawyer friend that you could sue DC for a cool million dollars for the characters and stories they appropriated, contracts they made you sign when you were underage. Your response was that DC gave you a fair deal, underage or not, and you wouldn't do that.

When Paul Levitz wrote the LSH book in the '80s, he proceeded to undo many things that you had done -- kill Karate Kid and Nemesis Kid, change LSH HQ, turn Projectra into Sensor Girl, change Validus, etc. Was this because he, as management, was aware of this potential lawsuit? Or, do you think, it was simply part of the process of updating some LSH concepts?

As always, cheers.
--Rick Dee

Anonymous said...

Jim, I have a question in relation to one of your earlier posts about Steve Gerber returning to Howard the Duck. You said you did not like how he wrote out all of the Howard stories that came after him because you thought it was disrespectful.

However almost all of the post Gerber Howard the Duck stories were written by Bill Mantlo. The only non Mantlo written stories of that time I know of are the one Marvel Team Up by Alan Kupperberg and one Steve Steakes story in the last issue of the Howard the Duck magazine. Since you were not on the best of terms with Mantlo back then then why did you have a problem with Gerber doing this?

BenRose said...

http://io9.com/5835091/the-time-marvel-comics-almost-published-batman-and-superman

io9.com has picked your blog and its "crazy stories" up on their radar! B

William said...

All I can say is… Wow!

But, sadly, shit like this doesn't surprise me in the least. It is a tale that could be told and re-told about many industries in this country and abroad.

No-talent, greedy, blood-sucking men in suits are basically destroying the world, so it doesn't surprise me that they destroyed the comics industry as well.

Corporations have got all the money and they use it to buy all the politicians who make all the laws and keep it nice and legal for blood-sucking scumbags like these to continue lying, cheating and stealing to line their own pockets.

And any good and decent people who stand up against them get trampled under their jack-boots without mercy. It seems it is always people like the artists and other little guys who get screwed while the rich get richer and richer off the fruits of their labors. You must have felt very frustrated to see this happening and to know you couldn't a damn thing to stop it.

Pariah said...

this is depressing man.

bmcmolo said...

Anyone involved with that or who sanctioned/ supported it should be ashamed of themselves.

Maybe the time has come to try and gather all the 80s Bullpen in a bull-session? I get so pissed when I read things like this. I often joke that a "Truth and Reconciliation" committee should exist for comics, but I more and more think that actually should happen.

I wish I had the cash - I'd love to do something like this. I'm half-thinking about writing up a treatment or a proposal and shopping it around.

The anti-Shooter stories and opinions are so consistent, and so across-the-board, and so often repeated, that peoples' retractions are buried under their initial denouncements. Google any of the principal writers, artists, and editors with "Jim Shooter" after and you'll see what I mean. It's shameful. I'm glad this blog gets the readership it does - seems like, at last, this story at least has an audience. I wish more people in the industry would counter some of these enduring falsehoods.

I subscribe to Back Issue and although the stories therein often cover the time period of Jim's EIC days, I never see him quoted - often the people who ARE quoted are on record with disparaging remarks. (Not necessarily in Back Issue, but again, via the Google-blank-plus-Shooter method)

Thanks for persevering. If anything, your writing has gotten stronger. I'm sure I speak for a lot of people here that, in addition to collecting these things into a book/memoir, I hope you're working on the next new series/character/story. Those Dark Keys just whetted our appetite for more.

DJ said...

Good man William, well said.

David J.

Jeff Zoslaw said...

I've seen Jim quoted very often in Back Issue. What stands out: in the issue commemorating Spider-Man's wedding, Paul Ryan had some interesting impressions of Jim which Shooter was than allowed to rebut. There was also an article last year where Jim talked about his arrival at Marvel and I'm sure there are several other examples which I'm forgetting...

bmcmolo said...

That's good to know, JZ - thanks for the head's up.

Hunter said...

Jim,

THere is one thing I just recalled that should be mentioned, you were the Marvel EiC at the only time when the US comics industry did The Obvious Thing.

What is The Obvious Thing, you may ask?

Simple, unlike most of the world's comics publishers, the US ones kept comics prices low (WAY too low) for too long. Instead of raising prices when costs became unbearable, they instead cut pages. So a 10 cent 64 page comic in the 30s became a 10 cent 32 page comic (with even less story pages) in the late 50s.

Even when prices were raised in the 60s the page reduction went on. By the late 70s, comics had just 17 story pages an issue. The lowest it has ever been!

However, in 1980 there was a price raise (from 40 to 50 cents) that included a story page augmentation too (17 to 22 pages). The ONLY time it ever happened in US comics!

(Around the world it was Standard Operational Procedure for comics. Prices would raise with inflation and usually publishers would put in more pages to make up for it. Most periodical comics around the world - specially monthlies - heve many times more pages than the average US comic.)

I think the page reduction hurt US comics more than anything else over the decades. By making comics stuck with the very cheap, disposable entertainment branding they can't seem to lose and by giving less and less value for the money over the years.

Nowadays, with the page reduction creeping back to US comics, I have to make the question: Who decided to give US comics a story page raise in 1980 (marvel and DC did it about the same time) and how did it happen. And, of course, why do you think no one tried to do the same again all those years.

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

jimshooter said...

Dear Rick,

I never thought of that. I don't know. I'd like to think that Paul was just trying to do interesting things.

jimshooter said...

Dear Anonymous Duck commenter,

Bill Mantlo, Marv Wolfman, Steve Skeates and Alan Kupperberg all wrote Duck stories that Gerber wanted to disavow, in an insulting way, I thought. Despite problems with his work, on a personal basis, I was always friendly with Mantlo. Wolfman had left Marvel on acrimonious terms, though not too long thereafter we were, personally, friendly enough again. But, it didn't matter whether I was on the best of terms with those writers. Whether they hated me and Marvel or not, I felt it wasn't proper to allow them to be insulted.

By the way, before Gerber wrote the first of his new Duck stories, I ran into him at a Marvel Productions function, where he told me his plans for the first issue of his return. He originally planned to have characters clearly identifiable as Mantlo, Wolfman, et al, attacking Howard on the bus and beating him viciously. The stories written by others would then be revealed to be the delirious ramblings going through Howard's mind as he was being repeatedly punched in the face by them. Does that give you a clue as to Gerber's mindset? I told him no way I'd allow that, so he went to plan B.

jimshooter said...

Dear Hunter,

I proposed increasing the story page count as soon as we turned the corner and sales started to improve. My budget was approved. The story page increase happened to coincide with increases in print/production costs that motivated us to raise the cover price, so conveniently we had added value to soften the blow. DC raised their prices before we did, I think. Not sure. But it was around the same time for the same reason. Maybe they were smart enough to raise their story page count at that time as a deliberate move to justify the new cover price. Or maybe they heard we were doing it and were following our lead. Don't know.

Bill Lee said...

Interesting stuff, Jim. I wasn't aware of the behind-the-scenes stuff happening at this time: i was only interested in the stories. In retrospect, it's no coincidence that the amount of books I was buying shifted radically from Marvel to DC in the mid eighties to early nineties.

Tue Sørensen said...

Sad story with the corporate corruption and vendetta against you. Back in those days (late '80s), I often heard people (creators, comics journalists) vilify you, but I never jumped on that wagon. I never personally saw anything from you that gave me any cause to dislike you. I based my opinion of you purely on your editing, writing and bullpen bulletins, and you always struck me as intelligent, competent and fair-minded. When I heard the ridiculous ramblings of a Gary Groth, I knew that he was the idiot, not you. So, just to set the record straight, the personal vilification campaign did not work. Some of us could still see clearly and without undue prejudice. Thanks for being a creative powerhouse *and* a corporate straight arrow in a world of too-frequent corporate corruption. What a shame the system chews up people like you and spit them out. Don't stop fighting.

Jeff Zoslaw said...

As I recall it, Marvel raised its price a couple of months before the page count went up. There were big banners on those months promoting a couple of contests, which I'd assumed were attempts to justify the increases before the new page counts kicked in. DC's initial page increase made their comics 25 pages (27 when they went from 50c to 60c). Marvel was at 21 and 22 pages (holding steady at 22 once they went to 60c). I'm guessing that DC going to 25 was an attempt to duplicate the DC Explosion standard (though in the initial explosion DC added pages to the overall package rather than sacrificing ad pages). Within 3 years or so, DC settled at 22 pages as well.

Dusty. said...

The boss is blogging on Saturday! He must be loving it as much as we are!!

The day you were fired from Marvel was a dark day, Jim. Has anybody ever created a supervillain named Megalomaniac in your honor? haha Fact is, you were great for the industry. You were great for Marvel comics. I seriously doubt that it's just a coincidence that multiple defining runs happened under your regime. I'm surprised that you had trouble getting work based on that alone.

Anonymous said...

That must be because Irene is still around. Nowhere to go on a Sunday evening.

--Rick Dee

Anonymous said...

Dear Jim:

As for the above recounting, what really saddens me is what they did to your stattuete and portrait and other stuff. If my house got robbed, I don't really care about whatever money is lying around -- but don't mess with my stuff!!

On another note, if you're only willing to be the "hood ornament" on a new publishing venture, would you consider a set-up like the one Tim Truman had with his 4Winds Studio? Meaning, he was the creative head of his and friends' material while letting Eclipse do the publishing? Something like this could be possibly done through Dark Horse or Image. Would you consider it?

Again, thanks for the time.

Cheers.
--Rick Dee

Ken Raining said...

@ Rick Dee: I'd be very surprised if Paul Levitz had such sinister motives. As Jim said, I think he was just looking to tell good stories; in fact, he's often said that Karate Kid was his favorite Legionnaire, and he hated to kill him, but it was necessary to the story. I think you're reaching a bit in looking for conspiracies.

davidmillerstudios said...

Jim,
I've seen plenty of your stuff reprinted in trades. I hope your are being compensated for those publications.
Dave

Anonymous said...

@ Ken Raining:

Yeah, well, a guy's gotta think, you know. Still, it'd make a great conspiracy story.

Cheers, all.
--Rick Dee

Hunter said...

I understand occasional Levitz partner Keith Giffen is the guy who hates Karate Kid. He has killed the character AT LEAST three times now (in different Legion reboots).

As far as I know, he has no beef with any other character, be it a Shooter creation or not. But he has manifested the intention to kill Karate Kid at every opportunity he has. Don't ask me why!

czeskleba said...

Hunter said:
THere is one thing I just recalled that should be mentioned, you were the Marvel EiC at the only time when the US comics industry did The Obvious Thing.
*********************
That's not entirely true. DC made a few attempts to increase the page count of comics in the 70s, and generally were punished saleswise for doing so. The most notable time was in mid-1971. Both Marvel and DC went from 22 story pages for 15 cents to 39 story pages for 25 cents. But after a couple months Marvel abandoned this and went to 22 pages for 20 cents, while DC stayed at 39 pages for 25 cents for a year. During that year, Marvel finally passed DC in sales for the first time. Readers overwhelmingly seemed to favor the comics that were cheaper overall, in spite of the fact the per-page cost of the DC books was lower.

And as noted above, DC went to 25 pages for 50 cents during the DC Explosion in 1978, and then they did it again a couple months before Marvel went to 22 pages for 50 cents. DC's people seemed to understand that making comics larger was needed, but were unable to do it without hurting sales.

Anonymous said...

Jim,

I hope all your saved materials can end up at a university or a museum as some kind of "Shooter Collection/Archives" for the benefit of historians.

thank you for your wonderful blog

Jay

Hunter said...

Czeskleba, the first attempt you mention was essentially composed of reprints. I was thinking about new story pages.

I wasn't aware of the 1978 attempt.

DJ said...

Hi Guys,
Didn't DC also try out 100 pagers in the early 70s. Then there were the Dollar comics (64/68 pages?), oh yeah, of course there were those 80 page Giants back in the sixties. The Marvel Annuals were always a great event, especially over here in Britain, where they were to get a hold of. The latest Avengers Annual (number 1) piqued my interest, until I actually read the preview pages. Good grief do Marvel actually think that stuff is appealing?
David J.

PC said...

Hunter's example about pages doesn't really work. Most comics magazines around the world using American reprints are anthologies with multiple features.

He's also forgetting about the time the old Brazilian publisher cut down from 84 to 68 pages, or about slow-selling DC anthologies always cutting down to 52. And even the current Brazilian publisher reduces page count from 100 to 76 on the slow-selling stuff every now and again

In Europe, the only stuff that actually increased pages were Disney comics. The Portuguese publisher eventually cancelled most titles to concentrate on a single mammoth 260 book. And in Germany and Italy, the Disney anthologies (there's always a Mouse-themed one and a Duck-themed one) are well over 300 pages.

Kid said...

Regarding the 1971 DC 25c comics - they contained quite a bit of reprint material, whereas Marvel's were all-new. (Maybe that's why they abandoned the format after only one issue.) Personally, I liked the DC ones, but I guess too many readers didn't like the reprint material if, as has been alluded to, they weren't selling.

Sanjiv Purba said...

Jim,
It's devastating to hear this. You're a strong leader to have endured it.

With your talents, and they are substantial, it would be great if you could start up another entertainment giant.

czeskleba said...

Kid, you may be right that reprints were a reason that the 1971 DC books didn't sell. I tend to think it had more to do with price, though. None of the attempts to produce larger, more expensive books in the 70's seem to have been a sales success, and there were many (besides the DC examples cited, there was Marvel's Giant-Size line in 1975). For whatever reason, the market seemed to reject larger books in favor of the cheaper, smaller books (even though, as noted, the larger books offered a lesser per-page price). I don't know if it was because it was mostly kids buying comics and kids have to watch their pennies, or if it was the perception that comics were a "cheap" form of entertainment and therefore should not cost a lot. The publishers definitely wanted to bring the size and price of comics up (to make them more appealing to retailers) but the market wasn't having it.

Kid said...

It was probably both. Readers might not have minded paying 25c if it was for all-new material, but not for reprints which, apart from a few diehards, no one was much interested in. We'll never know how the Marvel ones would've sold in the long run, because, as I said, their 25c line disappeared after only one issue. Which may have been part of DC's problem; presented with the option of the cheaper Marvel mags against the dearer DC ones, perhaps quite a few readers 'switched sides'. If Marvel had stuck with their 25c line, perhaps sales would've been better balanced between the two companies.

Hunter said...

PC, don't go using brazilian comics as an example on me, I know FAR more about them than any human should.

For example, that 84 to 68 page reduction? It happened during 1986 Plano Cruzado, when publishers weren't allowed BY LAW to raise prices. So they cut pages, same effect. As soon as things got back so a semblance of normalcy, they got to 84 pages again. And to 100 pages before cancellation.

Anyway, both those and the Disney european comics aren't good examples of what I was talking about because they don't PRODUCE new comics for the magazines, like Marvel and DC do, they REPRINT foreign content. I was thinking magazines that publish new material like the old Tintin, Spirou, Pilote and such. Or the newsstand japanese magazines, they didn't have 300+ pages each on the early days, you know.

robcasting said...

Jim,
Since I was a kid I have wondered what happened. Thank you for sharing that.

Diacanu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jimshooter said...

Dear Diacanu,

You left out dealing from the bottom of the deck at the Friday night dime ante poker games.

Diacanu said...

D'oh, he replied, now I gotta put my post back...

Okay, so, let's rack up Jim's alleged telephone distorted crimes so far...

Killed Gene Day with his bare hands, assraped Hulk in the shower of the YMCA, not only made Steve Gerber homeless, but personally stuffed him into the refrigerator box, and John Byrne...well, I dunno what he did to John Byrne, but it must have been horrible, because he's never forgiven him.

I'm going to conjecture that he flew in through John's window with those horrible louse infested bat wings of his, and tried to suck the breath out of his children.

Yeah, that sounds about right, and the readers of Wizard would buy it I bet...

Yeah, let's go with that.

gn6196 said...

it's tough being a boss. I was a supervisor for 5 years and got tired of workers doing the very least they could and still draw a paycheck. When I made them work, they painted me the bad guy. It's human nature to goof off if you can.

jimshooter said...

Dear Rick,

I suppose I'd consider any set up that allowed me to make a living doing work I love. Given the state of the market currently, the state of the economy and the seeming lack of awareness and common sense evidenced by the grand overlords of the big two, it doesn't seem likely that any opportunities for me are going to arise soon.

Dan Nokes said...

Again love your Marvel stories Mister Shooter! I was raised on that era of comics and see you as a big part of that success. I would love to hear your take on Valiant at some point in the future! Thanks again for my favorite comic blog out there!

Anonymous said...

Dear Jim:

Thanks for the answer to my question. And it's a sad answer. But you made so many comebacks against so many odds, I don't doubt you'll find a way. You'll just have to create your own opportunities, won't you?

Thanks for the time and answers.

Cheers.
--Rick Dee