As much as they love you, they’ll turn on you, and after that, there’s just no pleasing anyone. These guys, they take their lumps from a fickle fan base. Some is deserved, and some is not, but rest assured that when you see any of these names, there will be strong and immediate reactions.
5. Jeph Loeb
Loeb isn’t really like other comic book writers. He started in Hollywood, and now he’s the head of Marvel’s television division, but every now and again he’ll write a comic book series that sells in the metric truckloads. His style is bombastic and not often subtle. He knows what the fans want, and he has no problem delivering. He’s also been responsible for what some consider masterpieces. Depending on who you talk to, he’s either the worst, or the best, and there’s very little in between.
4. Greg Land
I’m not sure when it happened. I first learned of Land way back when he worked on Nightwing, before he went to Crossgen. No one had a problem with him then, but by the time he’d come back to work at Marvel, a whole lot of people had a problem with him. He’s accused of using readily available photo reference/tracing, some from more adult material, some from other artists, and issues where the same character doesn’t look the same on one page as another. And at the same time, he continues to work for Marvel. So he must be doing something right, even if that’s just selling a lot of comic books. There are plenty of people who don’t know anything about the controversy, and they like it just fine. There are plenty of others who never read a Land book in their life who call him the worst thing ever.
3. Frank Miller
No one can argue that Miller isn’t one of the most important creators comic books have ever seen. Batman: Year One, The Dark Knight Returns, 300, Sin City, and others are all more than beloved. And yet, Holy Terror, Miller’s latest release was met with about as much derision as I have ever seen for a comic book. He followed that up with a now famous screed about the Occupy protesters, and that was just about all she wrote. It was also the last thing he wrote on his blog. Maybe the comics audience related too closely to “a bunch of iPhone, iPad wielding spoiled brats who should stop getting in the way of working people and find jobs for themselves.” At this point though, I think comics may have left Frank behind for good. That’s more than a little sad.
2. Rob Liefeld
I have never seen the level of venom aimed at a creator as I have with Rob Liefeld. People have been dogging him for years, saying he can’t draw, saying he was a bad business man, saying he can’t write, and yelling at him for having the temerity to stick around in comics. But he’s still here. In fact, Rob Liefeld has a bigger presence in comics today than he’s had since Image went big. The thing is, there’s a bit of a disconnect between what people say about Liefeld, and the character that Liefeld projects. I’ve rarely met anyone who projects the same kind of enthusiasm about the medium as Liefeld does. He doesn’t seem to let any of the people get him down, and no one would blame him if he did. He’s definitely got fans though, and whatever their reasons, they love him and his work.
1. Alan Moore
Let me put it this way. Alan Moore is the best comic book writer the industry has ever seen. I truly believe that. He knows what the medium is capable of, and has stretched that to it’s limit, even within the confines of mainstream superhero comics. Watchmen is considered to be among the best novels written in the last century, and comic book fans don’t even necessarily consider it his best work. The guy has chops. No one can deny it. But somewhere along the line, his obstinate and hardline stance with comic book publishers, and his outspoken declarations, along with the whole wizard thing, have lead to people speculating that he’s the bad guy. A lot of younger readers, people who have come along in the last decade or so have expressed that terrible term “overrated” followed by that easy put-down that he’s “crazy.” The quotes often attributed to him, and his frequent re-use of characters created by others leave little doubt in the minds of his detractors. Yet anyone who was around before Moore knows that his contributions are as important as anyone’s in giving us the comics industry we have today. For good or bad.