Hey, We Should All Be More Like Keith Giffen

You know, the more and more I read about him, and read his actual work, the more and more I like Keith Giffen. This guy can write, draw, plot, and layout comics and has a real respect and love for the medium.

In the recent issue of Wizard (yeah yeah, get over it) he was quoted when asked about “Late Artists” :

” ‘I put so much detail on the page, it takes me two days to draw a page.’ Well, you might want to rethink your drawing then, skeeter. ‘Yeah, well, I’m working for the art sale afterwards, and it looks good in a frame.’ Then you know what? Die in a fire. You’re a comic book artist! You wanna do posters, do posters! You’re on a deadline here!”

I hollered “TESTIFY!” after reading that. This man may be my new favorite creator in comics.

If you haven’t read anything by Keith Giffen, you should check his work out. He’s doing a bunch of stuff for DC, like the layouts for 52 and writing Blue Beetle and he’s the master plotter for Marvel’s Annihilation event and is writing the main book. He’s also been writing Hero Squared from BOOM! Studios, which I picked up an issue of and laughed hysterically.

And if you haven’t read his earlier work, I recommend finding the trade of his original run on Justice League from back in the 80’s, as well as his revisiting of that work with, Formerly Known as the Justice League and I Can’t Believe It’s Not the Justice League all written with his pal J.M. DeMatteis and drawn by Kevin Maguire.

His work has a biting sense of irony and humor and is a real asset to the comics industry, that I personally feel goes undervalued.


  1. Yeah, I just recently discovered how great he is too. I’ve always known the name, but never really knew the work. The trades you recommended Ron are a great place to start.

    I also liked the Defenders series he and DeMatteis did for Marvel last year.

  2. Die in a fire.
    What an asshole. I love it.

  3. I’ve never read anything he’s done, expect Annihilation Nova (which I know he’s only the editor for) but I’ve heard him on a number of interviews through podcasts. I have to say, I always enjoy listening to him talk. He’s a great interview.

    I also agree with his sentiment on artists. I appreciate good art like everyone else, but if it’s going to take that long, make it bi-monthly so everyone knows. I usually don’t pay that much attention to the background in comics anyways. Usually just the subjects…

  4. Keith is, without a doubt, THE MAN. He’s never afraid to say what he thinks. It’s a beautiful lack of self-censorship that comes from burning out of the industry once or twice in the past already, I bet. He has no fear. We need more curmudgeons like him in this industry. It would make for a lot more interesting podcasts. Hmmm, that gives me ideas. . .

  5. I think that Giffen quote is awesome. We need more people in the biz to let the (frequent) late artists know that we won’t stand for it.

    I also love all of his Justice League work. Especially the The first two trades which collect the late eighties/early nineties stuff. Great, great stuff. Kevin Maguire also brings Giffen and Dematteis’ scripts to life.

  6. The whole industry needs to take this on as personal motto.

    No more ASBAR, blood for ink, blood for ink, eviscerate the proletariat!

  7. Oh crap, we’ve got marxists…

  8. great now we’ll see a crackdown from the comics code authority and huaac
    thanks mithel

  9. Didn’t Giffen create The Trencher? Or do I have the wrong guy.
    I loved when Supreme arrived on earth and they had it out. Also when The Trencher and Shadowhawk had it out. Best book ever.

  10. DIE IN A FIRE.
    nice! i just listened to an interview with him over at fanboyradio..he’s great fun to listen to. funny, honest fella. he has such a zeal for the medium, it’s contagious. he makes me wanna go home and do nothing but sit at my drafting table…

    by Vaneta Rogers

    When fans heard rumors about a new Blue Beetle in 2005, most wondered what creator could possibly hope to replace what Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis did with the character in their ’80s Justice League stories. Ted Kord was indelibly linked to Giffen/DeMatteis, and his unexpected demise in the Countdown to Infinite Crisis special made some wonder if the new creator would be able to break through fans’ prejudice against any new Blue Beetle.

    Imagine everyone’s surprise when we found out the writer who would be taking on the task of replacing the Blue Beetle associated with Giffen was none other than Giffen himself.

    But now comes word that Giffen will be leaving the Blue Beetle title as of Issue #10. After establishing teenager Jaime Reyes as a new Blue Beetle within the DC Universe who not only played a major part in Infinite Crisis but continues to support his own ongoing title, Giffen will turn over writing duties to his co-writer John Rogers at the same time the series brings artist Rafael Albuquerque on board with Issue #11.


    More in the link.