Rob Liefeld Done at DC?

Earlier today, Rob Liefeld took to Twitter, that favorite venue for irritated comic book creators, to unleash a torrent of ire at DC Comics. He started by saying that he had officially notified DC that he would be no longer writing Deathstroke, Grifter, and The Savage Hawkman. He went on to blame editorial and paint a picture of a chaotic relationship between editorial and talent, a claim that was backed up by at least one other comic book creator on Twitter, and one that jibes with reports we’ve heard over the last year.

Here’s a sampling:

We’ve contacted DC Comics and are awaiting comment.

In other recent Rob Liefeld news, his Image Comics title Bloodstrike has recently been put into film development by 1984 Private Defense Contractors and Energy Entertainment.

Comments

  1. Mickey Mickey (@GeeksOfChrist) says:

    Back to selling jeans!

  2. Eh.

  3. Yay! I can start reading Deathstroke again now that “RON” Liefeld is gone!

  4. lol i can never take anything he says seriously because of that photo

    • It just dawned on me…look at his facial structure in that photo and then that of all of his male (and some female) characters… he’s been drawing his face on ’em!

    • @neums – I saw the same thing about Frank Quitely but nobody believes me. Wonder if Steve Dillon resembles the face he draws on all his people? We may have uncovered something!

    • @neums @kennyg: The whole “artist draws people that resemble themselves” thing is a theory I’ve had for a very long time. I think the fact that most artists’ first and most accessible face model is their own, so it makes sense to me that their characters would look a bit like them.

    • this theory is brilliant, someone needs to write a thesis on this

    • I kinda like his shirt in that picture. You read that, Rob? It ain’t all negative. Nice shirt, brah.

    • It’s easiest to see the artist/character face modelling in some of the more professional artists. Specifically I am thinking… *drum roll*… Sienkiewicz. Thank you. Thank you. I’ll be here all week. Tip your hostess. Be sure to spay and neuter all your pets.

    • Props to Alex Ross for using some actual other people to model for his work.

  5. Say what you will about the Rob, but when you hear the same story from so many creators, you really have to wonder “hey manybe there is something to this…perhaps we should have a vision for where we want things to go BEFORE the issues are 90% done”.

    It’s Wonder Woman’s pants X one million.

    • Didn’t George Perez just say the same thing last month? He’s not what I would call “indie talent” who isn’t used to rewrites. He’s been a giant in the industry for thirty years or more.

    • Perez. Yes he did.

    • The weird thing is these decisions apparently AREN’T coming from Didio. Now that could just be people trying to keep relations friendly in case they ever want a job again but in the past creators have called him and his decisions out directly for souring relations or putting undo strain on their stories. But Bernardin, Perez and now Liefeld have all said specifically that they AREN’T getting these orders from him or Lee or even Johns so what the hell is going on that not only are bad decisions being made at the company but they aren’t even coming from the main editorial office?

    • This is definitely appearing to be a pattern and it seems there is indeed something specific souring relations over there. Whether this is coming form middle management or the higher ups remains to be seen.

  6. I would like to know how does these rewrites begins. Does an editor of book send to their higher-ups the script of the story, and then they demand changes? Or does the higher up start demand changes right from the get-go? And second, these “changes”, what’s the purpose? Are they trying to main some level of continuity, consistency in the story or what?

    From what I can tell, I find it hard for a writer to do decent work if the editors constantly demand changes. DC Comics got to know that all these majors changes in the story or what have you is the bound to prevent a creator from doing less than stellar work. And they can’t be surprised when 2nd or even 3rd tier books are not selling well.

    • It’s not like I’m an expert or something, but from what I’ve understood, the writer of the book has a deadline to write his monthly piece. He sends the script for the month to his assistant editor (who is responsible for one title), who can be backed-up by the main editor (who is responsible for a group of titles, like the “superman group” or the “batman group”).

      After that the editor makes the change. In the best of case it is a negociation process : the editor rewrites the usual small sentence mistakes or languauge issues, and can make bigger changes continuity-wise or story-wise.

      So it doesn’t come directly from the higher-ups, but the “continuity line” that is currently used is always the result of a decision from the higher-ups, who chose which continuity to back-up after they heard the proposals of all the writers. For instance, on Batman, Scott Snyder can propose his vision, Tony Daniel can propose his, and then a continuity scheme for the upcoming year or so is chosen from there. And then all the writers on the Batman books have to keep in mind what is the main consensus. Editors can change scripts depending on how much the script blends well or not with the said main consensus.

  7. He’s probably not the greatest writer out there, but it sure does suck that we lost guys like Edmonson to him, probably also due to editorial problems. Maybe it’s time DC got some new editors rather than having creative teams change twice a year on books. Why do I get the feeling you are going to see a lot of the new indie writers popping up at Marvel as part of Marvel NOW! over the next six months rather than DC using them now?

    • I think it’s just different editorial policies. In the iFanboy video interview with Axel Alonso at SDCC, he said Marvel is interested in long-term story telling, and they have no interest in having one creative team stay on for only a few months then leave.

    • Well, you can shuffle creative teams all you want, but what’s the constant in all those situations? Yup, the editor. It’s like your buddy saying “All the girls I date wind up being crazy” – well, stop picking crazies, you’re the constant in these relationships! Maybe it is time for some editorial shuffling. See if the problems travel with the editors or not.

    • Marvel changes artists on books every other month. Why do they even bother announcing the artist? Just say a rotating cast of artppl.

  8. This sounds like a crazy situation. Its never a great idea to micromanage your freelance creative talent regardless of what industry your in. The freelancer starts to resent you and the project and it turns into a “how can i make this guy happy so i can turn in my invoice” instead of “how can i do my best work?”

    • That is so true. I work freelance and I do my best work when I’m given a greater degree of control. My theory is: You hired me, knowing my style and strengths, so why go to all that trouble to play me out of position? If you’re the expert – you do it. A direct lack of creative responsibility consistently leads to ‘filler’ output in my experience.

  9. Based on his track record, can he blame anyone for being skeptical about his claims?

    • Well except the numerous other writers and artists who have commented on the horrible editorial mandates and policies at DC over the last year or so.

    • By track record you mean “strong work ethic”, and “a nose for how to be a successful ‘hands-off’ editor of his own comic book line”?

      Don’t get me wrong, I am not a fan of Rob Liefeld’s writing or art. But the guy is a freaking work horse who takes his job seriously, and Extreme Comics is a freaking Cinderella story.

  10. This doesn’t surprise me on both counts of Liefelds credibility & a lot of the creative issues that have been ongoing at DC’s editorial set-up!

  11. Festivus comes early this year!

  12. See ya, Rob. It’s been real.

    To say I’m not a fan is putting it lightly. I avoid everything the guy touches. But this is always unfortunate to see. This is obviously becoming more and more of a problem. And without outlets like Twitter on which creators can rant freely, it’s really not helping DC’s image at the moment. This kind of thing has always happened, but now it’s out there in real time in the social network, instead of appearing in an expose years down the line. DC and Marvel really have to stay on top of this and get it under control. I’m unaware of the process, so I won’t speculate on how they can fix it. But something needs to be done. If this treatment of talent continues, the big two will find themselves grasping to compete with companies like Image in the blink of an eye.

  13. Rob is just one of those things that shoulda stayed in the 90’s. So, in that regard, this is a good thing… but really I guess this whole thing speaks to the greater editorial problems we’re seeing at DC. It makes me wonder about the fate of comics that (classic comic book hope) we thought we’re going to be good but weren’t so hot. Action Comics?

    Ultimately, as a consumer, I shouldn’t be seeing or hearing about this. Biting the hand that feeds and all that. Rob, you’re such a disease. Look whatcha did ya little jerk. You’re what the French call les incompetents.

  14. While I’m sure it can be frustrating to work for either of the “Big Two”, I’m reading a large amount of Diva in these comments from Liefeld. Remember when he walked off his project with Kirkman a year ago? Citing that he’s been in the industry longer and shouldn’t have to take suggestions from anyone. I vote this is the reason why he jumped over to Image in the first place, he doesn’t like anyone telling him what to do. Which is fine, and pretty common for an artist. But how long do you have to work in this industry to recognize that editors and hierarchy are just part of the process. Get over it, princess. And, yeah, you’re art kinda sucks.

  15. The DC Editorial Dept. is in dire need of it’s own re-boot. And not a “soft one.”

    Hiring Bob Harras is proving to have been a serious error.
    His subsequent commissioning of “talent” seemed dodgy as hell at the time & the dividends are now becoming clear.

    DC need a genuine replacement in the style of Archie Goodwin.
    A nurturer of genuine talent who understood the art of fine editing doesn’t include obsessive group-think or ego/fear driven tinkering.

    • Harras may be part of the problem but the problem precedes Harras. The NuDC reeks of the same mess that mired Didio’s stink as EIC.

    • @Bluestreak, I also have little faith in Didio’s instincts but I’ve assumed the malaise we’re discussing is more a result of editorial decisions at Harras’ level.

      Of course, he has his own directive(s) from Dan, it’s just we’re now getting to a level of detail, where I’m utterly ignorant.

      I’m also curious about the level of Diane Nelson’s involvement.

      Ridiculously late, 3rd/4th round of serious changes to plot, suggests tinkering from “on high.”

    • It’s an interesting question. DiDio is a far more prominent publisher than Buckley is at Marvel. in fact he is still the public face of the company. That’s why i feel that he is still the one calling the shots.
      I don’t think Diane Nelson would have much input in the particulars of DC’s relaunch. She would have approved the relaunch but at that level you have to trust the people beneath you.
      Her failing is to have been sold on Didio. I mean the only explanation I can imagine Didio gave for the tanking line is that Levitz didn’t let him reboot and that continuity was making it too hard for him.
      I don’t blame Didio for failed relaunches of Flash and Wonder Woman and Superman in the past. Marvel relaunches fail too (Punisher, Defenders). I blame him because the ideas at the heart of his relaunches were so obviously feeble that it is obvious to everyone that it is wrong with one or two issues. I mean WTF was the pitch behind the latest relaunch of Green Arrow? or Hawkman? or Deathstroke?
      Whether you like Marvel relaunches of Punisher or Defenders I find that at the least their is a strong core to the concept.

  16. Maybe Liefeld taking on three titles as writer/ co-writer and artist might have something to do with last minute changes and indecision.

    I just hope these problems don’t affect John Layman’s turn at Detective Comics because I’m really looking forward to it.

  17. Never read a Liefeld book. Never wanted to. Only character I like from him is Deadpool, but only on Uncanny X-Force. So to this news update I say “Meh” lol : )

  18. all criticism of his recent work aside, maybe he will be able work on something new, playing to his strengths on, his own. rob liefeld can only BE himself.

  19. Why is it that Liefeld’s deals always seem to go so bad?

    First, things end terribly at Image. Then he gets in a pissing match with Marvel over Dead Pool Corps or whatever and stops working at Marvel for a second time. After that he gets pissy because of Kirkman saying his art sucked on The Infinite and quits that book. Now it’s DC who has done him wrong, apparently.

    Just seems like the dude is hard to work with.

  20. I’m no fan of Liefield but the problems with DC are root and branch problems with editorial and management at DC. I remain convinced that Didio has very bad instincts

  21. IMO I never understood what was so great about Liefeld anyways. We all have our fav artists and writers he just never appealed to me. I won’t miss him.

  22. This guys is always changing his mind and getting in beefs, just look at the past. Heard he was upset with Marvel too!! Geez Rob just make your own books and stick to them. People will have more respect for you then :p

  23. Weird this page almost has the same amount of comments as Superman/Wonder Woman.

    • I think this thread is going beyond the symptom, Liefeld’s walk-out & addressing the growing concerns re : DC’s editorial processes, decision-making & treatment of talent.

  24. NOW EVERY ISSUE 13 SHOULD OPEN WITH,grifter,deathstroke, and Hawkman, waking up,.Having everything liefeild did, just a dream. Im not saying i want retcons this early but LIEFEILD ruined these characters….Grifter with Powers???plz….

  25. Now can we get a good writer and artist to restart Hawk and Dove from scratch and maybe a six issue story arc by Geoff Johns on Hawkman to get that book on track too!

  26. I’m sorry but I can’t believe anything this crazy man has to say. He fucked at Image twice and went into a similar hissy fit when leaving Marvel. So now I’m suppose to believe it’s all DC’s fault he is leaving? Maybe DC isn’t perfect with their editorial but I gotta think working with Liefeld is a huge pain in the ass. Then again it was their fault for hiring him in the first place so I guess they’re both losers.

    I just want him out of the limelight now. You got your money in the 90s and will continue to get money for running Image and creating characters like Deadpool. He’s a bad, bad, bad, BAD relic of the 90s and I just want him away from my comics.

  27. A lot of mixed feeling about this one. Don’t think Liefeld is a good writer, but there are a lot of good writers who are complaining about the same thing. I also wonder how much this is influenced by Warner Bros. Corporate leadership.

    • If that was the case wouldn’t we be hearing about the same thing from Marvel under Disney’s corporate leadership?

    • @USPUNX: Not necessarily. Just because they’re in the same industry does not mean their corporate cultures are similar. Take Apple and Microsoft, or Toyota and General Motors, as examples of how different companies can approach the same business.

    • @Ken: Yeah that’s true. I guess I should have expanded a little more on my point. My main thinking was Disney is a company of strict rules and image, more so than WB is seems. Just look at all the crazy rules you have to follow to work at DisneyLand!

    • @USPUNX: That’s true (about working in the parks), but the parks are only one arm of a much larger organization. Disney is also heavy into non-media stuff too, like experience design and even next-gen human-computer interface systems (http://www.telepresenceoptions.com/2012/08/disney_researchers_add_virtual/).

      So my (totally outsider) impression is that Marvel is a bit like Pixar — part of the Disney family, but largely allowed to make it’s own decisions. Marvel lives in the House of Mouse’s garage apartment, if you will. Whereas DC Entertainment feels like it’s living firmly under WB’s roof.

    • ha. marvel is boner to disney’s growing pains.

  28. I wonder how many times something like this has to happen at DC before people stop blaming the creators. I guess at least once more…

  29. Not a fan of the man, but it should be recognized that DC probably hired him to lure many of his fans from the 90s back to the comic shops. And of the N52 comics I’ve read by him, I haven’t been turned off. He seemed to have long range plans for each of his titles, or at least it seemed that way when Sinutres interviewed him.

    As a fan of DC comics, (and by that I mean I used to buy and devour most floppies every month pre-digital era) I am getting tired of the revolving door of talent. Never in my years of collecting comics (from early 80s – 95 and 2005-present) have I been reluctant to buy a title until now. I am afraid to get involved in a story line that may switch gears while I turn the (digital) page. Which means a sure sale is gone, and probably for good for said title.

    I am enjoying the N52, but at the rate things are changing, I may only be reading the N15. (Of course as long as Waid, Morrison, Johns and Rucka are steering the ship, all will be well. Ooops, I meant Lemire, Snyder, Johns, Simone and Higgins).

    • I 100 percent agree with you wrote. So it seems according to DC Comics, writers got at least 6 months of monthly comics to produce a story. And unless that story bring high level of sales, you will be canceled or replaced in a heartbeat.

      With all the news of how horrible DC editorial is, it makes you wonder why any up-in-coming writers would want to take a shot in writing for DC.

  30. All opinions of Liefield aside (& mine are as negative as any), when you have a number of creators saying the same thing it seems pretty certain there is “fire” behind the “smoke”. I wonder if it will ever be clear which level of DC is primarily responsible – I hope (!) it gets fixed, & soon.

  31. I haven’t read any of the 3 New52 books Rob took over but love those characters and handling all 3 off them completely different stories couldn’t be easy and if the editors at DC were wanting to change everything last minute, I don’t blame him. Despite what anyone thinks of his art, he has made some big contributions to the comix history canon creating some classic characters and co-founding Image. His art never seemed to evolve from the late 80’s/90’s to now but I was enjoying Bloodstrike recently, I know he wasn’t on it but penned the original run and created it along with some other successful characters we know. Good luck Rob! Good luck Bloodstrike comic and movie!

  32. Hey he also took a shoot at iFanboy last night on twitter saying, “isn’t hate all iFanboy does?”. Which to me is very incorrect and jut sound bitter. Anyway, the guy has been a mad man on twitter for a while.

    And when you sign on for something like work at Marvel or DC, dont these guys expect to have to deal with editors and a coroporate culture? And when you are one of the founders of Image but can’t get along with any of those guys, (for the most part) maybe it isnt everyone else on Earth that doesn’t “get” you or appreciate your work. Just maybe it’s you.

    • I stopped following him long long ago just because of stuff like this. Smart dude there, ya know, because he’s the first one to figure out, ya know, that we’re (IFanboy community) all full of hate, and stuff. Genius dude right there. Right on the money with that one. Our negativity knows no bounds. (Extreme Sarcasm)

      Seriously though, it sounds like this dude only read threads about himself, which would probably give him that impression, but I’ve been to the other sites, and Rob Liefeld threads are hate filled on all of them SOOOooo…

    • That is just such a misinformed thing to say. He has clearly never been to this site.

    • What makes it even more ridiculous is the fact that every time I’ve heard the guys talk about Liefeld, they speak fondly of him. Occasionally they’ll critique his artwork, but with nowhere near the amount of venom that the rest of us do. They often applaud his enthusiasm, and seem to have nothing but respect for his place in the industry’s history. It’s the rest of us that can’t seem to stand the guy. So if he was refering to the fans of the site, and not the site itself, he’s not wrong. But he should’ve been more clear.

    • Wow I didn’t see that comment about iFanboy but if he did say that then what a bullshit thing to say.

      Considering how much leeway Ron has to go to even bring up his books on the podcast AND interview him….That is a very dick move.

    • Here’s the entire ifanboy rant on Twitter if people can’t find it:

      @CharlesDowd: “Haters gonna hate, but the guy does it his way. Gotta respect that. RT @ifanboy: @robertliefeld quits his DC books?”

      @robertliefeld: “isn’t hate all that ifanboy does?? @CharlesDowd @ifanboy”

      @MDunn82: “@robertliefeld @DeathToFanboys is right up your alley man. A movement to rid the medium of that type of ignorance.”

      @roberliefeld: “I’m in… @MDunn82 @DeathToFanboys”

      The guy he was talking to might have been referring to ‘fanboys’ in general. But the evidence is right there.

      Can we like, ban all Liefeld books on this site? Not like Prophet or Glory; I mean the books he actually works on.

    • The iFanboy podcast just praises comics and just this past week defended why they never talk about the books they don’t like. The community though at times cynical praises creators all the time, some almost to the point of hero worship. Synder, Kirkman, Remender, Morrison, Hickman, Waid, Brubaker, Aaron, BKV, the loved creator list is to long to mention.

      Here we talk about comics. Liefeld’s art is bad, so we say it is bad. His writing is bellow average, so we say its bellow average. Create a poor product and insult comic fans and see how many books you sell. What a joke.

  33. DC obviously has some serious internal issues. I really don’t want to be Mr. Negative or anything, but the very FIRST thing I thought when I heard this news about Liefeld was “Ding! Dong! The witch is dead! Which old witch? The Wicked Witch is dead!” Seriously, every single word immediately exploded into my head. One word: Grifter.

  34. Now Rob can be the fill-in artist on Deadpool after Tony Moore does his usual 3 and out.

  35. Over/Under (4): Number of issues until Grifter, Hawkman, and Deathstroke get canceled after Liefeld’s Zero Issues.

  36. Does anyone know when DC will announce the new writers for these books mainly Hawkman?

  37. He just got over his ‘B’ list insults about the creators working on Deadpool and now this.The evidence is there that he is a massive dbag and a diva IMO. That said I also think it’s clear that the DCnU is a thrown together poorly planned mess. I went from most of my monthlies being almost all DC to only getting Batman, All Star Western and the Earth 2 titles. I love the DC characters but they are making it hard to find a reason to care.

  38. The DC editorial staff is probably just a bunch of hipsters who can’t handle his drawing of feet.

  39. someone ask Jennette Khan to come back!

  40. We don’t really know the full story of what’s going on here, but I find it curious that people are so willing to assume that editorial is automatically in the wrong and should always defer to the writers/artists.

    As a prose author, I count on my editors to call me out when I turn in work that’s under par or sloppy. That’s what they’re there for. It’s their duty to both the writer and the audience to make sure the final product is quality. If a writer is turning in subpar dialogue, or presents an unbelievable plot twist, or something like that, it’s editorial’s job to put a stop to it. I’m guessing that this is problematic in the comic book world, where there’s tight deadlines and there’s no other option (it’s not like they can *not* put out an issue of Batman if the writer just can’t get his shit together).

    I’d love to interview some editors and find out how all that works. In other fiction publications, the editors can simply reject work, but there’s a give-and-take in comics that’s a lot more complicated. I think some of these comic writers don’t realize that in the rest of the publishing industry, it’s the editor who needs to be impressed, not the writer.

  41. They made Bob Harras the Editor in Chief. He was the one that was helming the ship at Marvel when the clone saga was dragged on and micro-managed the X-Men books and pissed off Mark Waid. DC has the sales increases so they’ll keep spinning the plates and grinding through their talent as long as the numbers stay up. When they start to drop you’ll see a change in strategy but for now, what’s their impetus for change? I’m not going to miss Liefeld on the books but I don’t see this trend at DC changing until sales drop below pre-Flashpoint numbers.

  42. You can love or hate the Big Two, but this is one guy that seems to burn every bridge he crosses. I’m not jumping to conclusions that DC is a mad house right now. It’s a big company that’s trying to sell product. They may make decisons that an employee doesn’t agree with. Welcome to the real world.

  43. Good riddance, and take your pouches , over sized guns and no pupils with ya

  44. Okay I think we’re gonna need another article on this cause Liefeld is just totally destroying himself on Twitter right now.

    Making fun of Snyder, DC, AND iFanboy? This is obviously more then just DC Editorial. It’s more about how much of a bum Liefeld is.

  45. Just like the 90’s

  46. This could be a cry for help. Liefeld could be experiencing a mental breakdown

    Symptoms of a Mental Breakdown include…

    Strange behavior
    Exhibiting strong or violent anger
    Mood swings

    Also, diarrhea. Has he tweeted anything about having diarrhea?

  47. PLEASE DON’T GO TO MARVEL!
    PLEASE DON’T GO TO MARVEL!
    PLEASE DON’T GO TO MARVEL!

  48. ***Apologies in advance, Liefeld fans. I’m not trying to be a hater***

    However:

    Given Rob’s track record for generally writing stories that are full of crappy dialogue, factual errors, plot holes and the same basic narratives over and over, (as well as his, shall we say, ‘less than stellar’ artwork), is it any wonder the guy attracts a lot of editorial intervention?

    His writing and his art are simply not up to the standard of the rest of DCs creative roster. Personally, I would hate to edit a Liefeld book. I wouldn’t know where to begin.

    To my mind, it’s actually a small miracle that he was given such strong promotion (as well as so much high-profile work) whilst at DC. His books were a real low point of the ‘New 52’ for me.

    I realize that its neither big or clever to get on this particular bandwagon, but it warrants consideration.