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Mark Waid on, well, everything

by  in Comic News Comment

Ain’t It Cool News has a lengthy and engrossing interview with Mark Waid up. I only intended to skim it and come back to it later, but I ended up reading the whole thing in one sitting. It covers everything from his early memories of reading comics to his current role as BOOM! editor-in-chief, and hits on maybe every major title he’s worked on in between. Even his run on Ka-Zar, which I really enjoyed.

It’s also very candid; if you ever wanted to know Waid’s take on the “suburban” Fantastic Four/Bill Jemas debacle, working with Alex Ross on Kingdom Come or how things worked at CrossGen, it’s in there. As is his take on the biggest challenge of 52:

BM: 52 was a series that featured multiple writers on the same weekly title, of which you were one. Was that a difficult challenge?

MW: Oh, it was an unbelievable challenge. But there is not one ounce of PR or fabrication in the statement, “We loved it because all four writers respected one another immensely.” Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka and I viewed one another as peers, each able to bring something unique to the process. But under the coordination of editor Steve Wacker (and later, Michael Siglain), we had two or three big in-person summits, participated in big conference calls each week, and kept in constant contact with one another throughout.

The biggest challenge was actually, wisely, kept from us by Steve. EIC Dan Didio, who first championed the concept, hated what we were doing. H-A-T-E-D 52. Would storm up and down the halls telling everyone how much he hated it. And Steve, God bless him, kept us out of the loop on that particular drama. Siglain, having less seniority, was less able to do so, and there’s one issue of 52 near the end that was written almost totally by Dan and Keith Giffen because none of the writers could plot it to Dan’s satisfaction. Which was and is his prerogative as EIC, but man, there’s little more demoralizing than taking the ball down to the one-yard line and then being benched by the guy who kept referring to COUNTDOWN as “52 done right.”