Creator quotables

APARO ON BATS: “… I was doing Batman all those years. I enjoyed doing the Batman character, don’t get me wrong. There’s different writers that write it. Different characters in the stories. It keeps it alive and fresh. You really have to like the characters. You have to be that way to stay fresh.” — Jim Aparo, one of the Bronze Age’s definitive Batman artists, in Comic Book Artist #9, Aug. 2000

THE SECRET ORIGIN OF COMPANY MAN: “I know I have, of late, taken on the mantle of a ‘company man’ and in many ways I am deserving of the title. Even proud. I am a cog in a machine which is Marvel Comics, and I rejoice in that.” — then-superstar John Byrne, in Comics Scene #2, Mar. 1982

FROM THE MAN WHO MADE WOLVERINE WOLVERINE: “Superheroes are not psychotics who put on costumes and go out and kill people. Superheroes are people who are intrinsically better than thee or me. They are more moral, they are more noble, and they’re doing what they’re doing because it’s the right thing to do, not because they’re crazy.” — John Byrne, explaining the difference between “superheros” and “costumed crimefighters” in Comics Interview #71, Jul. 1989

LIFE IMITATING ART: “I find that what working in comics tends to do is heighten my own sense of viewing situations exclusively in a melodramatic conflict kind of view, with, more often than not, an entertainingly destructive climax.” — Chris Claremont, longtime X-Men scribe, in The Comics Reader #164, Jan. 1979

DAVE COCKRUM’S SECRET IDENTITY: “Nightcrawler is a well-adjusted weirdo, as opposed to being a bitter monster, which was what Len Wein wanted to do with him. Nightcrawler is my alter-ego, and there’s no way he’s going to be a bitter monster.” — Dave Cockrum, legendary co-creator of the all-new, all-different X-Men, in Comic Informer #5, Jun.-Jul. 1982

DO AS I SAY … : “I think the inker should follow the penciller’s style and try to make it come through. A lot of inkers these days overpower the pencils, though.” — oft-maligned inker Vince Colletta, in a “Bullpen Bulletins” interview that ran in the May 1983 editions of Marvel comics

CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN: “To my mind, Captain America is a typical American. When America, in the ’40s and ’50s, was fairly right wing, Captain America was, correctly, right wing. When America, in the ’60s and ’70s, was liberal, Captain America was, correctly, liberal.” — Steve Englehart, former Cap scribe, in The Comic Times #2, Sep. 1980

A GOOD CHOICE: “I knew I was going to be a writer, back when I was about five years old, because there didn’t really seem to be much else worth doing.” — Steve Gerber, creator of Howard the Duck, in FOOM #15, Sep. 1976

THEM’S FIGHTING WORDS: “In the middle of a big fight, you don’t have that much time to launch into a large speech. As a reader, you didn’t notice it in Stan’s old stuff, but Captain America would be beating the hell out of the Red Skull and he would be carrying on this incredible philosophical argument. You get into a fight and see how philosophical you get!” — artist Keith Giffen, in Comics Interview #1, Feb. 1983

WELL-LETTERED PRECOGNITION: “One danger, that’s possible in the future, is targeting too closely to the direct fan markets. I don’t think that’s wise. If we narrow our scope too much to a particular market, we could be heading for trouble in the future, even though right now it might work.” — Todd Klein, letterer, in Comics Interview #3, May 1983

THE MAN ON THE KING LEAVING MARVEL: “I know we never had a fight. We got along beautifully. I have the utmost respect for his ability and I wish he’d come back.” — Stan Lee, reflecting on the event that helped launch the Bronze Age, in The Rocket’s Blast-Comicollector #114, Oct. 1974

MAYBE THAT EXPLAINS MARVEL’S EDGE: “I really don’t think Marvel is competing with National. They’re not working for the same market. I work for National because I’m not interested in writing for college students what should be read by kids.” — then-Superman-writer Elliot S. Maggin in Amazing World of DC Comics #2, Sep.-Oct. 1974

TOY STORY: “I thought the comic was better than the toy and I was happy just to be part of it.” — Bing McCoy, creator of the Rom, Spaceknight, action figure, in Back Issue #32, Feb. 2009

A PROFESSIONAL ASSESSMENT: “The world of the comic book professional is one of unstable minds and over-inflated egos (of which I do not exclude myself).” — comics writer David Michelinie, in The Comics Reader #164, Jan. 1979

BUT IF YOU MAKE THOSE COMICS INTO MOVIES … : “If you operate in a vacuum, if you do comic books and only read comic books, you’re going to produce second-generation comic books.” — Frank Miller, then of Daredevil fame, in Comics Feature #14, Dec. 1981

WOULDN’T THAT DISQUALIFY MOST ’90s COMICS, TOO?: “… the Price Guide goes to church groups and libraries and people from all walks of life. If I put the undergrounds in, it would lower the respectability of the Guide just a bit.” — Robert M. Overstreet, author of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, in The Comics Journal #43, Dec. 1978

GEORGE PÉREZ’S DIRTY SECRET: “I’m having the time of my life and getting paid to do it. I’d prefer that most editors didn’t know it, but this is the type of thing I’d do for nothing.” — George Pérez, then a rising superstar on The New Teen Titans, in The Comic Times #3, Nov. 1980

HAS HE SEEN THE PRICES LATELY?: “It’s the Popsicle Principle and the Candy Bar Corollary. As long as we’re in the approximate same proportionate range as we traditionally have been relative to Popsicles, candy bars and other small impulse items that young people buy, who are still a big part of our market, then we can’t be overpriced.” — Jim Shooter, then Marvel editor-in-chief, in Amazing Heroes #6, Nov. 1981

THE TROUBLE WITH TEAM-UPS: “On Two-in-One, I found I had a rough time every month coming up with a storyline that would use other characters and still respect what another writer was doing on the regular series.” — writer Roger Slifer, in Comics Interview #1, Feb. 1983

TELL US WHAT YOU REALLY THINK: “Most freelancers don’t treat this as a business. They use ultimatums. If they learned how to treat this as a business, they’d be making much more than they are now. They’re an ignorant bunch of dummies.” — Jim Starlin, then a Marvel freelancer, in Comics Scene #2, Jan. 1981

STILL GOOD STORY ADVICE TODAY: “Every series done properly should demand stories that could be done for no other series. If you can take a plot and take out Batman and put in Wonder Woman, then you’ve done a bad story.” — Len Wein, then a DC editor, in Comics Scene #1, Jan. 1981

NOW HE KNOWS: “Who knew what The X-Men would grow into? It was just another book. It was no different to me than ‘Brother Voodoo’ or a couple of other new series that I was involved in.” — Len Wein, co-creator of the all-new, all-different X-Men, in Alter Ego #24, May 2003

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