This is my favourite John Dokes story;
Almost twenty years ago, Dokes used to work for the Marvel Direct Sales department under Matt Ragone. At the Marvel summer picnic, which happened shortly after Dokes started with Marvel, they all headed out to a ranch for fun and games. The summer picnic was one of two events that Stan the Man came out to New York for (the other being the annual Christmas Party), and this one was no exception.
During the company softball game, which was a fairly competitive affair, Stan ambled over and requested to pitch to a batter or two, and none of the staff had the cojones necessary to turn him down. Now, this was twenty years ago, but Stan was still not exactly in game condition. His apparel certainly wasn’t–plaid pants and a button down long sleeve dress shirt that made me sweat just to look at him. Well, Stan wound up for his first pitch–to none other than out man of the hour, Mr. John Dokes III,–and let er’ rip.
Well Johnny let ‘er rip as well–blasting a comebacker to the mound that knocked Stan from his perch and flattened the poor septuagenarian. Immediately, what seemed like dozens of people rushed to Stan’s side, where, other than some ripped pants and a bloody knee, nothing much was hurt besides his pride. Still, chants of “Fire the new guy!” reached a fever pitch till Stan himself dismissed it as being all in good fun. Stan also milked his injured status for some TLC from the quite-attractive ranch lifeguard personnel, asking if his injuries merited mouth-to-mouth, which, unfortunately for him, they didn’t.
The news is out today that John Dokes, Senior VP at Marvel Comics has been let go by the company. I’m told this actually happened before the release of the Avengers movie, but Marvel didn’t want it to get out till after then. And as Heidi pointed out, he was still being quoted in press releases today... but Marvel may have delayed non-Avengers movie press releases for a couple of weeks. But it came as a surprise to Marvel employees, who still aren’t sure what happened and why.
I’ve been told by a number of connected sources to expect a few similar stories at Marvel – either resignations or people leaving, as the screws tighten on employees and employee pay. Dokes’ SVP role in “Integrated Sales and Marketing, Publishing and Digital Media” would seem to be at a high at the moment, and he was a very popular and well regarded employee at the company. He even had to deal with me a few times, back in the Lying In The Gutters days, so you can tell he had skills.
His performance skills also saw him do a few internal projects. “Marvel: Your Universe.” That was him. And he was always up for a photo…