Greg Rucka On Leaving Marvel And DC Behind

You know, I’m starting to worry for  the now-named Mark Millar’s CLiNT. With Jupiter’s Children and Nemesis 2 both delayed until next year, are we going to get to a point where Mark Millar’s CLiNT runs out of Mark Millar material to print? Will we see Unfunnies, Shadowmen and Saviour pulled out from the bottom drawer? Or will it become more of a Mark Millar Presents affair?

It’s not a problem with the latest issue however, just out, full of Supercrooks, Hit Girl and Secret Service, which also has an interview with Greg Rucka. In which he lays out his current relationship with the Big Two. Here’s a clip.

When asked about creator ownership, he replies;

The dirty little secret is that those Image guys made all these deals and almost to a man failed to deliver. They burnt Hollywood horribly on letting comics talent actually be a part of the production of the material they sold.

I’ve reached the end of my Work For Hire rope. I’m enjoying The Punisher, but that’s not mine, it’s Marvel’s, and l knew that going in. I have spent a lot of my comics career in service of other masters, – and I’ve had enough of that for now. I’m sick to death of the way the Big Two treat people.

I gave seven very good years to DC and they took gross advantage of me. That’s partially my fault, but not entirely. At this point, I see no reason why I should have to put up with that, I can sink or swim on my own.

You are seeing a grotesque Hollywoodisation of the two main companies. There was at least a period where I felt that the way they wanted to make money was by telling the best story they could; now the quality of the work matters less than that the book comes out. There is far less a desire to see good work be done.

Dan DiDio has gone on record, and this is the same man that said Gotham Central would never be cancelled as long as he was there, telling people what a great book Gotham Central was, but it never made any money.

Well, take a look at your trade sales! That book has made nothing but money as a trade. What I’m now being told is, ”lt was never worth anything to us anyway.”So, you know what? They can stop selling the Batwoman: Elegy trade and stop selling the Wonder Woman trades and everything else I’ve done, because clearly I’ve not done anything of service and those guys aren’t making any money off me.

Right now, where the market is, I have no patience for it.

My run on Punisher ends on #16, and we are then doing a five-issue mini called War Zone and then I’m done. That’s it! The Powers-That-Be at Marvel, without talking to me, decreed that he’s going to join a team on another book.

That’s their choice, they own him, but I don’t have to be happy about it. I am glad I had the opportunity to work on the character and I’m proud of the work I’ve done.

Despite what the publishers say, their  interest in the talent is minimal now, the interest is only in promoting the financial worth of their properties. That was not the case as of two or three years ago, when there was an ‘Exclusives war’, but that’s all gone by the wayside now. Ultimately, they are saying, “We don’t need you,’ because they can get a million more just like you.

For every person who passes on the opportunity to write  Spider-Man or Superman, I guarantee there are 5000 hungry writers who would give their eye-teeth to do it. But just because they want to do it, it doesn’t mean they are capable of doing it. It comes down entirely to Warner Bros. realising what they owned but had not exploited. At the end of the Harry Potter franchise, they went “Oh, crap, we need something else fast’, looked over at Marvel’s very very successful film program.

DC are playing catch up with Marvel, because of things like The Avengers breaking six hundred million domestic. That’s a lot of money, I don’t begrudge Warner Bros wanting to make bank it would be like blaming a shark for eating, but l do think that the pursuit of that financial windfall bears a detrimental effect on the creative and artistic side.

A lot more in the mgazine itself, including his crime novel work and his future plans at Image. Mark Millar’s CLiNT is available from comic stores and the occasional newsagent nowish.