Mike Deodato is a big fan of the Italian western character Tex published by Sergio Bonelli. He has talked up his desire to draw a story featuring the character, even though he is exclusive to Marvel Comics.
Lately, we learned he was trying to draw a story for them. Clearly it didn’t go down too well. He posted on Facebook, translated,
“I just told a Bonelli editor to f*** himself. I’m the nicest guy in the universe, but that madman passed all limits. The Tex drawings you saw were the last I’ll ever do. I will never draw the character again.”
What went down? Well we soon heard from the other side as Sergio Bonelli editor Mauro Boselli approached BadComics.it saying (translated),
On his Facebook page, Deodato (or perhaps one of his fans) speaks of “broken dreams”. The problem is that it was a too expensive dream for Bonelli, as the good Mike (“the nicest man in the world”, as he calls himself on Facebook) wanted a figure (which are not authorized to disclose ) which is about twice what the best of out artists. And Mike demanded this just for pencils. We told him that was not possible. He asked is time to reflect. He’d said the money was not a problem. But then he still had the same opinion. So it was a problem. Oh well, legitimate. Then we said goodbye on email, but I made the mistake of asking him to please stop giving interviews about his desire to draw Tex, as that collaboration was impossible for economic reasons. My mistake, because the interviews came out before we talked, and I had not realized. Mike could have let me know without getting angry. Instead he got angry. A lot.
Well, Mike Deodato didn’t like that interpretation of events. He wrote,
Not a surprise, but it seems like that Sergio Bonelli Editore editor I mentioned before is not only an asshole, but also a liar. He went public disclosuring our PRIVATE conversation and of course distorting it in his behalf, so I have no choice but to reply by posting our WHOLE conversation here, so you can see what a nice guy he is. I’ve covered with exes some names and phone numbers.
It began so nicely as well… ere are the mails, reconfigured for ease of reading.
First of I wanted to apologize for missing our meeting on Saturday in Lucca. I was very sick, sorry. It was the first time in almost thirty years travelling that I missed a day in a convention I was attending.
As our commom friend xxxxxxxx may have already told you I’m a big fan of western and would love to have the chance of working in a Tex story someday.
So please, tell me: Who do I have to kill to get that?
don’t worry! First of all, you have to draw the studies, or model sheets, or what you’re gonna call them, of the main characters of the series: Tex Willer, Kit Carson, Kit Willer and Tiger Jack, Do you know them already? Do you want me to send you a dozen or more books of Tex? Let me know as soon as possible.
Here is my Tex study, Mauro. Will do the rest of the gang as soon as I get more free time from Marvel.
It’s beautiful, but not enough nor very useful.
You must draw a REAL model sheet (face, body, static, action, with horse, front, profile)
not an illustration like this one. I can’t understand your interpretation of the character.
No problem, Mauro.
If not much trouble, can you send me via email a couple of examples of some Tex model sheet previously done by others?
I wanna make sure to get it right this time.
Sorry, we don’t keep them. Take your time.
Wow! You work really fast… and well!
I’m impressed with your technique and style, notwithstanding some freedom of interpretation. Do you draw only in “mezzatinta”? The director Macheselli has some perplexiity about that. We don’t do Tex that way, but it could be in COLOURS…
Can you call me by phone tomorrow in the morning ? Where do you live, by the way?
Happy you like it, Mauro. I work in a range of styles. I wanted to emulate Milazzo’s on those samples. If you don’t want “mezzatinta” I can do it in pure black, no problem. My original style is usually way more straight and way less loose, but I thought it would be more suited to the story if I loosen up.
I live in Brasil, so it is 4 hours difference for less here. It is 7:47 in the morning here right now.
I can call you, yes, what is your phone number? mine is (55 Brasil code) 83 xxxxxxxx
All right. NOT TODAY. Call me TOMORROW in the morning at EIGHT. It will be noon for me.
Sorry for taking so long to answer, Mauro. After a lot of talking Marvel finally gave me permission to draw that Tex story if you are still interested.
Marvel work has priority, so it will take a long time for me to finish it, since I’d be working on it only during my free time. It may take a whole year or six months, hard to predict since I don’t know the volume of work coming ahead from MArvel (In normal conditions I’m pretty quick: I finished the last issue of Original Sin – a 30 page story – in 30 days ).
Best wishes and happy Holidays!
Well, glad to hear that. Let’s talk about it after the holidays. I’ll be back after January the 6th. Maybe we’ll start with a couple of pages just to warm over, see where it goes . I’m busy with many projects now and I can’t begin at once, I think I can free myself a little around February if it’s okay for you-
It remains anyway to discuss the question of payment and we’ll talk about that by phone after the holidays. IF you work on this project, you’ll have to do pencils, inks AND colours for a much lesser sum than that you receive from Marvel. Think it over. Maybe you are not going to agree , in the end!
February is fine by me, Mauro!
Hi! How is it going? I just read your interview on Fumo di China!
Almost as busy as you, specially with all of these Marvel universe changes lately.
Dunno what I said in that interview, it was probably one of the dozens I gave at Lucca.
How about you, man, still busy?
ALWAYS busy. Bu I vaguely remembered our conversations. What I don’t remember is if we had decided anything…
We talked briefly about money. You told me Bonelli, unlike Marvel, doesn’t pay royalties, which I was willing to accept it it as long as you could meet my xxx page rate.
Ah, I remember well. Please, then, STOP talking in public and on the press about your ambition to work on a Tex story. It’s not true and it’s not fair. You also told me that money wasn’t an issue, but you were not sincere.
Sorry, Mike. Bye.
Wow, let’s not go crazy here, Mauro!
First, the interview you read and all the interviews I gave about the subject were before we start talking, so I was serious about it.
Second, let me refresh your memory, you told me at the end of our conversation that you would only have time for a script on February and that in the meantime I should think about the page rate since that could be an issue. I did you you asked me to do.
so to sum it up for you so you don’t forget, since you seem to have a conveniently short memory: 1- I don’t lie. 2- I don’t like your atitude. 3- I don’t want to work with you anymore – ever.
Well, YOU NEVER ANSWERED the question about the page rate. And February is long gone. I had to write you,, you didn’t take the hint and only in your second e-mail you came out of the blue with THE SAME REQUEST! Nothing had changed in YOUR attitude.
Well, that sum is simply too impossibly high. You certainly know that Tex sells well, but you don’t realize that each issue has 110 pages!! We can’t pay such astronomical sums and you already knew it.
Well, I wonder who’s in good faith, here…
And, in the end, WE didn’t look for you… YOU DID!
Unlike you, I AM a professional, I do not take hints, I go direct to the point. You asked me to think about what we talked in the phone, I thought, I answered your question and instead of acting like a pro and politely declined and explained your reasons, you treated me disrespectfully.
It’s a miracle you are still doing this job. I know Bonelli Editore is going through an hard time since Sergio’s death. Very bad time. Only five years ago, with Sergio alive and well, nothing like that could have ever happened. All the talents were treated with the respect that everyone deserves. Reading things like this make me sad for the state of the Italian industry.
People like you, who have no respect for others, do not deserve respect in return, so I have two words for you:
F U C K Y O U!
Mike Deodato, Jr.
There’s only one response to this, you know. Pistols at dawn!