Ace reported Brian Lake reports for Bleeding Cool from C2E2…
A long-term relationship started at The Nerd Prom (a comic con) over 20 years ago. CB Cebulski, new editor and chief of Marvel Comics, sat down for a chat with moderator Skottie Young at Marvel’s Meet the New Editor-in-Chief panel at C2E2.
CB and Skottie discussed the long strange trip of CB getting to know Skottie over the years as well as their origin stories on how they got to be where they are today in the comic world, the 20 years since they first met, and how they first found and became fans of comics.
CB grew up as a fan of three things Disney, Star Wars and Marvel Comics. CB’s first comic he remembers being blown away by was X-Men #121, the first appearance of Alpha Flight by Chris Claremont and John Byrne. CB remembers getting his first pull slot at 13 years old but and had it for years after. He reminisced about the memories he had from each comic, where he bought them, who was with him and the things going on in his life when he read them. Neither he nor Skottie ever had a time in their lives where they didn’t read comics. They know many people start and stop over the years but they never really had.
CB’s first published work was Marvel comics GI Joe from the 1980’s. Issue #19 had his first published letter. When he was looking at the comics at Barnes and Nobles with his mom, he saw the letter and told his mom, who was so happy she bought the full stack. From there, his first job in comics was in college. CB worked for a comic shop in the Boston area. In fact last year at the Boston Fan Expo he ran into the gentleman who owned the shop and the two remised on those 3 years they spent together.
For Skottie, he realizes MAD magazine was his gateway into his interest in comics. Skottie remembered fondly the first time he ever really had comics bought for him, though the JC Penny catalog where you could order for Christmas a short box of 100 random Marvel comics. Comics that he remembered fondly were an Alf comic with a Bill Sienkiewicz cover, as well as a Daredevil drawn by John Romita Jr. That random assortment of books made him crave to learn more about the characters and the stories he picked up midstream from the books in that box. From that moment, he was hooked.
CB and Skottie have known each other for over 20 years. In fact, it was CB who first discovered Skottie at Skottie’s first artist alley when he was 20 years old. CB was an independent contractor working for a talent search firm, Fanboy, and was looking for talent for Image, shortly after he had come back from working in Japan. Skottie was still working full time as a server in Chicago and had taken the weekend off to set up in an artists alley.
Shortly after he met Skottie, CB returned to Marvel, freelancing for a Spider-Man Mangaverse, featuring American artists who were influenced by manga, American talent like Jeff Matsuda and Kaare Andrews. Before Skottie’s Image book actually got off the ground, CB had started writing X-Men with Jeff Matsuda. It was through this X-Men connection that CB was able to get Skottie his first comic pencil assignment that was actually published in an issue of an Iceman limited series, issue #3. Skottie believes that CB can see something in young artists that others can’t, and he believes his help and nurturing helped lead him to really break into comics.
CB’s goal is also to help manage the careers of artists inside of marvel and develop them over time. Part of that is based on determining how many pages per week each artist can do. In 2010 CB was tasked with doing more travel internationally to find more artists across the globe. He started a contest called Chesterquest (named after him — his first name is Chester). A goal was to find 10 pencilers across the globe and bring them back to Marvel and to train them to learn how to draw the marvel way.
After Disney bought Marvel, he also traveled to the international Disney office to help educate people there on who Marvel Comics are and their history. Many of the talent know the Marvel characters through the movies and cartoon, but don’t really know the history from the comic side or where they came from. In his efforts to educate them, he would do big lectures that not only explained the characters but also who Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were and how they created the Marvel Universe and the history behind it. This lead him down a path with Marvel of Brand Management.
Now that he’s Editor-in-Chief, it is up to him to help determine where things are, and with the market changes, where things are headed. He gets a bundle every Friday so that they can read them as fans over the weekend.