The biggest impact of the layoffs at DC Comics, both inside the Burbank offices and from creators across the world, seems to be the absence at Senior Art Director Mark Chiarello, known colloquially as Chi. After all, this is what DC was saying about him in 2010…
“Mark is the kind of artist, editor and collaborator who is invaluable in not only his knowledge of the craft but his ability to inspire and pull out the very best work from the creators with whom he works,” said Jim Lee, DC Comics Co-Publisher. “He’s a true artist’s artist.” “Mark Chiarello is one of the most respected figures in the comic book industry,” said Dan DiDio. “From NEW FRONTIER to SOLO to WEDNESDAY COMICS, he’s spearheaded projects that helped elevate our expectations for what the art form can accomplish.” Mark Chiarello joined DC Comics in 1993 as the comic industry’s first Color Editor. He soon became the Editorial Art Director at DC, where he originated and oversaw titles such as BATMAN: HUSH with Jim Lee & Jeph Loeb, BATMAN BLACK & WHITE, SOLO, WEDNESDAY COMICS, THE NEW FRONTIER by Darwyn Cooke, and COVER RUN: THE ART OF ADAM HUGHES.
Bleeding Cool reported some comic industry reactions to his being laid off this morning, but they have been coming thick and fast through the day. Here’s a few more from some people who you know who have shared them publicly – there are plenty more with greater vitriol shared privately as well. He has, after all, been trending on Twitter…
For #ColoristAppreciationDay I’m sending a shout out to Mark Chiarello, who just got the boot from DC yesterday. Mark’s had the controls on many DC covers, as well as being a fantastic artist/painter/colorist in his own right. Congrats on many years of keeping covers great!
— Jerry Ordway (@JerryOrdway) January 24, 2019
I’m sure there is some logical rationale for laying off Mark Chiarello, but I’ll be damned if I can think of one. The guy is an A-lister.
— Tony Bedard (@TonyBedard) January 24, 2019
mark chiarello’s name was and will continue to be a stamp of quality on anything he touches. not just the number and variety or projects, but the number and variety of creators he has practically willed into existence. thank you for always making me better mark!
— ben caldwell NYCC (@bencaldwellart) January 24, 2019
I met Mark Chiarello when @TheKubertSchool took us to the DC offices when they were still in NY in 2011… he gave me a portfolio review that just cut to the core of what an artist needs to hear. While he was doing it, I could tell it didn’t feel like a burden to him to take the
— Gavin Smith (@gavinpsmith) January 24, 2019
Never had the pleasure of working with Mark Chiarello directly but he is well spoken of by just about everyone I know who did work with him. He was attached to many of my favorite books like Wednesday Comics and New Frontier. Sorry to hear he was let go. Onward and Upward.
— Brent Schoonover (@brentschoonover) January 24, 2019
Mark Chiarello is one of the great art curators in the history of the comics medium. And also a kind, cool dude.
This is a big loss for DC but a brilliant pick up for whomever he decides to work with next. pic.twitter.com/PaFG0sQ0Vo
— Tom King (@TomKingTK) January 24, 2019
Original painting and as it appears in print – variant cover for Batman #65. I feel very lucky to have gotten to work with Mark Chiarello on this. pic.twitter.com/FVQA0okiAI
— Jeffrey Alan Love (@jeffreyalanlove) January 24, 2019
Mark Chiarello has been my brother-in-arms, father figure, and constant champion. A living legend who will continue to thrive, amaze, and delight. #markchiarello
— Adam Hughes (@AH_AdamHughes) January 24, 2019
According to what Darwyn Cooke once told me, Mark Chiarello spotted Ego IN THE TRASH, pulled it out and offered to publish it. So I’d say the man has a *pretty* good eye for talent.
— Greetings Cat TM (@DanielKWay) January 24, 2019
I’m saddened to hear Mark Chiarello will no longer be at DC Comics. He played a large roll in helping me improve my cover work, especially earlier on in my DC career. He’s so talented, and smart, I think he’ll land on his feet sooner than later.
— Tony S Daniel (@TonyDanielx2) January 24, 2019
Mark Chiarello is trending on Twitter! Knowing him, he’d be surprised by that. A lot of love for a guy I get to call friend. I’ll miss working with him, for sure. He’d blanche seeing this, but he is savvy & talented in so many ways – art theory, painting, design, typography……
— Brian Cunningham (@bcunningham71) January 24, 2019
Mark Chiarello produced, edited & designed my favorite DC Comics projects (from Solo to Wednesday Comics to Batman B&W to New Frontier & more). A great artist and a GREAT guy. Unless Marvel grabs him (as they should), I can’t wait to see what an unexpurgated Chiarello does next.
— Dean Haspiel (@deanhaspiel) January 24, 2019
Please don’t take this as a lack of sympathy for Mark Chiarello because it isn’t & I wish him the very best, but all the freelancers apparently baffled DC would let a talented, influential longtime company loyalist go don’t seem to grasp the concept of Corporate America…
— Steven Grant (@ThatStevenGrant) January 24, 2019
Seminal works in comics that were the brainchild of and, or influenced/shepherded by Mark Chiarello, an irreplaceable genius of the medium and industry. pic.twitter.com/wuyjE6VSVu
— Joseph P. Illidge (@JosephPIllidge) January 24, 2019
I didn’t know Mark Chiarello that well, but whenever we saw each other we talked about painting and he always showed me his latest portrait. Incredible talent and eye for talent. Had a hand in some of my favorite DC projects ever.
— Kyle Higgins (@KyleDHiggins) January 24, 2019
DC laying off Mark Chiarello is a real shame, not just because a guy is losing his job after decades with a company, but because comics needs MORE art directors, not less. Too many editorial staffs are far too heavily weighted toward folks with writing backgrounds & aspirations.
— aubrey🌋sitterson (@aubreysitterson) January 24, 2019
Fact. I’ve always been heavily inspired by Mark Chiarello’s art direction. And I’d do just about anything to launch a Vault version of Wednesday Comics. pic.twitter.com/ZgQPeLkhgF
— Tim Daniel (@TimDanielComics) January 24, 2019
Mark Chiarello gave me my first job at @DCComics, encouraging @karlkerschl and I to run wild with our FLASH story in his WEDNESDAY COMICS series. Endlessly grateful for the opportunity and, as a result, my career in comics. Sad to see him leave DC, but excited to see what’s next pic.twitter.com/ZjxZLBAjr9
— Brenden Fletcher (@brendenfletcher) January 24, 2019
One time while I was writing at DC, I very foolishly sent Mark Chiarello this Batman/Flash cover I had drawn on a lark as I knew they were doing a bunch of variants. He declined the cover. But then he complimented it and gave me good feedback. A gem, that guy.
— Van Jensen (@van_jensen) January 24, 2019
Having Mark Chiarello say “good job” when submitting a DC cover was my drug.
— Mitch Gerads (@MitchGerads) January 24, 2019
Just heard the news about Mark Chiarello… When I was trying to figure out where I was goin’ in this industry he showed interest in my work. He said, “You have this energy that I would love to see our books!” That conversation gave me the confidence to keep goin’. Thanks Mark!
— Sanford Greene (@sanfordgreene) January 24, 2019
congrats to #MarkChiarello on his long creative career @DCComics • his #WednesdayComics concept from a decade back stands out as one of his most super contributions to the publishing house and its fans pic.twitter.com/m7I0oE2Inr
— Chuck Brouillette (@ChuckBrouilette) January 24, 2019
Art by Mark Chiarello pic.twitter.com/eY6ke0FscQ
— Stephen Wacker (@StephenWacker) January 24, 2019
I am incredibly heartbroken to hear the news about Mark Chiarello last night. He and his work have been an inspiration to me and it was an honor to work with him. Those are some massive shoes to fill. Wherever he goes next wil be one lucky place. ❤️️
— Cat Staggs 🏳️🌈 (@CatStaggs) January 24, 2019
When so many people tweet, “I can’t believe that DC let Mark Chiarello go” that Mark Chiarello actually TRENDS ON TWITTER, then that’s probably a good sign that letting Mark Chiarello go was not a sound decision. pic.twitter.com/4OXDJBRE9S
— Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin) January 24, 2019
Looking forward to the industry seeing many, many covers from one of the most dynamically talented illustrators in comics #MarkChiarello. For those not familiar with Mark’s work, you’re in for an incredible treat! #comics #illustration #design @JCVaughn1 #dccomics #Marvel pic.twitter.com/LefcaLyPx7
— Billy Tucci (@BillyTucci) January 24, 2019
I’ve been lucky to receive lots of support from friends at DC over the years, especially from John Cunningham and Mark Chiarello. John’s early championing of Doctor13 meant a great deal to me and some lucky publisher is sure to snap him up. And Mark? I don’t know where I’d be
— Cliff Chiang (@cliffchiang) January 24, 2019
Doing a project with the kind and talented Mark Chiarello was always a fun, positive experience. Folks with his demeanor, skill set, eye for quality and judgment are what the biz needs more of.
— Dan Jurgens (@thedanjurgens) January 24, 2019
I’m in shock at the news of DC laying off the insanely talented, Mark Chiarello. I’ll always be indebted to him for giving me my first ever comics work on the Birds of Prey covers. Whoever snatches him up next will be extremely lucky.
— Phil Noto (@philnoto) January 24, 2019
…It occurred to me in that short ride: 80% of Mark’s stuff sure isn’t junk! Batman: Black & White, Wednesday Comics, his personal cover art, etc. Doing the math… for every one Mark Chiarello, there’s four comics professionals making only junk…
— Brandon Montclare (@bmontclare) January 24, 2019