The panel got off to a rocky start as Rob Liefeld was ten minutes late, and as he was self-moderating the panel it meant the audience had no one to entertain them. But then POW, Rob comes flying into the room like a ball of fire and it never stopped. First thing he’s talking about is how Marvel told him that he should be giving away books, and then before he could finish he saw a cosplayer dressed as a yellow Deadpool, so BAM he ran to the back of the room to take a picture with the guy. Next he visited or spoke to every person in the room cosplaying as Deadpool.
When he got back to the front of the room he started talking about how he hit the wall from all the cons he has gone to in the last few weeks and that in order to push through this panel he just did some lines of cocaine in the bathroom. He then informed us that he was just joking. He talked about going to his first SDCC in 1982 with his dad and going to panels to only discover that his favorite comic book writers were actually boring, and that he decided that will never be him.
Liefeld started talking about how he ended up doing New Mutants at Marvel and how he wanted to do Doctor Strange so he could work on Doctor Strange’s big three villains – Dormammu, Nightmare, and Baron Mordo – and work on things that Steve Ditko had created like his buddy Todd McFarlane had done on Spider-Man. But then he was told that Doctor Strange would be an occult hunter, and so Liefeld changed his mind. A Marvel editor said to him, “That’s who you think you are? You’re some young punk that can take a series offered to you and deny. Let me tell you man, you’re not going to have a long life in this career.” At top Liefeld yelled, “BOOM!! FACED!! TOTAL FACE!! His name is Ralph Macchio, he’s an editor, he’s out of the business. How do you like me now Ralphie? I didn’t do your occult hunter, that the artist that you hired eventually drew Amy Grant on the cover and got Marvel sued.” (Author’s Note 1: The Ralph Macchio that Liefeld referred to is not the Karate Kid. Author’s Note 2: Liefeld is referring to a real thing. Jackson Guice drew the cover to issue 15 of Doctor Strange with an image that looked eerily similar to Amy Grant’s 1986 greatest hits album. 2nd Author’s Note 3: I happened to have bought the issue the day before on the Wondercon convention floor while dollar bin diving.)
Liefeld got around to talking about his new Marvel book, Major X. He said if he hadn’t left X-Force to form Image Comics, the next storyline was going to be Major X. He said he wants Major X to be a cool character that will shake up the Marvel Universe like Deadpool did, like Cable did, and like X-Force did.
Liefeld never sat down once. He actually spent more time on the floor then he did on the dais and the audience was loving it. Liefeld really got the audience going when he started giving away comics, which I happened to receive two of.
No matter what people may say about Liefeld no one should question his passion, his appreciation, or his energy. Definitely don’t question his energy, cause he will prove you wrong and yell FACE at you.
For further musings from Joshua Stone you can follow him on Twitter @1NerdyOne.