First Posted Nov. 17, 2008
Then I went to the first Panel… Now, They added and changed panels around in the last few weeks. I logged onto the site two nights ago to printout the schedule and found that they just added a Neal Adams panel, but they also changed it all around the day of. So at 1pm I saw “A Day in the Life of the Marvel Bullpen” with Roy Thomas, Joe Sinnott, Rich Buckler, and John Romita. Dick Ayers was invited, but didn’t attend.
I don’t know how much of this stuff is news to some of you guys, but I’ll tell you all the things I found interesting:
Romita (in above photo) said Stan conned him into doing Daredevil. He just wanted to ink, but Stan asked him to “Fill In” on Daredevil. Stan gave him no script, he just said “You’ll know what to do. Romita said he thinks Daredevil is Marvel’s greatest character and that he regrets not ever being able to go back and do some more Daredevils (Hey Marvel, are you listening?) Romita said he worked at Marvel for 30 years on a handshake with no contract and that he lived month-to-month and script-to-script and that it was “exhilarating and exhausting.”
Romita also talked about Stan asking him to fill in on one of Ditko’s books. “I thought he was coming back,” he said
But Romita said the proudest moment of his life was when they did a study that found that the “Spidey-Super Stories” he’d worked on for five years had “Triggered the reading habits of an entire generation.” (I know I grew up with them).
Sinnott said that in the early days he’s go down and turn his pages in at the Marvel office in person. He said his wife would come with him and she’d go to Macy’s or somewhere and he’d say I’ll meet you there in a few hours. One day he came in and Stan Lee gave him so much work to do that he was hours late getting back to his wife, so from then on he mailed his pages in. “They didn’t see me for 25 years,” he said.
He said that the next time anyone saw him in person was at a 1975 convention, a bunch of comic guys were on a panel and Stan was one of them, he came up to Sinnott and said “Jack Keller how have you been?” Joe thought Stan must have been joking, but Stan apologized profusely later when he realized who Joe was.
Sinnott said that Jack Kirby and him didn’t speak to each other once the entire time they were producing the FF together. Mark Evanier said on a later panel when this was brought up again that he’d asked Kirby about that and he’d said, “I don’t have to tell Joe anything, he does everything right.”
When asked about regrets, Sinnott said he wanted to work with Gene Colan on Captain America more, but said Colan wanted a different sort of inker. He also said he wanted to do more Surfers with John Buscema, but that Buscema wanted his brother to ink them. He also said he wished he’d worked with John Severin, that he really liked his stuff.
Roy Thomas said that his favorite things that he’s done were in order of preference: All Star Squadron, Conan, the Avengers and the Justice League. He didn’t let anyone else do Conan because, “they might have found out someone else could write it,” he said. And he told a story about Harlan Ellison wanted to write Conan 100, but he told him “You can do 101 or something, but I did the first 99 and I want to do number 100 myself.”
Roy Thomas talked about being Editor-in-Chief at Marvel and said it was the sort of job you thought you wanted but then didn’t.
Rich Buckler (in above photo) said that he didn’t stay at one comic for long because he always wanted to try something new. I liked to keep things fresh, he said. “I just had all these characters in my mind and they seemed like real people to me.”
Buckler said that his favorite work was with Donald McGregor on the Black Panther (Jungle Action). He said that they were good stories about real issues. He said that McGregor would give him the stories in pieces a page here a page there to keep him is suspense. Another of his favorite experiences was working on Deathlok (Astonishing Tales). He commented that he didn’t think anyone has appreciated the complexities of the Deathlok character since the original run.
Part 3 tomorrow is about Neal Adam’s role as an activist.