Dan Slott exposed by Tom Brevoort in ‘Marvel 616’ episode: ‘We use the term ‘work’ loosely when it comes to Dan’

Regular readers of this blog know that for years I have said Marvel’s Dan Slott is more of an “idea man” than a writer’s writer. I’ve said that he spends far too much time ranting and raving on social media — or opining on plans that aren’t scheduled to take place for another 100 issues — instead of buckling down and focusing on what needs to be done in the here and now.

Regular readers also know that Mr. Slott has not taken kindly to my critiques of his writing and unprofessional behavior.

Imagine my surprise, then, when Disney+ decided to do a 44-minute Marvel 616 special on Mr. Slott titled “The Marvel Method,” which confirms everything yours truly said about the man’s work ethic over the past decade.

Tom Brevoort, Senior Vice President & Executive Editor for Marvel Comics (who blocked me on Twitter long ago after I asked if it was appropriate for Mr. Slott to tell Christians to move to “Christ-Land”), discusses the problem roughly five minutes into the episode.

An exchange with the writer goes as follows:

Dan Slott: “We’ve been planning this for ages. We’ve been seeding this for a very long time.”

Tom Brevoort: “So I know you’ve got a lot of ideas and very little actually put together. And you need more time to get it done.”

Dan Slott: “I think I could make it better.”

Tom Brevoort: “We use the term ‘work’ loosely when it comes to Dan. Dan’s terrible with his deadlines. You’ll be the famous writer of Iron Man 2022. I’ve worked with Dan for a quarter of a century. And fortunately, he’s good enough at this that those strengths help to counterbalance the fact that he is his own worst enemy when it comes to being able to produce things on the schedule that they need to be done.”

The crux of the episode is that Mr. Slott is the last of a dying breed at Marvel — writers who send a general plot to artists and then fill in the dialogue after seeing the artist’s interpretation of said plot.

Mr. Brevoort’s problem with Dan is that writer’s block, time spent on social media, and other factors habitually cause scheduling headaches and require extra help (e.g., Christos Gage) to get books completed in a timely manner.

“Chris Gage is half of my brain,” Mr. Slott says at one point. “I love plotting stories, but Chris likes scripting. If deadlines are crunching, Chris is gonna get me across.”

Why would deadlines be “crunching” on Mr. Slott? The answer, covered here for years, is because the man has spent inordinate amounts of time going on political rants against [insert Republican politician or policy here].

The lack of self-awareness on Mr. Slott’s part reaches stunning levels when he talks about readers who “lost their minds” over a storyline in 2012 because social media offers “an instantaneous way for you to be mad about anything.”

The writer says:

“One of the things that we have now today, which kinda hurts, is social media. Back in December of 2012, I killed Peter Parker. I was the guy who killed Spider-Man. When that story came out, fans lost their minds. It got scary fast. Social media went insane. That’s what social media is now. It’s an instantaneous way for you to be mad about anything.” — Dan Slott, Disney+, “The Marvel Method,” 2020.

What Mr. Slott doesn’t mention is that Marvel used outrage marketing to sell the books while its writers and editors simultaneously complained about readers who honored their request for anger.

“Dan is behind where I need him to be on his various assignments,” Mr. Brevoort continues as the printing clock for the first issue of Iron Man 2020 closes in. “I can’t really start on issue 2 until issue 1 is solid enough. I needed another writer to do the dialoguing on the book. So we made the choice to bring Christos Gage in.”

The episode rightly notes that using The Marvel Method in many ways makes the artist a de-facto ghost writer, but it fails to stress how strange it is that Mr. Slott, for all intents and purposes, becomes a book’s “Head Plotter” when someone like Mr. Gage is asked to do the heavy lifting on dialogue.

Letterer Joe Caramagna sums up what happens when a book essentially has three writers instead of one:

“Because Dan works in The Marvel Method, I’m usually waiting longer than I am from everyone else. If I have no script, I’m just looking at art and there’s nothing I can do. By the time I get the script from Dan, it’s usually about two days before the book has to go to press. I’m always sending a text or e-mailing, begging and pleading, ‘Someone please send me some script.’ … If my deadline is 6:30 p.m. to deliver a book to the printer, I could still be getting notes at 6:15. Like, that’s how close we cut it.” — Joe Caramagna, Disney+, “The Marvel Method,” 2020.

The question at the heart of the episode seems to be: “Is it worth it? Should ‘The Marvel Method’ go extinct with the eventual departure of Dan Slott?'”

Mr. Brevoort and everyone involved put a happy face on the collaborative efforts. They try their best to act as if the flavor of Slott’s creative sauce is worth the delays and frustration, but it clearly is a sore subject.

The Marvel Method makes it clear that industry icons like Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and Jack Kirby were statistical outliers who in many ways acted out of necessity. Few people could walk the tightrope of chaos demanded by the process, and writers in 2020 who are obsessed with politics on social media should embrace a more structured working environment.

Anyone who wants some definitive reasons as to why modern Marvel Comics has gone off the rails over the past decade should watch The Marvel 616 Disney+ episode on “The Marvel Method.” It is extremely telling when an executive editor chuckles and laughs at the consequences of running a “good old boy” network: activist-writers emerge who know they can goof off on social media for days on end because the boss will always bring in an extra person to get the job done.

I don’t expect Mr. Brevoort to unblock your friendly neighborhood blogger anytime soon and apologize for acting as if my observations about Mr. Slott’s unprofessional procrastination were unfounded, but I do appreciate Disney+ vindicating my message. Check it out if you get a chance.

Saladin Ahmed: Marvel writer spews bigotry, blames others for blowback as EIC C.B. Cebulski silent

Saladin Ahmed Christmas tweet

There once was a time when Marvel writers and artists didn’t use the Christmas season to go on bizarre and bigoted rants against “white” people. Saladin Ahmed, however, is a sterling example of the “House of Ideas” (or was it the House of Ideologues?) under Sana Amanat and editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski.

Mr. Ahmed — for years — has publicly offered his “white people” lamentations, and yet he is a.) rewarded for his bigotry by the company’s top brass, and b.) plays the victim with a straight face.

This weekend the Marvel scribe must have watched your friendly neighborhood blogger’s live-stream on his disgusting rhetoric because he came into work on Monday with fresh rants about “right wingers” who are “trying to get me fired.”

Saladin Ahmed RW

Given that Mr. Ahmed is obsessed with white people, it is perhaps fitting that a White Stripes song spotlights what he does after professionally embarrassing himself on social media.

From Jack White’s Effect & Cause:

Well, first came an action
And then a reaction
But you can’t switch ’em ’round
For your own satisfaction
Well you burnt my house down
Then got mad
At my reaction

Well in every complicated situation
Of a human relation
Making sense of it all
Takes a whole lotta concentration, mmm
Well you can’t blame a baby
For her pregnant ma
And if there’s one of these unavoidable laws
It’s that you can’t just take the effect
And make it the cause, no

Take a bow, C.B. Cebulski. While you tweet about your “Air Supply” dreams, Marvel writers are doing everything in their power to alienate readers with bigoted Twitter accounts.

CB Cebulski Twitter AS

Check out my latest YouTube video for a more extensive look at what is permitted at Marvel on Mr. Cebulski’s watch.

The White Stripes’ Effect & Cause:

 

Tom Brevoort: Marvel’s ‘King Nothing’ gives Stan Lee backhanded compliment after industry icon’s death

Tom Brevoort Stan Lee tweet

Stan “The Man” Lee’s death last week left fans across the world with a heavy heart. Kind words filled Facebook walls, Instagram pages, and Twitter feeds. There were random exceptions (e.g., professional wet blanket Bill Maher), but in general millions of people handled themselves as expected when a beloved public figure exits this world and enters eternity.

Marvel editor Tom Brevoort, however, didn’t get the memo.

Yes, that’s right, one of Marvel’s very own decided it would be a great idea to remember Stan Lee’s life by weirdly turning it into an excuse to play “Who Will Have the Greatest Legacy?”

Tom “King Nothing” Brevoort tweeted:

“Stan Lee was both the best-known comic book editor in the world and the best writer of his era, the 1960s. The fact that others surpassed him in this endeavor by building on what he did changes nothing of it,” (emphasis added).

Ask yourself this question: What kind of person uses the death of an industry giant to immediately begin figuring out creative and professional pecking orders?

Ask yourself this question: What kind of person gives a backhanded compliment about Stan Lee that translates: “Yeah, he was an pretty amazing guy — in the 1960s!

People ask me why and when the movement often labeled “Comicsgate” started. Giving an exact date is a rather pointless endeavor, but readers can glean important information merely by looking into the social-media musings of Mr. Brevoort.

Sadly, the kind of creator who would downplay Stan Lee’s significance right after his death is not the exception to the rule at Marvel Comics these days. Furthermore, the kind of man who is willing to rhetorically hit Mr. Lee below the belt is also the kind of man who is willing to do so to long-time readers.

There is much more to be said, but for a primer on the origins of Comicsgate I suggest watching my latest YouTube video. As always, make sure hit the ‘subscribe’ button if the video format is up your alley.

Related: Bill Maher: Stan Lee bad, Vapid celebs on ‘Real Time’ good. Beep. Beep. Boop. Boop.

Mark Waid runs to Orwellian Nerdist shills for lawsuit coverage, changes tune on ‘SJW’ term he loved in 2017

Waid call

Once upon a time the term “SJW” was a form of sweet music to the ears of writer Mark Waid. The comics industry veteran literally said in 2017 that he wore it with “pride.”

Something happened, however, between then and now to change his mind: He was sued for tortious interference and defamation by the popular YouTuber Diversity & Comics, aka Richard C. Meyer, aka ‘Ya Boi Zack.’

These days, according to Mr. Waid, calling him exactly what he wanted to be called is “the language of a bully.” Interesting, isn’t it?

Mark Waid Twitter SJW

One would think that a respectable journalist within the comics industry would ask Mr. Waid why he was allowed to use “SJW” as a rhetorical cudgel in 2017 while standing atop a self-made moral pedestal, yet now the term is a slur that can be used against the Comicsgate movement in court.

Sadly, dear reader, Mr. Waid only goes to shill outlets like Nerdist to discuss his lawsuit. And yes, “shill” is the correct description to use for the creator’s live-stream with Nerdist, given the following: a.) the moderators rushed to delete any chatroom comments on the lawsuit while Comicsgate was simultaneously being framed as a “hate” movement; b.) the host only asked softball questions and agreed with everything Mr. Waid said; and c.) the normal comments section was disabled after the live-stream ended.

MW comments disabled

If you’re asking yourself why all of this sounds familiar, then simply step into this blog’s time machine and travel to July 26, 2013.

Fact: Your friendly neighborhood blogger was covering “Comicsgate” before it was ever called Comicsgate. Anyone who wants to debunk the industry’s current lies can often do so by mining my old coverage of “Marvel’s Orwellian message boards” and the unprofessionalism by men like *cough* Mark Waid.

Marvel Memory Holes

There is much more to be said about Mr. Waid’s hypocrisy and his lawsuit with Mr. Meyer, but for brevity’s sake I suggest checking out my latest YouTube video. Please make sure to hit the subscribe button if video content is up your alley.

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