Rob Liefeld is not a good comic book artist. He's a successful one and an enduring one, but he's not a good one. I've made that bias of mine known on many occasions. The fact that he even had one book in DC's much-ballyhooed New 52 relaunch was surprising, but when Hawk and Dove got predictably canceled, DC put him on three other books – Deathstroke, Savage Hawkman and Grifter.
Now, he's left DC entirely, and in a huff, departing from all his books after the #0 issues, saying this time is the fourth time he's quit in the last four months, and this one is going to stick. A fair assumption, since he's now gone public about it on the Tweety. He's cited bad editorial decisions and constant changes, "too much BS" and the like as reasons.
A sampling of what he's been tweeting:
Reasons are the same as everyone’s that you hear. I lasted a few months longer than I thought possible.
Massive indecision, last minute and I mean LAST minute changes that alter everything. Editor pissing contests… No thxnjs
Last week my editor said ” early on we had a lot of indie talent that weren’t used to re-writes and changes..made it hard”. Uh, no, it’s you
My greatest triumph at DC was getting an inept editor fired. From that point on that I had put a target on me. Next guy wanted to show me.
It shouldn't be considered courageous to call out horrible editorial decisions and then walk away when it's epidemic.
As to LOBO, I was specifically directed not to adhere to the biker bad boy look. No leather jacket, no chains, skull, etc. Not my call.
I walked off all 3 books. Can’t wait to see any attempts to spin. I have every email.
I'll be having fun with all this for months to come. The emails will floor you.
If I haven't made it perfectly clear let me re- affirm-I am not important to DC comics. Just a freelancer. Nothing I do will change anything
Freelancers, tell your editor he works for you, not the other way around. Routinely fire them to remind then you call the shots.
And so on.
Now, Liefeld is no stranger to controversy. He often seems to lead with his mouth, be it his recent complaining that his co-creation Deadpool never has A-list talent on his books, or his complaints about Peter David making it official that his creation Shatterstar is gay and that he can't wait to undo that. In this case, however, his complaints seem to be echoing those of other people who have left DC since the New 52 started. There have been a lot of rumors about the hot-headedness of Dan DiDio and, in the case of George Perez and his Superman run, a lot of editorial interference from people above his pay grade.
So, in spite of his history of going off half-cocked, he seems to be simply the loudest voice in the crowd, speaking for the mob this time. So why is it hilarious?
Because it's this guy.
The man they call Howdy Doody. The most mocked artist in the industry – complete with two separate 40 Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings lists. The guy who videotaped himself inking comics while driving.
The man responsible for this…
… which the internet then turned into this. Because this is what the internet does. But still, it's a mental image that is Liefeld-spawn.
If Rob Liefeld, the guy many folks figured must've been brought on board because he has some incriminating pictures of DC honcho Jim Lee, turns out to be the guy who blows the lid off of the whole New 52 as a creative debacle and gets a bunch of people fired, somebody should wedge it into that Alanis Morissette song about ironicalness. Although Liefeld himself assumes nothing will happen because of this, but we can at least be entertained by how much he'll talk about it. His bluntness might lead to some interesting emails from editorial being shared with all of us plebes.
Or maybe people will stop paying attention to Liefeld in a day or two, and the people still sticking with DC through the madness and pain will carry it through, and it will be business as usual. There are still good creators working there, and there are still people doing some pretty good things, but it doesn't sound like a lot of fun backstage.
UPDATE: It seems Liefeld has gotten into a further Twitter-war over all this with Batman scribe and Friend of the Book Report Scott Snyder. Oh, comic books. We're not above the mudslinging fray, either. Rubberneck away!