Robot 6

Quote of the day | Joe Quesada’s Watchmen

Marvel.com: What is your proudest achievement as far as what Marvel has accomplished under your reign?

Joe Quesada: I’ll give you the long answer to your short question. When I was reintroduced to reading comics around 25-26, I remember the first comics I read were [The Dark Knight Returns] and Watchmen. I’m a big believer in role modeling, setting goals for yourself and shooting for those goals, shooting for the moon. So when I broke into comics, the goal became not only did I want to be a writer, not only did I want to be an artist, but someday I wanted to do something as great as Dark Knight or Watchmen—that was the goal. I think a lot of creators have that when they start; they find that one book and say, “someday I want to create something that’s just like that.” That’s the path I tried to follow.

Now nobody, myself included, has ever really had that kind of story that has redefined the genre like those two books. But when I look back at my 10 years at Marvel and everything we’ve accomplished, from Chapter 11 [bankruptcy] to now where we’re part of the Disney family; now that we’re a movie studio, a television studio, and animation studio; we’ve got all these things going on—when I look back on that, I look back on that as my Watchmen. That’s what I hope I’ve left behind as a good thing. It wasn’t a book, but it was certainly a period of time for me that I will remember very, very fondly.

Outgoing Marvel Editor-in-Chief and reigning Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada gives Marvel.com’s Ryan “Agent M” Penagos what strikes me as an extremely revealing answer to the question of his legacy. Everything I’ve ever heard from Marvel creators and employees led me to conclude long ago that Quesada’s great strength as EIC (and a few of his weaknesses as well) stemmed from the fact that he is an artist first and foremost; seems like he still thought in those terms even when far from the drawing table.

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14 Comments

I don’t think you can begrudge Joey Q that view of his legacy. He really did re-define what Marvel Comics meant.

You know, for all of the flack Quesada gets (some of it well deserved) I think he truly has guided Marvel into a far better place then it’s been for a long time. There are still massive problems, of course, always wil be, but for now let’s just raise a glass to a man who had the balls to go balls out in everything.

Swing and a miss.

And that is why you saved a company instead of creating a project in the vein of Watchmen.

Good for Joe – that strikes me as an honest and fair interpretation of the Quesada years.

“I remember the first comics I read were [The Dark Knight Returns] and Watchmen.”

Well, that explains A LOT. The first comics he read were the two series that deconstructed the super hero/adventure comics. It’s no wonder that the majority of comics that came out during his reign as editor show a cynical, almost disrespectful view of the types of stories and series that built the superhero comics industry.
It’s no wonder that the company he headed has all but abandoned the audience that placed Marvel as the number one selling comic company.

@Richard: Read closer – “When I was reintroduced to reading comics around 25-26…”

@Copy Ed: Read closer – “When I was reintroduced to reading comics around 25-26…”

Yes that’s true, he says reintroduced, but we have no idea of knowing how much he read before. He may have read the occasional Archie or funny animal book as a kid, then not read any comics until his 20′s. ( I have many friends who did this)

While creative issues are open to debate, there is no question that Marvel brought itself from the brink of extension to its current position as an entertainment giant under Quesada, and for that and many other things i salute him. I do, however, find the comparison of successful business maneuvering to a creative endeavor such as Watchmen to be a kind of nonsensical.

Steve Jobs transformed Apple from updating footnote in the tech world to an unstoppable juggernaut, reinventing the music industry and forging the future of print media along the way; is iTunes his Citizen Kane?

Sorry that first sentence was supposed to read “brink of extinction”, not “extension” – I’m using Dragon Dictate, which occasionally misinterprets words.

Similarly, that last sentence was supposed to read “fading footnote” re: Apple. Bad voice recognition software! No dessert for you tonight!

This reminds me of Bendis saying “Ever since I first read Daredevil 181, I wanted to shock readers like that”, so Bendis has gone about his way with gimmicky shock value stunts that are empty, not quite grasping WHY Elektra’s death was a shock.

Quesada’s entire policy revolves around trying to fit a square peg into a round whole. His hiring policies have been affected by short sightedness, and the readers have left in droves, with no children even considered to carry on readership. It’s adults that are ashamed of writing superhero comics writing for adults who are ashamed reading of superhero comics. Dark Knight and Watchmen aren’t meant to be the norm, Avengers: Under Seige and Iron Man: Armor Wars are!!! ALL AGES!!! Kraven’s Last Hunt is great, but if every story is Kraven’s Last Hunt, then what is Kraven’s Last Hunt?

Quesada’s run as EIC was like Shooter’s, DeFalco’s, and Harras’ runs before him. Some great successes, some great failures, and alot of mediocre. Pretty much a perfect balance.

I don’t mean any disrespect here to Mr. Quesada or what he did in his tenure; clearly it is great that after filing for bankruptcy a decade or so ago that they are still making comics for us today. But, the sales figures on Marvel Comics right now are nearly identical to what they were when he took the job during Marvel’s time under Chapter 11. Marvel Entertainment’s financial recovery revolved around non-comics media. All of the decisions of which fell above Mr. Quesada’s pay grade. It was the success of the X-men then Spider-man films, whose rights were sold to various other entities in the early 90s, that paved the way for future films, the creation of Marvel Studios and the Disney deal.

@Shawn:

What about Jemas?

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