Robot 6

‘They just won’t give him the time of day’

lady sabre“The Big Two don’t like Rick’s work. It’s as simple as that. In the last ten years, he’s gone from being able to work steadily at Marvel Comics and DC Comics to not being able to get hired. They just won’t give him the time of day.

Rick is one of the most accomplished artists I’ve ever worked with. He’s known primarily for winning Eisners doing Batman & Robin Adventures where Rick himself says that he was paid to draw like Bruce Timm. So, I think for a lot of people there is a sense that he’s too cartoony, his style doesn’t fit in with what the big two want; it’s not sexy or flashy enough. He has a very distinct comic book style, he doesn’t do photo-realistic. Everything he draws, he can draw it. It’s not light-boxing here.

I know at least one editor who went to great lengths to make sure he wouldn’t work at one company and really set him up to fail and did so gleefully. Comics are like any other industry; there are wonderful people in it and there are crappy people in it.”

Greg Rucka, discussing his collaborator, and longtime friend, Rick Burchett, and their reasons
for taking the online route with 
Lady Sabre & the Pirates of Ineffable Aether

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31 Comments

Always liked Rick’s work. Very clean, solid stuff with a good sense of storytelling.

I concur. I enjoyed every story I read with Burchett art.

I love Burchett’s work–along with Mark Bagley’s, Amanda Conner’s, Paul Pelletier’s, and Mike Parobeck’s, they all have a very animated style that’s up my alley.

DC Comics prefers artists like Jim Lee, whose design and style is stuck in the 1990s.

hell, I’d work with him ANY day. what a bunch of idiots.

and hell, yeah, Mike Parobeck. He will be missed by me forever.

How about just naming some names? WHO is the editor? The only ways they have power is if you keep acting scared of them even when you finally make it.

Andrew Kolvek

May 29, 2013 at 4:06 pm

The problem is, Rick’s work is probably needed more than ever. While most of the work today is very pretty to look at, storytelling takes a backseat to all the flash. Today’s decompressed comics are tailored towards those types of artist. Grab an issue of The Batman Adventures(or one of my favorites, Blackhawk). Great stories don’t have to be stretched to 4 or 6 issues.

Well that’s horrible to here. Rick Burchett’s is one of those artists whose work just makes me grin – it’s so good, so pure abd solid and joyful … the editor who tanked him must be blind, an idiot, or both,

@Martin
I say we bind that editor with silly string while forcing him to watch the other 178 hours of Monty Python material that isn’t funny or memorable.

The big two are the big two *insert expletive here*. They want to divvy up the market between themselves and they’d be happy to. I think its stupid, and I’m glad to see more creators going out and doing their own thing. I don’t buy a lot from the big two, mostly independent stuff, I really hate what they have been doing with comics of late.

At first I loved the idea of a shared universe, but now I’m just tired with the way its become a kind of dictatorship. All must be like this (Batman) because its all one universe. And so on and so forth . . . so yeah, no. Setting a linewide tone is stupid. That applies to the storytelling and the art. Hopefully the other companies will continue to grow and more creators will venture out into the great world of creating their own stories.

I always thought he did quality work. I’ll never understand how editors have so much power.

Andrew Collins

May 29, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Burchett is a personal favorite as far as comic artists go and I’ve enjoyed his artwork tremendously every time I see it. Great line work, and a talented storyteller, too. It’s a shame to hear the “Big Two” don’t want him. It’s their loss and the industry’s shame that DC and Marvel are so focused on their own crappy comics and overpuffed editors that they would pass up the opportunity to work more with creators like Rick Burchett (or Greg Rucka for that matter…)

I’m not familiar with Burchett’s work but I like what I see up there. And it IS a damn shame that the Big Two’s art is all so samey — at least guys like Allred and Cooke can get a foothold, but they’re the exception, not the rule.

(And oh how people HOWLED when the Allreds took over X-Force.)

Is this the same Rick Burchett that DC hired to be the artist on Batman Brave and Bold Animated series just last year? Didn’t he pencil 16 consecutive issues on that title? This is the artist DC is not giving the time of day to? Really?

Maybe the reason he’s not getting work is because there are a finite number of comics, but an infinite number of comic artists out there. Sad but true. He’s an amazing artist, but one that is typically associated with cartoon adaptations like the aforementioned B & B, and the other Batman series. Maybe DC will come calling when they inevitably release the new Batman cartoon comic.

I like Greg Rucka too, but his quote sounds similar to a lot of “water cooler” talk around my own office – this manager is out to get me, this guy is the boss’ pet and gets all the privileges etc, etc

“Jamie” sounds like an employee of one of the corporations.

Let’s remember that so-called editors have no talent. If they had, they’d be writers or artists. Editors can’t create lasting characters, all they can do is say “Hey, let’s reboot Cyclops and make him gay! Or black!” or any of the usual cringe-worthy cliches.

They usually have issues around low self esteem and boy, will they abuse the tiny amount of power that comes from their temporary position to commission. They also like a lot of ass-kissing.

There are, naturally, some brilliant editors, but so many are warped ego-maniacs, climbing up the greasy pole…

Jake Earlewine

May 30, 2013 at 4:51 am

But Rucka is not naming the despicable editor — thereby enabling that same Little Hitler to do it over and over again to every artist that unknowingly stumbles in. When will good men learn to stand up and speak the truth?

No Daniel I’m not an employee of any corporation. Just a humble shit-kicker who doesn’t automatically agree with anyone who has negative opinions of their organisation or employer. I like to think for myself. Just because I don’t automatically agree with Greg Rucka or any other writer or artist who is critical of their employer, current or former, doesn’t make me some kind of “company stooge.” I’ve had plenty of run-ins with my own employers in my own career, but still I like to keep an open mind and not automatically leap to the conclusion that everyone in management is somehow “evil.” In fact for every lousy manager I’ve had, there’s been a good one too.

The simple fact is if you look at Rick Burchett’s resume you’ll see that DC has primarily been the comic company that has employed him. It just seems odd for Rucka to then make out that they’re out to get him or are going out of their way not to employ him. Maybe Rucka is right on the money, maybe not. Just seems a little odd when you look at the amount of work DC has given him in the past.

Of course this will probably fall on deaf ears as I’m not unquestioningly agreeing with you or Rucka. No skin off my nose. Have a nice life.

Realitätsprüfung

May 30, 2013 at 8:44 am

Jamie is right; Burchett was working for DC well into last year, pencilling twelve issues of the Brave and the Bold comic over 2011-12.

So DC was providing him with steady work in the very recent past. Rucka’s comments suggest a complete lack of interest, but in truth it’s more that DC provides him with fewer assignments than before. But he’s also worked on other stuff for DC over the past few years – pencilling and inking fill-in jobs.

So they HAVE hired him for multiple jobs in recent years. But maybe not ENOUGH jobs to satisfy Rucka. Which is understandable; the man’s a very talented artist.

@Daniel ‘Let’s remember that so-called editors have no talent. If they had, they’d be writers or artists.’

That’s a daft generalisation. Editing takes a big bagful of skills – social, writing, admin and more.

I have had the great pleasure of collaborating with my friend Rick Burchett for the last ten years (off and on) on a crime webcomic called GRAVEDIGGER (now being serialized at http://www.gravediggercomic.com/). He is an extraordinarily talented illustrator and storyteller. During that time, I’ve been very aware of the struggles he’s gone through with the major publishers. DC, in particular, made a very concerted effort to deny him a regular DCU assignment, and only tossed him fill-in work when their favored artists missed deadlines (because they knew he could deliver, and save their asses/schedules).

Andrew Collins

May 30, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Burchett does get associated with the DC Animated comics a lot because he’s able to adapt his style to suit them, and he has turned in amazing work on them. But if anybody doubts his ability to tell a more “serious” story, go and read Batman/Huntress: Cry For Blood (fittingly written by Mr. Rucka.)

I’d take his work over so many of the carbon copy artists DC and Marvel are employing for so many of their books…

I love Rick Burchett’s work. His Batman Animated stuff was great, but It was his work on the Blackhawk strip in the anthology version of Action Comics that first grabbed my attention. And his Cry for Blood work was outstanding.

There’s a big difference between work on the main-line titles at DC (or elsewhere) and the kiddie books, as much as my son and I loved Batman: Brave and the Bold. Minus Grant Morrison taking a special interest in his work, do you think B:B&B writer Sholly Fisch would have ever made it into the pages of Action Comics? No matter how great the work you do in those animated books is — and it’s generally been great — it’s tough to move from there to something in the regular DCU. And I can’t imagine the royalties (or page rates) are even in the same league.

On the bright side, now we have Lady Sabre, which is probably a more fitting home for Mr. Burchett’s considerable talents than a New 52 assignment anyway. (And yes, I backed the Kickstarter.)

Also on the bright side, we might get more Gravedigger? I still have the original one-shot, and I’d welcome more in a heartbeat. If you haven’t checked out the original, definitely check out Mr. Mills’ link above. It’s great stuff.

Oh, and I’ll third or fourth all the love for Huntress: Cry for Blood. GREAT series all around.

Earth-2 Chad: There’s a new Gravedigger adventure beginning on the site (http://www.gravediggercomic.com/) on September 2nd, after the current storyline concludes.

And his beautiful work on the Black Hood with Mark Wheatley is so delicious!

It’s interesting at all the DC bashing going on here when he’s had more work FOR DC in the last decade than he has for Marvel. It’s not surprising, of course. Burchett could have a regular monthly MAIN Batman or Superman title at DC and the DC haters would be saying “DC’s not using him effectively.”

Of course, one should ask why, if Rucka is such a great fan (and seeming friend) of Burchett, Rucka’s not using HIS connections at Marvel to get Burchett more work. Unless Rucka doesn’t really have any pull at Marvel–not even to the point of choosing his own artist–and this is just some little passive/aggressive thing.

I love Burchett’s work. His Huntress mini with Rucka is still a personal favourite. I would of been over the moon if it had been an ongoing monthly with both of them. And his Batman work, again with Rucka was top notch. DC are idiots. They have no idea what their consumer wants, which is why so many of their books are tanking.

Joseph: If you look around for other interviews with Rucka, or listen to recent podcasts with John Siuntres or Chris Sims, you’ll see/hear him talk about having numerous projects turned down at both DC and Marvel because the companies didn’t want Burchett’s work. It seems he’s pitched a number of books only to be told that publishers aren’t interested as long as Burchett is on board.

Andrew Collins

May 31, 2013 at 11:50 am

@Albert

JosephW has made it clear here and in a couple other columns that facts are secondary to him making sure we all know how above us all he is…

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