OK...since my name was invoked...heh heh...whatch out what you invoke, it may come looking for you... I shall, once again, hold forth on the Ubiquitous, Sanctimonious, Arrogant, Overrated and Annoying John Byrne.
When Byrne made the crack that go him banned from the Tribute Book... and YES it was ME who told Cliff..."Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES LET bYRNE SULLY WITH HIS HYPOCRACY, Dave's Tribute."... Everyone else poured out love and thanks to him that truely, in my opinion, helped him to recover. It really did! Knowing that so many of his peers and even people he didnn't know, liked his work and loved him as a person and artist... was what kept him alive and fighting. He had thought he was over the hill and forgotten and it had sent him into a talilspin that had allowed disease to just eat him up. You gotta have the will to live to fight off bad stuff... and he had lost it. But everyone coming out of the woodwork and lauding him and wishing him to get well did the trick... and I wans't having that wonderful book sullied by Mr. Smarmbucket. No sir! I had had just enough of Byrne's mouth and attitude.
Back when he first took over the X book from Dave, he was an arrogant bastard who would come into the offices... twice a year from his home in Canada... and within fifteen minutes have virtually EVERYONE in the office... with the exception of Sterno... thirsting for his blood. Literally!!! In other threads, I hav descrigbed how I once saved Byrne from a beating or death at the hands of an enraged staffer... if you are interested in reading it it is down there in the old threads somewhere...
But the upshot is that Byrne was a realtive unknown... having done some FF while Dave was establishing the X book as a winner...and as Claremont's talent matured, a book to shape the X universe and create a major financial leg that Marvel seems bound and determined to undermine, destroy and erase. go figure...What? they think they can do better? BULLSHIT! ... no, Paty... tell us what you REALLY think...
Byrne pissed me off before I ever met him by drawing me as one of his robots.. ala Rog 2000...only he designated me PATY69... impertinant for someone who hadn't met me yet and didn't know I am no man's meat unless I chose dinner. Shooter never learned that either...stupid boys..both of them. Byrne thrived at Marvel probably because he toadied to Shooter... as much as a gawd can toady...because everyone KNOWS Byrne created everything and if he hasn't created it, it hasn't been created... cuz HE weill tell you so himself! And who would doubt the voice of GAWD?
For twenty or twenty five years I watched Byrne badmouth, sneer at and otherwise denigrate other artists and writers who were so far his superior it wasn't evn funny... and it wasn't until he ticked Quesada off that he finally ran out of luck.
For twenty five years he bounced back and forth from company to company pissing off people, getting kicked out when they couldnn't take it any more... going over to the other company.. cuz he did have a great big fan base... the saturday morning cartoons, very popular, that his artwork resembled made sure of that... so he would go with his fanbase and get another job at the other company until he pissed off someone high enough there, too... then it would be back to company one until the brouhaha quieted down and they forgot. He uses the same technique on his own forum... telling the most outrageous and biased lies... making up his own version of history and expecting his fans to believe it... until some of them who have been around and KNOW the truth bring him to task for lying... Then ehe effectively banishes them from his site, waits a while until he has a bunch of NEW believers and lays the lies on them as truth. He has had to change his website a number of times, I am told, as disgruntled and enraged former fans sign in to catch him in his lies and "out" him. I believe his own forum goes under "Byrne Robotics" these days and is very closed with only diehard Byrne fans extant... and those dwindling rapidly.
As oto his working...Well, having pissed off DC with the Chris Reeve comments, he then went on to badmouth the most recent superman movie, I am told, and when DC said "stop it" he didn't. Last I heard they had booted him off The Atom book and he was looking for work as DC wanted no part of his arrogance any more. especially notw that his fan base is nowhere near as large as it used to be. So he sets his fanboys to hound the internet with desultory art...lauding it and saying"Hey, shouldn't Byrne be drawing X Men again?" In a pigs eye! I am legally blind and I could do a better job than some of the artwork I have seen coming outta him these days. Maybe Austin.. who is a very good inker... could save it... maybe not.. but I do notice a decidedlly Cockrumesque tone to the drawings... much more complicated than his usual work..So he's still trying to ride Cockrum to glory... what else is new?
OK... so I may be biased..having been married to Dave for over twenty eight years... going on twenty nine...but Byrne is one artist who should have been left in the dust a long time ago... to my way of thinking. He was the only artist... and we had some bad ones back then... that I ever complained to Stan about. The merchandising wanted good clean representational art...not cartoony doodles...so I rarely used his art in the merchandising. some merchandisers asked for it, but rarely... and when they did, we complied... but his art was always too cartoony for my taste... and I am an accomplished critic of good ... and bad... art. Then you add his personality...or lack thereof... and you have a very vile brew.
He did do one piece of storytelling, however, that made me say"Hey, Byrne can actually DRAW when he puts his mind to it!!!" And I colored it. It was a piece for a summer issue of ElfQuest.. when it was being put out by Father Tree Press/WARP Graphics... the Pini's own imprint. It was a very nice piece and I was really impressed with the art. It still had some of Byrne's cartoony elements, but it was wonderfully illustrative and had detailed and lush backgrounds and settings... a real departure from his superhero style, for sure. He can draw, when he is not being lazy and sllipshod and "lets turn out as many pages as possible in as little time as possible, so do n't put in backgrounds if you don't have to". Which mode permeated his tenure at Marvel to the Nth degree. The two issues... one being all white...where snowbird fights something white in a blinding snowstorm... and all you see on the pages is wind streaks and word balloons... and one being all black with Namor at the bottom of the sea... where there is no light...at all... unless you take it down with you... so the whole issue is mostly black with word balloons. Cute? I don't think the kids who plopped down their bucks for that comic appreciated the humor... or the supposed realism... they wanted comic art and a decent story.
Arrogance. And editorial staff that let him get away with it for lo, these many years. Maybe Mr. Quesada is his comeuppance at last! YOU GO!, Joey!!! Bang on! Mr. Q! Don't ever let that asswipe back at Marvel!