The New York times profiled Rob Liefeld this weekend, and along the way, Liefeld was quoted as making some rather unflattering comments about his fellow Deadpool co-creator Fabian Niceiza.
He is prickly, though, about sharing creator credit on Deadpool with Fabian Nicieza, who wrote the script for the character’s first appearance, based on Mr. Liefeld’s story. As plotter, penciler and inker of The New Mutants at the time of Deadpool’s inception, Mr. Liefeld said he did “all the heavy lifting.”
“If a janitor scripted New Mutants 98, he’d be the co-creator — that’s how it works, buddy,” Mr. Liefeld said. “Deadpool does not exist in any way, shape or form without me.”
This kicked off a huge Twitter squabble with Dan Slott and Kurt Busiek jumping in to defend Nicieza and ding Liefeld for what is clearly a party foul. Bleeding Cool captured the whole thing for posterity, which shows that Comics People aren’t sports people since most of it was during the Stupor Bowl.
However, after the whole matter had been Fanboy Rampaged, Nicieza posted on Facebook that he and Liefeld were cool:
To all who have expressed support for me during this “fracas,” thanks, BUT ALL IS COOL.
Have talked to Rob Liefeld and a LOT was taken out of context by a NYTimes writer with a negative agenda for his article.
This was a writer who DID NOT make a real effort to contact me for comment, much less be fair in his approach to Rob or the subject matter. Please lay off Rob. ALL IS FINE!
DEADPOOL’S TWO DADS JUST WANT YOU TO GO SEE THE MOVIE!
(and so do Wade’s Uncle Joe, Uncle Ed, Aunt Gail, etc.)
It is true that Liefeld has definitely been the most vocal of Deadpool’s daddies, and is enjoying his moment in the spotlight, while Nicieza has been more of a silent partner. And also, cough, Deathstroke/Slade Wilson, cough. In an earlier FB post, Liefeld goes to some lengths to explain that he and Nicieza were listed in the movie credits as creating the character:
But I thought it was important for the families to see their Dad’s with a credit and now they will and I know Tim was the influencer that pushed it through and honored my request. I sent the exchanges back and forth as it was happening to Mr. Nicieza so he would know. After the fact I was enlightened as to how many comic films don’t even mention the creators in any capacity and as I said, it’s a small tag at the end, but it matters. It’s part of the film. Both Fabian and I participated in documentary footage that will be part of the DVD. Tim Miller is a comic book guy, he has a vast comic book collection and is a genuine fan of the medium. I learned this up close and personal over the last 6 years.
I’m not writing this to instigate a “Hey, they should give you guys priority.” Save it. Please don’t share that. Don’t bother. We are still in the infancy of comic book films taking over and every little step matters. In the real world if you want to participate in one of these giant productions, you have to jump on the train as it leaves the station! I made some great connections with Fox execs in San Diego comic con this year. Still hustling after all these years! Got to!
Marvel Studios films frequently list the names of creators who worked on particularly influential story arcs in the “thanks” section of their movies, and it’s been confirmed that many creators are getting compensated when their characters are used. That’s Disney/Marvel, though. I don’t know if Fox does the same. For instance, the character of Blind Al has a significant role in the Deadpool movie (played by Leslie Uggams) and that character was created by Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness. Deadpool has many many parents; I don’t think anyone is surprised that Liefeld is the public face of that group, though, and he certainly has embraced the role with fervor. (I actually have a podcast with Liefeld coming up on Friday, where we talk about many things. It took place before this kerfuffle.)
On happier note, letterer Todd Klein does one of his logo studies for the Deadpool logo, noting that the movie logo is almost unchanged from the one he originally created for the comic:
Here’s the official movie logo for the about-to-open film. When I saw it, I felt there was something familiar about the letter forms, but I had to look through my files to confirm I had designed them. That’s when I found the original sketch and logo seen above. There are minor differences: some odd angles in the A and L, and the treatment is very Hollywood, but clearly the movie logo is based on my original design, though the movie logo designer probably didn’t know it. Hey, even I wasn’t sure! In 2014 I wrote a blog post about a NEW TREND IN MARVEL MOVIE LOGOS, where they seem to be bucking the usual bland Hollywood designs and going to the comics for inspiration. In that article you can see their use of my Doctor Strange comics logo as part of the promotion for the upcoming film, though if it will actually become the official movie logo is unclear. At least with Deadpool there’s no doubt that I have finally designed a movie logo — sort of!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.