Newsarama reports that C.B. Cebulski has gone back on staff at Marvel, even while pointing out that he never really left. Cebulski will be helping out with the X-office, whipping up some international licensing deals and helping with talent management. Oh, and BLOGGING.

Meanwhile, also at Newsarama, the news that editor Steve Wacker was leaving for Marvel ignited the combustible bales of fanboy rage into a 350+ message firestorm. We make it a point not to read Newsarama message boards because…well, they make us angry.

They make Mark Waid angry, too. The expressed anguish and anger over Wacker’s supposed lack of professionalism, abandoning the 52 baby in the woods for the wolves to carry off to the hotlist motivated Waid to suit up and fly a chopper right over the heart of the blaze:

The next person…the very next person…who dares even hint that Steve Wacker was ever in any way “unprofessional” is going to be eating through a straw for the rest of his goddamned life.

I speak for all the creators involved with 52 when I say that Steve is one of the best, most professional and most talented editors we’ve ever worked with, and we will miss him immensely. His contribution to this series cannot be understated. Leaving was not an easy decision for him to make, but he has earned from us our support in whatever he does, and DC’s loss is Marvel’s gain.

Steve’s professionalism is not up for debate in this forum, and to throw around a claim like that based on what little you know about comics, the industry, and life in general just makes you look like an idiot and makes Grant, Geoff, Greg and me eager to track you down and “visit” with you in a Jay and Silent Bob sort of way. Steve is a pro through and through. End of debate.

This immediately ignites a new firestorm over whether Waid should have used such violent imagery, blah blah blah — Graeme, how the hell do you do this?

All we can say is anyone who is genuinely curious about how the comics industry works should not under any circumstances read Newsarama comment threads, because from the fact that no one knows WHAT a comics editor does to the speculation and downright fantastical ideas of how the comics industry works, it is all a warped funhouse view of reality. Wait, there is ONE thing prospective comics industry workers can learn from Newsarama posters, and that is that fanboys like to complain.


  1. Great little piece!

    I do think that Mark was putting his heart upon his sleeve there a little bit in regard to what he said…but hey, you can’t be cool and collected all the time, right?

    Fanboys will be fanboys will be fanboys. Waid and co., know that and I’m sure that today, if he is thinking about what he said at all…he probably thinks it was a little overdone.

  2. More power to Mark Waid. I’m all in favour of professionals who are in the know stamping on pathetic snarky behaviour like this. Mr Wacker has every right to change employer at any time he wishes and I for one wish him well. If Mr Waid and his possy want anyone to be given a smacking in the UK I’d be happy to back up Grant Morrison for it (Not that he’d need my support).

  3. Of course no one goes to Newsarama for a well informed dissection of the ins and outs of the comic book company machine.

    We go for the drama! Just like TNT.

  4. >>Of course no one goes to Newsarama for a well informed dissection of the ins and outs of the comic book company machine.

    Yes! That is why you come to the Beat!

  5. Seriously though Heidi, the thing that sticks out most for me is the fact that Wizard found this story important enough to post on their site and then pulled it with no follow up now for almost a day. Mis-use of the word “tenured” aside, something struck to me as extremely fishy about that quote. If Wizard was indeed attempting to scoop Newsarama on this news, and then pulled a story that would allow them to do just that (said scooping of a rival news site), why not at least re-edit and post as opposed to just pulling the story all together with no follow up?

  6. I’m just ticked Wacker’s leaving DC for Marvel. In my brain, that’s the only real worry I have.

    (Me not likey Marvel so much anymore, except for the Handbooks, She-Hulk, Annihilation and Andy Schmidt.)

    Paranoia, rumor milling, hate-mongering….I leave that for politics and possibly work! :p

  7. I tend not to post or read much on the Newsarama forums for pretty much the same reasons you highlighted there, Heidi.

    And Mark’s right on the money about questioning Stephen Wacker’s professionalism though. Not only does it make DC look bad, but it makes the guys working for the editor look bad. Personally, from every interview I’ve read the man seems like one hell of a talented editor, and he had a staff both above and below him that worked their asses off to pull this book off. If what I’m hearing about them just having wrapped the last script for 52 are true, then he probably wanted to wait until he saw his last script come in before he resigned to go work for Marvel. Personally, I think editors work their butts off to put these books out, and don’t nearly get as much of the credit as they’re due. About time companies started recognizing that the editor is just as important to the book as a writer or a penciller because they drive the focus of the entire series or project to make sure it’s completed and put out on schedule.

  8. Another testament to the level of discourse on Newsarama: 250+ posts, and not one of them has yet pointed out that, in my anger, I misfired with “understated” rather than the intended sentiment of “overstated.” I be a writer.

    Still, I probably shouldn’t have lost my temper just because a bunch of widgets posting from their work computers during office hours accused Steve of acting “unprofessionally.”

  9. I’d like to find these people who called the guy’s behavior “unprofessional” and cut their pay in half, turn up the heat in their office to about 100 degrees, and maybe hover over their desks all day chewing on garlic, barking at them to “finish this shit, GODDAMNIT!”

    NOT that any of that happened to Stephen Wacker. I don’t know the guy, don’t know dick about shit.

    But anyone–ANYONE–who has EVER been employed–who has received money for performing a task or service–HAS to understand the boundaries of “professional” behavior and that this incident falls WELL within them.

    Which of course suggests simply that the responders saying the behavior was “unprofessional” probably aren’t widgets at work computers at all–they’re the classic unwashed, unemployed masses in their parents’ basements. Otherwise, it’s a guarantee they’d have been in a situation where they’d moved on from one job to the next for any of a million reasons, and left plenty of unfinished business for the next guy.

    I, however, am DEFINITELY a corporate widget, happily using corporate time and internet access to post about comic books. God bless America.

  10. Dear Mark Waid,

    Not all of us are as lucky as you to be professional writers. The only way we can entertain ourselves when we’re bored in the bowels of corporate America is to post on assanine message boards.
    But I do still love your books. And as shocked as I was in reading your post, I did gain a great deal more respect for you in defedning a friend who (speculating) can’t defend himself right now.

    Also, I noticed your misuse of the word. I thought you were being funny.
    Much like “tenuring” one’s resignation.

  11. Mark,

    You were justified in your reaction. Granted, it may have been a little kneejerk in retrospect, but when I read it I got the point you were getting across. You, Grant, Greg and Geoff worked so closely with Stephen for so long on the IC and 52 and OYL stuff that it stands to make sense you’d be able to best give an impression of the man’s professionalism.

    I think what really bugged me most about that thread is there were very few people who understand just what it takes to edit a monthly book, let alone something like 52, which is a HUGE undertaking for anyone, and Stephen proved he had what it took to make sure it came off without a hitch. If nothing else, the industry should remember DC took a huge risk handing him that project and bringing you guys on board, and everyone delivered what’s arguably the biggest comic of the last 10 years.

  12. I’m just amazed that there are people out there who think “handing in your notice” is somehow unprofessional. As far as I’m concerned, as long as you work your notice period and do your best to help with a smooth handover, you’re being professional. What on earth more do people want?

    Yes, I’m sure 52 will be an especially difficult book to hand over, just by the nature of the beast. But that’s not the point. DC could always have asked Wacker to commit to the whole project in advance if they were that concerned about it.

  13. For what it’s worth, I doubt Wacker used the word “tenured”. He was probably misquoted. The guy is pretty bright.

    More importantly, folks should realize that when you start on staff at a publisher, it’s pretty unusual to keep working your way up, and up, and up. You usually hit a glass ceiling somewhere along the way. To some extent, your employer will always see you as that little Assistant Editor they hired five years ago.

    So, unless you want to spend the next five or ten years stuck at your current salary, sometimes the only way to improve your situation is to jump ship and go across town, where they’ll bring you in at a higher starting level and look to move you up from there.

    Ironically, by the time you hit the glass ceiling at your new publisher, your old publisher will see you with fresh eyes and probably hire you back at an even higher level than they ever would’ve promoted you to in the first place.

    And so it goes…

  14. >>For what it’s worth, I doubt Wacker used the word “tenuredâ€?. He was probably misquoted. The guy is pretty bright.

    I should have prefaced that with the fact that I don’t believe he said that. As a matter of fact, as quickly as the article got pulled off the Wizardsite, I’m not so sure that quote actually came form him at all.

  15. >

    Books out on time?

    Most of them on Newsarama definitely over-reacted but what’s the first thing they thought:

    Great, now one of the weeks isn’t going to ship on time.

    What does it say bout professionalism in general in this industry when no one expects anything to ship on time anymore?

    I think the late books situation is the underlying complaint among most everything right now and all anyone really seems to want to do is sweep it under the rug.

    But in the end, it causes other complaints like the ones that happened against Mr. Wacker that went over the line.

  16. So exactly how are these various complaints and insults posted here about complaining Newsarama fanboys any better than the complainers themselves? Seems just a tad hypocritical.

  17. It amazes me how many people think they can comment on another person’s personal/professional life. It’s as if by merely buying a pair of Nike shoes you can be critical of a Nike executive leaving the company for Adidas. I doubt that everyone commenting in the talkback who claimed Mr. Wacker was “unprofessional” even reads 52. They probably just jumped at the chance to complain about something (to fill their empty lives).

  18. Just my two cents here. I’ve worked with Steve at DC for 3 years and during that time he has proven himself to be a consumate professional and a down-to-earth colleague. One of the nicest people there. I haven’t read the Newsarama boards, really don’t want to. People talk trash but they don’t know the person. This is a person who truly loves comics and is committed to excellence, and his future Marvel work will speak for itself.

  19. While the current issue of 52 is #21 (on sale 9/27/06), we all know that comics are prepared well in advance of publication date. So one important question is: how many issues of 52 were completed at the time of Mr. Wacker’s resignation?

  20. I’ve one last thing I want to say, good luck MR Wacker and enjoy your time at Marvel. Personally I look forward to seeing you back at DC hopefully in five years time.

  21. >So exactly how are these various complaints and insults posted here about >complaining Newsarama fanboys any better than the complainers >themselves? Seems just a tad hypocritical.

    bottom line: complaining is AWESOME.

  22. There’s something about some of the fannish reaction–the worst of it, the kneejerk, uninformed part fannish reaction–that reminds me of bad breakups. Y’know…the kind where the one being dumped lashes out with things like “I thought we’d be together forever!” and the dumper says things like “No, I never promised that.” And there’s yelling and screaming and rending of hair and throwing of furniture all through the night…

    Man, some fandom is twisted…

  23. LAWLZZ first post!!

    what is wrong with steeve wacker. 52 is my faverite book. evry on e who posted above me is an idiot. *smiley face* *rolling eyes face* *angry face* *additional smiley face*

  24. >>So exactly how are these various complaints and insults posted here about >complaining Newsarama fanboys any better than the complainers >>themselves? Seems just a tad hypocritical.

    >bottom line: complaining is AWESOME.

    Yes, it is! Who should I complain to about the people complaining about the complainers?

  25. >Yes, it is! Who should I complain to about the people complaining about the >complainers?

    the next person…the very next person…who dares even hint that they are complaining about the complainers who complain about the complainers is going to be eating through a straw for the rest of his goddamned life.

  26. My husband read this article to me yesterday, and from the way it was written, both of us had the impression that Wacker had just up and quit.

    While (with some exceptions) it’s a person’s right to quit/resign from a job on the spot , it’s considered professional behavior to give 2 weeks notice, and both of us wondered what had happened at the DC offices to make Wacker so angry he suddenly quit, and doubtless burned bridges behind him. (We even went so far as to wonder if Marvel was attempting to torpedo 52 because they’ve screwed up Civil War’s shipping so badly, but nah, comics industry intrigue is rarely that diabolical or interesting.)

    It wasn’t until, several pages in, when Ralph read Mark Waid’s comment that we realized that no, this was no more exciting than when other editors have changed companies, and, well, the introductory paragraphs of the article made it seem like something else entirely.