Robert Kirkman's feelings about Marvel Comics these days are ... complicated.
Back in the mid-2000s, the Walking Dead creator produced quite a bit of work for the House of Ideas, including a lengthy run on Ultimate X-Men, The Irredeemable Ant-Man and, of course, Marvel Zombies. These days, though, when he's not helping out with the hit TV series based on his comic, Kirkman's devoting all of his comic-book energy to creator-owned work, including continuing his own books and publishing the work of other creators under his Skybound imprint at Image Comics.
Kirkman obviously enjoys the freedom (and the profits) he gets from working exclusively in the creator-owned sector of comics, but fans still remember his Marvel days, and during a Q&A session at Image Expo last week, one fan asked if there's "bad blood" between him and the publisher. Here's Kirkman's response, via Albert Ching of Comic Book Resources.
"I don't have bad blood with Marvel per se, aside from the fact that I think they're a poorly run company that is partially destroying the comic book industry," Kirkman said.
Kirkman went on to say that, while there are good people making good comics at Marvel, the higher-ups in the company are "extremely short-sighted." He also believes that Marvel spends too much time paying service to an aging fanbase (he included himself in that group) that "is not going to be around for a hundred years."
"I always try to look at the long game," he said.
That's a harsh, but maybe fair, critique from a guy who -- like several of his Image Comics partners before him -- left Marvel (after creating a solid creator-owned base in his early years) and made an even bigger name for himself with his own intellectual property. Still, according to Ching, Kirkman wrapped up his remarks on Marvel's bigwigs by saying that he's only so brutally honest about them because he loves them, and he'd like to see them improve.
What do you think? Is Kirkman right?