Another comics writer quits, says DC took 'gross advantage' of him

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Dec 17, 2012, 4:24 PM EST

For the fourth time in just four months, a major comics creator has announced that he's done with a major comics company. Last time, it was Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld quitting DC Comics. This time it's Greg Rucka (of Batwoman, The Punisher, Wolverine and Wonder Woman fame, among many others), and he's had it with DC and Marvel.

In an interview with Mark Millar's CLiNT magazine, Rucka talked about the "Hollywoodisation" of the Big Two comics companies, and said for him it means that they care even less about their talent than they did before.

"There was at least a period where I felt that the way they wanted to make money was by telling the best story they could; now the quality of the work matters less than that the book comes out. There is far less a desire to see good work be done."

Rucka said that over his seven years at DC Comics he was taken "gross advantage" of, and claimed that executives considered his comics to have little value even though trade paperback sales of his work were strong.

"Well, take a look at your trade sales! That book has made nothing but money as a trade. What I'm now being told is, 'lt was never worth anything to us anyway.' So, you know what? They can stop selling the Batwoman: Elegy trade and stop selling the Wonder Woman trades and everything else I've done, because clearly I've not done anything of service and those guys aren't making any money off me."

When it comes to Marvel, Rucka expressed his disappointment in the company's upcoming plans for The Punisher. Rucka has written the eighth volume of the Punisher solo series since it launched last year, but issue #16 will be his last.

"My run on Punisher ends on #16, and we are then doing a five-issue mini called War Zone and then I'm done. That's it! The Powers-That-Be at Marvel, without talking to me, decreed that he's going to join a team on another book.

"That's their choice, they own him, but I don't have to be happy about it. I am glad I had the opportunity to work on the character and I'm proud of the work I've done."

Rucka's comments are the latest in a string of high-profile and very public exits from DC and Marvel by comics creators. It started back in May, when iZombie writer Chris Roberson announced his exit from DC Comics over the company's ethics.

"The short version is, I don't agree with the way they treat other creators and their general business practices," Roberson said.

Then John Carter writer Roger Langridge walked away from both companies, calling a working relationship with either company "quite problematic from an ethical view."

Then it was Rob Liefeld's turn. The Deadpool co-creator and co-founder of Image Comics quit a high-profile gig on several titles in DC's New 52 line over what he called "editor pissing contests."

Now Rucka's taking his leave. His latest novel, Alpha, was just published to critical acclaim, and he's got no shortage of opportunities in creator-owned comics, so he'll no doubt land on his feet. But how will DC and Marvel see this loss? According to Rucka, they won't care.

"Despite what the publishers say, their interest in the talent is minimal now, the interest is only in promoting the financial worth of their properties. That was not the case as of two or three years ago, when there was an 'Exclusives war', but that's all gone by the wayside now. Ultimately, they are saying, 'We don't need you,' because they can get a million more just like you."

(Via Comic Book Movie)