During the recent Image Expo in San Francisco, which happens to be the same event where ‘Young Avengers’ team Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie announced ‘The Wicked & The Divine’, ‘The Walking Dead’ creator Robert Kirkman took part in an all access Q&A session to discuss his many projects called “I is for Infectious: A Conversation with Robert Kirkman”. After touching on a number of subjects like his creator-owned comic ‘Invincible’, his Skybound imprint at Image, and (of course) ‘The Walking Dead’. But when the conversation switched to Marvel Comics, for whom he worked on ‘Irredeemable Ant-Man’, ‘Ultimate X-Men’, and ‘Marvel Zombies’, things got a little ugly.
Obviously, Kirkman has found great success in his creator-owned work, which is definitely why he prefers to be in business for himself, but when someone asked him about “bad blood” towards the House of Ideas, he had some harsh words to share. Here’s a recap of what he said from 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,” he answers. Kirkman says he think there are a lot of good people in the company, and they publish good material, but their upper management is “extremely short-sighted” with negative effects on the industry, and the fanbase Marvel caters to, which Kirkman counts himself among, “is not going to be around for a hundred years.” “I always try to look at the long game,” he says. Every time he’s critical of Marvel, Kirkman says, it’s because he loves them, and wishes they were doing a better job.
Despite being really harsh, it’s probably not a surprise to hear these comments coming from someone from Image Comics, which was created by a bunch of guys who left Marvel Comics for various reasons.
A few other noteworthy comments from Kirkman included his love of ‘Sex Criminals’ (“‘Sex Criminals’ really blew me away,” Kirkman replies, for being laugh-out-loud funny, engaging and emotional. “And now Matt Fraction is going to use a quote that says, ‘Sex Criminals blew me.'”) and his response to fans who were looking for a straight page to screen adaptation of ‘The Walking Dead’ on AMC, which I happen to agree with:
“I know that a lot of people really wish it was a closer adaptation, but I would just say, ‘you’ve got the comic,'” Kirkman continues. “And if we were just doing the comic on TV, I don’t think people would enjoy it very much, I don’t think it would be very successful, and you’d find it very boring.”
What do you think about Robert Kirkman’s comments about Marvel Comics? Do you think that what he said was a fair assessment of what the company is doing for the comic book industry? Share your opinions in the comments below.