What It Takes To Be An Editor

By | Friday, August 25, 2006 Leave a Comment
Tom Brevoort's been high on my list of Grade A-1 editors for many years now. Probably almost as long as he's been an editor. I'm having trouble verbalizing at the moment the influence Tom has had on my perception of comics, but that's not what I wanted to write about now anyway.

What I wanted to note was that, over on Tom's Marvel blog, he's been hosting a 'game' where two fans get to play editor for a couple of weeks. They post their ideas on what they would each do with a number of titles, and Tom responds with how their actions impact the books' sales and the creators' schedules. It's all fiction, of course, and using a drastically accelerated schedule, but it's doing a phenomenal job of showing some of what goes in to editting a monthly comic book. I mean, it's all well and good to say, "Well, I'd just put such-n-such creator on the book and watch sales skyrocket," but it's another thing altogether if that very creator has absolutely no desire to work on the book. Or what about office politics? It's easy to say, "We'll throw in Venom for a guest appearance," but what if the Spider-Man office has the character tied up for the next year?

As I said, it's all fiction and much of it is being written by Tom. Would Al Williamson really turn down a one-issue fill-in job? Woudl Travis Charest agree to do covers for Daredevil? I can't say with any degree of certainty, and I dare say Tom can't say with 100% certainty, but he's knowledgable enough about the industry -- from the inside, out -- that he's coming across as a very fair and impartial judge. (No surprise there.) And in the process, the audience is being told a thing or two about what kinds of things go on inside the Marvel offices and what types of things one has to deal with as an editor.

Kudos on a great idea, Tom!
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