sterlling wrote:
To your knowledge were there any artists that told Marvel to either pay them more for doing the writing end or do the writing themselves or did everyone play along nice with the system? If you did work for another company you had to know Marvel was asking more work out of you for no extra pay so I'm curious if anyone ever just told them to frak off.
ME: Wally Wood sure did. Alex Toth, to some extent did...and you could say that Kirby and Ditko did, though their problems with the company ran a little deeper than that. The bigger problem for some artists was not that they were expected to contribute to the writing but that Stan would insist they redraw whole pages (sometimes, a lot of them) if he didn't like the way they'd taken the story. Joe Orlando and Bob Powell were two who had a lot of problems in this area. Orlando said that on the Daredevil issues he did, he had to draw 25-30 pages to get 20 that Stan would accept, and the page rate wasn't that wonderful for 20 in the first place. He finally refused to do redraws on a Giant-Man story without additional pay because, as he put it, "I drew what Stan told me to draw and then he demanded I erase half of it and draw something else." That was his last Marvel job, and Stan wound up having Ditko do the redraws, then published it with Ditko credited as sole penciller.
Also when did the Marvel Method of things fade away at Marvel? Was it after Stan more or less quit his writing for Marvel or was it over a period of time with others still using it?
ME: Not sure what you mean by it fading away. As other writers came into Marvel, the "Marvel method" of writing changed somewhat. Most found they couldn't work with John Buscema the same way Stan had worked with Kirby or Ditko so the method changed to involve more detailed plots, almost wholly generated by the writer.
Comic-Book companies as a whole seem to have a bad history at treating their employees very fair with the business end of things. No, I'm sure they're not alone but I hear about more crappy dealings for the employee than any company I ever worked with. Is there a reason for this? The amount of unfairness and shady dealings seems a bit higher than the norm out there. In your opinion what company(ies) stood out in their treatment of their employees? EC Comics seemed like everyone was kind of tight at least.
ME: Western Publishing treated its employees pretty well up until the mid-sixties when, largely for competitive reasons, they felt the need to bring down costs in order to keep their comics profitable. To a large extent, this is a question of relativity. Most felt that Bill Gaines at EC treated his crew better than, say, Martin Goodman or Jack Liebowitz. But a number of guys who worked for Gaines were unhappy that all they got from him was a nicer version of some of the same pernicious practices, so there was sometimes a sense of personal disappointment. Or of forgiving Gaines for doing certain crummy things for which they cursed other publishers.

I think the answer to the question as to why they all had similar practices is like the answer to the question about why they all published super-hero books at one time, then all did ghost comics and so on. It's an industry built on doing what the other guy does.