"I'm fascinated by what artists bring to the creative mix. If you happen to follow me on Twitter, you've likely encountered me up on my soapbox, saying that we as an industry don't value art and artists nearly enough. The medium has become largely writer-centric, and I don't think that's a positive development. Creative balance between story and art is the key to a successful comic. When artists are treated as interchangeable parts in the creative process, the finished product suffers."
A bit of an ironic sentiment given the company publishing Marz's book, a company which likely wouldn't have come into being had it not been for one of its founders (anonymously) pitching a hissy-fit over the real importance of writers to the comics industry.
Some highlights of that letter:
"If l drew a comic book in the time it takes a "real" writer like Mike Barr to write it, it'd be a pretty sorry-looking comic book to look at."
"A look at any of the many comics out there will show you where the writer's looking: at other comics! As much as artists get belittled for swiping, it's wonder more writers don't get the same grief. Most of the stories are recycled from previous issues and recent movies. It's been years since l read any real stories that require the writer to do any real research other than thumbing through his collection to find out what The Scorpion did last time so he can simply rewrite the same tired plot again and again. Batman hasn't been a detective in decades; a good punch to the nose has replaced any real investigative work on his part. Is it any wonder that artists are waking up and deciding to do it themselves? Our point is a simple one: We're saying to the Mike Barrs of the world that *we don't need you* and, more than that, *we don't want you*."
"They're becoming obsolete. What bothers me more, though, is that Mike dosen't consider that maybe the artist-writer has something to say. Maybe he can't create working with a writer who's happy to rehash old stories and bring back that old villain for his 30th bout with the hero. Who knows how many Silver Surfers, Demons, New Gods, Deathloks, Ambush Bugs, Cables, Shatterstars, Ferals, Elektras, Mr, As, Ronins, Shrapnels, Termanuses, Alpha Flights, and many others aren't being created, because artists are being overshadowed by lazy writers?"
"Artists are getting so tired of so little original thought in writing that they *won't* work with many of them any more. Those artists would rather do any other comic book where they can write and draw the work than work with another "real" writer any more."
"More artists writing won't spell the end of good comics, just as it didn't when Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko started doing all their own scripting. What it may mean is that fewer mediocre writers will find themselves with work or decent artists to work with -- but then the repetitous, rehashed, reworked hackwork of these tired writers is likely to drag this industry down, anyway." (Yeah. Because the quality of Kirby and Ditko's scripting was as good as what Stan Lee did.)
"When a kid comes up to me at a show and wants a break as a writer, l always give them the same advice, 'Learn to draw -- or get a job as an editor.'"
Of course, the worst script Ron Marz ever produced is still thousands of times superior to the "best" script that Erik Larsen ever produced.