On his blog, Dwayne Mc Duffie confirmed that he has been fired from JLA.
This probably isn’t surprising given the frank comments McDuffie has been making about his frustating experiences writing the book. McDuffie confirmed that is the reason he was fired:
“Nope, it was my own doing. I was fired when “Lying in the Gutters” ran a compilation of two years or so of my answers to fans’ questions on the DC Comics discussion boards. I’m told my removal had nothing to with either the quality of my work or the level of sales, rather with my revelation of behind-the-scenes creative discussions.”
McDuffie went on to explain where things were headed before he was fired.
“I have to say I’m a bit disappointed, because next summer was planned to feature a JLA-driven crossover, where my book’s story line would have been the driving force. I’m distressed by where I left Black Canary, as my intention was to use the current subplot to strengthen her character and relationships with the new membership, and instead I’m leaving her at the bottom of a hole I’d intended to rebuild her from. I was also just about to get a regular artist for the first time since I’ve been on the book, which would have been nice. That said, I’m sure DC’s going to put together a creative team that will generate major excitement around JLA, which is as it should be.”
It’s definitely a shame he left Black Canary where he did. I hated seeing the character portrayed as that weak and ineffective of a leader. I would have liked to have seen McDuffie get a chance to rectify that. But, oh well.
Interestingly enough, Rich Johnston of Lying in the Gutters fame posted the following response:
“I am gutted.
Obviously not as much as you.
I’m so so sorry. I certainly thought that since comments had been published by, you know, DC’s Message Board, without being removed or edited… well, I don’t know what I expected but I didn’t expect that.
I know many people found your forthrightness enlightening, interesting and thought provoking, which is why I wanted to share them.
Indeed, I didn’t get any kind bitterness or anger from you. Just an valuable, insightful, explanation of the way things work in commercial art. Compared to, say, Mark Waid’s comments on working on 52 and about Countdown, they hardly seemed as offensive or critical. Just accepting.
Okay, I’ll grant you that McDuffie’s comments were unusually honest. And DC didn’t come across especially well. But it was obvious reading Justice League that this sort of thing was going on. Maybe not to this extent, but you could tell that McDuffie was working under extreme editorial control.
Should he have been fired? It’s hard to say. In my line of work, I’d definitely be fired for making negative public comments about my employer. But as a creative field, comic books are different. I will say that DC is giving itself even more of a black eye. First they came across badly for not letting McDuffie write his own book. Now they come across as petty for firing him for speaking up about it.
McDuffie really strikes me as a class act. (Dan Didio, not so much.) And I’m glad for him in the sense that he has plenty of other projects to work on. And I doubt any of them will be as frustrating as working on Justice League under Didio.
My review of the McDuffie’s last issue of JLA can be read here.