Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Creator Creep Squad #2- John Byrne

John Byrne
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
I almost feel ashamed of myself for including John Byrne since he seems like such an easy mark these days, but I can't help including him in my list.

Having been the victim of a Byrne "burn", and having seen my husband get the same treatment, I can safely say the man is not winning fans over with his kindness.

The internet has hurt John Byrne. He is a creator that was better off having some mystique about him. What has happened since the old days of DC at AOL discussions is that his disdain for anyone with a different opinion has threatened to completely overpower his talent. It is a total shame.

The sad thing is that he doesn't care. It is his way or the highway. I am sure he thinks we are all a bunch of idiots not worthy of his time.

I miss the old days when I could go pick up a comic book and enjoy a creator on his merits, and Byrne is the best example of this I can think of. His comment about Jessica Alba not being able to pull off Sue Richards since she was hispanic and it would look trashy is just one small example of the alienation he brings to himself. Fans were hysterical, and he fed the fire.

The one good thing about John Byrne: 9 1/2 years ago, my husband and I met in one of his Wonder Woman chats. We will always know it was my love for the character and my husband's for Byrne that brought us together. Sigh.


Carl said...

Huh, I meet Byrne at my 2nd or 3rd Megacon. I hadn't really time to prepair with loads of books, so of his, I just had the Batman/Captain America crossover he did. After being behind guys with stacks of books, he looked at my one book and asked, "Is that it?" with this look like holy crap, this guy is not greedy. I told it was all I could find with my books all stacked in the garage and since no one was behind me, we talked until the next bunch of fan boys and girls came along. Of course this was right after his short stint on Superman and he hadn't developed that bad rep yet...

Heidi Meeley said...

I think that having accessibilty to fans on the internet has hurt Byrne more then anything. Something about it has made him arrogant and badly behaved.

He is the prime example of someone I wish had stayed mysterious.

Chris Arndt said...

I will not criticize a creative type for having a prickly disposition and his judgement of Ms. Alba was an aesthetic one.

James Meeley said...

I will not criticize a creative type for having a prickly disposition and his judgement of Ms. Alba was an aesthetic one.

If you can't judge a creator 9or person) on how they interact with their fellow man (even if they are merely comic fans), then what do you?

Byrne is a prick. Period. He's beyond opinionated. He's so completely full of himself, I'm surprised his own ego doesn't implode. His comment about Jessica Alba is a prime example of that.

Byern would be a lot better served if he kept his personal opinions of people just that... PERSONAL.

As it stands he has his foot in his mouth so often, he should have athlete's tounge. He can't handle the slightest criticism of himself or his work and is quick to disrespect others (expecially fellow creators) whether his opinions are correct or not. He is often wrong in his pronouncements and never apologizes when he is shown to be wrong.

Byrne is the poster boy for "being an asshole" and he most certainly deserves the same kind of treatment he is always so willing to dish out on others.

Chris Arndt said...

considering how I am a sort of jerk myself, I know that dismissing someone based merely on that isn't a basis for judgement.

If someone just isn't a person for other people, especially when it comes to interacting with people then that's that.

I've been friends with jerks and I've been friends with nice guys and I tell you what... it doesn't matter how nice a guy you are. It's your actions that count. Do you follow through on what you say you're going to do? That's what counts.

I say this as a man whose nice guy friends showed up twenty minutes late for the midnight show for X-Men 3. I said "show up at eleven; that way we get good seats". Doesn't matter that they are nice; they showed up twenty minutes late.

Mike Grell was late; we can string him up.

Chris Arndt said...

Furthermore.... since I am in reality a crude and nasty person with only a few (highly) redeeming qualities (relatively speaking) and people still hang out with me and are still my friends, still extend me love, patience, whatever... I figure that if people are that nice or good to me, then it should not be above me or below me to extent similar notions of cuddliness to John Byrne.

Besides, he made stuff ten and twenty years ago that entertain me today. Quality entertainment buys a lot of good will with me.

Now our local sports announcer is a prick and he never bought good will from me.

I do disagree with John Byrne's opinions a lot and I agree with a vast number of his stated beliefs and opinions as well.

"how they interact with their fellow man" is only manners. Just because someone has bad manners doesn't mean that I willing to cut them off from human considerations, certainly not the considerations that others have extended me.

James Meeley said...

If someone just isn't a person for other people, especially when it comes to interacting with people then that's that.


Then the answer is really simple. Don't go online to interact with fans and don't go to convernsion to interact with fans.

If someone is just not a "people person", I can respect that. As long as they don't go out of their way to hang around with people.

Byrne doesn't do that. He has his message forum, he posts others places, he does comic shows, I mean, for someone who might not be a "people person" he sure seems to go where the action is, doesn't he?

Byrne's problem isn't that he has unpopular opinions. It's that he treats other people like dirt. He belittles anyone who doesn't agree with him. He makes gross accusations against others, but if proven wrong will not admit it or apologize.

Hey, I'm not perfect. I've done jerkish things before. But there's a different between being jerkish on occasion and that you simply are a jerk. Byrne is the latter, no question.

I don't know how big of a jerk YOU are, but there is a very distinct line between "not being a people person" and being a pompus asshole. Byrne is WAY over that line. Being seen as a jerk and considered worth being totally ingored is the LEAST he deserves.

Erich said...

My John Byrne anecdote: A few years ago, I was attending DragonCon. At the time, there was a huge line at Mike Allred's table, and hardy anyone stopping by Byrne's. Eventually, Byrne came up to Allred and said "Excuse me, I think you've got my line."

Okay, I know he was joking, but still...

Heidi Meeley said...

I decided against coming between my hubby and Chris specifically, so I will give this as my bottom line.

I loved Byrne's stuff on X-Men and Fantastic Four. His Hulk stuff was never my flavor, and I was never too into the Superman stuff, but I was pretty neutral.

What changed my opinion about him was his work on Wonder Woman. At first I was quite impressed and excited, but as his run carried on, I became disenchanted with the content and especially the art. I wish Byrne would have allowed someone else to ink him. His style went from one extreme to another. I can read his run with a more even eye now, but I still am really unhappy with it. I have looked at his Demon and Doom Patrol work and am not inclined to buy it based on the story and art. I just do not like it.

Bottom line: It is the combination of his getting pissy with me and the change in his art style and story telling that have left me cold.

Heidi Meeley said...

Erich- I love that story! Thank you for sharing it! It made my day.

Anonymous said...

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RobbaTheHutt said...

It's been 12 years since this blog post. I've been a member of the JB forum for about 4 years. I can say JB has mellowed a lot over the past four years, and has had a great many valid and insightful opinions, but every once in awhile I see him PUBLICLY proclaim adding a forum member to his infamous IGNORE list just for having a different opinion. That's a prick move in my book.