John Byrne talks about his and Gail Simone’s Action Departure

john-byrneThere have been a lot of rumors and speculation about what happened with Gail Simone and John Byrne’s run on Action Comics (#835, cover at right, will be the team’s final issue). To end all the rumors and speculation we spoke with the creator himself.

First Comics News: I guess the first question is “What happened?”

John Byrne: Nothing “happened”. Apparently, it is DC editorial policy to rotate the entire creative staff of the Superman titles at arbitrary points. This includes the writer, the penciler, the inker, the editor.

1st: How do they tell you this kind of news?

action-comics-835John: Not up front, unfortunately. I was not aware of this policy when I accepted the Action assignment. It was not until Gail mentioned it that I learned we were only on for a short run.

1st: As part of Infinite Crisis there is a shift in all the editorial offices [Note: The Superman titles will move from Eddie Berganza’s office to Matt Idelson’s office]. Is it unusual for the new editor to remove the current creative team?

John: Depends on the editor. But, as noted, this was not the editor’s decision. This is established policy set in place by the Higher-Ups. I was simply unaware of it.

1st: With Eddie Berganza leaving the Superman office and Matt Idelson taking over; did Eddie Berganza offer you another assignment with one of the titles he is taking over?

John: No.

1st: You have said that “Gail and I were hired (tho I was not told this when I agreed to do the book, or I would have declined) to “fill the gap” between one team and the next.” Do you think that Eddie Berganza knew it was temporary when he offered you the job?

John: It was actually Dan Didio who offered me the job. Presumably he knew, so I assume that not telling me was just an oversight.

1st: How do things go from “We want you to re-launch the entire Superman line” to “We only want you to do some fill in work on Superman”?

John: You are talking about a span of 20+ years, so that’s hardly an accurate description of “how things go”.

1st: Do you think there is a bias against experienced veterans in the comic industry?

John: Not as such. If such a bias exists, it resides with the fans, not the industry.

1st: Has this experience caused you to re-evaluate your working relationship with DC?

John: Not at all. This was an unfortunate miscommunication. I wish I had known the assignment was short term, as I would most likely have declined it. But I didn’t, so I didn’t. No story. Nothing to see here. Move along. . .

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