Below is an article from CBR's comic book urban legends segment(#92). I have recently discovered it and have been trying to catch up, so this may be a bit old for everyone else. For the most part, the author seems to be pretty fair in his research and has quoted from this board on other items.
|Posted: 03 January 2010 at 6:55pm | IP Logged | 1
In this instance though, you and Ralph Macchio come off as kind of petty but with neither of you being quoted directly. The situation is discouraging to me since I would have dearly loved to have seen you return to the FF then(or at any point).
But in particular, I would just like to hear your recollection of the situation brought up in the article rather than Paul Ryan's/Tom Brevoort's. Thanks.
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: John Byrne almost followed Walt Simonson on Fantastic Four!
Walt Simonson's Fantastic Four run was a marvelous take on thecharacters, and besides John Byrne's run, was probably the highlight ofthe book since Stan and Jack left the book, so when he left the book inthe early 90s, it was quite a shame.
Astonishingly enough, though, he was quite almost followed on the title by none other than John Byrne himself!!
Paul Ryan explained how this amazing reunion almost took place in an interview with Sean Kleefeld over at the fantastic Fantastic Four web resource site, FFPlaza.com (Please note that Daniel Best, from the awesome Adelaide Comics, also mentioned this one to me a few months ago):
Sean Kleefield: How did Marvel first approach you about doing theFantastic Four? What was your initial reaction? At the time, did youknow Tom DeFalco would also be working on it?
Paul Ryan: It is kind of funny how my tenure on the series cameabout. When word of Walt Simonson's decision to leave the FF wasannounced I got a call from John Byrne asking if I would be interestedin working with him on the title. John and I had recently collaboratedon Avengers and Avengers West Coast. I was very excited at the prospectof not only working with John again (his FF run was one of myfavorites) but working on my favorite Marvel title. I bought the firstissue at the tender age of 11.
What John failed to mention at the time was that editor RalphMacchio had not offered him (John) the book. John was of the opinionthat because Ralph knew that John wanted the book that Ralph shouldcall John. In speaking with Ralph I discovered that Ralph was of theopinion that if John wanted the book, he (John) should call Ralph. Imade repeated calls to both parties. They wouldn't budge. I could seethe FF series slipping through my fingers. Finally I just gave up andcontinued to work on the two Avengers titles.
Not too much later John asked me to pencil Iron Man. I gave up theWCA to do Iron Man. The following Friday, Ralph called to offer me thepenciling chores on the FF. DeFalco was to be the writer. I said NO,along with a few expletives. I had just taken on another series and Iwasn't too happy at the prospect of having to give up the Avengers totake on the FF. That's how we left it on Friday. All weekend long Ikept thinking about the FF and how much I loved that series. Firstthing Monday morning, even before office hours, I left a message forRalph, "I'll take the book."
My timing couldn't have been better. On Friday, after I turned downthe offer, Ralph called Dan Jurgens to offer him the book. Unable toreach Dan, Ralph left a voice mail message. I got through to Ralphfirst and the rest is history.
Imagine how different things would have been!
Tom Brevoort wrote into me recently to give some more context toPaul's recollection. Apparently, Byrne and Macchio eventually did geton the phonewith one another, but Macchio felt that some changes that Byrne wantedto make to the title with regards to continuity were too much, so heended up turning down Byrne's return on the title, leading to DeFalcoreplacing Simonson. Thanks for the info, Tom!
Edited by Andy Mokler on 03 January 2010 at 6:57pm