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Topic: X-Men/Alpha Flight Q for JB (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Stephen Churay
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Joined: 25 March 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 8351
Posted: 19 May 2010 at 4:43am | IP Logged | 1  

I just came upon my X-men/Alpha Flight 2 part mini series, and I was wondering how this book happened and you neither wrote or drew it?
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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 19 May 2010 at 5:30am | IP Logged | 2  

On the heels of the huge success of ALPHA FLIGHT, Shooter began bugging me about doing an X-MEN crossover. I said repeatedly that I didn't wish to return to the X-Men at that time and that I didn't wish to work with Chris. But Shooter was unrelenting.   So, finally, I presented this proposal: somebody other than either Chris or me would plot the story, I would draw it, and Chris would script it. This way I would not have to read a Chris plot (which tended to run many, many pages full of superfluous stuff), and, indeed, I would not even have to look at the finished book.

Shooter agreed to this, and I asked for one more minor favor: Kitty would not appear in the story. "Have a taxi driving away on the splash," I said, "with everybody waving and saying 'Have a nice vacation, Kitty!'"

Shooter agreed to this, too. He told me that he, Ann Nocenti (X-MEN editor) and Denny O'Neil (ALPHA editor) would plot the story.

A few weeks went by, and eventually a plot arrived. It was a ponderous tome, and my spider-sense tingled immediately. I read the first few paragraphs (which featured a specific kind of aircraft for which no reference was provided, plus a character reading a book I had never heard of) and knew immediately that Chris had written it. I flipped thru the rest of the pages, and found that Kitty was not only IN the book, she was VITAL to the story.

So -- I had laid out my terms, and they had been agreed to. Then they were promptly ignored.

And I did not do the book.

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Tony Midyett
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Joined: 25 January 2010
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Posted: 19 May 2010 at 6:32am | IP Logged | 3  

I love this "inside baseball" stuff, JB.  It's fascinating to hear tales of "what might have been".
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Greg Woronchak
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Joined: 04 September 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 1631
Posted: 19 May 2010 at 8:29am | IP Logged | 4  

I find it really surprising (hey, I'm naive <g>) that Shooter would allow a script that would scuttle your involvement.

It seems to me that a JB drawn Alpha Flight/X-men would've sold gangbusters....

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Brian Miller
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Joined: 28 July 2004
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Posted: 19 May 2010 at 8:47am | IP Logged | 5  

Woah.
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Brian Miller
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Joined: 28 July 2004
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Posted: 19 May 2010 at 8:49am | IP Logged | 6  

What was the time frame of this, JB? Who was doing UXM at the time?
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Paulo Pereira
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Joined: 24 April 2006
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Posted: 19 May 2010 at 9:21am | IP Logged | 7  

Incidentally, there was second X/A crossover done in 1998 with art by John Cassaday.

The first series was done by Paul Smith and Bob Wiacek.
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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 19 May 2010 at 11:10am | IP Logged | 8  

I love this "inside baseball" stuff, JB. It's fascinating to hear tales of "what might have been".

••

Sad thing is, I WISH I could point to this as a rare exception to how "business" is done, but too many times I have experienced variants on this scenario.

THEM: Hey, JB! We'd like you to do a run on CAPTAIN FONEBONE.

ME: Okay! But I need you to first send me a blue hat!

THEM: No problem! You want a blue hat, a blue hat you shall have!

ME (A While Later): Hey, what's the deal here? I asked for a blue hat, and you said okay, and now you've sent me a yellow one!

THEM: What have you got against yellow? Why are you being so unreasonable??

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Flavio Sapha
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: Brazil
Posts: 13009
Posted: 19 May 2010 at 11:25am | IP Logged | 9  

Sorry to hear about this. Silver lining: it´s Paul Smith´s best artwork ever. Seems to be the one guy who got AF right besides JB.
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Flavio Sapha
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Posted: 19 May 2010 at 11:26am | IP Logged | 10  

Storywise, the set-up is terrific and then falls flat on the second part (which I only read several years later, so, yeah, expectations were pretty high).
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Flavio Sapha
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Posted: 19 May 2010 at 11:27am | IP Logged | 11  

Paul Smith went to town designing those folks who acquire Asgardian super-powers.
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Vinny Valenti
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Joined: 17 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 6636
Posted: 19 May 2010 at 11:50am | IP Logged | 12  

I recall an old Marvel Age interview where Smith said that he specifically tried to be faithful to JB's renditions of the Alphans. And I'll have to agree that it was his finest work ever.
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