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Tony Tower
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Joined: 25 August 2004
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Posted: 15 May 2012 at 12:55am | IP Logged | 1  

JB -

Back when you were working on both WEST COAST AVENGERS and AVENGERS, was it your choice which book to write and draw and which to "only" write? If so, why did you choose as you did?

(I was curious, as I suspect some would find the spinoff book less desirable than the "mothership." Also, you're certainly very capable of doing writing and art on two books a month - although I've forgotten if you had non-AVENGERS works going on at the same time as well.)

Thanks!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 May 2012 at 4:45am | IP Logged | 2  

I was assigned first to AWC, then, since I was "already there", I was asked to also write THE AVENGERS.
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Flavio Sapha
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Posted: 15 May 2012 at 7:51am | IP Logged | 3  

Why the change from WCA to AWC?
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Adam Hutchinson
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Posted: 15 May 2012 at 8:25am | IP Logged | 4  

So they would sit next to each other on the shelves, or something along those lines.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 May 2012 at 8:30am | IP Logged | 5  

Why the change from WCA to AWC?

++

So they would sit next to each other on the shelves, or something along those lines.

Correct! It was the first thing I asked for when I was assigned to the book, having noticed there were a lot of shops that were racking WEST COAST AVENGERS down in the Ws. I wanted it up alongside its sister title.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 May 2012 at 8:34am | IP Logged | 6  

I'll mention, too, that (until the abrupt ending) AWC was a lot more fun to work on than THE AVENGERS. Reason? Only one member, Iron Man, had his own title. This meant a lot less interference from On High -- such as being forced to include a character who had no place in the Avengers (koff Quasar koff) and then having to fight the senior editor (koff Gruenie koff) who wrote than character's title, and kept pushing for him to have a more important role on the team.
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Benjamin Ledbetter
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Posted: 15 May 2012 at 8:56am | IP Logged | 7  

Well AWC had the best cast of characters when you arrived by far.  I really loved the scientist adventurer version of Henry Pym.
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Eric Smearman
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Posted: 15 May 2012 at 10:42am | IP Logged | 8  

Really enjoyed Mike Machlan's inks on AWC. And, yes, the West
Coast cast was pretty cool.
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Neil Brauer
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Posted: 15 May 2012 at 10:47am | IP Logged | 9  

Wasn't AWC actually out selling The Avengers for a while?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 May 2012 at 11:19am | IP Logged | 10  

One element of AWC that was most definitely no fun at all, was that my time on the book seem to coincide with the rise in fandom -- the increase in decibel level, mainly -- of those "fans" Roger Stern has often described as being unable to figure out where a story is going, and so loudly assuming the writers haven't got it figured out, either.

This was especially apparent when I "ruined" the Vision. {"Ruined" became a popular word with these folk, around this time. It was not enough that they did not like a story turn, it had RUINED the characters!) Apparently, despite my long history of "breaking" characters and then fixing them (that being the point of the story, or story arc), it was assumed I had no way of "fixing" the Vision, after I "broke" him, and so he was "ruined".

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Andrew W. Farago
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Posted: 15 May 2012 at 12:41pm | IP Logged | 11  

I'm sure part of it is that I read the book during my own "Golden Age" of fandom, but West Coast Avengers is my favorite of JB's works, and it made Hawkeye one of my all-time favorite characters.  It killed me that the book lost all that great momentum so soon after Acts of Vengeance wrapped up, but at least I had Namor, Classic X-Men and all of the older stuff I hadn't discovered yet to take away some of the sting.

I never really warmed up to the Paul Ryan/Tom Palmer combo on Avengers, so that felt like the "second string" book to me when JB was on West Coast Avengers.  If John Buscema had stayed on as penciler on Avengers with Tom Palmer, and Paul Ryan had stayed on as JB's inker on West Coast Avengers...well, it's fun to play "What If?", isn't it?
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 15 May 2012 at 12:43pm | IP Logged | 12  

Really enjoyed Mike Machlan's inks on AWC

***********

I did, too. Especially the first few issues before his style totally changed.

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