Saturday, March 03, 2007

Editorial in 1990


I spotted this Bullpen Bulletins from 1990. Dwayne McDuffie leaves Marvel and Tom Brevoort takes his place. Tom used to be Marc McLaurens assistant! I think I was at VALIANT at the time so I missed the shuffle. It was always interesting to see the Editorial cards shuffling back then. I remember dating a girl who started as a secretary at Marvel, and when she got an assistant Editor job, she kept her secretary salary. It was more than the normal assistant starting pay and it caused a commotion. I wonder how Marcus remembers it.

16 comments:

mmclaurin said...

At the risk of ticking off the current exec Editor at Marvel, I remember Tom being handed to me. I never hired him. We didn;t mesh exactly. And that's fair to sa, becasue I was handed to Danny Fingeroth as an assistant, and we didn't mesh exactly either, which is why it was great that I was promoted. And given Tom. Full circle. Anyway, that wasn't for that long. Mostly what I remember is the fact that they kept MISPELLING MY NAME WITH AN EN, instead of IN. McLaurin. I mean, it was in the books, for crying out loud, they didn't have to look that hard. %)

Don Hudson said...

Tom was foisted upon you? Gosh... Was it the same with Spenser Lamm? You had different taste in music but that's all I remember.

mmclaurin said...

No, believe it or not, I picked Spenser. We meshed, and I liked him, but he didn;t have the strongest work withic. He was motivated when he wanted to be. But often he was equally oblivious. I remember one instance where he disappeared for a tow hour lunch without letting me know. And then he returned with food, to eat at his desk. I was, like, what's that? And he said "Lunch." And I said, well then, what was the past two hours?" and he said something like, "The preamble to lunch." You had to laugh.

Marie said...

Gentlemen, please! That's Spencer with a 'c.'

People were foisted on each other all the time. Totally normal. And I was foisted on Marcus too, which was sucky because we both had a tremendous amount of experience and here I was assistant while people hired later were already editors! Anyway, it all ends well because Tom Daning came along and I'm sure Marcus will agree that he was one of the top assistant eds of all time.

Marie said...

And Don, to answer your question... just imagine that your job is so undervalued that people whose job it is to file and type and answer phones are paid much more. I can tell you how I felt--irritated that assistant editors were paid so little! And the worst was that I as considered "promotable" to assistant so even when I was working as a secretary, I got assistant salary. Someone wanna explain that one?

mmclaurin said...

Marie was foisted on me, but I took that foisting with a smile. Ah. Seriously, the only wy I could figure out how to cope with the fact that Marie, who was my peer in some abilities and my superior in others, being my "assistant" was to let the title just be a title. We sort of just split the work, and shared an office, as I recall, both assistant-less. Maybe Marie will recall it differently. But that's how I choose to remember it.

Steve Buccellato said...

Marie was only the Epic intern when I was the Epic Assistant Editor. Therefore, I am a superior human being!

;)

Don Hudson said...

Bucce, did the Epic Assit. Editors have a better pay rate than the others? Better situation?

Steve Buccellato said...

Nope. The pay was comparable. The situation, too, so far as I could tell.

In my Epic days, there was the one assistant (me) and two editors (Dan & Margaret) and Archie. Also, a secretary (or "Editorial Assistant" ) and the college intern, who was also called "Editorial Assistant" and who always came from Antioch College.

The editors 'shared' the assistant editor, and overflow work went to the other assistants. We all kind of shared all tasks.

I did not attend the "Assistant Editor School" that Mark Gruenwald tought. This was good and bad. I would have liked to been in on some of that, though my job was a little different. I didn't have to deal with shepherding Marvel characters & continuity. Epic books were creator-owned and the creators did what they wanted with their characters. Also, we Epic-people worked more closely with the manufacturing dept. because we had so many different types of books (formats & art types: painted, blue-lined, early computer color, etc.)

For me, the biggest difference was in the last year or so of my job--when I took over editing the "Shadowline Saga" books. At that point, I neglected most of my other duties, which fell on Mark Chiarello & the interns. I guess at that point, I was unofficially promoted to "Associate Editor," which was my credit. I was still paid as a lowly assistant editor, tho.

Sorry you asked, now?

Oh, and obviously Marie is the superior one! ;)

Steve Buccellato said...

Oh yeah... also, I went freelance in 1989, so that predates your whole "Editorial in 1990" thing.

Sara Kocher said...

So I wasn't the only one hired into a secretarial position but given the (significantly lower) assistant salary...

I guess they figured, correctly, that they could find dozens of well-qualified people eager to be badly-paid Marvel assistants, but to get decent secretaries and receptionists, they needed to pay the going rates. After Marvel, I worked briefly as a receptionist for a trade magazine publisher before going back to college. I made far more there than I ever did at Marvel.

Sara Kocher said...

I don't remember being able to skip Assistant Editor School when I moved from being Greg's assistant at Marvel over to Epic. You'd think I would...that would have been a perk.

I liked Mark Gruenwald a lot, but the thing I remember most about those school meetings was spending way too much time being fascinated by the gigantic conference table because it was more interesting than whatever topic we were discussing. Was I just a young punk? Or was the "school" kind of directionless and pointless? Or is my memory just bad and it was one boring topic in one meeting, not lots of them?

I was booted in '89, so I don't know who was who after that.

Sara Kocher said...

I did get a raise when I moved over from Marvel to Epic, but it was a pretty small one. And I'd been at my current salary for about a year, so that might have been why. It was presented as a promotion, though, because I was going from assistant to an Associate Editor to working with a full Editor.

Other than that raise and working with some fantastic creators and amazing artwork, being an assistant at Epic was about the same as Marvel for me. No major differences in what I was doing. Oh, except that I didn't have to reply to all the unsolicited submissions any more, which reduced my workload a little.

Marie said...

That whole Marvel-swallows-Epic was a messed-up time for sure. But it gave me the strength to withstand mess after mess as things got worse and worse with each reorganization! You think Marvelution was bad? Ha! Try each sequel as they got lamer and lamer.

But somehow, during all this, I don't think I ever made as much as an experienced secretary. But I can still type with the best of them.

Marie said...

Oh and for the record, I think I was the only one that cared that S got all that money. When she was angry, it was probably at ME. Oh well!

Don Hudson said...

I just realized that I know a lot of former Marvel Editors.
And for the record, I don't remember 'S' mentioning you by name Marie.