Thursday night at Fan Expo in Toronto, Marvel Comics writer Jonathan Hickman and penciller Steve Epting joined veteran concept and cover artist Marko Djurdjevic at the publisher's Team Spirit panel. Djurdjevic told the room full of fans he terminated his exclusive contract with Marvel.
Epting spoke on how he and Hickman work together through email and phone. Djurdjevic said that he only worked through editors, not with writers or interior artists.
Hickman asked Djurdjevic about his decision, "What's your big plan? Somebody sent me that link -- you said you were going to do some stuff, and I'm a big fan. I want to know what the hell you're doing."
"I'm very happy with my company Six More Vodka right now," Djurdjevic said "I'm happy to be out of comics, for a while at least."
During the fan Q & A Djurdjevic received a cord for his MacBook and began sharing variations on his Spider-Man redesign. Coming from a video game background, Djurdjevic said he usually bills hourly. "Not in comics." Hickman said.
"Exactly -- and you keep on doing it and doing it," Djurdjevic replied. "I was fighting with the guys at Marvel about this. You can't make people re-work your shit because you can't decide what you want. Either pay or leave."
Djurdjevic illustrated the problems between himself and Marvel editors by showing the audience myriad mock-ups of Lady Bullseye's redesigned costume, citing it as an example of his problems with Marvel art direction. Djurdjevic had already revealed in an online article that Lady Bullseye went through ten incarnations before being approved.
Djurdjevic said, "When they would not interfere with my direction, they would get results that would amaze even me." He cited his work on "Blade," "Thunderbolts" and "X-Men: First Class" his best.
"When I get hired for movie work or video game work, I get hired for my creativity," Djurdjevic said. "At Marvel, I get hired for what they know sells. It's really just a pigeon hole for an artist."
When asked if he would accept any further assignments from Marvel, Djurdjevic responded, "Right now, I'm just over it. I just really need a break."
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