The Unofficial Defiant Comics Archive
 Last Update: 1/23/2016
DEFIANT COMICS  
Transcribed Editorials
 
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Here are the transcribed Editorials of
Jim Shooter 
EDITOR IN CHIEF
 
October 1993 Source:  Dark Dominion #1
Welcome to Manhatten. Youll notice that people stare at the sidewalks in front of them as they walk, avoiding even fleeting eye contact. Late at night, on a lonely block, they may cross the street to avoid passing you, though it's a well lit block, though you're well dressed and unthreatening, though probably hundreds of people are within shouting distance. You step into an elevator in an apartment building. A person already in the elevator cab darts out just before the door closes to avoid riding alone with you, though they've probably seen you before, though they know you've passed the scrutiny of the doorman.  
 Don't get in trouble here. No one will help you. No one wants to get involved because they may wind up in trouble too, and who's going to help them? They turn their backs, they cross the street, they ignore you.  
 They're afraid. A palpable fear pervades this town. If you live here, you know it intimately. Anyone who spends too much time here soon becomes aware of it. People from other big cities less afflicted sense it instantly. Small-town midwesterners often have to get mugged first. It's not entirely paranoia after all.  
 I've been thinking about this for a long time. I thought about it while sitting in a hearing room once listening to a superficially respectable-looking fellow lying his tail off under oath. As I watched this fellow shifting, sweating and scrambling to kep his disassembling sounding credible, I realized that he was very much afraid. And I realized it's not the crime and violence in the city that cause the fear--it's the other way around.  
 It's the unspoken "or else" that lets you understand the way fear drives evil. Gotta steal or else I'll never get it. Gotta get them or else they'll get me. Gotta eat it, have to do it now, or else my one chance will be gone. Gotta look down on everybody, or else they'll look down on me.  
 Fear is the root of all evil. Works of evil create the climate for more fear. It's not entirely paranoia... 
 Somewhere along the line, a balance was tipped, and Manhatten began a long, slow, slide into the abyss. I said the fear was palpable. It's getting worse. 
 Our new title debuting with this issue is DARK DOMINION ™ . It's about Manhatten. It's about fear and evil and one man who isn't afraid. It was created by myself an Steve Ditko, who, of course, created Doctor Strange and cocreated Spider-Man. It's written by Len Wein, who brought you The Phantom Stranger, Swamp Thing, and the new X-Men. It's drawn by Joe James and inked by Bob Downs and Mike Barreiero. It's powerful, super-action-filled, chilling, intense stuff. It's the cornerstone of the DEFIANT universe. I rarely do a sales pitch in my column, but this one I especially recommend.  
 Don't be afraid. 
 Regarding Marvel's lawsuit against us: The trial is over, and we're waiting for the judge to give us the verdict. I'll let you know what happens. I appreciate the letters of support. Thanks. 
 In closing, I'd like to offer you these thoughts to ponder: 
 Ours is a universe governed by quantum mechanics, wherein matter is also energy and particles are also waves.  
 We are each one a coalecence of forces in the quantum field, an eddy in the stream of timespace--a radiant nexus of energy, organized into form that our limited senses perceive as solid matter.  
 Like magnets that bend unseen lines of force around itself, which iron fillings sprinkled on a piece of paper will betray, we are each one a powerful generator of an unseen nimbus of force. 
 Given our limited senses, it is difficult to conceive of the quantum nature of things. We bite into an apple--a simple event--but in quantum terms, two field of energy are interacting, one shearing through the other.  
 Drops of nectar composed of minute particles, which are also waves, which are also particles, which comprise the sensory structures on our tongues. Then more waves are relayed across a vast distance, relative to the quantum scale, a central locus, where they trigger a series of reactions. Thus we conceive of the nature of the energy field we have just encountered--we taste the apple. 
 Conception is reality in our quantum universe.  
 We can conceive far more than we perceive.  
 There are exactly as many things in Heaven and Earth as dreamt of in our philosophy. 
 All we imagine is real.  
 Only the limits are imaginary. 
                Defiantly, 

                Jim Shooter 
                FYM

 
Website Commentary: The apple analogy here is so reminiscent of the restaurant scene in the movie "Matrix Reloaded" that it is amazing. Einstein once said the secret to being creative is knowing how to hide one's sources. This editorial was written years before the Matrix trilogy. The parallels are similar, yet clearly different. Could their inspiration have been the same? 
 
 
November 1993 Source:  Dark Dominion #2
The Marvel lawsuit is over. We won. 
 Marvel sued for a temporary injunction, claiming that WARRIORS of PLASM™ was an infringement on their title Plasmer, which went on sale this month.   
 Here are some excerpts from the Honorable Michael B. Mukasey's opinion: 

   Plaintiff and defendant are comic book publishers. Both are at the initial stages of publishing new comic book series. Plaintiff's series, which has been announced to the trade and consumers at trade shows and in plaintiff's other comic books, is called "Plasmer."...  
  Defendant's series, the first of which has been published, is called Warriors of Plasm.... 
  For the reasons set forth below the injunction is denied.... 
   ...plaintiff fails because it has failed to prove likely irreparable injury and therefore has failed to prove also likely success on the merits... 
   ...there has been no showing of by survey evidence of such [likely consumer] confusion, nor is there any evidence of actual confusion.... 
   There is obvious phonetic similarity between Plasm and Plasmer. However, although word of mouth may play a strong role in the popularity of a comic book, the axctual selection is made visually.... 
   ...the sight and meaning tests yield a finding that the marks are dissimillar.... 
   ...Although the first issue of the defendant's book shows a monster that plaintiff claims resembles Plasmer's evil self, I see no resemblance beyond the natural tendency of many comic book monsters to have sharp teeth and frightening facial expressions.  
   The appearance of the two comic books is not similar beyond the name.... 
   ...a customer with any experience in buying comic books would be alerted by the difference in appearance between the two books to the substantial possibility that they do not have the same origin or portray the same characters.  
   In addition, the names and logos of publishers are displayed prominentlyin the left-hand corner of each cover, further differentiating the two comic books... 
   ...the content of the two books is sharply different. Beyond a generally biotechnological context, there is no resemblance whatever between the two books.... 
   ...a cursory examination would disclose the differences. This dissimilarity would be aparent even to an inexperienced customer so long as that customer had even a slight acquaintance with the genre of comic books.... 
   ...In order to find a likelihood of confusion sufficient to warrant an injunction, I would have to find that the prospective purchaser was acting on word of mouth, and knew only the title of the book--Plasmer--and nothing else.... 
   ...that doubly hypothetical possibility...is simply too tenuous, absent any evidence whatever, to justify an injunction. Even a purchaser acting on word of mouth that included so much as a rudimentary description of the contents of the book would know that Warriors of Plasm is not about the character depicted in Plasmer.... 
  ...plaintiff has not shown a likelihood of confusion and therefore has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits either. In addition, it appears that plaintiff is the Goliath in this striggle and the defendant the David.... 
  Accordingly, the application for an injunction is denied.... 

 Defending DEFIANT has cost us $200,000 and literally hundreds of man-hours. I believe that was Marvel's real purpose--bleed us, waste our time, slow us down, damage us, maybe even put us out of business. Killing competitors is one way to protect market share. 
 The loss of money and time has created some problems for us, but nothing we can't handle. We remain DEFIANT. 
 And. oh, by the way--now, more than ever, we appreciate your support.  
 Funny what stuff runs through your mind when you're sitting in court listening to weasels lie, hoping that the judge will see the obvious truth, knowing that if he doesn't, the triple damages your adversary claims will put you out of business. I remember a funnylittle homily my Grandma McDonald used to say whenever we kids were hurt, disappointed or downhearted: 

   Take a drink from my bottle, 
   Let it run down thy throttle, 
   Rise up and strive again. 

  I decided that if I unfairly lost, I would "rise up and strive again"--as I have before. 
  Thinking that, knowing that, gave me strength. 
  The moral of the story is be strong, stick to your guns, strive again, never give up. Eventually, the good guys win.  
  Just don't quit. 

                Defiantly, 

                Jim Shooter 
                FYM 

 
Plasmer 2 of 4Website Commentary: Plasmer was a horrid comic book series. Despite Jim's desire to "remain Defiant", Defiant Comics never recovered from the financial setback of Marvel's lawsuit. Funding which should have come through did not come through. 
 
 
December 1993 Source: Dark Dominion #3,  Good Guys #2
Len Wein was Editor in Chief of Marvel Comics when I first met him. He knew my work from Superman, Superboy, The Legion of Super-Heroes, and other comics I'd written for DC during the previous decade. I'd been introduced by a friend to his Swamp Thing stories, which blew me away. Len offered me some writing assignments at Marvel, and I cheerfully accepted. I was really looking forward to working with Len. 
  Unfortunately, it just didn't happen. By the time I began writing for Marvel, Len had gone back to writing as well. We did get to know each other a little though. I remember one time when a bunch of us were hanging around the Marvel editorial office after work, somehow Len's description of the time he and Neal Adams had knocked down a wall at DC comics while wrestling led to a reenactment--with me in the Neal Adams role. 
  Using a move I learned watching the superb film King Kong vs. Godzilla, I lifted Len off the ground--he's a big bear of a man, but I was in shape then--and tried to flip him onto the floor. He countered somehow, so that all I succeeded in doing was spinning us both around and slamming Len feet first into Roger Stern, who had been watching with bemused curiosity until impact. Roger flew back like a batted ball, just as you'd expect. He was, after all, a mere human, cast by fate into the path of four hundred-plus pounds of lurching, spinning lunatics. 
  Publisher Stan Lee happened to be striding own the hall at that moment, on his way out. It was about 7:00 P.M. Human projectile Roger careened out the door of the editorial office into the hall, narrowly missing Stan before thundering into the wall. 
  Stan's head swiveled to stare for a second at poor, stunned Roger, now limply sliding down the wall, then swiveled to observe Roger's two-man propulsion unit. By this time, I was rather off-balance and holding Len sort of upside-down. Though his expression revealed amazement, Stan never broke his stride and merely said "Stay alive, men!" as he exited through the back door. 
  We all started laughing--Len, myself, and the puddle that was Roger. That's when I lost my footing and went down hard, dropping Len en route. Len landed on his head, I think, which may account for a few quirks in his behavior since then. 
  Soon thereafter, I became Editor in Chief at Marvel, but by that time Len had gone back to work for DC Comics. Though we remained friends, we never did work together. 
  Until DEFIANT. 
  I ran into Len last April at WonderCon in Oakland. He had some time in his schedule, and I needed a writer. Bingo. 
  Len is writing DARK DOMINION and WARRIORS of PLASM, and has written the WARRIORS of PLASM Graphic Novel, "Home for the Holidays." 
  Len is of course, the cocreator of the new X-MEN (with Dave Cockrum, who penciled "Home for the holidays"), Swamp Thing, The Human Target, and many other notable series. He's universally acknowledged as one of the finest writers and creators to ever grace our field--and he's doing the best work of his career. I respect him and his work beyond measure--he's been through good times and bad, triumphs and tragedies, and has come through it all with greater wisdom and sharper skills. Best of all, he still has that fire in his belly that made Swamp Thing great. He's at the peak of his powers. I'm very glad he's with us. 
  Len and I still wrestle sometimes--verbally--over story point, as any good editor and writer do, and we're having a ball. 
  But I bet just the thought of that makes Stan Lee quicken his pace...And Roger? He probably searching for his flak jacket right now. 
                Defiantly, 

                Jim Shooter 
                FYM

 
Website Commentary: Dark Dominion was indeed an excellent read. The first 5 issues were struggling for a direction, but issues 6 through 10 had resolved that problem. 
 
 
January 1994 Source: Dark Dominion #4,  Good Guys #3
In Kansas City, when they say "please" and "thank you", they mean it.  
  Recently I was a guest at the Kansas City Comics Club, and it was simply the best convention I've attended in a decade. Con organizer Mike Worley treated me, Clark Smith, and the rest of the Team DEFIANT with great kindness. People are sincerely nice there. 
  There were lots of other guests, of course. I don't want to slight anyone, but it was particularly nice to see Dick Ayers, Julie Schwartz, Murphy Anderson, and Curt Swan, four of the giants upon whose shoulders we stand. It was a great honor to receive the K.C. Comics Club's Fan Appreciation Award for Lifetime Achievement in front of some men from who I learned my craft. Curt, in particular, taught me a great deal back in the '60s when he drew many of the Superman, World's Finest Comics, and Legion of Super-Heroes stories I wrote.  
  In addition to a plaque, the Club gave me a wonderful statue of Lorca sculpted by Bud Bortner, which has become the centerpiece of my office. Thanks, again, guys, for everything. 

Let me tell you something about Alan Weiss... 
  The average comics reader has never heard of Alan Weiss, because he's never worked for extended periods on high-profile series. He's worked on Batman, The Avengers, Warlock, and other marquee titles, but only on a project-by-project basis--picking his shots, working only on stories to which he could apply his art and his skills with passion. Among professionals, and among fans who have traced his career's circuitous path, Alan is very highly regarded as an artist and as a creator.  
  I think he may be the most creative person I've ever met--and, remember, I know or have known many of the all-time greats in comics and most of the current superstars. 
  Last year, when we were putting DEFIANT together, I ran into Alan in Denver. I told him what we were doing. He loved it. I asked him to help us build a universe. He accepted.  
  Alan had a concept for a character called "War Dancer," which dovetailed almost eerily into the universe concept of DEFIANT. War Dancer was, in fact, the missing lynchpin. As we've developed War Dancer, it has become a critical centerpiece of the Universe.  
  That was amazing for two reasons. 
  First, Alan has never made a long-term commitment to a series, much less a Universe. As I said, he has to have passion for what he's doing, and that's meant a career-ful of one-shots and special projects-- until now 
  Watch for the powerful, apocalyptic, stunningly orIginal superhero saga of WAR DANCER, starting--with passion--in February, and watch the DEFIANT  Universe continue to unfold around it.  

  Lastly, I've been having some conversations with Rob Liefeld recently. Interesting... 

                Defiantly, 

                Jim Shooter 
                FYM

 
Website Commentary: Alan Weiss indeed deserved the praise he received. The stunning artwork featured detail that few artists bring to comics today. 
 
 
February 1994 Source: Dark Dominion #5, Good Guys #4
Happy Birthday, DEFIANT. One year ago, on February 18th. DEFIANT emerged from a gestation of hopes and dreams into vivid reality--for us, here at the plant, anyway. Our first issue Warriors of PLASM #1 didn't appear until August of last year, so it seems we're only half a year old to you DEFIANT people who don't gather at the office every day. Either way, 1994 is our first full year together--and what a year it's going to be!  
  This summer DEFIANT will publish it's first mega-cross-over-- a story so big it involves every DEFIANT title. Sure, everybody does cross-overs, but not like this.  
  The crossover story is called SCHISM. It's the reason why there's a DEFIANT Universe. It profoundly involves every DEFIANT personage.  
  If you live in the universe, it involves you.  
  SCHISM is a great story, not a gimmick to force you to buy titles you don't want. The story is deeply rooted in each DEFIANT series. Every second of every story from DEFIANT has been, is and will be the foundation of  SCHISM-- so, in fact, the story has already begun. However, the essence of SCHISM will appear in four graphic novels, one a week, on sale the last two weeks of july and the first two weeks of August.  
   SCHISM is being written and designed by myself and David Lapham, with powerful help like Len Wein, Janet Jackson, Alan Weiss an others--people who invented the mega-crossover, revolutionized it with UNITY a couple of years back, or both.  
  You're going to want to read to read SCHISM. 
  Again, the story has already begun. All the universe is involved. Watch the weave develop and be ready for things you've never seen the likes of before. I do not say these words lightly.  
  One more comment: A retailer friend told me it's a bad time for comics, that most companies are dying or pulling in their horns, and that nothing new and exciting was on the horizon. So I told him about SCHISM-- and that DEFIANT was thriving by the way. 
  Blew him away. 
  Now is the time to build, to grow, to do great works. Now is the time to be DEFIANT.  
  1994 is going to be the Year of DEFIANT. The first full year. The first of many.  
  Now is the time or a great story.  
  SCHISM. 
  What a great year it's going to be! 
                Defiantly, 

                Jim Shooter 
                FYM 

 
Website Commentary: Optimism is a wonderful thing, but realism prepares the mind for the problems ahead. 1994 could indeed be called the Year of Defiant, but it was not the first of many, and unless someone was to find a way to bring it back, it never will be. Optimism would say that you should never give up, realism says that dreams do sometimes die. Optimism says press forward, realism says that your dream has no greater right to be manifest than the dreams of those around you. Dreams sometimes collide. They boil down to a battle of the spirit-- one's willpower, one's wisdom, one's clarity of thought, one's resources. Hope is not based on dreams. Hope is based on a greater balance of justice that shall exist. Hope is based on the balance that every man's dream, ambition, and desire is respected-- even when that man has overstepped the bounds of his worthiness. He shall receive his portion, but no more. 

Marvel sued DEFIANT, DEFIANT ran out of free cash, SCHISM was never released. DEFIANT shut down. There is little doubt that MARVEL had stepped beyond their worthiness to win, but MARVEL didn't win. MARVEL lost the court case, and later fell into debt reconsolidation.... and bankruptcy. Two wills lost because they deemed the other a threat, not an asset. There is a wisdom which can be found in loss. That wisdom is-- don't make the same mistake twice. 

 
March 1994 Source: Charlemagne #1, Dark Dominion #6, Good Guys #5
Our Creative Director, Janet Jackson, is thinking of changing her name to Sheena Easton to avoid confusion. 
  Just Kidding. 
  Jayjay, as she prefers to be called, for obvious reasons, is one of the brightest and best talents to grace our medium. She's the best colorist--we usually say "painter," since our repro process allows for full-color, three dimensional rendering--in the business. She's an outstanding graphic designer, photographer, technical illustrator, and mechanical artist. She's also a pre-press and printing expert--a real Renaissance woman.  
  Not quite best of all, but close, she possesses the kind of brilliant conceptual mind that allows her to create, to invent, to build universes from pure thought. As I've said in this column before, she was responsible for more of the creation of the characters and concepts of the last universe we worked on together--the Valiant universe--than anyone except me. She receives no credit from the corporate pirates and their purchased lackeys who stole Valiant from me, no royalties--and they haven't even paid her the $28,000 in back pay they owe her--but  I  know what she meant to the success of Valiant. and you should too. Jayjay got the concept, and was actively contributing while those who'd like you to believe the created it all were insisting that Harbinger was "too different." They didn't get it. 
  Anyway, Jayjay is at it again, helping to build the DEFIANT Universe. She gets it. She's contributing mightily. 
  There is nobody better.  
  But best of all, she's started writing. 
  One reason Jayjay's first solo flight as a writer was "Bad Moon Rising," the powerful and gritty tale featured in DARK DOMINION #4. It's outstanding. 
  I believe that it is the best first effort I've ever seen from any writer. Roll that one around in your mind.  
  Let me clue you in about another talent to watch--an amazing all-around artist named Adam Pollina. His first work was for Triumphant Comics on a series called Chromium Man. We felt he was ready an gave him a chance penciling CHARLEMAGNE, which begins monthly in March. Remember when Michael Golden arrived on the scene with his debut Micronauts 
  Watch this guy. 
  Another thing I'd like to mention is DEFIANT's upcoming mega-crossover--our first. It's called SCHISM. You can see the weave beginning now in all of our titles, though the roots of the saga go all the way back to the beginning of time. 
  Now I hear you thinking--is this the one of those deals where they try to force me to buy things I don't want to get some gimmick or premium? No. I guarantee there won't be any trading cards or rewards gimmick for buying them all. The "gimmick" is that it's good. 
  It's the best I've ever done--and Jayjay is contributing brilliantly. So are Adam, Len, David, and other DEFIANT creative forces. 
  It'll be "too different" or certain unimaginative weasels. They won't get it. 
  I think you will, though. 
  SCHISM. 
                Defiantly, 

                Jim Shooter 
                FYM 

 
Website Commentary: This clarifies whether Janets work is considered a painting. I do find her stuff to be a painting and not just a "fill in the square with a color marker". Some of Janet's color covers have sold on ebay for hundreds of dollars. 
 
April 1994 Source: Dark Dominion #7, Charlemagne #2, Dogs of War #1, Good Guys #6
 
Jack Kirby died last week. 

I worked with him at  
Marvel for several years, 
and got to know him a little. 
He was a professional and a genuinely nice man. He was 
also the King of our craft, one 
of the greatest creative forces 
of the twentieth century. 
His work will ever inspire, 
awe, and amaze us, and eve 
bring fondly to mind the  
genius and the gentleman. 

  
I'd like to correct a major oversight. Two of the artists who did spectacular work on THE DARK DOMINION Zero Issue trading card set inadvertently were left out of the credits--inkers Keith Wilson and Grey. Sorry, guys. 

A lot of people have been asking me if  I'm leaving DEFIANT to go to Image. Rumors are everywhere, especially since Extreme Studios ran an ad in the trades that said "Rob Liefeld/Jim Shooter/Youngblood '94."   
  Well, here's what's really going on.... 
  Rob Liefeld is the only original Image creator who I didn't know from my Marvel days. The others all worked for Marvel when I was Editor-in-Chief there, but Rob started working shortly after I left. I met him for the first time at Wonder-Con in April 1993 in an elevator. A few months later, hen we were both doing an appearance at a retail store in Anaheim, where Extreme Studios is located, we had breakfast together. I asked Rob if he'd mind "guest-starring" in THE GOOD GUYS #1. He agreed, and then he told me that I was one of his favorite writers and asked if I'd do a tory with him someday. Sure.  
  After THE GOOD GUYS #1 came out, Rob called me to tell me how much he'd enjoyed it. He also asked if I'd write a storyline for Youngblood and offered to do some work for DEFIANT in return--sort of a crossover of creators as opposed to characters.  
  I'm pretty busy. So's Rob. But there's something about the idea that appealed to me instantly. I said yes, and agreed to work out the details later. Rob asked if  I'd mind if he started promoting the event. No problem, said I. Hence, the rumor starting trade ad. 
  A long time ago, I worked with George Pérez on the Avengers at Marvel, and I think we were a pretty good combination. The power in George's art brought out my best. Power is, of course, the essence of Rob Liefeld's work--thundering, crackling, extreme power. Nobody, does it better. 
  This is going to be fun.  
  Watch for announcements. 
 

                Defiantly, 

                Jim Shooter 
                FYM 

 
Website Commentary: No comments.
 
 
May 1994 Source: Dark Dominion #8,  Charlemagne #3, Dogs of War #2, Good Guys #7, Prudence & Caution #1
Contrary to popular rumors, I am not leaving DEFIANT.  
  The other day we received a series of calls from readers and retailers who'd heard that I'd gone to work for Continuity Comics. Their evidence: Continuity has apparently just announced that they're publishing some stories written by me.  
  Maybe they are...but I wrote those stories in 1987! 
  We continue to hear from callers and correspondents that I'm going, or have gone to Image 
No, Rob Liefeld and I are doing a "crossover of creators," in which I'll write a YOUNGBLOOD storyline and he'll do some artwork for us...but I remain DEFIANT.  
   And DEFIANT remains DEFIANT. Some people heard that the company that licensed the right to make DEFIANT trading cards had postponed publication, and inferred that we were out of business. We even got a phone call from WIZARD, no less.  
  Nope. We're doing fine. In fact, we're beginning a make-good program to help take care of some outstanding obligations to do with the trading cards that bore our name. retailers, contact our sales troops if you haven't heard about this.  
  Also, watch for what we think will be a pretty exciting announcement regarding trading cards.  
  Our other licenses, by the way ae doing fine. We're especially excited about the CD ROM SPLATTERBALL VIDEO GAME and we'll be making an official announcement soon about the first DEFIANT movie! More on those later. 
  At the risk of sounding like I'm lecturing, be aware, friends, that scoundrels use rumors as weapons to damage competitors. They exploit people's natural tendency to believe bad news. Question rumors. Be suspicious of "authorities." Look for conflicts of interest and ulterior motives. Defy the self-appointed arbiters of taste. 
  The world is full of liars, lawyers, and vicious curs. Be careful out there. 
                Defiantly, 

                Jim Shooter 
                FYM

  P.S. The summer of DEFIANT is nigh upon us. SCHISM, our first super-saga crossover, is coming during July and August. Please order it now from your retailer. You'll be very glad you did, I promise you. 
 
 
Website Commentary: Having spoke casually with several former Defiant Comic employees, there is no reason to doubt the sincerity of the comments made in this May 1994 editorial. This piece was written some 5 months before Defiant made the choice to cease publication. Following the publication of this editorial, several licensing deals fell through and some financing failed to come forth as it was expected to do. The lawsuit with Marvel Comics over the name PLASM vs. PLASMER had drained any extra operating capital the company had allocated for publishing comics. At the time DEFIANT chose to cease publication, they paid all outstanding artist and creators for the work that had been done. Creators were even paid for work that had not been published. According to several sources directly affected, DEFIANT's doors were closed in a very fair and honest manner towards all creative talents involved.   
 There is good reason to believe that the rumors, lies, and negativity that Mr. Shooter was addressing in this editorial had a direct affect on sales despite quality improvements. This editorial could be viewed as a failed attempt to prevent what actually happened. 
 
June 1994 Source: Dark Dominion #9, Charlemagne #4, Dogs of War #3,  Good Guys #8
originally wrote this column for Hero Illustrated Magazine, but it's a good one and it bears reprinting here 
  The number one problem in the industry is not the glut, not the lack of talent, not the crash of the speculator market, not thin margins, not late books, not even greed- though that's a contender. 
  The number one problem is lack of honor. 
  Look at us-an industry that trades heavily upon the concept of noble super-heroes-do you see many stand-up guys around? What you see is a lot of backbiting, childish petulance, pettiness and rodentlike wimp-ism. 
  You see cronyism and patronage carried to absurd extremes. Editors at big houses don't hire the best writers for the titles in their care, they hire each other on a you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours basis. Brown-nosing is a more important job skill for artists than a mastery of their craft or talent. If you ask an artist about that, he or she will probably say it isn't so in their case, of course, but yes, they're aware of the syndrome. The corollary is equally ugly-no small number of freelance artists have told me that they'd like to do a job for DEFIANT, but can't because they might be "blackballed" at Marvel by certain editors who have some axe to grind. And when some creator is  unjustly dumped, because he was seen with the wrong people, or because some editor's buddy needed work, don't look for other creators to rally around. Typically, they'll look the other way in droves, glad it's not them being screwed.  
  Injustice is routinely tolerated in this business. While I was a V.P. at Marvel, I was working from within to improve the sorry treatment of Marvel's founding fathers-Kirby, Ditko, Heck, Ayers, et al-and making grudging progress, until Kirby sued, seeking ownership of the properties he'd created or co-created. At that time, Marvel's top management went into bunker mode. Kirby began to get publicity mostly from publications wherein Marvel didn't advertise, and, apparently a great deal of support within the trade as well as among fans. As the groundswell started, I remember thinking that retailers and distributors would no longer support us, that the fans would boycott our books, that it could be the end. 
  Nah. 
  Everybody was happy to give lip service to Kirby, but few seriously put themselves out. Me? Once I had reached an impasse with Marvel's owners, and realized that I could no longer make a difference working from within, I left. 
  Several years later when Valiant was stolen out from under me, many people privately expressed their condolences, their support, their outrage-but as a practical matter the industry turned a blind eye. I wasn't surprised. By that time Valiant was a big money maker for the distributors and retailers, an important advertiser to trade publications, a lucrative account for the creative people, and well-entrenched with the fans. The trade press, if anything, made apologies for pirates.  
  What passes for journalism in our trade press is generally appalling. Facts are seldom checked. "New" stories are often blatantly slanted in favor of whomever has the most clout. Columnist  misuse their platforms. Can you imagine a column  written by a professional athlete in which he or she routinely criticized other professionals in his or her sport? Or a column written by an actor in which he or she routinely slandered other actors, film studios, theater owners and moviegoers? 
  The words "conflict of interest" obviously mean nothing to these people. One comics writer who is a columnist asked me for work, was politely refused, and has since written a column bashing DEFIANT. In what other industry would such behavior be tolerated? 
  I've seen editors from one house doing reviews of comics from other houses in trade press columns. 
  This very magazine (Hero Illustrated) runs a column which purports to provide inside information but has consistently run pure fiction with regard to DEFIANT.  
  Irresponsibility is lack of honor. Especially as far as the press is concerned.  
  Amazingly, readers seem to believe a lot of the garbage they read. You'd think anyone who'd ever read Spider-Man would be a little suspicious of journalists. 
  So why is our industry this way? Low self-esteem, I think. We started out as the poor stepchild of syndicated comics, which themselves were second class citizens of the arts. I think a lot of people in this business still feel looked down upon, and act as though they deserve to be.  
  The truth is that the comic book industry has grown up a lot recently. Before we can truly come of age, though, we're going to have to learn to show some self-respect.  
  When you get right down to it, that's what honor is.  

It may interest you to know that on April 8, 1994 it was announced that Valiant, or more properly Voyager Communications Inc., was sold by the pirates and weasels who stole it to Acclaim Entertainment for $65,000.000. 

                Defiantly, 

                Jim Shooter 
                FYM 

 
Website Commentary: The last sentence negates the importance of the whole column. Let it sink in. 
 
July 1994 Source:  Charlemagne #5, Good Guys #9
I performed my How to Create Comics Seminar in Los Angeles recently, ably assisted by the legendary writer/creator Len Wein. 
  Just before the Seminar began, I was presented with a wonderful gift and the following letter: 

April 9, 1994 

It's been almost a year since I attended your first "How to Create Comics" seminar. It has been a glorious year for me. As you are probably already aware (from previous correspondence), I am most appreciative of you for my new outlook on literature. What I haven't mentioned is my new propensity for creativity. For this I thank you also. 
  Creativity sometimes takes unusual forms and sometimes it becomes a compelling force. That is precisely how it accosted me. A few months ago I was at the ocean with my two sons. While walking along the beach at the water's edge I found a slab of metal, half buried in the surf. It was an old piece of metal, corroded and pitted from probably many years in salt water. It had probably broken away from a sunken ship. It was obvious to me that it had no intention of lying at the bottom of the ocean, being battered and bashed by the elements. Somehow it made it's way through a perilous journey to rest on the beach. When I found it, it was clear to me that it was one thing...DEFIANT.  
  During the following months I did my best to interpret what was written in that hunk of metal. Working sometimes only minutes, sometimes working for hours at a time. I am not sure if I interpreted it's message fully because, to me, it doesn't look any different to the day I found it washed up by the surf.  
  Today I give it to you for the next part of it's journey, because it like you shall persevere no matter what perils arise. 
  For me, the journey is just beginning. My creativity is headed in a new direction, writing. Since I'm being taken along for the ride, I thought that I would pack up my imagination and explore the region, Where Only the Limits are Imaginary. I have so much trust in you as a guide to that realm that I have brought my son to your seminar today so that they too will know the path to the same limitless enjoyment.  
  Thanks For Everything 
                                                                   Sincerely, 
                                                                   Steve Pendleton 

I was sincerely moved by the whole thing. My sincere thanks again to Steve Pendleton. 

The Seminar went very well, thanks to Bill Liebowitz and the people of Golden Apple Comic, who co-sponsored the Seminar with DEFIANT, and made all the arrangements. As always, all proceeds were donated to charity.  
  The evening before the Seminar, just before the autograph party for Len and me held at Melrose Avenue Golden Apple store, I had a chance to sit down with Bill for awhile and talk about the state of the industry.  
  Bill is a veteran in this business, he's tough, smart, experienced, and wise. He made a few observations that are both thought provoking and chilling. Bill said that the speculation boom the industry went through during the last seven years, a lot of regular readers, people who read, enjoy and save their comics, became alienated. The tidal wave of holograms, die-cut glow-in-the-dark-foil-stamped-etc. covers, deaths, rebirths, cripplings, and restarts of old titles from #1's, designed to squeeze every dollar out of every comic buyer, ended up discouraging and driving away many readers who were the backbone of the market. People don't like feeling exploited, milked, bilked, and screwed. When the speculators discovered cases of X-Men #1 or the rebirth of Superman they bought were not appreciating in value (because--surprise--there are millions of copies), they deserted the market, leaving the comics market in big trouble--no speculators, fewer readers and...big trouble. More than a thousand comics stores have gone out of business since last summer.  
  Bill says that the only way out of this nightmare is for publishers to focus on story, and create accessible, cutting-edge comics with that personality and attitude--a little daring, a little different, a little, well...DEFIANT that people can really get into. 
  We're on the case. we are DEFIANT. C'mon. Help us build a universe. And tell your friends. 

                Defiantly, 

                Jim Shooter 
                FYM 

 
Website Commentary: ...or just shut it down.... which they did. 
 
 
August 1994 Source: Dogs of War #5
 
Don Thompson 
passed away recently. 
With his wonderful wife 
Maggie Thompson, 
Don edited The Comics 
Buyers Guide. Don was 
one of the best people 
in this industry, and now 
he's gone. Let's all work 
a little harder and be a 
little better, shall we? 
It won't begin to make 
up for the loss, 
but it'll honor 
a good man's memory.
  
So, there I was on the witness stand in Federal Court in Uniondale, New York. Some guy was suing Columbia Pictures over "The Karate Kid" films. He claimed he had created the name "Karate Kid" in 1968 well before their movies came out. Columbia Pictures had, in fact licensed the name from DC Comics and the defense attorney had asked me to testify that I had created the name for DC Comics in 1965, which, I had. 
 The defense attorney handed me a copy of Adventure Comics #346 and asked me to identify it, state when it was published (1966), and state the circulation (500,000). The Plaintiff's lawyer objected...on the grounds that my testimony was hearsay 
 The judge sustained the objection! 
 So there I was on the witness stand in Federal Court in Uniondale, New York, listening to a judge instruct the jury that the printed, published copy of the comic book in hand had no significance as evidence, and that anything I said was to be considered hearsay.  
 This judge evidently had no clue that comic books were professional, real publications. I suppose he assumed that anyone could have made that issue of Adventure Comics at home and put whatever dates and circulation figures he wanted in it.  
 If any of you think for a moment that comics have broken through the barrier and achieved general public awareness, much less respect, think again.  

A lot of weird stuff happened lately... 

 A famous comics creator condemned me from the podium during a keynote speech at a major distributor's retailer seminar. Amazing. He and I have never had a bad dealing, nor any harsh words between us in all the years we've known each other. We've always been friends. Then, very recently, without warning, he began publicly attacking me. 
 He had some venom in his speech for several of the publishing companies in attendance, but I was the only individual he attacked. My crime? Overstating my résumé, in his opinion, with regard to my work on behalf of creator's rights. I didn't, but that's neither here nor there. His behavior is/was unaccountable.  

A major trade magazine persists in calling it's award for "the lamest character of the month" the "Mort", an obvious reference to Mort Weisinger. Weisinger was the DC editor who helped make Superman part of Americana, and made a significant contribution to building the industry that we love. Whether you like his style or not, he was one of the giants upon whose shoulders we stand.  

These things are more than weird. They're a part of the reason that comics lack awareness and respect among the general populace. 
 Just look at how we treat ourselves. 
 Backbiting, backstabbing, gossip, malicious lies, and cowardly slander are rife among us. The lack of respect we have for each other is palpable. The ingratitude and disdain for our predecessors is sickening.  
 No wonder the public largely chooses to turn it's back on us. We can be pretty ugly. 

By the way, after much testimony, the judge was finally persuaded to admit Adventure Comics #346 (edited by Mort Weisinger) as evidence. Shortly, thereafter the defense prevailed and the case was thrown out of court. 

I guess that's progress. 

Next month, a big announcement 

                Defiantly, 

                Jim Shooter 
                FYM 

 
Website Commentary: Ironically this editorial ends with no period. Just as the comics ended with no proper conclusion, so did the last editorial by Jim. Was the "big" news intended to be news that Defiant was shutting down? We can't really know. This editorial obviously expresses a great amount of frustration. I don't honestly believe that the general population knew or cared that industry "backbiting" was even taking place. Perhaps a toy manufacturer noticed it, but I don't classify that as the general population. 
 
 
 

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