Interview With Tim Tuohy
(October 2011)

Tim Tuohy edited DAREDEVIL for a short run at the end of Volume 1 and had the unenviable task of taking over from former editor Jaye Gardner just as the "Flying Blind" arc was underway. Here we discuss that oft-maligned arc, the final issue by Chichester and Weeks, and working at Marvel in the late 90's. This interview was conducted over several months, and Mr. Tuohy supplied many of the memos and images presented. Many thanks to Mr. Tuohy for this opportunity.

Kuljit Mithra: When I first think back to the time you were editing DAREDEVIL, all I can remember is Marvel's bankruptcy and the general malaise about the title itself... Joe Kelly had finished his last issue and rumors of cancellation were appearing... a deal with Event Comics was also rumored, and then Jaye Gardner left the book and then you were onboard with "Flying Blind"... can you describe what it was like at Marvel at that time, and how you got the DD editing job?

DAREDEVIL #376-379 interlocking covers by Cully Hamner & Jason Martin

Tim Tuohy: It was a rough time, no doubt. Malaise could also be combined with anger, frustration. You went to work everyday pretty much not knowing what was going to happen once you walked through the door. There were daily updates on who was buying us, who was not buying us, who was making a new bid for us...it was draining. There were forces, internal and external, which were weighing heavily on everybody in the building. [Former Marvel inker] Bob Almond commented to me on how somber it was coming into the offices during those days.

Added to the financial situation was a seemingly constant attack on the Marvel Editors. Upper Management, for whatever their reasons, felt that outsourcing titles was a good idea. I can truthfully appreciate getting Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld to come in to bring up the sales numbers for "Heroes Reborn". I get it. But I never understood why it was perceived that they could have done a better job at the day to day editing process then Marvel's own editors. And then once the Event Comics rumors started, well, you can just imagine how we were feeling at the time.

For reasons that were never made truly clear to me, I was brought into the publisher's office some time in January of 1998 and told that, "due to an editorial restructuring," I would be the editor of DAREDEVIL starting with issue #376. I'm going to include dates because, hopefully they will help set the story straight about what really happened with "Flying Blind." Some people have said that I was given DAREDEVIL because Jaye Gardner was laid off at the time. Jaye and I were both laid off on the same day October 24, 1998. The editorial reshuffling never made sense to me because there were already some pretty solid rumors about Quesada and Palmiotti coming in to take over the book. So giving me the book with only 5 issues left seemed strange.

Mithra: From interviewing Cully Hamner and Scott Lobdell in the past, I know that you basically inherited Flying Blind and the creative team in place once Gardner left the book. How much of it was already underway, and was it too late to maybe go a different route?

Tuohy: I did inherit the book and unfortunately, I inherited a myriad of problems as well. To understand just how bad the situation was; you have to understand some of the behind-the-scenes that goes on in making a monthly comic. As I stated earlier, DAREDEVIL was handed over to me in January of 1998, sometime between the 8th and the 21st. On whatever day it was, there was a brief handover meeting between Jaye Gardner and me. During that meeting we spoke about what was going on, who his creative teams were and what had been completed so far. It was that last part that caused me the most worry and the most problems. Jaye handed over to me the plots for the first two issues and a piece of art that was created as an ad for the storyline. That was it. The plot for issue #376 was faxed over on 12/01/1997 and the plot for #377 was faxed over on 1/08/1998. Mr. Lobdell was still working with Jaye on the second plot because on page 8 of the fax he makes a note to "Jay." I was also made aware about how late the book was.

A page from Scott Lobdell's plot for the second issue of "Flying Blind"

My first priority was to read the plots and see what the story was about. Despite what some people would like or believe, an editor's responsibility is to be more than a traffic manager. Marvel editors are responsible for some of the most well known characters in Pop Culture. That was a responsibility that I took very seriously. So seriously that when I was an assistant editor under Don Daley, I ran afoul of a writer who had presented Don with a PUNISHER story and kept asking me if Don had read the story or not. The writer finally said that if Don wasn't going to read it then he/she would just change the character to Batman and submit it to DC. I said, "Then it's not a PUNISHER story and Don doesn't want it."

I read the plots and realized first and foremost that this should never have gone past the pitch stage. Writers throw out a lot of ideas. Some are good and some are not. I think that Mr. Lobdell has a lot of great ideas, but "Flying Blind" had too many things going on that, not just as an editor, but as a reader I couldn't reconcile.

After the events of #375, Matt wakes up in France, has undergone complete facial reconstruction plastic surgery, had his brain re-wired to wipe his memory, he speaks and understands French fluently, and most shocking of all has his sight restored. Finally, there is only a single S.H.I.E.L.D agent who knows what is going on who gets killed at the end of the first issue. Is this agent a plastic surgeon/neuro-surgeon? And this was when Matt's identity was still a secret.

As an editor, there were problems in the fact that Mr. Lobdell was using a villain, Electro, who was not approved by the proprietary editor and a villain who was dead, The Matador. Also troubling was the fact that after the four issues were done, the story was done. DAREDEVIL was completely back to staus quo. To me, this continued to push along the argument that Marvel's editors had no idea what they were doing and outsourcing will make for better books.

I wrote notes, some were admittedly quite harsh, on the two plots and attached them to a memo to the Editor in Chief dated 1/21/1998. The first sentence of that memo read, "Simply and as eloquently as I can put this, this is not a DAREDEVIL story." By that date, issue #376 which had a solicited, on sale date of 4/1/98 was exactly 10 weeks from shipping without a single penciled page of story.

Tuohy's notes on Scott Lobdell's plots, in an internal memo to editor-in-chief Bob Harras

In case of situations like this, an editor is supposed to have a completely generic inventory story that can be run. Jaye did not have one and in a meeting with the EIC, probably on the 22nd, I was told to do the best that I could. I was very upset about the situation and asked that my name be taken off the book. I was surprised and not a little bit shocked to be told that, if I took my name off the project, I would be fired. Hindsight being 20/20, I should not have written such harsh notes on a plot from a writer who was a personal friend of the EIC. It was also stupid of me to now expect any support from the EIC for his editor. The lack of support would continue throughout working on the first issue.

I had to go back to my office and get on the phone with Mr. Lobdell to change some things and talk a lot to Cully. Through no fault of his own, he was under the gun and we had to figure out some way to get this book on the fast track artwise.

Kuljit Mithra: So this probably explains why you had to get Tom Morgan involved to help out with the arc because it was already far behind. I also remember the arc was solicited for 4 issues, then I heard it was down to 3, then back to 4 again... I didn't realize things were a mess behind the scenes. Is this kind of politics something you had to endure for most of your time at Marvel? For the most part, people don't understand what editors do and how their decisions on what happens in the comic is sometimes not of their own choosing. With everything going on with Marvel and now this situation with DAREDEVIL, there must have been some conflicting thoughts about your job.

Solicitation for issue #376, from Marvel Vision

Tuohy: Before I talk about Tom, I have to say what a pro Cully was. He really was given the sort end of the stick on this one. It was his idea to save time by drawing on boards that were smaller than the usual 11"x17" ones. To this day, I have a full set of copies of his pencil art for the first issue. Having Jason Martin inking was also a great time saver but, in the end, I knew that I had to get in another artist or else every issue would be late. Cully and I talked it over and he agreed with me that the best course of action was to get Scott to turn in all of the plots as soon as possible and give him the last issue.

Getting Tom Morgan was a no-brainer. Tom pretty much saved my ass on DS9# 13 when I had to let the original penciler go. Tom stepped in and did an outstanding job under a tight deadline. I knew that he could do the same, if not better, on DAREDEVIL. I called him and laid out what was going on and he came onboard. While Cully was still working on #376, I had Tom start on #377.

I have no recollection whatsoever about the solicitation thing... 4 issues to 3 issues back to 4 issues. If I was to hazard a guess, I would say that it had more to do with Quesada and Palmiotti's schedule than mine. I was already making calls to get #380 in the works having gotten the double sized issue approved.

As Cully was cranking out pages for #376 as fast as he could, I was constantly trying to get ahold of Mr. Lobdell to script the pages. He was not an easy man for me get ahold of. It might have been because he was made aware of my displeasure over the whole situation. Only Mr. Lobdell can answer that. However, once I got those scripted pages, they had to be read, revised and then faxed over to ComicCraft. It was insane the amount of faxing that went on for this one 24 page story.

When all was said and done, on 3/17/98, I was able to send the book to the manufacturing department. From there, the book was sent to the color separator, proofs would come back for approvals, revisions made, then off to the printer and finally, the stores. Within the space of about six or seven weeks after getting a book that should have been sent out five weeks earlier, #376 was done.

Mr. Lobdell came through and turned around the plots to #378 and #379. I had Cully do the covers for all four issues and he was able to jump right into #379 while Tom had just started #378.

On 3/19/98, I received a memo from the EIC telling me that DAREDEVIL #376 was going to ship two weeks late. As a consequence of Marvel's new policy regarding late shipping books I would be assessed my first "strike." Marvel had created this policy in an effort to stop the lateness of books leaving the offices. If an editor received three strikes, he/she was put on probation. A fourth could result in possible termination.

Bob Harras's memo to Tuohy about his "first strike".

Needless to say, I was furious about this. Furious is really an understatement. The memo was left on my chair when I went out to lunch! I immediately, and quite unprofessionally, fired off a reply memo citing every single instance of what went wrong with #376 and how I fixed it.

*Full Disclosure: Before I was laid off, I had received a total of 2 strikes. The first was DAREDEVIL #376. Say what you will; not my fault. The second was for Seeker 3000 #1 It was one week late because I hesitated to farm out work to multiple people when a freelancer didn't turn in work as promised.*

In his memo, the EIC cited that the cover was late. The same EIC that said the cover should be one of the first things done for solicitations. Well, by that logic, the cover should have been Jaye's responsibility.

After the EIC and I had quite the shouting match, I completely washed my hands of the project. Mr. Lobdell could have written dog on people sex for all I cared. My sole purpose was to get those remaining issues out on time and that they would look good. I made sure that Cully, Jason, Tom, Scott Hanna, ComiCraft, Christie Scheele and even Mr. Lobdell knew that I would still be in their corner, but I was done fighting a fight that was rigged against me.

Tuohy replies to Harras's memo

I saw what was going on and put all of my energy into getting Dan Chichester and Lee Weeks for #380. If DAREDEVIL was going to be outsourced, I would at least give it a great sendoff!

To answer your question about the thoughts of my job, I always tell people this: "When I started at Marvel, I was in at 8:59am and the custodians had to kick me out." During my last 6 months I was in at 9am and out at 4:59pm. The place changed. It wasn't fun anymore.

Mithra: I'll come back to Chichester and Weeks, because I really liked that issue and it really was a good send off. I wanted to get your feelings on the whole Event Comics deal. You've already mentioned how you felt about outsourcing the comic, but what did you think of their work? I know that must be difficult to honestly answer, considering you were let go shortly after they took over the book.

Tuohy: Yeah, I was mad, but this was business. It was what it was and there was nothing I could do about it. There was nothing personal about it. Jimmy Palmiotti and I go way back to the days when I was an intern and then an assistant for Don Daley. I was Jimmy's background inker on some Punisher issues. I went to the 2010 DragonCon, my first con in 13 years, and Jimmy and I had a great reunion. He is one of the best people in the business.

Many people forget that Don Daley, and technically me as well, gave Joe Quesada some of his first work at Marvel. Joe did the cover to Punisher #62 and he drew issue #12 of Sleepwalker. Both of those were in 1992!

My assistant, Julio Soto, and I helped them when they started and we wrote their DAREDEVIL gatefold covers for them before we got laid off. My only complaint and this was after some time had passed was in the amount of issues they got out. It took 16 months to get out 12 issues. DAREDEVIL #12 was what, four months late? I got a strike for being one week late and Joe gets made EIC for being 16 weeks late! I'm laughing as I write this. He has probably been one of the best EICs Marvel has had.

Mithra: Were you assigned other titles to work on before being laid off? Had there been any suggestions that DAREDEVIL and the other titles included in the Event Comics deal would return to Marvel sooner, rather than later? I remember that the initial news said it was for 12 issues.

Tuohy: I had two issues of the MICRONAUTS in the can. Yes, those MICRONAUTS! Shon Bury wrote a great story and the art was by Cary Nord and Dan Green. I was developing a Science Fiction line that would have piggybacked off of my relaunch of SEEKER 3000. I was obsessed with DEATHLOK. Bruce Canwell who had written the great DC bookshelf, Robin: The Gauntlet and I had come up with a completely believable way to return the mind of Michael Collins back to his own body and allow Luther Manning to return as DEATHLOK. Sal Velluto did about three full pages of samples based on Bruce's treatment. They were beautiful I wish I had those copies. There was another project called SPECTERS that Mitch Byrd had done samples for and Dan Abnett and Ian Edginton had written.

Other than MICRONAUTS, the other project that I was really looking forward to was STRIKEFORCE: MORITURI! Julio and I went back, read and re-read all the old issues and had a pretty great pitch from Ian Edginton on it. We were very excited about it. We even thought about killing the characters the same way as was shown in one of the issues, with the editor and writer throwing darts at a board with the character's names on it!

I was the editor of the Conan books when I worked for Carl Potts and I had just finished my return to Conan with the three issue tale CONAN: THE USURPER. The publisher, Shirrel Rhoades thought it was a good idea to send me to lunch with Arthur Lieberman of Conan Properties to talk about keeping Conan at Marvel. I was very excited about doing more Conan books and wanted to revisit a proposal that I made once of having the classic "Red Nails" redone by Roy Thomas but this time with John Romita, Jr. on art.

There was also a four issue follow up to MEN IN BLACK: RETRIBUTION called MEN IN BLACK: ALIEN IN NEW YORK. Lowell Cunningham the MIB creator was going to write it and the art was going to be by Rod Whigham and Phil Moy.

Julio and I also wanted to update the HANDBOOK TO THE MARVEL UNIVERSE. We were going to get all new art and keep one inker on the project. Walden Wong if I'm not mistaken.

The craziest thing about this time was that even though I was penalized for DAREDEVIL #376 shipping late, I was given the job of being a consulting editor on a cross company project with Chaos Comics called "The Supernaturals." The artist on it was Ivan Reis. I was completely and utterly floored by this guy. At the same time, Julio showed me samples from a young artist named Ethan Van Sciver. I couldn't believe the amount of legitimate detail he put into his work. By "legitimate" I mean he wasn't just putting in lines all over everything because it looked cool. He knew what he was doing.

So, I kept watching Ivan just grow and grow on "The Supernaturals" and I got Ethan to do samples for a new POWER PACK. Around the second issue of "The Supernaturals," I took copies of Ivan and Ethan's work into the EIC's office. I wanted these two guys to be Marvel artists in the worst way possible. But the EIC looked at the pages and said that they'd never get out of the independents! Um, right!

I was also working on a proposal to restart the entire Marvel Universe from scratch. I was told that was an idea that would never happen.

I would have liked to get DAREDEVIL back. Just wasn't going to happen.

Mithra: Back to the final issue #380... you've already spoken about sending DD off on a high note... and you brought back Dan Chichester and Lee Weeks to do it. When had you begun planning this issue, and had you approached other creative teams to work on it?

Tuohy: What I remember is that I was angry. I was angry at a lot of things but mostly it was just anger directed at those who never gave Marvel editorial a chance. We could have done anything that Image or Event had done if we were given the opportunity. We were so hamstrung by so many conflicting things it was sickening.

There were things we wanted to do in editorial but we just kept getting our ideas shot down and then someone "in charge" would come in and say, "We're going to get such and such to breathe new life into our books." And it would be just what we wanted to do in house!

It wasn't that our characters needed new life, they needed good stories! The story is what mattered. In comics, good comics, you need the story and art to work together. To be on the same level. Too many times in the '90s, when I was there, it was just about the art. I wanted to send DAREDEVIL off with a bang. It had nothing to do with Joe or Jimmy. I wanted to show the powers-that-be that Marvel heroes didn't have to be outsourced.

I don't remember anything about the solicitation thing that was going on, but I do remember talking to Julio and saying that we had to do something big after "Flying Blind." We went back and forth on what we liked about DAREDEVIL and who could make those things happen in one issue.

We both came to the decision that if anyone could do what we asked it was Dan Chichester and Lee Weeks. Once we really committed ourselves to them, it was my job to get on the phone and sell the idea to them.

I probably called Dan first, gave him an idea of what was going on and why I wanted him so badly on this. He then probably told me to call Lee and talk to him and see if Lee would do it. If Lee would do it, then Dan would do it. I remember calling Lee and really having to work the phone! Lee really didn't want to go back to DAREDEVIL at that point. He was working for the WB Animation department doing storyboards. I wouldn't be surprised if at one point I was literally on my knees begging him to do this one issue. He said that if Dan would do it then he would do it. I'm serious. It was like a sitcom.

I called back Dan; got him to agree; called back Lee with the news; he agreed and we were off.

I want to say that I have these great memories of dealing with Dan and Lee. Those crazy stories like all my previous answers had. Sorry. Dan was one of the most amazing writers I had ever had the chance to work with. It was his idea to do a "Pulp Fiction" out of time sequence story. It was timely and relevant in regards to things that were going on in the world.


There are two things about Lee that I remember clearly. The first, what a great artist he is. Really great. The second, trying to convince him that he was good enough. It was funny. I'd call him up every time his pages got delivered to the office. We'd talk about things and then like clockwork he'd start worrying about how he thought the art wasn't good enough. Julio and I are just amazed over every page and he was worried. It was one of those great days to be an editor.

Another great memory is Robert Campanella! What a great inker. As an inker myself, I was jealous of his skills. His brush and pen skills were incredible.

And I kept Christie [Scheele] as the colorist. She was working with Ian Laughlin at the time and I had my good friend Mark Bernardo color the last few pages to make the deadline. Life was good until the issue came out. It got past three sets of proof readers. My credit listed me as "Ediitor!" UGH! Oh, well. It was still one good story!

Mithra: We've talked about your work on DD, so now, 13 years later (yes, it makes me feel old too), where has your career taken you after the layoff from Marvel? You've also talked about the anger you had back then... does it still bother you with what happened back then?

Tuohy: Let me switch the order of your question for my answer. I'm not angry anymore. I have differing feelings of sadness and indifference which, at times, border on disgust and strangely, relief. But I am definitely still "bothered" by what happened and I'm sure it's something that I will never get over. Marvel was a great experience for me. I learned a lot of things about myself and about others. All of the negative things that happened were balanced and even surpassed by many more positives. I met and have kept many friends from those days. I learned that how you deal with others is genuinely reflected back on you. Chuck Dixon said I was always one of the "Straight Shooters."

Unfortunately, I did learn that there are people who will look at you and say one thing to your face and then stab you in the back as soon as you turn around. I learned that those in charge will surround themselves with people who agree with everything they say or do no matter what the situation is. I learned that there were people who looked out only for themselves while others like Glenn Greenberg, Mark Bernardo and I lived, ate and breathed Marvel. We came up the ladder only to have it pulled out from under us by cheap office politics.

I am no innocent, golden child who never did anything wrong. All the mistakes I made were personal in nature and hurt me. Drunkenly dancing across the tables in the Bullpen after a particularly insane lunch was a serious low point for me. However, I never, ever tried to undermine another editor (Happened to me on more than one occasion.), lie to a freelancer (I was accused of it because every other editor had lied to him before. This was by a colorist of all people.), or treat the Marvel brand as anything less than how great it was (One of our former, rotating door, golden parachute presidents thought the way to make Marvel more popular was by creating a "Marvel Macarena" dance! Seriously!).

There was an incident toward the end where another editor and I had a disagreement on the usage of one of my characters. This editor did not follow the procedure for using another editor's characters and my character was not being used correctly. It was pointed out to me by the EIC that my character was not really as important in the scheme of all things Marvel compared to the other editor's. His line was, "C'mon, it's only Dracula." I never forgot it. That galvanized the inequalities that were rampant. Standards for each office were different based on who was in that office and what character(s) came out of that office. Issues of lateness were looked over for certain titles while others bore the brunt of lame, thrown together penalties.

It really makes me proud to see people who I believed in doing well. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning were two of Don's and my favorite writers. If you can believe it, Dan Slott had a time limit imposed on him when he came into the offices. The EIC felt that he was wasting editor's time with all of his ideas. He seemed to forget that ideas are where stories start. Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis, Cary Nord, and Steve Leiber were all artists that I lobbied for who went on to win award after award. I knew they would be great. Greg Scott is another artist working for Marvel, DC and Boom!. I hired him for Deep Space Nine and Star Trek Unlimited 15 years ago! Nick Dragotta was my intern!

As for where has my career taken me... Out of comics... maybe!

After I got laid off, I was pretty despondent. All I ever wanted to do with my life was make comics. When I got my first Marvel business card I handed it out to all of my family to show them I had accomplished what I dreamed about. I had an interview, I think it was in November 1998, at DC Comics with Georg Brewer but didn't get that job and an interview with Wizard that I thought would be positive with all my experience with MARVEL VISION. Not so much. So I took the advice of my forward thinking, ex-fiancée and went back to school to become a teacher. She had always said that my eagerness to interact with the new interns and assistant editors was a sign that I enjoyed sharing my knowledge with others. So I went back to school, finished my art degree and got my teacher certification; all the while making the Dean's List.

I have been teaching art for 11 years now. I got married in 2006 and had a beautiful daughter in 2008. I do find myself drifting back towards comics. I swore off them for almost six months after I got laid off but that really was just stupid. I love them too much. Before we moved to Georgia, I did give DC another shot when two openings were made available. One of those openings was actually a position held by Jaye Gardner. Those positions were filled and I realized that my time behind the desk was up.

I read lots of comics from the big two. I can't lie. I'm a super hero guy. It does make me long for the old days though when I see and read some of the stuff coming out today. I'm not really sure who they're written for anymore. More than once I've had to re-read a book that I just finished because I had no idea what just happened. The art of inking is slowly going away. That makes me sad. I am enjoying the B&W Marvel Essentials right now. Looking at those and imagining today's comics printed like that makes me laugh. They would be dead lineweight coloring books. Mark Gruenwald said in an assistant editors' meeting that, "Good comic art has to work both in black and white and in color." I don't see that anymore. I'm all for good coloring but bad coloring to cover bland art is just bad for everybody involved.

This might seem corny or clichéd but I truly believe, with all my heart that the Marvel Comics I knew, loved, worked for as an unpaid intern for 8 months, getting coffee, making copies, erasing pages, learning the ropes, died when Mark Gruenwald died. The air was literally sucked out of the offices and never came back.

I still keep in touch with many people from my Marvel days. Facebook is great for that. Glenn Greenberg, Mark and Holly Bernardo, Glenn Herdling, Julio Soto, Tom and Lisa Rolston, all people that I worked with at Marvel, came to my wedding. My wife and I went to a Marvel Reunion in 2009. Dan Chichester called her my "trophy wife." I had to live that down for a couple of weeks! I saw my old boss Don Daley for the first time in 10 years. Hands down he is still the best boss I ever had. It was a great night. I have spent some time working with a writer that I taught with in Jersey City named Nick Miceli. Keep an eye out for him! He is going to have his first work printed in an Image Anthology. Mark Powers and I keep talking about doing something together again. Who knows?

Mithra: We've covered quite a bit, and before we end the interview I just wanted to ask a few questions about MARVEL VISION. I guess the closest thing Marvel has to it now is MARVEL PREVIEWS and content on Marvel.com. When you worked on MARVEL VISION, what was your guiding force... did you want to make it more than just the solicits... because there were always some cool interviews and articles... sort of like how MARVEL AGE was.

Tuohy: It's funny that you mentioned MARVEL AGE. If it wasn't for MARVEL AGE, I might never have worked for Marvel at all. I was an avid MARVEL AGE reader. I wanted to know everything I could about everything Marvel. I wanted to know as much behind the scenes stuff I could because I thought that was as interesting as the comics themselves.

In issue #97, I still have it, there was an "Item" looking for college interns. I thought about it. It was something that there would have to be a lot of sacrifice for. I was going to college part time and working full time for my uncle making good money. The internship was going to be completely unpaid and I'd still be going to school at night. I called the number (Yes, the real Marvel Comics office phone number was printed in MARVEL AGE!), and left a message. I was on a ski trip when I found out that Marvel had called my job looking for me! I called back and spoke to Tom DeFalco's secretary, Mary McPherran. Mary was also in charge of the interns. We spoke and she told me that she actually had called twice looking for me. She gave me another call because she liked the professional way I left my message!

Marvel Age #97, and the letter column advertising for interns at Marvel

We talked for a bit and she scheduled an interview with me in December of 1990. I will always remember going into Marvel for the first time. There was this big Spider-Man on the wall and it was the first thing you saw when you exited the elevators. Mary met me at the door and we spoke at her desk. She thought that I would be a good intern for either Don Daley or Fabian Nicieza. She introduced me to Don as a meeting was just ending in Mark Gruenwald's office. Don interviewed me there, looked at my art portfolio, asked me some questions about comics and offered me the job. I thought about it for all of one second and accepted.

That was the start of my Marvel career. I was now able to see comics getting produced first hand and not just from the pages of MARVEL AGE. It was great. I worked for Don and Kevin Kobasic for 6 months. After that, I was able to get a second internship at Marvel, despite my college not wanting me to, with Terry Kavanagh and Mark Powers. I worked with them for two months before I got word that Kevin was going freelance and Don needed an assistant. Don and I talked about it and he interviewed some others before he settled on me.

I worked with Don for about 3 years before I was asked by Carl Potts to join him with a promotion to Associate Editor. Don let me know that he would support my decision even if it meant leaving him. So I took the promotion but a few months later, on January 4, 1995, I was laid off due to "downsizing."

I was really at a loss. I wasn't prepared for being unemployed. I had worked non-stop in one job or another since I was 16. I was able to secure some freelance inking. I learned while I was a freelancer just how bad some editors can be and I swore that if the chance ever came again to be an editor, I would never treat any of my freelancers like one editor treated me.

Sometime around May of 1995, I got a call from Jim Brennan in Marvel's advertising department. He and I had become friends and there was talk of Marvel starting a new fan magazine. That catch was that the entire magazine would be digitally created and produced; no old style typesetting and paste ups. Jim, his partner in the ad department, Vito Incorvaia, and I met and it was just meant to be. They wanted to hire me on the spot. I was really a bit brash in my negotiations with Marvel. I wanted to be hired back as a full editor with a salary as if I'd never been let go. Surprisingly, I got it.

There were all sorts of crazy ideas, names and formats that we bounced around. I always remembered going to these focus groups and listening to what we were told that the readers wanted. I really took in all of that and used some of it. What I did was take all of the inspirations that I had when I was reading about comics. I read David Anthony Kraft's COMICS INTERVIEW, Starlog's COMICS SCENE which was edited by the great Robert Greenberger, and of course MARVEL AGE. I consciously didn't read or refer to Wizard because I didn't want what eventually became MARVEL VISION to be compared to it. WIZARD was its own entity with its own direction and fans. I wanted to tap into the built-in fan base that Marvel had. So after really fighting off the proposed name of Marvel Sponge, Vision was born.


I wanted MARVEL VISION to be the be all end all of Marvel stuff. I wanted to make new features but I also knew that some features of MARVEL AGE were too good not to use again. New things were Time Slip, which after Vision was canceled got its own one-shot, "The Coming of the Avengers," by Jim Krueger, Matt Smith and Steve Mitchell; and the short lived Artist vs. Artist. All the interviews were, of course, new. One of the features I brought back from MARVEL AGE was Andy Mangel's Reel Marvel. He was one of the best writers I was ever able to work with. I enjoyed his work so much that once I learned of his love of Star Trek, I hired him and his then writing partner Mike Martin when I got the Star Trek likeness books.

Honestly, I hated putting the solicits in Vision. They were always the last thing and caused me the most headaches. A great guy named Kevin Tang had the thankless task of getting all of those solicits from all of the editors. He easily had one of the hardest jobs at Marvel.

My favorite thing was the letters pages. I read each letter and answered every letter that we could fit. I made sure that all the other letter writers I wasn't able to answer in the letters page, at least saw their names in print. Julio and I made sure that we printed just as many letters that took Marvel to task as those that loved everything we did. Tom Brevoort said that no matter who we interviewed, he always read the Vision Letters Page first. I got in trouble a few times for some of my answers because I told the truth about what was going on. I believed, and still do, that the fans are smart and if you are honest with them, they'll be fans for life.

A funny, I use that term loosely, MARVEL VISION story, and there were many, involved the EIC and of all people, Mr. Lobdell. In issue #11, we did a long interview with the creators behind the new Ka-Zar. The EIC called me into his office to ask me why the word "and" was missing from a portion of the article. It was almost 3000 words and he called me out to point out a missing conjunction. He did this in front of Mr. Lobdell who was sitting on the EIC's couch. When I accepted responsibility for my horribly, egregious error, Mr. Lobdell actually commended me on being the only Marvel editor he ever had heard of taking responsibility for something!

Scott Lobdell contest from Marvel Vision

I'm sure that my inability to play the corporate game was part of, if not the primary reason for me eventually getting laid off again in 1998. It was truly sad because after all I had gone through, my loyalty to Marvel, the company, was unwavering. Frankly, it was the bullshit that I just couldn't stand anymore.

Mithra: Seriously, someone wanted to call it Marvel Sponge? I don't know about you, but I enjoy buying back issues of the magazines you've mentioned, just to get a sense of the industry and learn from the various creators. I guess with the internet now, it's become easier to get information and contact people to get your voice heard. I think at the time you were at Marvel, they still weren't focusing on the web site, it was more the Marvel AOL Zone or whatever it was called. I remember there would be updates saying you were holding chat sessions. I get the feeling you enjoyed that interaction with fans.

Tuohy: Yeah, "Marvel: Sponge!" The idea was that the magazine was your way to absorb everything about Marvel. That was one of those focus group things that I just smiled and nodded.

I love those old magazines. I have a full set of the first volume of Comics Scene and a lot of the D.A.K Comic Interview magazines. I kept most of the ones with John Byrne interviews. He was a major influence. Batman has always been my favorite character but like a lot of people my life changed when I read X-MEN #s 141 & 142. I'll never be able to thank Terry Kavanagh enough when he brought me along to a meeting at John Byrne's house to discuss NAMOR.

One of the coolest things about my life in comics, and I had many, involved Comics Scene. In issues 5 & 6 there was this great article/panel discussion about inking. The participants were Joe Rubinstein, Tom Palmer, Klaus Janson and Bob Layton. The artists were given a Hulk piece by Mike Zeck and each inked it. I learned about how inkers interpret pencilers' work, what their part in the creation puzzle is, and what their influences were. The interview happened in 1983.

The Comics Scene magazine and inking article

Fast forward to 1991, I'm an intern at Marvel and I get to be one of Joe Rubinstein's inking assistants on Infinity Gauntlet #6. Every filled in black, star field and zip-a-tone is me. Then I'm Don Daley's assistant editor and I get to work with Klaus Janson on PUNISHER: WAR ZONE and finally when I'm an editor, I get to hire Tom Palmer on DRACULA: LORD OF THE UNDEAD! I really was grateful for the opportunities I had at Marvel. I met so many great artists and writers whose work I loved. The icing on the cake was getting to work with these creators who had been so important to me.

My wife and I just went to Dragon*Con for the second year in a row. I do miss the creators and fans. Looking back at those interviews I read with all those artists and writers, and how our paths eventually crossed is priceless to me.

The online thing was great. I enjoyed the chat sessions. They were another way for me to connect with the fans. The only thing that weirded me out was how many people kept asking "age/sex." I would keep typing, "Doesn't matter."

Unfortunately, there came a point where I just had to cut my losses. That's why when I got called down to Human Resources after Tom Palmer took Ralph Macchio, Glenn Greenberg and me to lunch, at the Society of Illustrators, I knew what was coming down. I signed the paper without any hesitation acknowledging I was out of Marvel again.

Mithra: We've gone over quite a bit and I just wanted to thank you for this opportunity to discuss your work on DAREDEVIL and everything else at Marvel. So, in conclusion, have you been reading DAREDEVIL recently, and what do you think of the new direction?

Tuohy: I can truthfully say that I picked up the first issue of the new DAREDEVIL before this interview even started. Kind of weird how that happened! I picked it up because Mark Waid was writing it. I really enjoyed his run on Legion of Super Heroes. If anyone could make me read DD again, it was him. I tried to read the stuff that followed after I left but my heart just wasn't in it.


I was kind of annoyed by the renumbering though. It bugs me. I was reading a perfectly great run on THE NEW AVENGERS and then that storyline ended and a month later, I guess it was THE NEW, NEW AVENGERS with a brand new #1. Sorry, that's just the kind of marketing gimmicks that got Marvel in trouble in the '90s. I don't get that. I kind of understood what John Byrne did when the Superman books restarted when he took over but that didn't happen when he took over the FANTASTIC FOUR. I was/am crazy for the FF. I was able to pick up and enjoy the start of his run as if I was a new reader. Renumbering books may bring in the small number of new readers but probably brings back the return of the speculator. That's not where comics need to return.

I still buy the majority of my comics from a shop in New Jersey called Rogue Comics. The owner and I have been friends for years. About two to three times a year he ships me a box filled with all of my pulled titles and the occasional Alien action figure. I have marathon reading nights after my wife and daughter are asleep. I'm looking forward to sitting down with a pile of Waid's DAREDEVIL's and reading about Matt like when I was just a fan!

Thank you for the interview. You're my first since I was interviewed for MARVEL VISION to talk about an issue of STAR TREK: UNLIMITED. I feel so special.

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(c) 2011 Kuljit Mithra & Tim Tuohy
Daredevil:The Man Without Fear
http://www.manwithoutfear.com
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