2. Artist Paris Cullens one late night at VALIANT when we were ordering burgers, regarding his life-long love affair with cheese: “I’d eat a baby’s butt if it had cheese on it.”
3. Marvel Production Manager Danny Crespi to peripatetic production staffer John “Squid” Morelli: “Squid-o, I’m going to glue you to your chair.”
4. Big poster on Larry Hama’s door: “DOGMA IS.”
5. Marvel Photostat Operator and comedic genius Stu Schwartzberg: “I’m ripping the company off. Every time someone asks for a 90% stat I give them an 89% stat and pocket the difference.”
6. Marvel Publisher Mike Hobson, when things got out of hand (every day): “For the love of God, man, throw me a rope!”
I have often borrowed that line….
7. Exasperated Marvel Executive Vice President Joe Calamari to me when my wars with upper management were at their hottest, regarding their complete ignorance of the comics business they owned: “We can’t fire you! You’re the only one who could tell us who could replace you!”
Apparently, eventually, they thought they had it figured out.
8. Jim Starlin, just before driving his snowmobile off of a 200 foot vertical cliff. “Want to hear my death laugh?”
All right, maybe it was 50 feet. Seemed like 200 when I followed him over the edge on MY snowmobile. Had to. Only he knew the way home. P.S. We both survived. The base of the cliff curved outward like one of those deadfall rides at the amusement park. P.P.S. Starlin’s “death laugh” was blood-chilling.
9. A DC staffer in an interview, about, among other things, how the House of Ideas was beating the pants off of DC (or, as writer Mike Barr used to call it, “the House of Tedium”): “Jim Shooter plays hardball.”
Someone at Marvel had a brass plaque made for me with that quote on it. I hung it on my office door.
10. The worst advice Stan Lee ever gave me: “Work with the devil himself if he has talent.”
Nah. I learned that devils, no matter how talented, are never worth it. They have a corrosive effect. They ultimately hurt the team. And there are plenty of people out there just as talented who aren’t spewing poison.