Friday, January 23, 2009

Bob Schreck... laid off today. In case you don't know who Bob Schreck is, he's one of the good guys.

One of the first feature stories I ever wrote for EW was about Frank Miller coming back to Batman for The Dark Knight Strikes Again. I interviewed a bunch of people about the project, one of them being then-Batman editorial overlord Bob Schreck. Great interview, lots of juiciness. A few months after the story had hit stands, I dropped Bob an email and asked him to lunch. He accepted. Maybe out of professional courtesy, maybe out of a back-of-his-mind bit of gamesmanship—I was still editing EW's comic coverage back them, so making nice with me might grease some wheels down the line—who knows? But he took the lunch and even allowed me to pitch a half-assed story idea, which we then talked about for 30 minutes. And then talked about again a few days later before he passed on it (and rightly so, as it was half-assed).

We stayed in touch over the years and when I finally gave up the comicss journalist ghost and started writing, he invited me in to talk about doing some Vertigo work. Pitched him a couple of things, developed them into proposals, talked through story arcs—they never went anywhere, but that's not the point. Most of them never do. But he took the time, time he probably didn't have.

I think, more than anything else, Bob Schreck enjoys the act of discovery: be it finding and nurturing new talent, or finding and nurturing new stories out of old talent. He genuinely likes the people, and getting the best work out of them.

The dude's a titan, and DC's loss will be someone else's massive gain.

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