Classic!! Today's image comes courtesy of Mike Wieringo's blog. Mike is one of the more interesting artists running around the place today, plus he has a love/admiration for Ross Andru, so that makes him damn cool in my book.
For those who haven't had the dubious pleasure of visiting John Byrne's forums let me say right here, right now that Mike's drawing sums up how a lot of people feel about them. While Byrne is a talented artist and a damn good writer, his habits on the internet are well know and becoming quite infamous. I have my own stories about John Byrne, but rather than share them here and give the man more fuel, let me just say that I'm certainly not welcome at his forum and I can attest to pretty much everything that Mike has written on that image. During my short time participating in the forum I found my posts deleted, I was given a derogatory label by Byrne himself and finally just locked out. Why?
One reason I was given was because my email address has the word 'Snoopy' in it. Apparently Byrne was attacked once by a troll named Snoopy during his AOL days. Thus he has a dislike towards anyone who uses that word. It takes all kinds I guess. It's a shame really because the man has done some amazing work that still holds up. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't admire his X-Men work, and I still enjoy reading and viewing his West Coast Avengers run. But talent doesn't automatically forgive arrogance. Having skills to entertain doesn't mean you can run around being an arsehole for the rest of your life. Still as long as Byrne has his sycophants he'll be well shielded.
Did it hurt? Of course it did. I grew up reading and admiring the man's work. Once I found he had a forum where people could 'interact' (I use that term losely) with him I was right in there. Then I discovered just what Byrne can be capable of. Sadly I now tell people that I like his work, but I don't think very highly of him as a person. When I started my site Byrne was right on the top of my list of people I wanted to interview. Now he's not even on that list and I doubt I'd interview him if given the chance, mainly because I doubt he'd be honest, nor do I believe that he'd answer some of the harder questions that I'd be prone to asking. A shame, but then I'm sure that if Byrne himself doesn't think anything of me, then his followers would certainly think nothing of me.
It's always tragic when you discover your heroes have feet of clay.