Rob Liefeld’s SMASH! Might Die Before Getting Out of Gate

What is going on with the mega-crossover event in the Extreme Universe?

Creator Rob Liefeld announced in January 2009 a crossover project entitled Smash!, that he planned to utilize in reintroducing many formerly popular characters from his Extreme Universe-era stable of characters back into the mainstream.   Smash!, a muscle laden, purple skinned, "hulking" character whose name ends in an exclamation point (and presumably must be screamed each time), was set to rumble his way through the following books:

Smash: Unleashed!

Smash: Brigade

Smash: Youngblood

Smash: Prophet

Smash: Supreme

Smash: Bloodstrike Assassin

Smash: Doom’s IV

Smash: Newmen

Smash: Assembled!

Smash: Unleashed! was scheduled to ship in April, with the Brigade chapter (penciled by former Brigade artist Marat Mychaels) to ship in May, with subsequent chapters following each month.  As of mid-September, no issues had hit the stands.

We got our first hint of behind the scenes delays and controversy back in late June when  artist Greg Paulsen posted on Rob’s forum (http://robliefeld.proboards.com) saying that after having been assigned to the Smash: Newmen installment, Liefeld had ignored all communication from Paulsen for several months and no work had been completed on that installment.  Around the same time, Liefeld  stated the Brigade chapter had been finished "months ago" giving the publication chances of the series a ray of hope.

Fast forward to September 13 2009, when, in a thread on Rob’s board started by a fan asking what happened to the series, Rob stated that "Shame that MAC didn’t contribute".   MAC is the nickname for Manuel Antonio (Anthony) Castrillo, the artist assigned to the Smash: Supreme installment.   Rob went on to elaborate about MAC saying he was "Probably overcommitted like everyone else."

That prompted this exchange:

MAC:

On Smash i received 6 pages of layouts and have been waiting for some kind of agreement/voucher but everyone is busy,especially Rob. Nothing dramatic really, taking care of my daughter/family is my priority and quite frankly the way things stand today I cant survive on verbal agreements and waiting for 6 months to see a couple of grand. But i have offers to do some books at a livable page rate so again my priorities have to remain my family. As always I am grateful for Rob and Jays support and wish them both the greatest success with their projects. And that the story( sorry it could be more tawdry).

Rob:

MAC, thanks for the response but seriously, I have to call out the bullshit. You were told repeatedly that Image was paying you for the Smash work directly. You were like "great"…..then more excuses then more nothing. I have all the e-mails. Just say you crapped out. The truth, I suspect, is that you, like many illustrators before you that left for advertising work, never come back because the money isn’t as good. Quick sketchy layouts and storyboards can and will pay much more than comics. Comics is a passion, you either have it or you don’t. And we tried to hold your hand by giving you TIGHT layouts on Smash. […] Everyone is sad that you didn’t come through.

Mac:

Yep, you are correct. And its not bullshit Rob( thats kinda a harsh way of putting but with your experience dealing with Swift and others of the same ilk,i guess i deserve it). And nice touch with the pm,i honestly forgot i wrote it. Yes, im not as passionate as i used to be but that happens to alot of us that never see the success you did at such an early age,call it what you will but working check to check while others make a killing doesn’t inspire. And you’re right about the difference in pay,i make 1100 for an illustration on 8×10.5 working for commercials, i have to do 7 pages on 11×17 working for comics, very simple decision there. And i was rooting for myself as well but my poor handling of the schedule really put me in the hole. […] Not everything is "bullshit" LOL

And so it seems Smash! is well on its way to vapor-comics heaven.  But I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for Youngblood: Bloodsport #2.
Syndicated from The Outhouse – Comic Community Run By Fanboys, For Fanboys
Posted originally: 2009-09-14 15:42:18

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