Tuesday, January 18, 2011

1983 - John Byrne's stunning output

In 1983, John Byrne was writing, penciling, and inking 12 issues and the covers of Alpha Flight, writing, penciling, and inking 12 issues and the covers of The Fantastic Four, and writing 12 issues of The Thing.

From an interview in Amazing Heroes #22, Byrne shrugged off the heavy workload: 
“The way my schedule is structured right now, I can produce 60 pages of art a month.”


  1. Amazing. Nobody puts out work that quickly any more, and it's not like that was low quality stuff. That was some of the best stuff of the era.

  2. Nice Alpha Flight illustration! I agree, Byrne's output was staggering.

  3. I know Byrne can be a polarizing guy, but - man - I just don't think you can deny how great his work is. My favorite "era" in comics ran from 1983 to 1986... Byrne created so many of the comics that I love during this time. I will say, however, that during his last year on Alpha Flight, you can see a decline in the quality of his art. It's very sparse compared to what you usually see from him (much less backgrounds, short-cuts, etc). Despite the decline of the art in the laster issue of AF, I thought the stories where still awesome.

  4. I don't remember there ever being an issue with monthly comics being late pre-nineteen nineties. Like the previous commenter said, Byrne's work is great.

    Nowadays, late issues is pretty standard, even with the big two.

  5. "Nowadays, late issues is pretty standard, even with the big two."

    My sentiments exactly. Byrne was at the TOP OF HIS GAME, but even him being as popular/powerful as he was, even he was beholden to a deadline. And SHOCK -- he met it, every month, without fail, with THAT kind of workload.

    Really puts into perspective the coddling that goes on in the industry today.

  6. Very few artists could meet that schedule even then, Byrne was very much an exception. There are some modern artists that can turn out the pages very quickly (Bagley, Romita Jr), and there were some artists in the 1980s and before that could only just manage one title per month.

    As for no late books pre-1990s, that's mainly because late issues were replaced by fill-ins. There are some titles that do this today to some extent, only the fill-ins are sold as one-shots rather than within the main run of the title.

  7. Mr. Byrne if you see this please let me back on your board. I still love you. Matt Reed banned me just because he can't win an argument.



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