12 Enter Helfer

Above: Some of the handwritten notes I jotted down the day Mark Nevelow critiqued my working script. Nevelow's observations were insightful and he didn't actually require me to follow any of his suggestions. In most cases they made sense, though, so I did.

I had only been drawing the book for a couple of months when Mark called to tell me that he was leaving DC Comics. He explained that his editing role on SRB, by agreement with Paul Levitz, would not be chopped off abruptly, though. True to his word, he continued to offer useful suggestions for some time thereafter.

Andy Helfer quickly reassured me that my book would not be "orphaned" by his appointment as the new Group Editor overseeing Piranha, and he continued to offer me the same level of creative autonomy that Mark had promised when I began the project. In time Bronwyn Taggart was hired as Piranha's editor. This, too, worked out well, since no one could have been more supportive of my book than she.

Notes for ATDNSIN (April 1991)

If you’ve been reading the fan press, you know that there have been some upheavals at Piranha since I signed my contract. Mark Nevelow is out as editor and Andy Helfer is now in charge. Helfer, by all accounts, intends to steer a very different course editorially from the one Mark Nevelow intended. So where does that leave me?

For the present it leaves me still producing the same book I signed up to do, with Mark Nevelow still serving, on a freelance basis, as my editor.

Nevelow seems to care about this project [and appears] intent so far on letting me do my book my way. The criticisms he had of my script when we met last week were intelligent ones rather than inhibiting ones. He seems excited about the script and protective of my artistic autonomy, which is why he took steps to retain editorial control of my project. …