From the Editor's Desk: Pat McCallum's First Impressions
A four-foot spy holding a bomb confronts me when the elevator doors slide open. He's one half of the Spy vs. Spy duo and they each bookend a wall's worth of Mad magazine covers-a half dozen in total, each blown up ten times their original size. It's the Mad magazine lobby, and while this floor has the best vending machines, it's not my stop.
The doors close, the elevator whirs and a new lobby greets me: six comic book pages, each blown up to 3' x 5', hang on the wall. They're all the same page-Superman rescuing Lois Lane-but at a different stage of development. The first is a script detailing the scene, the next features a rough sketch, then pencils, inks, colors and lettering. I give some thought about taking them down and polybagging 'em, but that's at least a two-man job. Plus this floor-DC Direct, collected editions and the marketing department-isn't where I need to be.
Another short elevator ride and this time it's Metropolis waiting for me. The entire wall of this lobby is a mural of the Man of Steel's futuristic city. At the far end a receptionist sits behind a desk shaped like the "Daily Planet" globe. Keeping her company is a life-sized Superman, suspended from the ceiling and triumphantly coming in for a landing. I resist the urge to tug on his cape: in addition to housing the Vertigo crew, this floor is home to the DC head honchos. Best not to fool around here unless there's an intern handy to pin it on.
The elevator "dings!" open at my next stop to reveal over fifty people waiting for me-assorted heroes and villains of the DC Universe adorning a massive six-foot-high, thirty-foot-wide mural. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash...all the big guns mixed in with crazy obscure guys like Enemy Ace, Judomaster and Paul Kirk Manhunter.
No comic fan could resist the image: you HAVE to step into this lobby to get a better look. It's then that you notice the dozens of signatures spanning the length of the art-each of these characters was drawn by an industry legend. Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Curt Swan, Jim Steranko...you could spend all day trying to figure out which artist drew what character. Or at least try and figure out who that one superhero is standing behind Robotman. A maskless Mister Miracle...? No one I ask seems to know for sure.
That particular mystery will have to go unsolved, at least for today. This floor houses the DCU editorial team and it's my stop. I'm their newest editor, hired a few weeks back and itchin' to make the best comic books possible.
Just as soon as I grab some loose change from my office and hit the Mad floor again.
-Pat McCallum, DC Editor