Comic book anecdote of the day: J.M. DeMatteis on John Buscema

“[Gil] Kane had come on board to replace John Buscema who left—well, because of me. Some months into my run on the book, editor Louise Jones let me know that John had been rumbling and grumbling about Conan’s direction. (I don’t recall any specifics beyond the fact that he had absolutely no patience for Dukenrik and Jonnwalli, the two young wanderers I’d introduced into the series. John felt, very strongly, that kids had no place in a Conan story.) I was still relatively new to the comic book business—Conan was my first, full-length monthly assignment—and the last thing I wanted to do was displease a man whose work I profoundly respected and admired. I called John up, we had a short and, as I recall, somewhat uncomfortable talk—I was completely intimidated—during which he outlined all the elements he thought were essential to a great Conan story. I was grateful for his input and told him I’d fold all those elements into the next issue, which I did. “The Blood Red Eye of Truth” ran in Conan #126. John did his usual brilliant job with it.

And then he quit the book.” –J.M. DeMatteis, while reminiscing about his favorite artist, Gil Kane.