“If you’re wondering what an Associate Editor does–or did in 1987–I’ll list my job duties those first two days. Ready? Here we go:
I erased Green Arrow pages.
Eight hours a day for two days.
Back then–less so now that so many artists work digitally–but back then always, once an inker finished embellishing a pencilled page, the underlying pencils had to be erased so as to leave the cleanest possible ink lines. Normally, that’s part of the inker’s job, or the inker’s assistant. In this particular case, the inker was Dick Giordano–the book was Green Arrow #1, by Mike Grell, Ed Hannigan and Dick–and since Dick was also the Editor In Chief, rank has its privileges and sometimes, whenever Dick inked something, whoever on staff could be spared was the poor schlub who had to endure the thankless task of erasing. As the New Kid–especially since both Mike Gold and Andy Helfer had separately been told that I worked for them and thus it took two days for them to argue out who “owned” me (Helfer), I could definitely be spared.”
Mark Waid, on celebrating 25 years in the comics biz, and his decidedly unglamorous first professional job in the industry.