At a time when Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada was at the height of his popularity and his creative powers, he made a bid to do an X-Men story with best-selling author Neil Gaiman...but it wasn't to be.
Quesada shared the story -- and a look at the inked art -- on his tumblr, along with some commentary:
Sometime around 2001-2002 we were in secret conversations with Neil to do a project or two for us at Marvel. Neil is a dear friend and around that time we were tossing around the idea of a possible X-Men story that he would write and I would draw.
In my zeal to try to land one the best comic writers of all time, I wrote and drew this three page vignette, had it inked (Danny Miki), colored and lettered and sent it off to Neil to let him know how badly we wanted him at the House Of Ideas. What can I say, I was excited. Unfortunately the lettered version and the original script have been lost, and I barely remember what I wrote, but I believe the basic gist of the story was…
Wolverine addresses Neil directly. He points out how blank the panels are and how empty his world is and that Neil needs to stop dawdling and get to work because those panels aren't going to fill themselves. Wolvie continues harassing Neil, goes to light his cigar, realizes it's a nasty habit and that there's no smoking in Marvel Comics and stomps it out. He then holds up a Marvel Comic, makes references to the Editor in Chief being a big loser, unwraps his hands, pops the claws and then says something snarky as he leaves the scene.
Obviously, it never came together. Quesada notes that the next time Gaiman -- currently working on new Miracleman for the publisher -- came back to Marvel, it was for 1602, featuring art by Flashpoint artist Andy Kubert.As for Quesada, he landed on his feet, working with Paul Jenkins, Bill Jemas and Andy Kubert on the best-selling Wolverine: Origin in late 2001 or early 2002.
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