dimanche 5 février 2012

Farewell to Daredevil by Brian Michael Bendis

Je viens d'achever la lecture d'un des runs les plus mémorables de l'univers Marvel, à savoir l'excellent travail de Bendis (scénario) et de Maleev (dessin) sur Daredevil. Une collaboration fructueuse qui dura quatre ans, de 2001 à 2005. Souhaitant un peu prolonger ce plaisir de lecture, je vous retranscris la longue postface de Bendis qui y délivre un émouvant au revoir au personnage qui lui aura permis de s'inscrire à jamais dans le panthéon des grands scénaristes de comics. Je ne peux que vous conseiller, si ce n'est déjà fait, de vous ruer sur les éditions disponibles, en vo ou en vf (même si la politique éditoriale de Panini rend difficile cette démarche pour le lecteur français).
En attendant, je laisse la place à Bendis. 

I-I-I-I don't know what to say. 
This feels like breaking up with with a girlfriend you really like for no good reason whatsoever. I love writing this book. Alex loves drawing this book. And now we're not doing it anymore. WWWWWHHYYY ???
Well, we did it is why. We told our story. We said what came to say and it's better to leave while there's a slim chance of being fondly remembered than to stay on a book to the point where we end up killing Foggy ? What? They ARE killing Foggy ? That's just a rumor, right ? 
So, I just wanted to take a moment and completely thank every exposed part of you for supporting this comic book. Some of you have been with us since the beginning; some of you just found us; some of you read us in trade and hardback and will probably never see me thank you here, but still, I thank you. 
Daredevil is so close to my heart. It's one of my all-time favorite comic-book characters; it's one of my all-time favorite comic books. It was so, so, so influential to me as a young man deciding what kind of comic creator I wanted to be, and just discovering what it is a comic could do.
The work of Frank Miller and Klaus Janson was a revolution to me. It's why I wanted to make comics. To be offered this book at all, let alone as my Marvel debut... That in itself was and will  always be the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me in comics. And some really amazing things have happened to me in comics. 
I was a struggling Indy comic writer and artist whose best friend in comics happened to be David Mack. David Mack wrote this book prior to me. He invented Echo and did an amazing job following Kevin Smith. He was friends with Joe Quesada and he was the one who plopped my comic novels Jinx and Torso in front of Joe. Joe read them and gave me this book. And if that at all makes you want to find Jinx and Torso and read them... go with that feeling.
Joe called me up and asked me what I wanted to do at Marvel. I said : "What do you need an artist for ?" He said : "Artist ? Your art sucks. I like your writing."
Anyone who's that honest with you is someone you want to follow to the end of the Earth...or hit them with a shoe. 
I almost did a Nick Fury series with Bill Sienkiewicz; I pitched a Doctor Strange book, but everyone pitches a Doctor Strange book. But Joe said to me : "Hey, you like Daredevil ?" I said : "Uh...duh." He said, "Could you do me the favor of taking over the book for a few issues ?" DO ME THE FAVOR ? "We got behind schedule and we need to get the book back on track. In fact, you can work with David Mack on them". Yes, finally, David Mack and I get to collaborate on something we'd both like to buy. 
David and I completed a gorgeous painted story in issues 16-19. It's still one of my favorite stories, and I'm not one to pick favorites of my own stuff. It's just very near and dear. 
After I handed in the first script or two, two things happened. Bill Jemas, at Joe's recommendation, offered me Ultimate Spider-Man, and Joe offered me this book to take full time. He even offered to get one of my all-time best collaborators, Alex Maleev, who I had worked with on a crime book for Todd McFarlane called Sam and Twitch. I missed Alex. I loved working with him, and felt I had just figured him out when I was bumped from the book. Joe read the issues, and saw what Alex had in him and how special it was for us to work together. 
I offered this big story which you just finished reading. To out Daredevil and make the book about THAT. No shtick. No cop-out ending. Just make the book about what no other comic has ever been about. He has been outted. He is out. And he has to fight it to the death to keep from happening what eventually happens. 
A couple of amazing things happened next. That Marvel, with a major motion picture comingout starring Daredevil, decided to go with this storyline, we instantly heard words of approval from Klaus Janson, and we ended up winning two Eisner awards for it. And the first person to shake my hand after the awards ? Frank Miller. 
Actually Frank took the Eisner away from me and said : "You know this is mine, right ?" And I held up my hands and genuinely offered back, "Yeah, I do. Take it." He smiled dryly and handed it back, just goofing with me, but I was glad that he knew that without him nothing we did would have existed.
So, yeah, first year in and about everything cool that you could ever want to happen if you were on Daredevil happened.
A lot of people make this book. Not just Alex and I. Matt Hollingsworth, the gold standard of all comic color artists worked with us until he left comics for greener pastures in the film biz. But Dave Stewart, the most versatile, most inventive, and boldest working colorist in comics has been with us ever since and is coming with us on our next journey. 
Nanci Quesada was our editor for most of the run. She is brilliant. Period. She worked our asses off and made sure this comics was perfect. Stuart Moore, Nick Lowe, Jennifer Lee, Joe, and now Cory Sedlmeier have all molded this book editorially with such love and care. Going back to Joe for a second - you think it's easy taking a book from your boss after he just delivered its most acclaimed run in twenty years ? It isn't. This character means everything to Joe and he has helped us selflessly all these years. 
Ralph Macchio, who was editor on this book during Miller's "Born Again" run, scrutinized each and every issue. He was the hardest and most critical of the scripts, and I really appreciated that. He really wanted to make sure we gave a perfect performance. Thank you, Ralph. 
The ending you read here would not have been possible without Ed Bubaker. I had this idea cooking but didn't think it was doable because it's not fair to the next guy unless the next guy wants to go this way. When Ed was mulling over the idea to take over the book, he muttered : "Matt should just go to jail." And I started screaming. 
"YES ! YES !! I know !! Jail ! I want to do that ! Do you want to do that ?" And he did, and this book will be an amazing read for the next good long while. 
I've known Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark ever since I broke into comics. We are all Caliber Comics alumni. The issues ahead of you these two are creating are amazing, and I will be here every month for them and I hope you will be too. 
(...) I want to dedicate this last issue to Kuljit Mithra. He runs a website called www.manwithoutfear.com. By a mile the best Daredevil website there is, and a source of incredible interest and inspiration for me over the years. Kuljit has written me a note of encouragement every month and little does he know how meaningful his site was. 
Oh, and one more thing. I work with Alex Maleev because Alex Maleev is a genius. He draws the way I wish I did. He is a true and loyal friend and I am very lucky to just watch him work, let alone work with him. Thank you Alex, for every single second you dedicated to this book. 
Well, off I go to piss off more oldschool Avengers fans even though I don't mean to, but know my hear is always with Matt and his trials and tribulations. In fact, when Daredevil starts popping up in every other issue of Ultimate Spider-Man, you know I'm homesick. 

Thanks to all of you, be well. 

Bendis !
Portland, 2006

Source : Daredevil by Bendis and Maleev : Ultimate collection, Book 3  (9782785149514)

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