In news which was widely reported by the internet as soon as they caught hold of it, artist Marko Djurdjevic had a breakdown onstage yesterday afternoon during a panel held at FanExpo in Canada. During his rant against Marvel Comics he announced that he had terminated his exclusive contract, and hated working for the company, and that he was especially angry he kept getting assigned collaborative work with writers he hated. He took over the hall for half an hour, dominated discussion, and seemed angry throughout.
Except that wasn't what happened. While it's true that Djurdjevic has terminated his contract with Marvel, little else in the CBR report was accurate. The report, which quickly flies into a narrative instead of a journalistic piece, sets up fellow panellists Steve Epting and Jonathan Hickman as quiet, reserved and sensible while Djurdjevic is stated to have gone on a "tirade" against Marvel, declaring that writer Duane Swierczynski "writes like toilet paper". He didn't state this, and he certainly didn't do it was part of a tirade. Other people present at the panel - including Jonathan Hickman - have refuted the claim vehemently.
For one thing, the writer named by Djurdjevic was actually J. Michael Straczynski, and by all accounts (except CBR) Djurdjevic named the Thor writer jokingly. Hickman has gone on to state on Twitter that the panel was nowhere near as tense and awkward as CBR have made it out to be, and was in fact a relatively relaxed and jokey encounter. Djurdjevic wasn't angry - just relieved to be free from onus to Marvel.
Mark Waid, Jeff Parker and Chris Roberson all took to Twitter to discuss the article immediately, irritated that Djurdjevic had apparently attacked several of their friends but also bewildered as to why he would burn his bridges so dramatically. Meanwhile, sites like Bleeding Cool copy/pasted the article onto their own websites and reported it as true. It was only when other people present at the panel began to shout down the report that people even began to realise that it wasn't wise to take the report of a single writer as stone-cold fact. And now, with Hickman refuting everything, it's finally become clear that this big story, which cast Marco Djurdjevic as a pompous villain, is almost completely fabricated.
The peril of trusting internet journalism!! Presumably CBR will offer Marco Djurdjevic an apology next week.