Statement from Christopher J. Priest about "Whiteface" accusations

In the wake of the revelation that new Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski admits to having created a fake (Japanese) identity in order to get around the restrictions on editors working as freelancers, some people have started playing "whataboutism" and accusing writer and former editor Christopher James Priest of having done "the same thing" himself, including reviving rumors that he and Michael Golden had gotten fired for similar things while working as editors at Marvel.

While he was a Marvel editor under EiC Jim Shooter, he was known professionally as Jim Owsley, using his middle name to play into a running gag at the time that all editors were named Jim, and using a different surname for personal reasons. He currently writes as simply "Priest" in comics much of the time now, to avoid confusion with British SF author Christopher Priest.

Christopher J. Priest, aka Priest, American comic book writer.

Priest has given permission to post and share the following statements communicated to me and Greg Morrow in email.

On the Golden rumor:
“There's a story that you and Michael Golden got into trouble at some point for hiring each other as freelancers. Is there any kind of real story there?”


I have no idea what this is about, first I am hearing of it. Please LMK where to find this so I can shut it down.

At the time I was on staff at Marvel, it was perfectly fine for editors to hire other editors. But I never worked for Michael Golden and, to the best of my recollection, never hired Michael for any projects I was editing.

There was no policy against staffers freelancing. In fact, the exact opposite was true. Jim Shooter would actually insist "full" editors, specifically, do some kind of freelance work-- writing, art, coloring, etc. It was Shooter's policy, one with which I strongly agree, that learning the discipline of meeting deadlines as creative talent is the best way to help editors understand the challenges and frustrations of our creative pool.

You really can't manage freelance talent if you've never served on their side of the desk before, a chronic problem with today's corporate environment. I would imagine as high as 90% of editors working in comics today have never themselves worked as freelancers, and as a result far too many editors simply don't understand what that life is like and therefore cannot efficiently manage their talent pool.

Michael is, today, a close and valued friend. The only reason I never hired him as creative talent was everybody else was hiring him as creative talent. I would loved to have hired Michael and would work with him, today, on absolutely anything he wants to do.
On "Whiteface" accusations:
I really wish people would stop inventing nutty things about me. The worst rumor about me and "whiteface" was the silly (and enduring) rumor that I was using the pen name "Peter David" (presumably because the writing was too good to have come from some guy in Marvel's sales department).

Other than that, oh, please. I was born with the name "James." At Marvel, everybody (then and now) called me "Jim."

Statement from Christopher J. Priest about "Whiteface" accusations Statement from Christopher J. Priest about "Whiteface" accusations Reviewed by Dvandom on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 Rating: 5
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