DENNIS O’NEIL: Writers vs Editors… Forever

Dennis O'Neil

Dennis O'Neil

Dennis O'Neil was born in 1939, the same year that Batman first appeared in Detective Comics. It was thus perhaps fated that he would be so closely associated with the character, writing and editing the Dark Knight for more than 30 years. He's been an editor at Marvel and DC Comics. In addition to Batman, he's worked on Spider-Man, Daredevil, Iron Man, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern/Green Arrow, the Question, The Shadow and more. O'Neil has won every major award in the industry. His prose novels have been New York Times bestsellers. Denny lives in Rockland County with his wife, Marifran.

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2 Responses

  1. John Ostrander says:

    From the writer’s side — I agree. From the professional perspective, if you want someone to give you their money for what you write, you need to give them something that they feel they can sell and make money on. That’s only fair. Sometimes the publisher will go out on a limb, taking chances on what they think they can sell and good for them. If the writer wants to do something very risky, they need to do it on their own dime and, no, they don’t get to use the characters that publisher owns. I’ve stretched many a boundary within a genre and/or character and given permission to do it — and got PAID for it.

  2. Miles Vorkosigan says:

    Denny, long years back, Fred Pohl told a story of how he took the mickey out of Horace Gold, who as editor of Galaxy was notorious for fooling with other writer’s work. Horace’s story “The Man With English”, about a guy with synasthesia, had bwwn nominated for an awardand was in an anthology Fred and, I think, Cyril Kornbluth, were editing. They ran off a copy, sent the original for publication, and went berserk on the copy, bluepencilling, switching lines, changing the ending, then sending that back to Horace. Days later Fred got a call. The normally articulate Horace could only sputter and say, “Jesus, Fred!”…