Maybe it is all about ego and stuff, I am not disagreeing, but, part of the pitch at a company is about seeing that the talents can bring off the pitch successfully. Byrne is not in question about doing good work. So maybe needing to pitch is an issue, but not about Byrne's work, not about the publisher, but about so many fewer paying publishers and so many fewer places to create the works he wants to. Thereby, it is a shout towards the heavens that it all sucks as much as any direct attack.
When I pitch and I have, people have no idea if the ideas and story I've created will work. With Byrne they will know well before hand.