Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Big Question: Clarification

It seems, in tracking what's become the news story of the cycle—and, apparently, it's a slow cycle if The Highwaymen not selling can spur such discussion—people have misinterpreted the events to draw the conclusion that Wildstorm cancelled the book. Which is not the case.

We were engaged to do a five-issue miniseries. Which is exactly what we wrote, what Lee Garbett drew, and what Wildstorm is publishing. Were there conversations about possibly continuing the series beyond those five issues? Absolutely. But doing so was always contingent on sales.

Wildstorm solicited five issues of The Highwaymen, and that's precisely what, to steal liberally from Tina Fey, our dozens and dozens of readers will get.

7 comments:

Adam Freeman said...

Word.

We would love to more but in the end, everyone - Marc, myself, Lee and the entire Wildstorm/DC team delivered everything that was contracted. No more, no less.

No bad feelings. More an open question on the state of the industry than anything pertaining to our particular book.

Brad said...

I assume those discussions will take place after sales of the inevitable trade are factored in? 'Cuz my hopes are those suckers will sell like cakes, of the hot variety.

Erik Jodko said...

Dude...Highwaymen is basically the greatest comic on the stands right now. I'm not even kidding. Whenever it's out, I always make sure to read it before everything else. I'm pretty fucking pissed that WS isn't extending the run. That would've been sweet because I bet you guys have a million ideas for future stories.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know incase you were worried about the quality of the work. The work is top notch and I'll be there for anything else you guys do.

Adam Freeman said...

Damn. Thanks Brad. Thanks Erik. Can't ask for more than that.

Ron Marz said...

Marc (and Adam), I wanted to say thanks for getting this discussion out there, even if it was unintentional on your part. At least people are talking about it, and maybe this will convince a reader or two to pick up a book that's outside their normal comfort zone.

Truth is, a majority of the market -- both retailers and readers -- would rather keep picking up a lousy Spider-man or Batman title than try something new. Nature of the beast at this point, unfortunately. That isn't to say that those people wouldn't enjoy a book like The Highwaymen. It's just that a lot of them are never going to TRY it, because their money is gonna go the tried-and-true comfort food of super-heroes every time.

To me, the biggest hurdle is getting people to try the damn thing. At $3 a pop, a lot of readers (and retailers, because they don't want to be stuck with rack copies they can't sell) just aren't willing to take a flyer on something different.

The creator-owned book that Luke Ross and I do for Dark Horse, Samurai: Heaven and Earth, does well enough that DH lets us keep doing it. But I also know that if Luke and I go do an arc on whatever known super-hero you'd care to name, we'd sell three or four times the number of copies we do of Samurai. Easily.

Hard truths, I guess. I don't know if you guys take solace in the fact that The Highwaymen is a good book. That, to me, is more important than anything else.

marc bernardin said...

Thanks, Ron. We appreciate the kind words. I didn't realize there were so many pent-up feelings on the subject...definitely not to the extent that peeling off the band-aid would unleash such a torrent.

And, yeah, perhaps our expectations were a little high, given that we're nobodies writing nobodies. But I think it was still a valid question to ask: why people (both retailers and readers) don't take a shot at something new?

For our part, we're really proud of the book. It's our first time out of the gate and, all things considered, I think we made a good showing. And that's what'll help us sleep at night, our heads resting on pillowcases stuffed with the copies we didn't sell. (I kid.)

Trent Keck (keck1980@yahoo.com) said...

Damn guys, what the hell! In the past 6 months I finally got back into comics and guess what I'm digging...
The Fucking Highwaymen! A book that sucked me in with the creative concept and killer characters that I fell in love with. I was searching for info on #5 and find out that we are not going to get anymore after that. Man I just really want to say thanks for putting out such a kick ass book that sparked my imagination and reminded me off all the killer action movies I love. The Highwaymen is right up there with Die Hard and Lethal Weapon and I so wish we could have more stories with McQueen and Monroe. But in the end after I get #5 I will have them forever and will be able to revisit them whenever I want and that is sweet. Thanks again!!!! Trent Keck