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THE BIG BAD NEWS (and a little bit of good news).
As many of you have probably heard, we found out Saturday (7/26/08) at San Diego ComicCon that the GARGOYLES (including BAD GUYS) license will not be renewed after it expires on 8-31-08.
Just to be very, very clear... this is NOT the result of poor sales. GARGOYLES is still one of the best selling book SLG publishes (if not THE best). BAD GUYS doesn't do too badly either by SLG standards. Of course, delays didn't help sales... and there are probably other factors that reduced the upside -- including the writing -- but none of that is the point.
According to SLG's President, Publisher and Owner Dan Vado, the Disney execs told him that the money they were taking in did not justify their administrative costs. So they raised the license renewal fee to a rate that put it beyond SLG's reach. (Dan had hoped to renew both Gargoyles and Haunted Mansion -- though not Tron or Wonderland -- but neither book will now be picked up.)
I don't know what effect recent announcements about Kingdom Comics and Boom! Comics had on this decision. Dan was told one thing had nothing to do with the other. No one at either company has approached me about doing Gargoyles, and I don't know that there will be any interest now that the license is coming to an end.
That's the bad news. But there is a bit of a silver lining.
There will be NO STORY INTERRUPTUS!!
We will finish both GARGOYLES: Clan-Building and BAD GUYS: Redemption. That's the equivalent of seven more issues of material.
BAD GUYS #4 should be out next week. The book is done and has been done for some time. It's been sent to the printers.
GARGOYLES #9 will hopefully be out next month. David is done with the art. All that remains is for Robby to color it and David to letter it -- tasks that both these gentlemen have proven able to do with great speed.
Whether or not the remaining issues (BAD GUYS #5-6 and GARGOYLES #10-12) are published as individual issues is a bit up in the air. BAD GUYS #5 and GARGOYLES #10 have decent (if long) shots at getting out in time. But whatever doesn't get out as individual issues will still be scripted, drawn, colored or toned, lettered and published as "BONUS MATERIAL" in individual trade paperbacks that will collect GARGOYLES: Clan-Building Volume II and BAD GUYS: Redemption. And these compilations WILL come out! There's still a lot of work to be done. (Personally, I still need to script Gargoyles #11-12.) So I WON'T take this moment to thank everyone and say au revoir. That'll come later. For now, we're still a going concern.
In addition, Dan hasn 't given up on us. He wants to put out these two new trades and keep all three trades available for sale (and btw we sold a bunch of the trades at ComicCon -- when I left Sunday at 1pm, hours before close of con, we only had a handful of Clan-Building Volume I left to sell). After a year, he hopes to go back to Disney with a different, perhaps more modest offer to do Gargoyles Graphic Novels. Might work out. Might not. But he's still game and just in case it isn't 100% clear...
GREG WEISMAN HAS NOT GIVEN UP!!!!!!!!!!
I'm as determined as ever -- if not moreso -- to continue bringing you canon Gargoyles stories. The eighteen issues we've done/are doing have only whetted my appetite! I'm still going to be out here swinging... for more comics or graphic novels, for the DVD releases, for a live action film, etc. But I can't do it alone! So please don't you guys give up on Gargoyles either!
Remember, a few years ago, we didn't even have this. In that time, we will have brought you two big arcs, six big stories, eighteen "episodes" and numerous sub-plots, plot-twists, new characters and old familiar favorites. Would we have Shari, Quincy, Coco, Amp, etc. if the fans haven't kept the faith?! No. Would we grok the Illuminati number system?! No. Would we have seen Goliath and Elisa declare their love?! NOPE!!! (Oh, and for those of you who wish Demona could have figured more prominently in the comic... well, guys do you really think I'd do a twelve issue re-introductory story arc in Gargoyles without prominently including the crazy red head? Please.)
So what can YOU do? Well, nothing's changed on that front, really. We still need people to buy comics, trades, DVDs, HOT TOPIC T-Shirts. We still need people to attend the GATHERING. (Check out www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com ) And whether or not you've spent all the disposable income you have to spend on the property, then help us SPREAD THE WORD!!!! Make sure every gargoyle fan knows about what's out there. Show friends the first 39 episodes on DVD. Lend them the comics or trades. Create converts.
And mostly... just keep the faith.