In the wake of the announcement yesterday of DC Entertainment's "realignment" plan that leaves its primary publishing in New York, it was also revealed that Wildstorm would cease to function as a publishing imprint, and most of its other operations (and staff, presumably) would be absorbed into DC's new Burbank digs on the Warner lot.
I have to admit that the full weight of what was happening took a day to really sink in, and multiple comment requests from comics news sources has caused me to fully consider just how much of my career has been associated with the place. The answer turned out to be more than I had really ever thought about, and I guess I also didn't realize that I'm somewhat identified as a Wildstorm guy. Not as much as some, obviously, but it's there. And you know what? I'm definitely cool with that.
Anyway, I don't know that I can do much better than my comment over on Comics Beat:
My history with Wildstorm goes back a ways—a LOT of memories are coming to me. I remember first visiting Homage Studios a couple of times back in the early ‘90s when I was still fresh to the business. I remember being asked by Jim Lee to do my first Wildstorm work, which was a pinup in one of the Swimsuit Specials (the first of many). I remember Fax Wars between Homage and Gaijin Studios, where I worked; late into the night, we’d send funny and offensive pictures to each other long before any of us had e-mail. I remember doing the STORMWATCH SPECIAL with Ron Marz for editor Bill Kaplan. I remember being on the phone what seemed like every day with my pal Sarah Becker, just making each other laugh. I remember Scott Dunbier honoring us Gaijinners by allowing us to celebrate by publishing a tenth anniversary book, the WILDSTORM SUMMER SPECIAL. It was the first time we’d packaged anything, and as I recall, I flew out to San Diego several days before the con to help John Layman put it to bed. I got to do a Jack Hawksmoor story with Warren Ellis, which had been a dream of mine. Did a bit of AUTHORITY stuff—those characters were so cool to draw. I remember drawing a giant Hawksmoor with a dying Sharpie on the wall of John Nee’s office, later inherited and preserved by my good friend Hank Kanalz. I remember being so happy for Hank when I found out that he’d been hired to run the place.
And RED, last but not least. Warren, Layman, and I got to work together again, and this was when I met Ben Abernathy, who picked up where Layman left off. I got a signature work out of the deal, something that is now always next to my name. And now, my prequel to it will be one of the last Wildstorm comics, I guess, just as the film version of the original book hits theaters. Weird.
This is the second big door closing this year for me, as Gaijin Studios also decided call it a day a few months ago, and even there, one of my final Gaijin studiomates was Laura Martin—a noted Wildstorm alum if there ever was one. I didn’t really put it together until this announcement, but really… the whole of my career is tied to that place in one way or another. But you know, some doors close, while others open. The name looks to be at an end, but Wildstorm was always made up of people, and people go on. So much history, so many friends– I thank them for my career and wish them all the best of luck.
I have to admit to a little trepidation, if only because I hope everyone gets to keep his or her job (or at least leave with a smile), but as the cliche goes, all good things must come to an end.
Wildstorm, by and large, was a very good thing.