Since it’s already come up on Twitter, we want to take a minute to address Sunday’s announcement that writer Greg Rucka will be leaving Cyclops after issue five.
If you’ve been following this podcast–or Rachel elsewhere–for any length of time, you know that we love Greg, we love Cyclops, and we love Greg’s work on the Cyclops ongoing. We are of course sorry to see him leave–but we absolutely support his decision.
More, we are so glad to have seen one of our favorite writers (and human beings) set the tone and bar for a title that’s come to mean a lot to both of us. We’re looking forward to reading the remaining three issues of his run–and we fervently hope oncoming writer John Layman will continue in the same spirit.
We also want to take this opportunity to address something that’s likely to come up again as we delve into more series and creators come and go:
As far as we are concerned, it is never, ever cool to hassle or guilt-trip a creator for leaving a company-owned book, and–assuming they’ve not been disclosed publicly–their reasons for doing so are nobody else’s business.
Some of the discretion we choose to exercise here is a matter of professional courtesy or necessity–we’re both comics-industry professionals, and one of us is an employee at a publisher. Mostly, though, it’s a matter of basic human decency. Comics creators are people, and it’s important to us to respect their personal/professional boundaries, just as we want and expect others to respect ours. Gossip and speculation about other people’s intentions are really, really not welcome here.
Greg is a friend, so in this case it’s a little more personal than usual–but as far as we’re concerned, that’s a hard line, one we’ll be both observing in the podcast and enforcing in the comments.
TL;DR – If you want to complain about Greg Rucka leaving Cyclops or speculate about his reasons for doing so, you need to take that shit elsewhere.
Is it okay to express disappointment?
Yeah. Just please keep it civil and considerate (which I know you will).
To anyone who’s sad about Rucka leaving Cyclops, I hope you’re reading Lazarus from Image Comics. If not, it’s not too late to catch up on it! It may not involve the X-Men, but it does involve superpowers, family drama, and dystopian futures, so it pushes some of those same buttons. Plus you can get your Rucka-writing fix on a book he’s highly unlikely to leave anytime soon.
Also Stumptown, Lady Sabre, and a lot of novels!
That said, I do also understand that sometimes the intersection of existing/favorite character and creative team is where the primary appeal lies. And that’s okay, too: there are very few wrong reasons to enjoy or seek out stories!!
My initial reaction was ‘Aw, Crap’, not just because Greg is a great writer, but also because I was afraid he’d been kicked off the title as part of some new editorial direction. If he’s leaving due to his workload, then kudos to him for choosing quality of work and quality of life. As one of the few titles I actively get before the trades, I’ll give the new team a chance to keep it going.
Either way, I think it’s really important to respect creators’ decisions to disclose or not. I’m not saying there are no circumstances that merit public discussion and speculation–as a comics journalist, that’s a line I negotiate on a fairly regular basis–only that they are very, very rare.
I’m just disappointed with the overall trend of such short runs, especially on really unique titles like this (which is definitely the fault of Marvel, not of any of the individual writers). The cool niche books should get the breathing room of long runs just like the core titles do.
See, I actually disagree–I like long epics, but I also really love self-contained stories. I think my ideal lineup would be a mix of the two (and, in fact, that’s the direction my pull list trends).
I don’t mind short runs, but I’d rather they be honest about it upfront. It seems Rucka really didn’t know he’d have to leave after six issues, but coming so soon after Ellis/Shalvey left Moon Knight it feels like a trend. Still, I’ve been a Layman fan for a decade now, so I’m on board.
I really don’t see how not specifying a set run length is not “be[ing] honest about it upfront”. Comics solicit about 3 months out. The creative changeover is timed–and announced far enough in advance–so that there have been no incorrect solicitations, nor any recanting of previously established creative plans. Failing to line up with expectations you developed in the absence of evidence or precedent is not a bait-and-switch by any reasonable definition.
Maybe my issue is I’ve only recently seriously gotten into comics as a medium, so I’m still approaching it from others, and a mini-arc in a tv series, for example, or a short novella in my mind translates to a dozen or so actual issues in a comic. So in my mind, small self-contained stories are still good, but a half-dozen issues of a comic series is closer to the first act of a small, self-contained story.
No Offense to Mr. Rucka, but I think we should all be excited about Layman joining the book. Chew is amazing and I’m hoping he brings some of that wackiness to the Starjammers.
I’ve held out on this book because I’m actually ready for the All Old X-men to be done. (It was a neat gag, but I think it’s run it’s course and is in danger of making the x-men actually impossible to x-plain–so good luck with that!), but I probably would have been all over it from the start if it had been called Starjammers. I think, now that I hear Layman is on, I’m going to pick up those first two and jump onboard.
I’m not super familiar with Layman’s work, but I’ve heard only good things about it–looking forward to checking out more.
YES! CHEW IS AWESOME! my number 1 favorite comic
Agreed – I have a very small list of monthly buys, and CHEW is one of them. It’s friggin’ brilliant.
I never understood the thought process behind harassing the creators for leaving a book. Like, “I love your work so fuck you!” Don’t get it.
I’ve been enjoying the new Cyclops book a lot, so I’m sad Rucka isn’t going to be on it anymore. But it’s not like he’s disappearing! He’s got lots of other work for us to enjoy!
My initial thought was, and I quote, “aaaaaaaah damn.” Your episode with Mr. Rucka is one of my favorites and I was greatly looking forward to seeing where he would take the story. I don’t understand why people would lash out towards him. I guess some people get too connected to stories and characters that they develop a sense of entitlement towards them. It’s always good to remind myself, and sometimes others, that the best course of action towards your favorite media is to just sit back and appreciate what you have while you have it.
I have to say this is really unfortunate as I really have enjoyed the book. This raises a question about the comic book business. Is it normal to have the creative team change so early in a books run? It seems that we see this alot from new books; the books start out with a creative team which then gets changed and the book languishes. Does such a switch/change signal bad things for a book?
It really varies from book to book and creator to creator. There are a lot of reasons for creative changes on titles, and most aren’t dire portents.
After 7 years at a publisher and another freelancing, I suspect (and, to an extent, know) that a lot of the places where people see intention are basically logistical tetris: responding to conflicts and bumps in the road as best as possible with the resources available in the time allotted. That’s not to say there’s never long-game strategy in play–just that it’s less common that a lot of readers seem to assume.
In that in mind, does that make super long runs on comic books like Chris Claremont on Xmen incredibly rare and that much more amazing?
So i know this is the wrong spot to post this in but…Professor X married Raven Darkholm and the only question that popped into mind who officiated the wedding? Magneto? Was Juggernaut the best man?
Im sad to see Rucka go, albeit i didnt read much of his work. if its anything like what i’ve seen so far in this Cyclops solo run, then he is an amazing writer! I cant wait to read his other stuff.
This latest issue of Cyclops that came out, is exactly what comics should be about. I never much read up on Corsair but now im intrigued by him and his story line. I actually want to catch up on all the past issues that he’s been in. That, to me, means that the writer is really good at what he does.
Word. It’s a hell of a note for Dauterman to go out on–every issue so far has been the best, but this one’s gonna be really, really hard to top.