Monday, October 3, 2011

The Twelve .... finished!!

Following the publication last month of DC Comics decades long gestating New Teen Titans graphic novel "Games" from the original creative team of Marv Wolfman and George Perez, it seems that 2011 will continue the trend of putting things to rest.

Here [courtesy of Facebook] in his own words is artist Chris Weston on Marvel Comics delayed 2007 series, The Twelve:

"Last Friday, I turned in the final page of The Twelve, a mere five years and fourteen days after completing the first. The Twelve was, fittingly, a twelve-part Marvel Maxi-Series reintroducing a dozen forgotten Golden Age characters to current continuity.

This series suffered a huge numbers of delays to its publication, firstly because of its writer, Joe Michael Straczynski, who apparently fell out with with Marvel over something or the other. Subsequently, I have since shouldered my share of the blame too, as my acquaintance with the film director, Albert Hughes, led to some time-consuming work on "The Book of Eli" and his abandoned live-action adaptation of "Akira".

I think Joe's probably man enough to accept his initial delays might have caused me some irritation, most of which would probably have been assuaged if he'd just been a bit more communicative. But the absence of scripts gave me all the justification I needed to accept my own offers of film work... and, let's just say, those experiences helped abate any residual exasperation on my part.

However, the main point of this blog is to say "thank you" to Marvel for being so patient with me. I have some inkling as to exactly why they didn't fire me; the book was already delayed, after all... and the hiring of a new artist may have damaged sales of the resulting graphic-novel collections. However, Tom Brevoort was very understanding of my decision to accept the film work... and remained tolerant, supportive and patient. Thanks, Tom.

I'd also like to thank the readers who have waited so long for the book to be completed too. I was always aware how annoying this would be for them. I hoped they would accept the one-shot I wrote, "Spearhead", [released May 2010] as some kind of peace-offering and place-holder; one that would seamlessly combine with the main series.

So what are we left with? I think there's a provisional schedule drawn up for the release of the rest of the series; February for issues 9 & 10 and March for the final two, I believe. These will be preceded by various reprints of the previous issues... and followed by some hardcover collections. I'll keep you informed of release dates through my twitter account.

Is it worth the wait? Unlike certain creators I could mention, I can't give you hyperbolic sales patter in the manner of: "It's the best thing since all The Seven Wonders of the World combined! Your heads will explode with the sheer awesomeness!", mainly because my mum did her best to raise me not to show off and that shtick is pretty tiresome now.

What I can tell you is: I think Joe has written a great ending. All the characters were really well conceived and defined already... and they are given a great send-off. You won't find any spoilers here, but I don't think you be shocked if I admit that not all of them make it to the end of the story. I think Joe has done a great job on the whole of the series; it's touching, funny, exciting, scary... and would make a damn good film.

As for the art? I put a lot of time and effort into it and hope it surpasses what I produced on the series before. But I'll let you be the judge. Be sure to let me know what you think, but only if you loved it, 'cos I'm a shallow compliment-junkie who can't take criticism too well!

Right; onto other stuff. First stop: a quick trip back to the Nerve Centre, then... who knows?

Not me."

If you've visited the Catacombs from time to time, you may recall that I've posted on this wayward series several times since its collapse in late 2008. Due to some of my more critical comments, Chris Weston actually emailed me to clear up aspects of the delay that were truly beyond his control. Chris had specifically asked me not to discuss some of the points that he covers in his own statement (above), and I've kept his confidence, only alluding to vague "difficulties" in the intervening years.
I for one, am glad to know that this entertaining book will finally reach its conclusion, but I would still fail to see why any publisher would ever hire Straczynski again. I wish Chris the best of luck on his future endeavors, and hope that the return of "The Twelve" in 2012 proves to be a rousing success.


joe ackerman said...

I never read the Twelve, precisely because I couldn't be bothered to wait years between issues. DC already pulled that shit on me with All Star Batman, and I wasn't prepared to put up with it from Marvel, too.

I've had a number of people who's opinions I trust recommend the series to me, and now, at last, I finally get to read it. most excellent.

big fan of Chris'. can take or leave Straczynski, mostly leave ( although I DID enjoy Midnight Nation ). looking forward to it.

Tony Laplume said...

Very pleased that this is finally happening!

Rip Jagger said...

The Twelve was one of the nails in the coffin containing my desire to buy new comics. I jumped onto this series with vigor, hoping to find something akin to the fun the old Invaders series was when it was young.

I found a decent series of character studies which when blended didn't seem to be all the grand actually. Then it stopped. I waited, then scuttled off to read reprints forevermore.

I've been mostly bemused by the furor over the delays since. I've little interest in this project at this point and don't see reading the finale, unless I stumble across it for super-cheap or perhaps even free.

Weston is a great artist. I will say that.

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