- Posted by Johanna on April 11, 2009 at 7:27 pm
- Category: Comic News
Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! debuted in July 2008 as a new all-ages series for DC Comics by Mike Kunkel. Kunkel previously self-published Herobear and the Kid, a series known for three things:
- Critical acclaim
- An animation-influenced look with visible construction lines
- Never coming out on anything approaching a regular schedule
Thus, it should come as no surprise that the publishing schedule of BBatMoS (whew!) looks like this:
#1 – July 2008 (solicited in May, shipped on time)
#2 – September 2008 (solicited in June, making it a month late)
#3 – December 2008 (solicited in July, making it due in September and thus three months late)
#4 – April 2009 (solicited for the second time in December, which would make the reschedule due date February, so still two months late. Before that, it was due in November.)
#5 – Not yet released. Solicited in February, so it was due in April. DC’s website now says May 20.
Why am I talking about this? Because on Wednesday, April 8, Kunkel posted to his blog about the series that he’d heard through third parties that he was off the book:
i heard that it was announced last weekend by DC that Art and Franco of Tiny Titans fame will be taking over the writing of Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam. these two guys are so great and talented. i think you will most definitely be in good hands. i don’t know who DC is talking to about the series as far as artists, and even other writers, but i’m sure things will get announced as they get finalized. they feel it would be better that they put together teams to run with the book, and i think anything that puts out more Shazam is never a bad thing. … am i bummed? wellll, maybe a little bit.
That would suck, wouldn’t it, hearing that someone else was doing your title through convention news and gossip? He goes on to talk about how his work takes “a bit longer” because it’s a “labor of love” and that he will finish a two-part Dr. Sivana story (which sounds like it begins in issue #5). He appreciated working with editor Jann Jones, although “she’s gone from DC now and onto great new green pastures”. What? Jann Jones is no longer at DC?
But wait, it gets even stranger. The very next day, Kunkel posts again.
i want to thank DC for the very great continued opportunity to work on this series. and also a big shout out to Dan Didio. . . he’s always an awesome supporter and i can’t thank him enough for caring about the book and my creative drive of it.
it’s always a good thing at the end of the day to know that your editor’s got your back.
i love this series and i thank you all for sticking with it and enjoying the adventures of lil’ billy. there are lots more stories on the way. we may have some other writers/artists helping out here and there, but no worries, it will still be filled with the “magic of Shazam.”
That looks like the kind of thing that gets said in public after a freelancer gets a call from an editor. Especially the sucking up to Didio. Kunkel’s gone from sounding like he’s off the book to saying other people may be “helping out here and there”. Spin!
I don’t believe BBatMoS #6 has been solicited yet, so I know #7 hasn’t been. But when it is, it’ll be interesting to see who the creative team is.