Robot 6

Darick Robertson leaves The Boys with this month’s Issue 43 [UPDATED]

The Boys #43

The Boys #43

Artist Darick Robertson has announced that The Boys #43, released last week, is the final issue of the monthly series he’ll draw “for a while.” He will continue to provide covers for the title.

Robertson, who created the title in 2006 with writer Garth Ennis, pointed to Dynamite Entertainment’s shipping schedule as the reason for his somewhat abrupt departure. (He’s listed as the artist in the solicitation for July’s Issue 44.)

“They make the schedule,” he wrote on the Standard Attrition message board. “I made my desires known, and this was what was chosen as best for the title. [...] I did my very best to make the book come out monthly with my art. I never wanted fill-ins. I try to put my all into every issue, and make the series whatever I can make it as good as it could be. However, it takes a certain amount of time to create an issue. Those realities are what they are, and there are different choices with how to make that goal work.”

Russ Braun, whose art Robertson describes as “top notch,” will be replacing him on interior art. Along with providing covers for The Boys, Robertson will work on the Butcher six-issue miniseries, which debuts in July 2011.

Robertson encouraged fans who miss his work on the title to let Dynamite know. “I would liked to have been the sole artist on every issue of The Boys,” he wrote. “That was always my intention.”

Update, June 22: Robertson has posted a clarification on the Standard Attrition message board:

I have screwed up. I made several severely off-handed comments here on the “Standard Attrition” forum regarding my upcoming work on The Boys. These comments were born of my personal frustration with the monthly schedule and the pressure I have been under trying to meet it. I need to make things clear.

To begin, I am NOT leaving the The BOYS and I have not been permanently replaced. Nobody at Dynamite wants this and we are continually reworking the schedule and the artist line-up so that I can draw the best issues I can create. Every decision at Dynamite is made with me included.

When I was asked: “Does Dynamite actually have anything to do with it (the decision to go off the book)?” I replied: “They make the schedule. I made my desires known, and this was what was chosen as best for the title.” This comment was unfair and misleading as it implied that I have not been included in the final choices on the schedule and that I would not be coming back to the monthly series.

We all agreed that it was best for the title to proceed monthly with another artist so that I can have ample time to draw the Butcher mini series (a hugely important run for The Boys) without the added pressure of the monthly deadline. Doing this IS accommodating my schedule. It is never easy to give up issues. In fact, I hate it. And from that frustration I can say some pretty stupid things.

A fan commented, “I just assumed you had scheduling/time conflicts or something” and my reply was “Or something.” I did not want to admit that I have not been able to meet the monthly schedule that I committed to, so in turn, I made Dynamite look to blame. I have tried to get more time to do each monthly book but it is crucial to Dynamite and the fans to have this book in the stores every month on time with the best possible artist. Historically, late books lose readers. Dynamite, Garth and I are ultimately dedicated to the fans and to the retailers.

When I said I never wanted fill-ins, I meant that looking back at the series, I always wanted to draw every page. I have never preferred and will never prefer fill-ins. I was venting disappointment based on my own regret. But again, I allowed my comments to misrepresent Dynamite. Fill-in artists are necessary. Being as tight to the deadline as I am each month puts an incredible strain on the rest of the team, Simon Bowland, Tony Avina, Joe Rybandt, Garth Ennis, and Nick Barrucci, all who really want each issue to be on the shelves on time. That strain threatens the book’s quality.

Like anything in hindsight, I realize my mistake and I wish I could undo it. My apologies to you fans who thought I was going for good and supported me with your e-mails. My apologies especially to Dynamite and Garth for having created this mess. I am not leaving the BOYS monthly, and look forward to returning to the monthly title when Butcher is winding down and I can move on without endangering the monthly schedule. Garth’s story is so good, that it’s well worth focusing on the quality of the Butcher series.

Lastly, I asked people to direct their comments to Dynamite. I don’t know why I did this. I am temperamental and don’t always think before I type. This is something that I can’t take back and I wish I could. I have unleashed a wave of angry letters—letters that fans are writing based on my vague and emotional comments–letters that are insulting to my friends and colleagues. This was a matter that should have always have been handled internally. My thoughtlessness created a mess. It’s a mess I guarantee won’t happen again as I think a long break from the message boards is in order.

To reiterate, I am going to return to the monthly title. Dynamite is allowing me all of the time I need to draw Butcher, as it’s the story that I’ve wanted to draw from the beginning. Garth accommodated me by delivering scripts early so that if the series takes me eight months to draw, great, and if I need more, it’s by my schedule. This is the reason why I don’t know when I’ll be returning, but I will. The only other choice was to place the book on hiatus for up to a year, and I know that would disappoint the fans. As much as I appreciate the support from fans who love the book and who would wait for it, there are also those who wouldn’t. We don’t want to lose readers to where The BOYS could risk being canceled. No one wants that, especially me.

The new issue #44 looks great. It is worth picking up The Boys no matter who is drawing it. I have seen Russ Braun’s art for #44 and he’s doing great looking work, and you can see it for yourselves next month!

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Comments

45 Comments

Don’t you worry man. I’ll let Dynamite know…oh yes, I miss you already.

Wow, I was just reading an interview with him the other day talking about the Butcher mini. This doesn’t sound like an amicable split. Could this be Darick’s DC contract interfering?

Yes that tricky…. monthly schedule. Don’t take that the wrong way, I love his artwork, but…. would they rather have the series be monthly or bi-monthly to worse scheduling wise.

Is Russ Braun Russell Braun who did pencil work on Batman Legends Of The Dark Knight Venom, IIRC Trever Von Eedon did the layouts, Braun did the actual pencils.

The Robertson thing stinks, though, Braun’s in a bad spot, replacing a guy who doesn’t seem to want to be replaced, at least Robertson was gracious enough to give Braun a thumbs up.

@EdKaye at @Hypergeek said it best when he broke this story over the weekend.

” Darick has asked fans to let their thoughts on the subject be known, and to direct their concerns to Dynamite. If you wish to let Dynamite know what you think of this decision, please email them at letters@dynamiteentertainment.com

Thanks, Ed! :)

http://www.hypergeek.ca/2010/06/darick-robertson-no-longer-the-regular-artist-on-the-boys.html

Does it sound to anyone else like Darick got bullied off the title here? Would a one month break have helped? As the co-creator of the book it seems more than odd that he basically be kicked off the title. Sure, creator owned books have seen splits before. There was that book Arvid Nelson and Eric J worked on where Eric J was taken off the book, but this is THE BOYS. Seems odd.

Sorry to see him go. He was as much the book as Garth was.

This was actually Darick’s response to a couple questions I asked him on standard attrition, cool that it’s news. I would personally much rather have the book’s shipping schedule accommodate the art and not the other way around, especially with the recent price hike on the series. Darick’s art is at least half the reason I started picking up the book after all. Hopefully if enough people email Dynamite about this they will reconsider, although I’m not really holding my breath.

Doesn’t Darick own half the copyright on The Boys? How the hell does Dynamite get to dictate what the schedule is on a creator owned work? Boys is their top selling title, I would think Dynamite wouldn’t want to ruffle the feathers of the creators. Make it Bi-monthly for crying out loud. What does Garth Ennis think of all this?

Hopefully Garth is talking to his people over at Avatar to move this title…again. I mean why not, right? Did it once, let’s do it again. Not that I know what the hell I am talking about. I’m just dreaming out loud..er…you know what I mean.

DARICK looks like he’s a man who hate to have a string attached to his leg.
he take pride in the making of his comics and he got now a rep who opens many doors.

there was already some fill in by the fabulous Peter Snejbjer, so why not. if he returns before the end… it ends with n°60, right ? or did i miss a train, here ? that means 16 issues… and if he does the mini serie. will he do the last chapter ? mmm…?

I would definitely be ok with the schedule working for Robertson. Hate when this book has fill-in artists. No offense to Russ Braun, but The Boys without Robertson just isn’t right.

This is disappointing news. I’m sure Braun will be good, but this is Robertson’s book.

Dynamite should allow the title to take a few months off so he can take a vacation or something, then get head start on future episodes. Let him get a few issues ahead of the game before soliciting more issues, so he can have more breathing room in the monthly schedule.

I just bought a run of the series. I’m only 3 issues in. This is a damn shame. I would have preferred delays.

What is the best method of contacting Dynamite? Yeah, e-mail or a web form is easy for most people, but I know at least in the political world that hand written letters get far more sway than an e-mail to a rep. IS Dynamite similar?

I am a firm believer in preferring in delaying a book before forcing a new creative change or a rush job, provided that creative/the powers that be actually do a good job letting you know when a book actually comes out. For example, War Heroes did a bad job at letting people know that issue #3 came out. I never heard about it til months later and could never track it down.

RE: Letters…

Dynamite Entertainment
155 E. 9th Ave, STE B
Runnemede, New Jersey 08078-1158

” Darick has asked fans to let their thoughts on the subject be known, and to direct their concerns to Dynamite. If you wish to let Dynamite know what you think of this decision, please email them at letters@dynamiteentertainment.com

http://www.hypergeek.ca/2010/06/darick-robertson-no-longer-the-regular-artist-on-the-boys.html

Well, damn. I love The Boys, but it’s never quite as good without Robertson on art chores. What he brings to the table in terms of acting and creativity is worth any delays he might cause. I like Russ Braun’s stuff just fine, just like I’ve liked all the book’s fill-in artists just fine, but it’s never quite the same.

What’s sad here is that, while I’ll let Dynamite know I’m not real happy about it, this won’t make me stop buying the book. And if they’re pushing for it to be monthly no matter what, lower sales may be the only thing that makes them reconsider.

Russ Braun is/was artist on Jack of Fables with Tony Akins. And yes, it’s Darick’s and Ennis’ book, so it’d better be just a temporary replacement.

Funny thing is, they don’t seem to have a problem with other titles being late. They accommodate for the creative team on the Lone Ranger(not releasing issues until arcs are complete), Project Superpowers(these haven’t all been on time) and others. Could it be that they didn’t want one of their more lucrative titles to slip off schedule, to keep that cash rolling in?

Plus, in a recent interview, he didn’t make it seem like he was forced off, but chose to free up his schedule, and this mini allowed him to do so. He could work on this mini, then come back to the regular.

I wonder if Dynamite will rescind the $3.99 price increase now that Robertson is (more-or-less) off the book?

@Steve M.

I laughed.

Wow, never heard of a publisher dictating a creator owned title that much. Makes no sense. They could go to a every six weeks schedule- they’ll get 8 issues out a year. But I bet it is all about the money. Robertson does sound extremely pissed though.

Sounds like there’s a bit more to this than we’re hearing. I would think Dynamite needs The Boys more then Ennis and Robertson needs Dynamite. So it seems odd that Dynamite is “dictating” anything. I’m sure Dynamite is counting on a certain number of issues coming out per year to help manage their sales/cash flow commitments so it’s reasonable to expect them to have a contract in place (and maybe that contract does state 12 issues per year) but I have to believe that Ennis is going along with Dyanmite on this one. Paying another artist to fill in for Robertson will certainly cut into the book’s profits so I can only assume that Robertson is better off taking some issues off this book and doing other work (for DC if he’s still under contract for them for example) and getting paid for that in addition to his share of The Boys profits. Oh well…who knows?

Bad news, Robertson art is great, The Boys will not gonna be same without him. Boo Dynamite.

Peace.

Russ Braun is the artist from Garth Ennis’ recent Battlefields the Night Witches. He is drawing the second story in that series called Motherland as well. Check out the recent preview here:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=5525&disp=table

With all due respect to Darrick Robertson, I do not believe we will experience a slip in the quality of the art.

@ Drunk Jack, yes he drew the Batman: Venom issues all those years ago.

@Dr Roctopus

It’s actually “Darick” Robertson, as in DarickR.com

TradePaperbackTraitor

June 21, 2010 at 8:06 pm

I can’t deny that this is very disappointing news. Sometimes, a series with the same writer and artist for so long from day one just makes it hard to move on to someone else. Robertson could handle the comedic aspects of that series better than anyone I can envision, and everytime I flipped through a Boys book with a guest artist — either a page or two, or the entire issue — it just didn’t feel the same. I don’t know if Ennis plans to end the series like he originally said he would at issue #50. But if he does, I’ll probably ride it out until the end. Anything else depends on the new artist and if Ennis can keep delivering good storylines because he does go up and down.

Tom Fitzpatrick

June 21, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Dammit. Is Dynamite Entertainment insane?!?

The Boys would not have existed if it weren’t for BOTH creators.

I’ll stick with the title until the end, but am not planning to buy any other books from DE.

Maybe Steve Dillon or John McCrea can finish the rest of the series (or that Carlos E. guy).
Even Peter Snejberg would do.

But things just won’t be the same.

Robertson is one of my favorite artists. I had him sign a tattoo I pulled from his work on my arm. I buy anything he’s working on.

But the multiple guest artists filling in for him really soured my experience with The Boys, even though we got some GORGEOUS McCrea issues. I expected 60-something issues of fantastic Ennis and Robertson collaboration. That’s why I was excited about this book. I wasn’t disappointed by any of the other artists (they were all pretty damn good) but I was distracted and kind of less engrossed in the story when I opened a cover that says ENNIS/ROBERTSON in big fuck off letters and instead got ENNIS/SOMEONE ELSE..

Again, I have always loved the shit out of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson but this whole ongoing fill-in thing has unfortunately made the book less enjoyable than l expected/wanted it to be.

@TradePaperbackTraitor

The series is projected to end around issue #70

Source: http://www.newsarama.com/comics/Garth-Ennis-The-Boys-100505.html

While I must say I have never liked Darick Robertson’s art all that much to begin with, I have always regarded THE BOYS as a two-men collaborative oeuvre, with Ennis on the script and Robertson on the art, and any departure from that seems like an ill-advised, harmful deviation.

I would rather wait whatever time it takes for Robertson to be able to deliver his share of the work, than having fill-in artists, no matter how good they may be, even if I like them better than him.

To me, the integrity of the book as a creative work is way above any schedule issue, and I feel disrespected as reader by Dynamite’s position here.

I love Russ Braun so as much as I enjoy Darick you will not see me complain just say good lick at least they
arn’t getting ezquera this time he’s great for fill ins but on a reguler bases he just is not the same Russ has deserved a break out comic since his Animal Man work in the ninties hopefully this will be the right project
good day

Wasn’t Transmetropolitan monthly for 60 + issues?

Sounds like there’s a bit more to this than we’re hearing. I would think Dynamite needs The Boys more then Ennis and Robertson needs Dynamite. So it seems odd that Dynamite is “dictating” anything. I’m sure Dynamite is counting on a certain number of issues coming out per year to help manage their sales/cash flow commitments so it’s reasonable to expect them to have a contract in place (and maybe that contract does state 12 issues per year) but I have to believe that Ennis is going along with Dyanmite on this one. Paying another artist to fill in for Robertson will certainly cut into the book’s profits so I can only assume that Robertson is better off taking some issues off this book and doing other work (for DC if he’s still under contract for them for example) and getting paid for that in addition to his share of The Boys profits. Oh well…who knows?

————————————————————————————————————————————————–
actully if you read the article Robertson is doing the butcher miny and remeber he is still obligated to do a certain amount of issues for DC every year so your theory doesn’t hold water .

Yeah, I would have given John McCrea the gig of finishing the series.

McCrea is currently drawing the Wee Hughie mini, so he can’t do the fill ins

Normally I’d make a crack about Jack Kirby’s productivity (or any other artist that drew multiple comics in the days before exclusive contracts) but I understand where Boys fans are coming from on this one. Unlike alot of comics, The Boys is a creator specific title so allowing the artist extra time isn’t such a crazy request IMO.

McCrea’s last fill in issue had some abysmal pages. One looked as if the had to delete panels, throw it back together and zoom in on parts to make it fit. Not to mention that McCrea’s work while great for certain projects like the Demon all those years back, does not lend itself to a book that, although often outrageous and humorous, is at it’s core quite serious.

Since January Robertson has done an issue of the Authority, Wrote and drew his Conan one-shot for Dark Horse, five covers for other books, as well as some minor portion(perhaps only a page) of a Deadpool book.

In ’09 he did a complete 6 issue mini for Wildstorm called Prototype.

Not to mention the quality of his work in the boys has fallen off a bit. Not everywhere but some pages more than others.

Might want to changes that headline. Robertson from the Standard Attrition board:

“Hey, I do intend to go back and work on the monthly after the mini series though. I saw that my comments may have been misunderstood.”

First I would like to say that Robertsons art on this title has been key in setting the tone of the book. It WILL not be the same without him. That said, this is a stupid move by him. He had no problem meeting the schedule to this point right? Theres no excuse. Just do your job man!

@Chad – That is good news to hear.

I agree with everyone else that this book won’t be that same for the time that Robertson is gone. I find it odd that this news came out, but it was okay for Robocop of all titles to be a couple months late between issue 2 and 3.

guys he is taking time off so he can do butcher.In six months he well probably be back he has left Russ Braun in charge Russ is the one artist who may come closest to capturing the feel of robertsons work .

Some the fill in art we have have been adaquit it the artist stiles’s have not come close to capturing Robertson. They have been too abstract Russ is a realist and a fantastic one so I say wait and don’t expect the wall to collaps until it’s has done so good day

What does Ennis have to say about this? I’d like to think he would have gone to bat for his partner, but I also imagine that Dynamite would have acquiesced if BOTH creators had balked at the replacement. Perhaps there are contractual obligations that we’re unaware of?

Life is all about nuance, right?

Darick Robertson is Not Leaving THE BOYS series!
http://jasonaaron.org/viewtopic.php?t=2599

LOL…so after reading his clarification, it sounds like his real first statement could have just as easily been “great news! I’ll be focusing on The Butcher mini-series and fans will still get a monthly taste of The Boys courtesy of the great Garth Ennis and Russ Braun and then I’ll be back. What a great time to be a fan of The Boys!” And instead it came out horribly mangled and disfigured. Oh well…way to own it Darick and kudos for the clarification.

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