Robot 6

Chris Roberson ends his relationship with DC Comics

I, Zombie #1

Chris Roberson, writer of iZombie, the post-JMS “Superman: Grounded” stories and various Fables spinoff titles, stated on Twitter last night that he will no longer work for DC Comics.

“Aside from the Fairest arc I already committed to doing, iZombie will be the last time I’ll ever write for DC,” he said, following it later with “I decided quite some time ago, but waited until after the cancellation of my book was announced to discuss it. The short version is, I don’t agree with the way they treat other creators and their general business practices.” The cancellation of iZombie, the Vertigo title Roberson does with Mike Allred, was announced at the Emerald City ComiCon earlier this month.

As for the reason for his decision, Roberson cited a recent post written by David Brothers on ComicsAlliance titled “The Ethical Rot Behind ‘Before Watchmen’ & ‘The Avengers.’” CBR reached out to Roberson for further clarification:

“My reasons for no longer wanting to be associated with DC don’t stem from anything to do with my personal experiences there, but from watching the way that the company has treated and continues to treat other creators and their heirs,” Roberson told CBR. “The counter-suit against the Siegel estate and the announcement of the Watchmen prequels were the specific incidents that crystallized my feelings on the matter. I’d like to make clear, though, that I have nothing but nice things to say about the editorial staff at Vertigo with whom I’ve worked for the past few years.”

iZombie ends with issue #28, and I don’t think the timing of his Fairest arc has been announced yet. Despite not wanting to work with DC anymore, this doesn’t spell an end to Roberson’s comics career. “I’m not going anywhere! I’ve got loads of new stuff in the pipeline,” he also tweeted last night.

(Hat tip: Bleeding Cool)

Friday update: Roberson said on Twitter that he will no longer be working on Fairest. “Sorry to disappoint anyone, but I won’t be writing a Fairest arc after all. It was decided my services were no longer required.”

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Comments

72 Comments

Good for him for having the balls to put his career where his mouth is. I really liked what he did to rescue Superman from the ditch JMS drove him into and wish he’d had the chance to write the character on his own. Best of luck to him.

My feeling exactly-I have nothing but glowing respect for the man and his ability to stick to his principles. 

it takes a lot of courage to stand by one’s beliefs in the middle of an economic crisis.  good for him!

He’s getting a lot of flak for a personal decision. It’s not like he’s doing a Jerry Maguire and asking people to quit with him. Comics fans who are partisan towards DC and Marvel are just as bad as partisans in politics.

If I only worked for ethical companies, I’d be unemployed.

I don’t really agree with some of the arguments against the Big Two, but I can respect making a stand like that. I wonder how many more comic creators will follow suit?


Comics fans who are partisan towards DC and Marvel are just as bad as partisans in politics.”

I think they’re worse.

Let me echo Dave Sikula’s comments. DC Comics are rotting away and are completely bankrupt of any new ideas. The New52 and Before Watchmen are proof of this and under the current regime I don’t think DC are going to last for long. Hardly any wonder fans and now creators are leaving them. Well Done Chris Roberson.

Tenormadness365

April 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Robertson is Brave.  Very Brave.  Good for him. 

DC: Why do you have to keep pushing away the best and brigtest?  I know you’ve got Morrison and Johns, but over the past few years you’ve seemed to lose Waid, Spencer, Brubaker, Rucka, and a whole bunch of others.  Stop it!

Oh Don, they’re out there. Believe me. :)

Now I’m really curious to find out who Don works for. Ryanair? Halliburton? Total? Apple? The C.I.A.?

Just like the fans who are partisan against Marvel and DC.

Yes, but are they hiring?

so…..Roberson “quit” his job because someone who couldn’t give a rat’s ass about him and has indirectly insulted his work was treated poorly.

ok then.

also, can Roberson actually be “leaving” DC if DC isn’t actually offering him any more jobs?  By his own admission back in September, he wasn’t offered anything in the new 52 and his Vertigo book just got canned.

So it’s not like he’s actually really shutting them down or saying no to them.  He’s just burning a bridge on behalf of Alan Moore, who really couldn’t give a toss about Roberson or his work and probably doesn’t even know who Roberson is.

Flavio Martins

April 19, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Well, good riddance to him. Just a mediocre writer and, from what i’ve read in interviews, an prepotent and unprofessional guy.

Chris still has his job. He’ll just be selling his work to other publishers.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/prepotent

Okay. Works for me. But I wouldn’t dream of calling Chris unprofessional, and anyone who does is speaking out of ignorance.

I may not agree with what he’s saying but I’ll respect his stance. However, the minute he accepts work from Marvel (if he ever does) he’ll immediately be thought of as a major hypocrite since he should feel the same way about Kirby.

Flavio Martins

April 19, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Sorry, i was trying to say “arrogant”. English is not my “native tongue”….

I hoped that Roberson would get a chance at a big run on Action Comics or Superman sometime in the future, so this news is kind of a bummer.  Still, I completely understand where he’s coming from.  And you never know what’ll happen in the future.

Chris is actually a pretty affable guy. He’s just making a choice you apparently wouldn’t, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

You can argue that Marvel’s mistreatment of Kirby is in the past, whereas these systemic issues with DC and Alan Moore are ongoing. Of course, Marvel just screwed over the Kirby heirs fairly recently, so there’s that. I do think there’s enough of a difference that it wouldn’t automatically make you a hypocrite if you were anti-DC and pro-Marvel, but it’s certainly true that the Big Two both have a lot of systemic rot going on.

Man, comics fans are actually lambasting Roberson for this?!? Seriously?? It’s not like the guy said “ANYONE WHO WORKS FOR OR BUYS FROM DC IS EVIL!” He made a moral choice that affects him, and him alone. Hell, you should be applauding the guy even if you don’t agree with him at all. 

 I don’t think they’re even going to have Morrison for long. He’s got a creator-owned comic starting up at Image, and I suspect the only reason he hung around DC so long is that he wants to get the final issues of Seaguy into print. I think that was sort of his trade-off for working on their mainstream superhero books.

“Middle”?
I believe the crisis ended in 2009, sir!

At least that’s what the stock market told us, right?

Exactly

And where can one find them?

This is upsetting, I love iZombie :(.

I don’t see how anyone could argue Marvel’s issues with Kirby are in the past given the recent lawsuit.

Flavio Martins

April 19, 2012 at 1:53 pm

I’m not condemning him for his choice. Like i said, i think he’s a mediocre writer and if he never writes for DC again, well, works fine for me. But i consider unprofessional bash the writer who came before him in a title just because he didn’t liked his outline. 

Or the fans that are partisan against the fans.

 I’m sorry but.. what? The new 52 is proof they have no new ideas? The whole thing is full of new ideas and reimaginings! Fair enough the whole line isnt great and there are certainly stinkers, but books like wonder woman batman, swamp thing and animal man have been fantastic. Perhaps you could elaborate on your point further?

Stupid decision. Oh well, it’s his life, his comic-book writing career, etc.

Yeah, I don’t get this at all. Here’s some, no name, who’s never, by the looks of it worked on anything important (I’ve barely heard of him, to be honest), who’s mortally offended by what DC did to a creator who doesn’t give a shit, and another creator who’s dead. Like Alan Moore is going to fall at his feet grateful that the guy who wrote a Fables spin-off has decided he doesn’t need health insurance.

Now, personally, if I was someone at DC, i’d quietly make sure his I Zombie book went out of print quickly, and we’ll see which lasts longer, his royalties or his principles, but then again, he only got his job in the first place because he’s friends with Bill The Bigot Willingham, so I don’t give a shit. Good riddance

And trust me Chris, you wrote a failed Vertigo series and a fill in on Superman. Many have come before you, and DC will easily replace you. 

Well, if anyone else did, they wouldn’t have cancelled it, would they?

I wonder how his family feels, knowing he’d rather be unemployed because Alan Moore signed a contract

Unemployed? Did DC become a monopoly when I wasn’t looking?

iZOMBIE is creator-owned. If DC lets it go out of print, Chris and Mike won’t have any trouble finding a publisher to reissue it.

Your relative lack of familiarity hardly makes Roberson a “no name.” He has a career outside of comics.

But for someone who’s “barely” heard of Roberson, you seem to take his decision awfully personally.

Shot, meet foot.

Good God are you unpleasant. 

Ian, Re-imaginings are just that: re-imaginings. Old ideas turned inside out. Yes, some of the books you mention, Batman, Swamp Thing, Animal Man and I would add to that The Flash are good, but why didn’t DC do this in the old DC Universe and improve that rather than inflict Flashpoint on us and then The New52 ? It wasn’t broken, so they shouldn’t have fixed it. And as for Before Watchmen, that’s just flogging the spot where the dead horse used to be.  

Ethical reasons? You sure it doesn’t have more to do with having his pet projects repeatedly cancelled from poor ratings? Not to disrespect all his hard work, but I doubt his contributions will be missed by that many.

CharlesOlafare

April 19, 2012 at 7:01 pm


 If DC lets it go out of print, ”

And there’s the rub

Well, I’ll miss iZombie. Love that book.

And I wouldn’t worry about Chris. He’s a very talented guy–a wonderful writer.

I hope I get a chance to work with him someday.

CharlesOlafare

April 19, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Fair play to the man, not sure if its something I would do in his shoes but really fair play. Cutting ties like that is a lot harder to do than taking a couple books off your pull list.

Wow, I’m really amazed at some of the pure ignorance of some of the folks posting here. THIS is what’s wrong with the comics industry. If fans continue to suck at the teet of the big 2 and their unethical practices and have blatant disregard for the people who work their tails off to create them, it’s only going to get worse. Keep it up guys, you’re doing a great job.

My thoughts exactly.  What in the world?

its a creator-owned,if the creator left,why would they continue it?

gosh,your pro-DC stance irritated me

on contrary,to me if he took this stance that mean his in no way in financial trouble of sort.
its more a DC loss,than he need DC

Writing comics isn’t Roberson’s day job. He’s an established novelist and publisher. 

“I decided quite some time ago, but waited until after the cancellation of my book was announced to discuss it.”

You gotta love that comment! Basically he is saying  – I decided to quit DC, but only after they canceled my book! … AND I do have another project for DC still coming out!!

haha… what a hypocrite. If he felt so strongly about it – why didn’t he just quit “quite some time ago” when he made up his mind he didn’t like DC. It makes me think if they didn’t cancel iZombie, he’d still be working there! haha…

Its easy to talk shit about an employer AFTER they have fired you!!

What has Willingham said to make him a bigot? Not being a smart arse. I’d really like to know. I don’t like supporting creators who have a problem with the way I live me life.

iZombie sales, after the normal post-launch drop, have been rock solid, and it sells better than a lot of Vertigo ongoings have in the past. Hell, Scalped, one of the most critically beloved comics Vertigo has published, has been consistently selling 25% less than iZombie for its entire existence. iZombie sales don’t stink: DC just moved the bar on what they felt was acceptable for Vertigo sales, and quite a few series that would have been allowed to keep going just 2-3 years ago are getting the axe.

tl;dr: You have no idea what you’re talking about.

You…don’t understand how freelancing works, do you?

Reading comprehension is hard.

The copyright system as defined in the US requires vigorous legal defense to keep said copyright. It’s crap and makes the person defending it worse. We’d all be better off without it.

You do understand that cancelled doesn’t mean fired, right? Or do you think Dan DiDio fired himself when OMAC was cancelled, and Marvel fired Brian Michael Bendis when Spiderwoman stopped selling?

28 issues is a lot for a Vertigo title nowadays (much farther than I expect the current crop of new series to go, sadly). Had Roberson not made this announcement, there’s every reason to believe DC would have continued supplying him with work. By putting the company on blast for their unscrupulous behavior in a public forum, he’s ensuring that he never sees another paycheck from them. That’s pretty much the definition of being principled.

 That’s trademark, not copyright.

I applaud Chris Roberson for this, and I promise to seek out the comics work he does from now on. Despite what the nonsense being posted here and elsewhere might suggest, some fans of comics value creators more than corporations.

It’s really too bad that a few here have responded to Chris’s decision by insulting him. He’s made a career decision based on principles, a decision that carries no small amount of risk. That’s something to be praised, whether you think he’s a great writer, a terrible one, or something in between. 

“the writer that came before him” was actually JMS, who quit halfway through his run on the book because he decided he didn’t want to bother finishing the story he had started, and moved to something else. THAT is unprofessional.   

That’s the version “JMS haters” WANT to believe. If you want believe this, i’m ok with that. 

@Dave O’Neill: “Like Alan Moore is going to fall at his feet grateful that the guy who wrote a Fables spin-off has decided he doesn’t need health insurance.”

Haha, you think DC covers its freelancers’ health insurance?

@Jason Green – freelance or not – he was willing to continue working for – and having his work published – by a company he couldn’t stand – he only said what he said after he got the boot.

@Cass – fired, let go, cancelled – Same difference. His book has been stopped. And same goes for the examples you used.

And with his fairest arc shut down – fired is the perfect term!!

The problem with Comic -ans is, that they love the creations – not the creator!

Or those debilos wouldn’t start to lambast Kirbys and Siegel/Shusters heirs for trying to rectify the bum deal their ancestors have gotten in their lifetime.

I applaud Mr. Roberson for his decision to never work for DC again.
Is it important that Alan Moore will not applaud this? (How do you know he won’t?).
No, it isn’t.
What is imprortant is that someone has the balls to do what is RIGHT.
I would have loved to see Mr. Robersons work on certain DC titles (f.e. his talent would have been just right for the LEGION – both books are a mess right now).
I should support this cause and never buy a DC or MARVEL book in my lifetime till this is solved – but, alas, I am WEAK – I need my comicfix. ‘shame on me’.

It’s good to see that Chris Robinson is standing up for his beliefs.

Sometimes I wish comics creators were more like Chris and start listening to the voice of reason rather than having a company like DC or Marvel telling you what is right and what is wrong.

I got enough migraine inducing melodrama in my own life, let alone worrying about who’s suing who and who has more principles and ethics than the next guy. Is it Wednesday yet so I can read my new comics?

@NewGuy: Glad to hear you don’t care SO MUCH that you felt the need to write a post telling everyone how much you don’t care.

Mr. Roberson, you are the man!

Very sad about IZombie. But to the rest of his comments I say, “Bah!” and “Flummery!” Are you a donkey, sir? By your own words, the incidents that provoked you to take your meaningless stand have nothing whatever to do with you or your work. You spit into the ocean, and with the expected results. Nonsense! DC continues is foolish and avoidable decline, and were you to say that you are jumping ship to save your career, then there would be some sense to such a declaration. But to have a fit of pique simply because the species soliciteur lītigāre acts according to its stripe is utter foolishness. Have you still your nose?! Bah!!

Why would anyone want to create comics? All employers want the creators to be is rented mules. And all the fans want are wage slaves cranking out their weekly fix. Art means nothing, and artists taking a stand in defense of other artists are calculating and disloyal losers, not the businessmen who screw them over with fine print.

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