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A recent Comic Book Resources interview with Joe Casey appears to have exposed a rift with his Butcher Baker, The Righteous Maker collaborator Mike Huddleston, who indicates the critically acclaimed, but much-delayed, series has come to an end.
Asked by CBR columnist Timothy Callahan about the nearly 10-month delay between the release of Issue 7 and Issue 8, which arrived in stores today, Casey said, “My TV workload is batshit crazy and I’ll completely cop to that, but it actually has nothing to do with the interminable wait between Butcher Baker #7 and #8. The fact is, Huddleston found himself in a tough spot, having over-committed himself beyond the point of rational thought. He fell way behind and there was nothing I could do about it. It’s frustrating as hell and, in my opinion, supremely embarrassing. It’s not helping the cause of creator-owned comic books when creators can’t keep their shit together. Going into this, I thought it would be a fun, breezy ride that I could kick back and get my rocks off doing every month. Turns out, I’ve had to learn some harsh lessons from the experience.”
Responding Tuesday to Casey’s remarks, which he characterized as “taking a moment to dump on me,” Huddleston wrote on Facebook, “Not to take a personal conflict public (although Joe wasn’t shy about giving his opinion via interview), but for the record: ‘overcommitment’ was not the issue with Butcher’s schedule. As much as I love Butcher Baker it was a project that just didn’t make enough money for me to live on. I had to take other work to keep the lights on and work on Butcher when I could. I’ve apologized to fans and to Joe for the delay.”
According to Bleeding Cool, Huddleston continued, “Yeah, I think that answers any questions about future collaborations … it’s too bad,” adding in reference to a question about the end of Butcher Baker that, “Yep, that’s the end. We haven’t been able to communicate on the trade either, so I think we are going to have the extra art, covers and pinups appear only in the European versions.”
Debuting in March 2011 from Image Comics, Butcher Baker, The Righteous Maker is a Superexploitation story that Casey described as “a twisted, adults-only, epic tale of deranged superfiction and two-lane blacktop mayhem” starring an all-American superhero who drives a big rig dubbed Liberty Belle.
Update: Callahan emailed this afternoon that in the second part of his interview, which will appear Monday on CBR, Casey indicates that Butcher Baker was always planned as an eight-issue miniseries.