Robot 6

Butcher Baker, The Righteous Maker has ended, apparently [Updated]

Butcher Baker, The Righteous Maker #8

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.



This makes me a sad panda.

why do professionally have to sling shit on each other like this? it’s bad enough that fans are constantly at each other’s throats over nothing – stuff like this should be talked about privately and spoken about amicably to the press.


@ urghhh – Because they are human like the fans. Sometimes doing nothing is the toughest thing, so going the whole “No Comment” route just doesn’t cut it when you feel like you were kneecapped, slighted, or what have you.

Unfortunately, for an artist, no book is just a “fun, breezy ride” that you can “kick back” and do every month. It’s just as time-consuming (possibly more) to draw a book you love as one you hate, haha. Mike’s work on this book was amazing, it’s clear how much he enjoyed drawing it!

Yeah, that’s a bummer. It’s no fun to hear about creators butting heads, I’m sure it happens a lot, but it seems like Casey could have stifled himself a bit. Huddleston’s reasons for the delay seem pretty legit, gotta put food on the table right?

A couple of good issues and the rest has been a waste of time. I have grown tired of this pattern, be it with Casey, Millar, or whoever.

Broken promise to the reader.

Let’s make a list of recent ones… feel free to join in.

Butcher Baker
Lady Mechanika
War Heroes

I can’t believe people bought Ultimate Wolverine / Hulk after the long delays…

Thanks for taking my money and failing to deliver.

Tom Fitzpatrick

August 15, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Is War Heroes really dead? Thought that the remaing 3 issues was being worked on.

Maybe not necessarily part of the list, but the feud between Gaiman & McFarlane, Kirkman & Moore is the stuff of which epic legal battles are the stuff of legends. How about heirs of Siegals & DC, or heirs of Kirbys & Marvel-DC?

Who really suffers?

This comic was great. Sucks it has too end on a sour note. I enjoy both creators work. I should have known something this good couldnt last!

:( I went from super elated that it was out and was such an awesome read and visual feast to bummed the hell out.

Big fan, but.. “didn’t make enough money for me to live on” is a reality, and this whole “new paradigm” thing doesn’t really address how often comics just aren’t viable as a primary job for some very talented artists. And since people who read tons of webcomics online don’t seem to care about things like craft I find it hard to believe this will change soon.

Image putting out one of their tease ads with Butcher Baker on it with the word Patience under it for just one more issue and now saying it was meant to be an 8 issue mini?

Yeah, not buying that one.

Casey really could’ve kept his mouth shut here, and BB – even if this 8 issue run was always intended – could’ve evolved into more miniseries or whatever, But no, he has to call out Huddleston on how professional he is when the guy wasn’t making enough money off of a creator-owned project. Like he thought Huddleston had an ego-trip kind of thing going on. Casey should’ve remembered not EVERYONE is working in television and doing enough shows with Man of Action to keep themselves out of the red. Grow the f**k up, Joe.

I’m a big fan of Joe Casey’s work, but he seems to be embroiled in a lot of controversy these days. He should lay off the expletives, refrain from all the empty hype surrounding his projects (was Butcher Baker anything but hype and awesome visuals provided by Huddleston?), and just create a consistently great book that a whole lot of people want to read (e.g. his legendary run on Wildcats.) Sorry for sounding so negative, and Joe can do whatever he wants, obviously, but at this stage I do believe that he needs a project that isn’t mired in controversy, that comes out on time and appeals to critics as well as a sizeable readership. Oh, and I’d like to see Automatic Kafka collected at some point in the not-so-distant future, pretty-please.

I haven’t read this book, but I have been a fan of Joe Casey in the past. I have a huge affection for his Wildcats run (particularly Version 3.0), and the Intimates (and to a lesser extent G0dland). This seems like Joe Casey has acted like a punk. In these recessionary times, it isn’t easy to make a living. If drawing Joe Casey’s book isn’t allowing him to do that, it isn’t unreasonable for Huddleston to look for other work which will.

Airing this sort of disagreement in public doesn’t help anyone.

It always stink when creators do not see eye to eye.

And Joe is only hunan, while I feel bad for Mike as far as what was said here, perhaps something a little less harsh might have been in order.

While I slightly mourn the loss of this book, I have to say rereading issue 8, it felt like both Casey and Huddleston phoned it in. It ended with a whimper not the bang-bang it could have.

Oh well.

I’ve always viewed new Joe Casey projects with excitement, and usually end up bored or disappointed with them. I dropped BB months ago. I hate it when creators act like this, and I know it will have zero effect on his livelihood, but I will not buy any more Casey books.

@Rich – I totally agree with you!

Joe Casey slagging off another comics professional IN PUBLIC?

That’s damn unprofessional.

Joe Casey is obviously insecure and in need of attention, if he’s doing something like that. I mean, this guy has TV work (like Ben 10) and CAN afford to work on low-selling books. The artist couldn’t. Maybe if Casey had been more empathetic, things could’ve worked out better.

Then again, perhaps if Casey bothers to create books that do sell well, maybe his artists will stay on the book AND be able to feed their families at the same time. Has Casey ever put out a high-selling comic book – ever???

It’s reading stuff like this – that is, reading about a creator’s personality behind their comics, what they’re like as a person – that actually puts me off about comics. I long for the days when I knew zero about the lives of the people behind the books I bought.

Now I’ve read this about Joe Casey and what a twat he is, I won’t be supporting any of his future work. And I’ll be taking what I do already own of his and leaving it in the charity shop or paper recycling bin.

This is why, IMO, this serialized format of comic books is outdated and has outlived it’s initial purpose.

If “Butcher Baker” was supposedly an eight issue mini-series as Casey says, then why not just make it a graphic novel from the very beginning? What’s the purpose of spitting out chapters of the story in single issues?

If comic book writers and artists continue to create series that are essentially novels, then take a clue from real published novels. Publishers give the money up front to creators (like they do to writers of prose novels) so the artist has something to live on while creating the work. Then when ALL the work is finished, it’s published in one format so the readers can read it as intended, all at once.

Everyones happy.
The writer & artist, because they were able to sustain a living while creating to work.
The readers because they don’t have to wait for the next chapters.

Making someone feel smaller and bad, so you can look bigger and self righteous? Way to go Joe Casey!

@ Tom Fitzpatrick. Sometimes, those feuds are legit – as in the case of the Kirby/Marvel, Siegel/DC. Those are about creator rights.

Everything else you mention? Probably all self-worth issues… as in, people needing something outside of themselves, to give them a sense of self-worth, for no apparent reason other than feeling the buzz from all the press attention. Like, “hey look at all the attention I’m getting, I’m important again”. Yuck.

@Richard Marcej,

That’s a nice Utopian ideal there, but you do realize that the stark, naked economic reality of the comic book industry make that damned unlikely bordering on nigh impossible, right? Especially when talking about books from smaller, independent publishers.


No, it’s not a Utopian ideal, it’s reality.

The comic industry (not including self publishing creators) have wanted to be treated as “REAL” publishers for years. Well, it’s time for them to shit or get off the pot.

Marvel & DC are owned by huge corporations that have plenty of money to treat their properties as real publishing periodicals. Until recently, in the last 10 – 20 years, monthly comic books were nothing more than short, quick reads of entertainment and for their most part, were priced to reflect that. But now, we have these monthly outputs that produce a story with no beginning, middle or end and are only a part of a larger story. And in turn, those are priced way out of whack from the consumer gets for his money. And I’m not even mentioning the inabilities for the creators to get their monthly work done in time.

If they want to write/draw large, 8 part stories, then do what real novelists and novel publishers do.

As for smaller, independent publishers, well kalorama, you’re talking to one. You know what I have to do? I have to work two jobs, one to have money to live on and the other to write and draw my comics, to get by. (so I know exactly what Mike’s talking about)

I’m currently writing and drawing a large story that will be a graphic novel (along with my daily comic strip) because to chop it up as a monthly/bi-monthly/quarterly comic would be a total waste of time & money.

You’re wrong in your assessment, it’s not nigh impossible or unlikely. What it requires is a lot of time and hard work and sacrificing much of a personal life.

Looking at it from Casey’s point of view, wouldn’t have the artist known going in that this was going to be a “whenever I get a free minute from my real work” sorta gig? And if that wasn’t made clear to Casey, then, yeah, Joe Casey totally has a point here.

As for keeping this private, we’re in an age of digitally-enhanced transparency and twitter-pated narcissism. Why wouldn’t he take his chagrin to the wifi-enabled spectrum and let us all in on the inner goings? It’s what we all crave, right? I mean, we’re here on this blog, aren’t we?

What they want and what is realistically, economically viable for them to do are two completely different things. The realities of the economics of the comics industry simply don’t support the model you’re talking about, no matter how much we’d all like to see it.

And this:

“As for smaller, independent publishers, well kalorama, you’re talking to one. You know what I have to do? I have to work two jobs, one to have money to live on and the other to write and draw my comics, to get by. ”

Pretty much proves my point.

There comes a point in an adult’s life where she or he doesn’t want to have to “sacrific(e) much of a personal life” in order to make a living. That may be okay when you’re young and single and have few outside, real world obligations. But not everyone is in that position, and that includes most of the people producing the kind of work you were complaining about.

That notwithstanding, the financial issues I was addressing weren’t those of the creators so much as those of the publishers. The economic base of the comics industry isn’t strong enough to support an across the board business model based on paying talent up front advances and deferring any hope of profit until several months or as long as a year (or more) until a hundred plus-page story is completed. It’s simply not financially viable for most publishers. That’s basic business reality.

Sonofabitch! :(


August 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Wow, people have a skewed perception of reality.

Joe Casey, if you read the whole interview, is just a guy who uses a lot of hyperbole and amped-up language when he talks

Huddleson on the other hand, goes on Facebook and talks about Joe “dumping on” him and announces that the project is over. Incredibly unprofessional, and smacks of being a crybaby. Not to mention, since this is a creator owned book – it leave Casey with no other way to finish the book or get the book out in trade from, complete. So Huddleson has blockaded the entire project because he’s miffed. Child-like does not even begin to describe that kind of behavior

DeleteMyComment– Joe’s comments were unprofessional and totally “uncool” on a personal level. No matter how he phrased it, he blames Mike for the delay. You just don’t do that unless you want to piss of your collaborator and end the working relationship. Why are folks excusing Joe’s behavior anyway? He blew it. Mike could have reacted any number of ways but in the end, he’s justified in no longer wanting to work with someone who will throw him under the bus in a public forum.

Casey: “My TV workload is batshit crazy”

Wow… hello Mister Big Stuff ;)

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