Okay. I just this second got the go-ahead from Nick Lowe to talk about this. So here we go:
Sales on the singles are okay, if not great. Sales on the first collection have apparently been terrific.
We were on such a roll with NEXTWAVE that I was actually into the idea of doing a second year, which is highly unusual for me and work-for-hire properties. So Marvel sat down and looked at the numbers, as they wanted to do a second year too.
What they found was that, at our current sales levels, they could afford for me to write it, but not for Stuart to draw it. Stuart, as a Marvel-exclusive artist, commands a fee commensurate with his astonishing talent. I’m WFH-exclusive too, but they just send me whisky and loose women and I’m fine. So, basically, I could continue to write NEXTWAVE, but we’d need to find another artist. This, to me, was just wrong. I mean, Stuart would obviously be given a far better job that had actual readers attached to it, but it still seemed a bit like the numbers were conspiring to fire him for doing his job too well. Everyone at Marvel pitched in to try and make it work, but the numbers were just against us.
So NEXTWAVE #12 will be the final issue of the ongoing series.
(To clear up a common misconception: NEXTWAVE was always pitched as an ongoing series. However, my original intent was to do 12 and then pass it on to someone else. This got garbled, somewhere down the chain of communication, and so the first issue or two got solicited as “part xxx of 12″.)
However. The numbers game changes when you posit things in terms of limited series.
NEXTWAVE #12 will be the last issue of the ongoing series: but there will be more NEXTWAVE to come, presented as a sequence of limited series.
This was all worked out some months ago, so I had plenty of time to work the final NEXTWAVE sequence into a conclusion of sorts. #11 even features a twelve-page spread that you’ll have to buy six copies of the comic to assemble into its full splendour. Everyone wishes I’d thought of that eight or nine months ago.
That was the news. Return to your duties.
(feel free to copy and spread far and wide, thereby saving me the job.)