Joe Keatinge On The Vertigo Comic He Didn’t Write

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Comic writer Joe Keatinge has spoken out about the comic Cyan, published today by DC Comics/Vertigo, on Tumblr. I reproduce his statement below. The bolding is mine.

Today sees the release of the first of four quarterly Vertigo CMYK anthologies. It has a Cyan cover.

The issue is advertised as featuring a collaboration between Ken Garing and me, with me on story and Ken on art, but there’s an issue with this and I felt the need to make it clear.

The story as published does not entirely reflect what we conceived and I originally wrote.

I’m going to make this as quick possible as there’s a lot going on in the world that actually matters, but I felt like, after the warm reception to SHUTTER and PLANETOID, some people reading this might buy comics with our names on them and thought it was unfair to them to not say something.

The quick gist is I was asked to contribute a story. I brought in Ken as INTERGALACTIC’s going to be a while and this would be a fun, quick way to get something by us out there. Vertigo via Editor Mark Doyle was very accommodating in allowing us to collaborate. Seemed like a good deal.

The story Ken and I conceived together, which I scripted, ended up coming back in a proof PDF where — despite Ken’s art looking even better than ever — our story and my dialog were drastically altered, specifically our ending. We were told by editorial that it was locked in and set for publication without further explanation as to what happened or why.

I need to be clear — Ken did an astonishing job with the art and the whole book is worth the price of admission for what he did alone. It’s absolutely beautiful and it’s truly an honor to work with him.

And the truth is maybe no one would ever notice. Maybe people will like the end result much more than what we wanted to do. Maybe it was the right call, but since it was contracted and solicited as an original work by the two of us I feel uncomfortable taking credit for it, despite how proud I am of everything Ken did and how great working with him is.

All this said, I think playing the blame game and vilifying people is childish and unnecessary, especially since I’m not even angry about this at this point. I remain only extremely disappointed its not what we set out to do from a story perspective, despite how wonderful the art is. Lesson learned. Moving on.

There a lot of good stuff in there and encourage you to check it out for those reasons, especially Ken’s artwork, but due to all this I’ll not be discussing this story any further at this time.

On Twitter, the following conversation ran between Keatinge and Vertigo editor Will Dennis,

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Will Dennis is really going to have to change his twitter ID soon…

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