Top Cow’s Flagship, ‘Witchblade’, is Cancelled After 20 years, Stjepan Sejic Goes Exclusive with the Publisher, and Think Tank to be Televised?

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witchblade185Top Cow President and COO, Matt Hawkins, has always been extrememly open and candid, both in person and on social media, which is why I was not surprised when he went on Facebook to talk of Witchblade‘s cancellation, and a little Think Tank news.

Think Tank is a personal book for Hawkins, and you can tell he’s excited to bring it back, even if it means the publisher has to cancel Witchblade to make room for it. The book’s flagship title, Witchblade has been in print for an even two decades, spawning a television series in 2001–2002, as well as an anime series, a manga series, and a novel.

This is big news for the publisher, an independent series rarely lasts this long, and every creative team involved should be applauded, but Hawkins stressed that the book isn’t gone for good, and if there is enough interest, a creator with a new take on the character, or if a film or television show happens.

As Hawkins’ Postal collaborator, Isaac Goodhart, mentions in a comment on the post, “Hey Matt, don’t forget that X-Men was canceled and revived once.” You have to remember that The Darkness was also cancelled two years ago, so other than Aphrodite IX, many of the publisher’s key titles are gone as they take the company in new and exciting directions. Hawkins gets into the nitty gritty of publisher economics, and it is all very interesting, but these quotes give the gist of the story.

So why is Think tank being relaunched now? During the book’s “hiatus” we sold a lot of trades, a lot of people found the book through our digital providers and suddenly the readership pool was almost double what it once was. Rahsan and I started talking new arcs and we decided to go color to make it even more attractive to potential readers (I heard all the time from people that they don’t read black and white books). So we’re relaunching Think Tank in September in color. All of this happened before I knew we’d set it up in TV.

So I’m sure some of you’ve figured it out but yes this ties into the cancellation of Witchblade with issue 185. It wasn’t an easy decision, we all love that character, her story helped carry this company into its third decade. We don’t as a sales strategy cancel books then relaunch them at #1. We haven’t done it with The Darkness:Rebirth and that books been gone for a couple years now…but if we found the right creators and a fresh take we’d certainly consider it. It’s actually far easier to keep a title going than to launch a new one. With Witchblade, we really felt like it was time to try something different. For those of you saddened by this news, know that we are as well. Sara’s stories will live on and if there is another film or TV series I imagine given the history of the character it would be most likely be based on her story.

 

You can read the rest on his Facebook page, and it is well worth the read.

He also alluded in this post, as well as one earlier in the week, that Think Tank has been optioned as a television series, so that’s news as well. There have been rumors swirling about Think Tank and Postal both getting adaptations, and I think this post clears it up a bit.

Well, well, so it seems we’ll have not ONE but TWO announcements for TV series being picked up based on some of our stuff. Expect formal announcements soon, but since I’m not allowed to reveal it just yet let me just tell you that you can “think your tank is in the mail.” =p Shhh.

In other Top Cow news, Aphrodite IX artist Stjepan Sejic has signed an exclusive contract with the publisher. Unfortunately, this means that Rat Queens will be needing a new artist, but it will be better for Sejic as health issues have been plaguing him making it hard for him to keep so many deadlines. He made these comments on the CBR messageboards:

“Truth is, this was a bad year for me health-wise,” Sejic wrote. “As you will soon see in my letter of apology for lateness in “IXth Generation” #4… I ignored my thyroid condition until it threw my liver out of whack and I spent the last two months in perpetual nausea. I believe ‘Rat Queens’ fans deserve better than a delay after delay on such a wonderful book so I offered to step down. Luckily, I am to be replaced by a wonderfully skilled artist.”

So it’s been a big day for Top Cow.

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