Following the debut today of Vertigo Quarterly: CMYK, a four-issue anthology series from the DC Comics imprint, writer Joe Keatinge was quick to speak out about his collaboration in the first issue with artist Ken Garing, which he says was substantially rewritten by editorial without any consultation with him.
“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,” Keatinge wrote on his blog. “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.”
He explained that he was approached to contribute a story to Vertigo Quarterly, and he looped in Garing, with whom he’s working on an upcoming series. Vertigo editor Mark Doyle was “very accommodating,” Keatinge said, but upon receiving a mock-up of the completed story the writer discovered it had been changed significantly — without consultation or an opportunity for him to address the issues Vertigo sought to address.
“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,” Keatinge wrote. “We were told by editorial that it was locked in and set for publication without further explanation as to what happened or why.”
While he speculated that “maybe it was the right call, ” Keatinge stated feeling “uncomfortable” being credited for writing the story, given the editorial changes.
Shortly after the writer’s post, Vertigo Group Editor Will Dennis took to Twitter to admonish him for going public with the situation, stating “Joe, really saddened that you’d go this route. I heard you’d worked it out professionally w/ [Doyle] guess not.”
A brief Twitter conversation followed between Keatinge and Dennis, with the editor saying the writer didn’t relate “nearly the whole story,” and that Keatinge’s post would detract from “all the hard work everyone put” into the issue.
ROBOT 6 reached out to both Keatinge and DC Entertainment for comment; Keatinge referred to his blog post as his final statement, and DC declined to comment.
(via Bleeding Cool)