Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey have commented on Wednesday's announcement that they'll leave Marvel's Moon Knight after August's Issue 6, with the artist revealing he's taking a break from monthly comics.
Part of the publisher's All-New Marvel NOW! initiative, Moon Knight debuted solidly in March, landing in Diamond's Top 20 and earning praise for both the characterization by Ellis and the art by Shalvey and colorist Jordie Bellaire (she'll remain on the series).
"Issue 1 went to three printings, and 2 and 3 went to two printings, and so I consider that a job reasonably well done," Ellis wrote in his email newsletter. "The job has been, simply, reactivating Moon Knight as a productive property for the Marvel IP library. And, in personal terms, producing six single stories that held together, because I thought it would be amusing to provide a book that could be entered at any point and still give the reader a complete experience. Which goes against the grain a bit, because the modern commercial-comics reader has been very much entrained to expect long arcs rather than singles. I’m sure there are plenty of complaints out there about the lack of character arcs or long stories. But the book is still getting bought and reordered. So I guess we found an audience after all."
On his blog, Shalvey said the departure of Ellis left him with the choice of working with another writer or making way for a new creative team. "No matter who took over as the writer, if I stayed on the collaboration just wouldn’t be the same," he wrote, "and there would be a change in the work as a result, which would probably be unfairly blamed on the writer. I felt it would be better to step aside with Warren, leaving on a high note, making our run ‘Moon Knight Season One’ and let a new team do their own thing right from the first issue of the new arc."
Shalvey said he'll use the opportunity to take a breather from the monthly grind. "I’ve been busting my arse non-stop for the past 4 years at Marvel, as well as short stints at DC, Dark Horse, etc. I’m taking a holiday, doing some short stories (including a Murder Book story with Ed Brisson) I’ve long promised to folk, some cover work and after that, we’ll see," he wrote. "I had something planned, but it looks like that won’t happen for a while. In any case, I’m just gonna take a little break from monthly mainstream comics and work on something of my own."
Brian Wood and Greg Smallwood will begin their run on Moon Knight with September's Issue 7. Moon Knight #4, by Ellis, Shalvey and Bellaire, is in stores now.