Marz Talks Top Cow Exclusivity

Top Cow recently announced that “Witchblade” writer Ron Marz has signed an exclusive contract with the company for the next three years. As part of the deal, Marz is slated to continue his work in the Top Cow Universe with titles like Broken Trinity, as well as produce a number of creator-owned works under the Top Cow banner, the first of which is the recently debuted Dragon Prince. CBR News caught up with Marz to get the details on his upcoming projects.

There were a number of reasons Marz decided to put all of his eggs in one basket. “The majority of the projects I had lined up were going to be at Top Cow anyway,” the writer told CBR. “And they made a component of the deal an ability for me to come in and do a fairly regular stream of creator-owned work, which, frankly, you’re not going to find at most other publishers that do work-for-hire. And more than anything, probably the fact that I just enjoy working for those guys a hell of a lot. They’ve treated me great since day one. They have a fairly hands-off editorial policy, which means I can tell the stories that I want to tell in the way I want to tell them. And I like everybody I work with, so there really wasn’t a downside.”

Good news for fans of Marz’s “Witchblade” run: he and series artist Stjepan Sejic are going to be on the book through at least issue #150, well into the year 2010. “We’re going to be on it until at least #150, and probably longer because all of the ideas we’ve discussed, and the stories that we want to get to, probably won’t fit between now and 150,” Marz revealed. “We’ve got more stories to tell than space to tell it, so I suspect we’ll be on it longer than that. That’s the focus for the moment.”

“Witchblade” #121 is on stands now, and Marz told CBR News some details about the next major story arc. “The storyline that takes place starting in issue #125, up to issue #130 of ‘Witchblade,’ is going to be called ‘War of the Witchblades,’ which I guess is probably fairly self-explanatory in that Sara Pezzini and Dani Baptiste each have a Witchblade right now,” he explained. “And I think a lot of the projects that we haven’t revealed yet in the Top Cow universe are going to come out of that, so that will be a fairly watershed story arc for the book.”

When Marz was first given the opportunity to write for Top Cow, Witchblade was actually not his top choice: the character he really wanted to write was Magdalena. “Magdalena is a cool character. Visually, it’s great, the character makeup is really cool,” the writer said. Top Cow shunted the writer to “Witchblade,” but next year, Marz is finally going to get the opportunity to tell those stories in a new “Magdalena” series. “It’s going to pick up from where Magdalena is now, but we want it to be very much the kind of ground-floor read that my first ‘Witchblade’ arc was. We want it to be accessible to somebody that’s never looked at a Magdalena book before.”

CBR News recently spoke to Marz about “Dragon Prince,” the first of many creator-owned Ron Marz books Top Cow will publish. “We’ve got some other things lined up that they’re not actually prepared to announce yet,” he said. “We’ve got the concepts in place and have kind of huddled over what books we want to do at what point. We actually kind of nailed down release points, and even to a certain extent, creative teams, on these other projects [at Baltimore Comic-Con].”

Marz is slated to write about three Top Cow books per month on his end, although that may not result in three books on the stands month in and month out due to the nature of working so far ahead.

“Top Cow is going to be my home for three years and I’m really looking forward to it,” Marz said.

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