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Nature v. Nurture Vol. 1 (4)

NATURE V. NURTURE: A Greg Rucka Newsletter
Volume 1. Issue 4.

The “Who Said Anything About Panicking? This Is Just The Culture Shock…” Edition.

THE WIDE WORLD OF DC COMICS

Which means, for those of you who don’t read my comics work, or who do read my comics work but don’t read my DC work, you can probably just delete this newsletter right now.

This is for the rest of you, especially you fans of Gotham Central.

The solicitations for the February DC offerings were released Monday evening. Several web-sites got this information in advance, and in typical style, couldn’t wait to break the news. They call this journalism, incidentally. They need to grow the hell up.

Be that as it may, it took no time at all for people to notice the words “FINAL ISSUE” had been attached to a great many DC titles in their solicitations. In some cases, those two words were associated with books that people had no reason to expect would be ending. In two cases, the words were associated with titles I am currently writing: Wonder Woman and Gotham Central.

The Internet being what it is, and comic fandom being what it is, there’s been a lot of speculation and acrimony and gnashing of teeth and placing of blame. I’m sending this out to set the record straight on Gotham Central. Matt Brady at Newsarama.com is running an interview with me on the subject, scheduled to go up Tuesday, as well.

I am not talking about Wonder Woman except to confirm that, yes, #226 is my last issue on the title. That sound you hear is the DCMB exploding with delight. I’ll have more to say on this subject later (leaving Wonder Woman, not the DCMB—I think my opinion on that subject is well-known).

As to Gotham Central, it’s important to me that people understand the how and why of the decision to end the series. Please note, I said “end,” and not “cancel.” There’s a world of difference between the two—in the former, it’s the creative team’s decision; in the latter, it’s the publisher’s.

It was my decision to end Gotham Central with issue #40. In point of fact, DC wanted to continue the title, and I had been given multiple assurances that the book would continue for as long as I wished to keep writing it. Given the low sales numbers of the title—and despite all of the critical acclaim and devotion of its fan-base, the numbers remained low—that’s quite a testimony from DC, and one that I will always be grateful for. DC stood behind Central, and while there were problems (namely in the scheduling of trades of the series), I really have very little to complain about with regard to how they treated the title. We lasted far, far longer than we should’ve, given the nature of the market.

When Gotham Central began, it began as a joint effort between myself, Ed Brubaker, and Michael Lark. We viewed the title as a shared work, one that we were inordinately proud of, and one that we viewed very much as “ours.” With Michael’s departure to Marvel, followed by Ed’s shortly thereafter, I found myself in the awkward position of continuing the book without either of them around. While Kano and Stefano Gaudiano have done a tremendous job on the art since Michael’s departure—and while Steve Lieber’s two fill-in issues have been, in my opinion, some of the best work Steve’s ever done—at the end of the day, I couldn’t help but feel—for lack of a better word—unfaithful. Continuing Central without Ed and Michael felt like a betrayal.

With the “one year later” move at DC, ending with #40 was a perfect place, and I feel I’ve written an appropriate resolution to the series. The characters (most of them, anyway) will continue to live on in Gotham City, and it’s my sincere hope that you’ll be seeing the cops we’ve established and developed appearing in other “Bat-related” titles.

It’s not easy giving up Central. Like Wonder Woman and Queen & Country, it’s a title dear to my heart, and one that I think was unique. I honestly feel it had some of my best writing in any medium in it. It is a title that I am going to miss.

But it is also one that I could not, in good conscience, continue without Ed and Michael’s presence.

I want to thank everyone who was a fan of the book for their faith and support. Additionally, I have to thank not just Kano and Stefano, but also Lee Loughridge for his wonderful coloring work, and Clem Robins who is one of the most talented and thoughtful letterers it’s ever been my pleasure to work with. With Matt Idelson and Nachie Castro editing, these are the people who made Gotham Central come to life each month.

The final story arc begins with Central #38, a story entitled “Corrigan II.” I hope you enjoy it, and once again, thank you for giving me the opportunity to write about the men and women of the GCPD who serve in the shadow of the bat.

Best,

Greg