Louis Southard Vs Scout Comics Over Midnight Western Theatre

Louis Southard, co-creator with David Hahn of the comic book Midnight Western Theatre published at Scout Comics last year has let it be known that the series is no longer moving ahead with its television adaptation (as reported by Deadline) and any sequels. Previously Deadline had reported that "Scout Comics has partnered with Oren Segal's Management Production Entertainment to develop Louis Southard's comic book series, Midnight Western Theatre, for television—tapping Kevin Carroll to handle the adaptation."

In an open letter, Louis Southard writes "Hello "Midnight Western Theatre" Fans! Louis here to provide a very important and unfortunate update regarding the comic book series. Due to a disagreement between myself and Scout Comics, I have decided to step away from the project. That means all related media regarding the IP is on indefinite hiatus until the rights are returned in 2025. The greatest tragedy in this turn of events in my opinion was the loss of the sequel which featured a brand new creative team. It's sad to see the hard work of several collaborators I've grown to call friends go to waste. The good news is that we are hard at work on a new and even better book that will showcase our respective talents on full display! More on that as time goes on. Until then, I'd like to thank everyone who made this book a reality. Thank you to my co-creator and artist David Hahn, artist Butch Mapa, colorist Ryan Cody, colorist Sean Peacock, letterer Buddy Beaudoin, cover artist Kalman Andrasofszky, cover artist Juliane Griepp, editor Andrea Lorenzo Molinari, and all the folks at Scout Comics. I'd also like to thank YOU as well! Thank you for reading and supporting the wonderfully weird adventures of Ortensia the Woman in Black and Alexander Wortham the Reluctant Vampire. Thanks for giving goth cowboys a chance! I'll see you in the next book!"

Scout Comics CEO Brendan Deneen told Bleeding Cool in response, "On September 22nd, Louis reached out to our Editorial Director, asking about the MIDNIGHT WESTERN THEATRE trade paperback/collected edition. He was told that due to low direct market order numbers and the global paper shortage, we would be publishing the trade in Summer 2023. This revised publication date would maximize pre-orders via our numerous distribution channels, most notably the bookstore market through our deal with Simon & Schuster, which works on a much different schedule than comic book stores. That same night, without mentioning his concern about the trade paperback publication date, Louis emailed myself and James Haick (President of Scout), asking to be let out of his contract despite the fact that the sequel comic was in production and a television show was in active development, a deal that I secured. I was extremely surprised by his request and naturally denied it. We have put a lot of time, effort and money into this series. Additionally, we have a significant amount of MWT stock in our warehouse. We regret that Louis has gone down this inexplicable path but the contract will run its legal course. If he wishes to sabotage the TV series, that is his right. But we will continue to sell our existing stock, and we wish him the very best with the rest of his career."

Louis Southard Vs Scout Comics Over Midnight Western Theater
Midnight Western Theatre

I have never heard such thanks or such wellness, wished from both parties with quite as much subtextual venom before… other creators involved with the comic have shared their take. David Hahn retweeted the news but a few had things to say.

Butch Mapa: Onward to more success @louisjsouthard !!!

Kalman Andrasofszky: An update on Midnight Western Theatre. Can't really hit "like" on this, but I can spread the word.

Buddy Beaudoin: I'm gonna miss lettering Ortie and the gang. If you've never read the original series, get on it. It rules.

Sean Peacock: So the cats out of the bag! I was the colorist on a new arc of Midnight Western Theatre which was to be published by Scout. Sadly, that book will not be hitting shelves, but we've got something new in the works!

I wonder if it will all come out in the wash?

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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