Launching in November of 2018 from Skybound, John Layman's next big title after Chew was Outer Darkness, a strange mix of humor, sci-fi, and horror with Afu Chan on art. The series ran for 12 issues, collected in two trades, before launching into the Outer Darkness / Chew miniseries that ran 3 issues. However, the crossover seems to be Outer Darkness' last hurrah as John Layman tweeted last week that Outer Darkness had been ended by Skybound, known best for founder Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead.
Starting with a tweet last Wednesday, about issue #3 will be the last issue of the crossover:
Today sees the release of OUTER DARKNESS/CHEW #3. Written long before the conception of CHU, this was supposed to be the final story of Tony Chu and John Colby. Instead, it's the final issue of OUTER DARKNESS. Picks yours up and say goodbye! pic.twitter.com/UqdClJpgqC
— LAYMAN (@themightylayman) June 24, 2020
When asked why this would also be the last issue, Layman, in a now-deleted tweet, said Skybound had informed him that sales meant Skybound didn't want to go forward with more. Layman asked his fans to not bombard Skybound with anger over the ending, as he completely understood their reasoning, but the tweet prompted several angry responses leading to its deletion. Unlike Chew, Outer Darkness is not owned and trademarked by Layman, but by Skybound, meaning the decision to end the series lay with Robert Kirkman's Skybound LLC.
Despite a strong start, the second print of issue #1, a second print for the crossover with Chew #1 issue, and promotion at SDCC, the series will not be going on from Skybound, and according to Layman Outer Darkness / Chew serves as a final story for Tony Chu, the star of Layman's acclaimed creator-owned Image series Chew, that ended with issue 60 back in November 2016. However going forward Layman has the new series Chu, serving as a prelude for Chew and staring Tony Chu's sister Saffron. Layman has been showing the variant covers that have been lined up for the new series on Twitter:
Files for CHU #1 are all at Image, and next week it goes to the printer. A couple of retailers did exclusive variants. Here's the @stadiumcomics variant by @DanBoultwoodEsq, based on the Detective 38 cover.
— LAYMAN (@themightylayman) June 26, 2020
Chu #1 arrives in comic book stores on July 15th.