At the weekend, Bleeding Cool discovered that Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and Image Comics founder Rob Liefeld's collaborative book for Image, The Infinite, had been cancelled, as neither party was willing to move forward on the book as the other wished it.
Creative differences were blamed, with Rob Liefeld citing plans to use an inker causing a rift between Kirkman and Liefeld on the comic. The book was already running late, four issues solicited but nothing In December and January as planned.
But which inker? And why a rift?
Here's a comparison between Liefeld's pencils and the inked pages.
What was clear was though the layouts were all Rob, the inked art was very much different. Rob Liefeld added that he would re-ink bits and change certain faces with patches such as the below;
But it seems for Robert Kirkman the overall look just wasn't Rob Liefeldy enough – and that's the specific look he wanted for this comic – and the one he thought he was getting. Liefeld stated, through a number of posts…
I gave pages to both MAC and Canaan, they did a great job. Kirkman did not feel the same. We argued and went back and forth, put a pretty bitter taste in my mouth.
No one has told me how to present my work in 25 years, I'm
Pretty fed up over the whole debacle.
As a fan I have always loved seeing artists work through the eyes of a variety of inkersvand finishers. Byrne inked by Austin looks different than inked by Layton, looks different than inked by Ordway, but at the end of the day, it's still Byrne.
Sorry, I can't produce timely work if I'm told to re-draw pages that I LOVE.
My life is not set up for that.
If I want to evolve my work, expand it, alter the way it looks, without limiting the amount of detail than that's what I will do. I can't have the terms of my art dictated to.
The storytelling was approved, the final line art was rejected. The stalemate went on a month. Where are the fans who want their product being served if the production pipeline is shut down.
This does not happen at the corporations I work with. In fact in my 25 years it has never happened.
Yeah, this is a really sour experience. Seriously…..nah….bites tongue.
Again, I run my books the same all over and I have pursued being on time, getting books out as having the most value. From DPC to Hawk and Dove, the 1st rule, every page can't be a masterpiece, just can't. 2nd rule, if it can't be a masterpiece, at least make it presentable, make it interesting.
These pages accomplish that, and then some…they are great pages. No they do not adhere to a strict Liefeld line art, but they fit in and belong in the wheelhouse.
This is the second project between Liefeld and M.A.C. that has been cancelled mid production, the previous one was SMASH Vs Supreme from… a fair few years ago.