Stjepan Šejić is the rare comic book creator that straddles the various kingdoms of the comics industry with ease. He has long been a fan-favorite creator in the webcomics world, from his days of releasing his romance/erotica/BDSM series Sunstone on DeviantArt for free to now, as he begins to serialize comics on social media. Stjepan Šejić spent time as a go-to work-for-hire artist in the indie comics world with his work at Top Cow properties, Rat Queens from Image, and an array of covers at Zenescope. He has also made a name for himself with his own creations including Death Vigil and Ravine in print through Image. The writer/artist has even conquered mainstream comics, bringing his trademark, character-focused style to DC Comics with their Harleen Black Label series that reinvented Harley Quinn. Šejić planned to follow Harleen up, at one point, with Isley, a Poison Ivy-focused series, but it seems that may never happen.
Stjepan Šejić took to Facebook to announce his departure from mainstream comics on the tail of a new Harleen short. He wrote:
today i've delivered a short [Harleen] story to DC and with it my adventures with the mainstream comic industry are done:
this means i won't be doing any more work for hire stuff. i've had my fill, it's time to move on
it was a wonderful time but i'm almost 40 now and i gotta think of my own creations.
from now on my work will all be delivered as webcomics first, be it through patreon, deviantart, webtoons, tapas or my own future website. once volumes are completed they will be published in printed format with top cow.
i prefer the webcomic format. it makes me happy to see my readers get their frequent chunks of story and get excited about it. so i will be sticking with it permanently from now on.
like i said this has no impact on my printed versions of said comics. they will be published as graphic novels only.
so…. here's to the next few decades. i hope the body will have the strength to create what the mind can imagine. see you all online. things are gonna get real fun!
If folks are wondering the cause of the departure after the success of Harleen, Stjepan Šejić didn't elaborate but tweeted that he may be more forthcoming if you catch him live:
it's a too long and complicated answer for twitter, honestly i'd suggest you drop by on one of my streams and ask me there. there are a lot of moving parts to this whole thing
It's not hard to figure it out, though. While it may be fun to play in other sandboxes like with Harleen, the success of Stjepan Šejić's creator-owned work makes him a rare breed in the comics industry. Sunstone is, after all, Top Cow's highest-ordered title ever.
Though it's sad that Isley and more Harleen will most likely never happen, Stjepan Šejić attached to this Facebook statement covers of his original works, which include, of course, his magnum opus Sunstone, but also promise new works with Fine Print and The Queen and the Woodborn.
Personally, I believe this is a great move from one of the most talented creators in the business. You can read more about that final short Harleen story Stjepan Šejić mentioned, which may well be his final DC Comics work, here.