Jeffrey Whitelaw talked to Chris Roberson at ECCC for Bleeding Cool;
Saturday at the ECCC Vertigo: New Blood panel, in a story that is familiar to Vertigo readers, it was announced that IZombie is ending. Bleeding Cool has a reputation for announcing the cancellation of Vertigo titles at comic conventions but I was curious about the decision, so on Sunday I decided to track down the creators of the book, Chris Roberson and Mike Allred, to see if I could get any insight.
After searching for a couple hours, I finally tracked Roberson down after a panel.
JW: Why is IZombie ending?
CR: Because Vertigo canceled it.
JW: Is it sales, or..
CR: Yeah, yeah… I mean, any creator owned book at a big house like that, it's a question of when not if it's going to be canceled. So, luckily, I'd seen the writing on the wall so I was able to plan out far enough in advance.
JW: How far out did you plan?
CR: I'd been waiting for the shoe to drop for at least a year. The thing was, I knew it was coming, so about a year ago I started structuring the story so that we could wrap up the story we wanted to tell. I didn't know how many we would have, I was guessing we would get to thirty, maybe, and we got it to twenty-eight, so we could make it work.
JW: Is there anything else you want to say about that?
CR: It's been great working with Allred, I have nothing but good things to say about Shelly Bond, and Greg Lockard, and Karen Berger.
JW: Any chance you'll work with Allred in the future?
CR: Yeah, maybe.
JW: Great, thank you so much
After concluding with Roberson, I headed to Allred's booth. After a short wait in line, he was nice enough to talk to me.
JW: Can you tell me why the book is ending?
MA: Oh, yeah, it's the conclusion of the story.
Roberson probably would have stretched it out more, but what we talked about was the pacing, and we felt, we, me, Chris, and Shelly, our editor, wanted it to be crisper. Let's get to it, let's make it happen.
JW: Do you have anything else to add?
MA: Yeah, I'm really proud of it, and I'm really glad to see it all collected together, and I think it's a phenomenal story, and I hope we can do something else together .
JW: Awesome. Thank you.
So there you have it. I think the reasoning behind the book's ending came down to a combination of the two factors mentioned above. The creators had an end in mind, sales were low, and so they decided to pursue it. I'm sad to see it go, but 28 is a really, really good number for a Vertigo series. We can only hope that the two creators work together again in the future.