Cult-favorite writer Priest recently resurfaced from self-imposed exile to talk about the cancellation of his Marvel book, The Crew on his weblog.
"By now you know CREW was cancelled. That just kind of got the dominoes falling, both emotionally and financially, as I was kind of stunned that this book, in which Editor Tom Brevoort and Artist Joe Bennett and I had all become so emotionally invested, was getting the ax mere weeks after the first issue hit the stand. Being Priest, I have, of course, had books yanked from under me before but this one had so much energy and Joe and I were just clicking and the characters were coming alive and so many good ideas were being tossed about the office, that, well, speaking for myself, I took it pretty hard."
Priest says that he couldn�t bring himself to discuss The Crew in any forum after hearing the news. While he doesn�t blame Marvel for the cancellation he says he wishes the company would have given the book more of a chance. "The best of that series hadn't even made it into scripts yet. My impression was Marvel was more committed to the book than they apparently were. Otherwise, I'd have never paced the series the way we did, with the slow rollout of the individual heroes. Heroes we invested a great deal of time and energy and a great deal of ourselves into. And just as the kids are starting to walk on their own and talk and breathe and become, well, important to us, we get the news that, without having made any effort whatsoever to sell the book, it's been deemed a failure and summarily cancelled. It didn't seem fair.
"It just seemed, to me, the book's demise was a little pre-ordained."
According to Priest, the emotional blow of the cancellation prompted him to seriously evaluate his 25 years in the comic book business. He figured 25 years was more than enough. Then he got a phone call that changed his mind. "Tom called and said two words nobody in comics has ever said to me. I was all prepared with the nice, �Look, Tom, thanks, but, really, I don't think I can do the new Rhino miniseries,� when Tom said two words that left me, literally, speechless. Some guy holds a gun, �Decide - you in comics or out - NOW!�
Priest says that he�s in for now. "In the meantime, the sucking chest wound of the CREW cancellation has dulled to a throb, low enough for me to at least sit up straight.
"To everybody I've kept waiting - I'm sorry. It's been a terrible, terrible summer for me. But things are looking up..."
As for those two magic words.. Priest�s not talking. "If you don't know the two words, I probably shouldn't tell you what they are yet. I never know when things are made public (in fact, I am often the last to know), so I'll wait for Marvel to do its thing."
There had been some speculation that the two words are New X-Men, but Priest recently shot this rumor down on his blog when one poster said he deserved a shot at a high profile X-series. "Those ain't the two words. But they are two damned good words. Two nobody else ever said to me, that's for sure."