This weekend at the Museum of Cartoon and Comic Art Festival in New York City, a fan approached comics creator Raina Telgemeier's table. After congratulating her on her current projects (Smile and her husband/collaborator Dave Roman's upcoming Avatar Movie Prequel manga), the fan asked a simple question: When will we see the next volume of X-Men Misfits, Telgemeier, Roman and Anzu's shojo manga remix of Marvel's super-mutant team? The answer? Not anytime soon, and maybe not ever.
So @Ahavah22 sent me a tweet on Sunday afternoon:
Save X-Men Misfits! Del Rey canceled the second (and final) installment b4 it was written!
This was news to me. As far as I knew, Del Rey Manga's first volume of X-Men Misfits sold fairly well -- well enough to make the New York Times Graphic Books Bestseller List for several weeks when it was published in mid-2009. So I sent a note to Roman and Telgemeier:
Roman replied, and confirmed the news via Twitter:
Wow! News travels fast! @goraina and I super disappointed since it was written as a 2-part story and it will be unfair to readers.
We only found out last week. We still don't have a lot of the details beyond it being a cost of licensing vs. profits issue. :/
I only saw about 20 pages of Book 2 pencils a few months back so I assumed Anzu was far along, but still deep into it.
Those are the emotions that I keep going through regarding Misfits. Confusion then disappointment. Most successful non-success.
Telgemeier added her thoughts, also via Twitter:
Yes. It's true. Dave and I will have more to say, later.
UPDATE: Telgemeier and Roman posted a longer commentary about the premature end of the X-Men Misfits series at their LiveJournal site. Besides thanking Anzu and their editors at Del Rey Manga, Telgemeier and Roman also had this to add:
And of course, a final word of thanks to all the people who have vocally supported X-Men: Misfits. We knew there would be a lot of skepticism about the project from the beginning, so hearing from so many people who "got it" really made us happy. The cancellation is still sinking in and we certainly appreciate the people who have already shared their feelings with us. That's publishing, though. Series are NOT sure things. The best way to support a series you love is to buy the books, and spread the word. In the meantime, we imagine we'll continue to get tons of Google Alerts, letting us know about all the torrents and rapidshare files of X-Men: Misfits there are out there...
Seriously, can anyone justify "scanlating" and pirating a series that never needed to be "translated" into English? Now thanks to sales that were less than required to make publishing X-Men Misfits Volume 2 financially feasible, there will be no Volume 2, period. Chew on that for a few, folks.
A quick check on Amazon.com and Random House's website confirmed this information -- X-Men Misfits Volume 2 is currently listed as "unavailable," without a release date or option to pre-order.
The same fate seems to have befallen the second volume of the other Del Rey Manga / Marvel X-Men manga title, Wolverine: Prodigal Son by Antony Johnson and Wilson Tortosa, as it too has seen its Amazon listing changed to "unavailable".
UPDATE: Antony Johnson confirmed that plans for publishing Wolverine: Prodigal Son Vol. 2 have been canceled. He writes on his blog:
Alas, I can confirm that the same fate awaits WOLVERINE: PRODIGAL SON.
It's a great shame. I was very pleased with the second volume, and Wilson's work for it was even better than for the first. And I really hoped we could take it still further; although the initial story came to a close in Volume 2, I wrote it in such a way that it left open the possibility of many more adventures for young Logan.
Unfortunately, the simple truth is that not enough people bought them. Despite WOLVERINE being praised by readers and selected for two library YA lists, despite MISFITS making it onto the New York Times bestseller list, and not least despite all the efforts of Del Rey themselves and our editors there, there just weren't enough readers to justify the costs. This is, sadly, more common than you might think in comics.
Hopefully, Del Rey Manga and/or Marvel Comics will be able to share updates or official comments later this week. More on this to come.
Image credit: © Marvel Entertainment, © Anzu