Hark! A Vagrant takes a … long period of slowness ?

All of her superstar success has resulted in Kate Beaton being offered a whole whack of new and interesting jobs. Jobs that will interfere with her work schedule on the webcomic Hark! A Vagrant, and she wants to let all her fans know what’s up.

Kate will be moving to Toronto, and working on a variety of long form projects.

“Webcomics are often cited as the future of comics and the internet and I don’t know what else, but the fact that no one has retired from them yet means that I, at least, rest a little uneasy in these shoes sometimes if only for the lack of having a dependable compass by which to steer the ship. I just want to make the best decisions I can, so that I will be around longer, making drawings and comics and writing and other things that I hope people will enjoy. “

Kate has aspirations to do other work, and has a desire to profit from her success, rightly so. The one aspect I find most interesting is the desire to placate the anonymous internet masses, a group that will surely turn their back on you the moment they lose interest and see something else shiny, which makes sense becauseit is these same internet masses that launched her into the cartooning stratosphere.

Despite her consternation, “I’ve been pacing the room about what decisions to make. … Anyway: to be honest with you, I’ve taken on freelance work in the past years and that’s been well and fine, but I’ve never given other long term projects a chance, because I can never detach myself from the website”, Beaton will be wildly successful in these new projects. Have faith, Kate! If you lose some of your internet-only fans, you’ll gain fans through these new paying jobs, and the success will continue.

People love cat jokes!

So it’s true…. DC Announces “Before Watchmen”

Rumoured for months, DC has officially announced the 2012 initiative to revive the Watchmen as an expanded franchise beyond the original Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons/John Higgins mini-series and best-selling graphic novel with a series of interconnected prequel mini-series.

Darwyn Cooke is involved and is doing a six-issue Minutemen mini-series, as well as writing a 4-issue Silk Spectre mini-series for artist Amanda Connor.

For Immediate Release:

This summer, DC Entertainment will publish all-new stories expanding on the acclaimed WATCHMEN universe. As highly anticipated as they are controversial, the seven inter-connected prequel mini-series will build on the foundation of the original WATCHMEN, the bestselling graphic novel of all time. BEFORE WATCHMEN will be the collective banner for all seven titles, from DC Comics.

“It’s our responsibility as publishers to find new ways to keep all of our characters relevant,” said DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. “After twenty five years, the Watchmen are classic characters whose time has come for new stories to be told. We sought out the best writers and artists in the industry to build on the complex mythology of the original.”

Stepping up to the challenge is a group of the comic book industry’s most iconoclastic writers and artists – including Brian Azzarello (100 BULLETS), Lee Bermejo (JOKER), Amanda Conner (POWER GIRL), Darwyn Cooke (JUSTICE LEAGUE: NEW FRONTIER), John Higgins (WATCHMEN), Adam Hughes (CATWOMAN), J.G. Jones (FINAL CRISIS), Andy Kubert (FLASHPOINT), Joe Kubert (SGT. ROCK), Jae Lee (BATMAN: JEKYLL AND HYDE), J. Michael Straczynski (SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE) and Len Wein (SWAMP THING).

BEFORE WATCHMEN includes:

RORSCHACH (4 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: Lee Bermejo

MINUTEMEN (6 issues) – Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke

COMEDIAN (6 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: J.G. Jones

DR. MANHATTAN (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist: Adam Hughes

NITE OWL (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert

OZYMANDIAS (6 issues) – Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Jae Lee

SILK SPECTRE (4 issues) – Writer: Darwyn Cooke. Artist: Amanda Conner

Each week, a new issue will be released, and will feature a two-page back-up story called CURSE OF THE CRIMSON CORSAIR, written by original series editor Len Wein and with art by original series colorist John Higgins. There will also be a single issue, BEFORE WATCHMEN: EPILOGUE, featuring the work of various writers and artists, and a CRIMSON CORSAIR story by Wein and Higgins.

“The original series of WATCHMEN is the complete story that Alan Moore and I wanted to tell. However, I appreciate DC’s reasons for this initiative and the wish of the artists and writers involved to pay tribute to our work. May these new additions have the success they desire,” said Dave Gibbons, WATCHMEN co-creator and original series artist.

“Comic books are perhaps the largest and longest running form of collaborative fiction,” said DiDio and Lee. “Collaborative storytelling is what keeps these fictional universes current and relevant.”

Rich Johnston is collecting quotes from the creators involved over at Bleeding Cool.