Exclusive Preview of THE SHADE #12

Exclusive Preview of THE SHADE #12

By Alex Nagorski Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

It’s the final issue of THE SHADE!

 

Once a normal family man with a wife and two children living in London, Richard Swift was forced against his will into a life of the supernatural. What mistake did he make that would be his undoing and send him down a path of no return? Don’t miss this special issue of the critically acclaimed series that explored The Shade’s mysterious origins!

 

“So here we are. Issue #12 of THE SHADE is out this week,” writer James Robinson said to THE SOURCE. “It's been a long year coming, and at times a year fraught with the fear we wouldn't get to Issue 12, but here we are at the end of the series in a tale of the Shade's origin told my myself, Gene Ha and Art Lyon. I've loved writing this series; returning to an old friend yet sending him on a new journey that I feel was fresh and unfamiliar for readers and showed the character has more facets than just a shadowy resident of Opal City. I've had a blast, not just with the Shade but also all the new characters I've created and introduced along the way. I hope you enjoyed them too.”

“My thanks to editor Wil Moss, to all the artists and colorists -- Cully Hamner, Dave McCaig, Darwyn Cooke, J. Bone, Dave Stewart, Javier Pulido, Hilary Sycamore, Jill Thompson, Trish Mulvihill, Frazer Irving, Gene Ha and Art Lyon. Thanks to Todd Klein for lettering and Tony Harris for the beautiful painted covers. Thank you to Dan DiDio for taking the chance and allowing the series to see its completion, I've relieved that the sales held and that his faith in the project was justified.”  

“And this brings me to the biggest thanks of all -- to all the readers who upon learning the book wasn't selling as well as it might rallied and bought it, keeping the numbers up and allowing it to get to its end as it should. I truly hope you enjoy the final issue because it's all of you who truly earned it. Cheers.”

 

“You want to know the biggest reason I signed an exclusive deal with DC?” continued artist Gene Ha. “It's because they have the writers I want to work with, such as James Robinson.”

“A few years ago at the C2E2 comic convention in Chicago, James walked up to my table. He'd pitched a new Shade series to DC and wanted me to do the last issue, which would also be the earliest story in the Shade's history. It would be set right before my issue of the 1997 Shade series. I'd return to Victorian England to show how the Shade became the monster we love. I blurted, ‘Yes!!!’ I think he had a longer spiel ready, but I cut him off. This comic book had to be.”

“Returning to that world has been a pure joy. James' scripts are beautiful. Terse and witty like a Hemingway novella or a Dorothy Parker joke. It's also a challenge, in that I'm competing with myself, 15 years younger. The 1997 art is detailed but full of youthful passion. I hope I matched that energy, while adding an older artist's smarts and skill.”

 

“It's the final issue of THE SHADE already?! How did that happen?” concluded series editor Wil Moss. “Well, huge thanks to the book's stellar international lineup of artists (Gene Ha, Frazer Irving, Jill Thompson, Javier Pulido, Darwyn Cooke & J. Bone, and Cully Hamner), not to mention its phenomenal colorists (Art Lyon, Trish Mulvihill, Hilary Sycamore, Dave Stewart, and Dave McCaig), legendary letterer (Todd Klein), and granddaddy cover artist (Tony Harris)!”

“It's a rare thing for a writer or artist to return to a truly beloved series or group of characters and have that return visit measure up to the original run. And whether or not James Robinson did that with THE SHADE isn't really for me to say, but it's hard to imagine anyone arguing otherwise.”

“This series was pure James Robinson – layered, expansive, nostalgic, adventurous, and with a voice unlike anything else on the stands. My top hat is off to him for the excellent story he has told across these 12 issues. Heck, across these past 18 years! To quote an old proverb, ‘One generation plants the trees, and another gets the shade.’ And, thanks to the work that began in 1994 by James, Tony, Peter Snejbjerg, Archie Goodwin and many more on STARMAN, we have been able to enjoy THE SHADE today.”

“Last, thanks to you readers for supporting the book! If you want to see more of The Shade, let DC know! Then maybe it won't be too long before his shadow falls across comic shelves once more...”

 

In stores tomorrow, THE SHADE #12 comes to you from writer James Robinson and artist Gene Ha. Click here to see an exclusive preview of the issue.