The word that Aspen comics won’t be working with Lady Mechanika creator Joe Benitez in the new year has been floating around for a few days, but we’ve been holding off until the official press release came out to avoid any “he said/she said” arguments. Granted the press release is a one sided view of the situation, but I will give Aspen Comics credit, as they didn’t have to say or do anything regarding this – just look at some of the other companies who have parted ways with creators in recent months (Rob Liefeld, Chris Roberson, etc), and the lack of information coming from the company.
Aspen and Joe Benitez announce they have amicably separated their publishing interests by mutual agreement. Peter Steigerwald, Aspen MLT, Inc. Co-Owner and frequent artistic collaborator with Joe Benitez, had this to say:
“We [Aspen] have greatly appreciated Joe’s time here with us and his involvement and promotion of Aspen Comics over the years. Joe and I have discussed his future plans and his desire to venture out on his own. As many know, ten years ago our Founder, Michael Turner, took a similar position and stepped away from his publisher, taking full publishing control of his own creations by founding Aspen Comics. We wish Joe well, and hope for a bright future for him and his creations, including Lady Mechanika. This has been a friendly separation and I plan on continuing to be there for him as colorist and collaborator as he wraps up his Lady Mechanika series. Aspen will be happy to provide any support he needs as he steps out on his own. I’ve been personal friends with Joe for nearly 20 years and I know this has long been a hope for him—to be able to found his own home for his creative visions.”
“Aspen has an ambitious schedule next year with our ’10 for 10’ initiative along with Fathom’s 15 year anniversary, and we wanted both Aspen and Joe to start 2013 out on the right foot.”
The Lady Mechanika series will continue according to the plans of Joe Benitez.
Joe had this to say:
“I am both anxious and excited to be venturing out on my own with Lady Mechanika. Aspen has been very supportive and I am and always will be grateful to them for giving Lady Mechanika her first home. As I’ve stated in the past, working with Peter has been one of the highlights of my career. He is an incredible talent whom I greatly admire and respect, and I hope to continue working with him on Lady Mechanika as well as other future projects. I wish to extend a heartfelt thanks to all the fans and retailers for their patience and support. I hope you will continue to bear with me during this transitional period. My plans for Lady Mechanika include finishing “The Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse” this upcoming year and also launching a monthly Lady Mechanika ongoing series. May 2013 bring success and prosperity to both Lady Mechanika and Aspen. Let’s go make some great comics!”
For more information on Lady Mechanika and Joe Benitez please check out www.joebenitez.com.
Aspen MLT, Inc. is an entertainment publishing company founded in January 2003 by superstar comic artist Michael Turner. Priding itself on producing entertainment properties of the highest quality visual and storytelling elements Along with their own successful properties such as Fathom, Soulfire, Executive Assistant: Iris, Shrugged, Charismagic, Broken Pieces and more. Aspen also collaborates with the comic industry’s most successful companies and endeavors including Marvel Comics and DC Entertainment. Aspen has collaborated with Marvel for various hit projects, including cover work for the best-selling events Civil War, World War Hulk, and Ultimatum. Aspen collaborated with DC Comics to provide covers for such best-selling titles as Superman/Batman: The Return of Supergirl, The Justice League of America, Brightest Day and Eisner-nominated covers for the critically acclaimed, best-selling Identity Crisis series. In 2006, Aspen joined forces with television giant NBC to create the online comic adaptations for the hit television series Heroes. Currently in 2012, Aspen is teaming up with Gale Anne Hurd’s Valhalla Entertainment to produce the horror-adventure series Dead Man’s Run, as well as collaborating with director McG’s Wonderland Sound and Vision to produce the horror comic Haunted City. Aspen also produces the one-of-a-kind Anarchy digital graphic novel for the popular body spray company, Axe.