Teen Titans #71, coming in JuneWhile his tenure on all but one of the Teen Titans is coming to an end, writer Sean McKeever is returning to the teenagers who broke him into comics in the first place.
Starting in June, McKeever will begin writing one of the ongoing, 10-page "co-feature" format stories as a back-up to Teen Titans issues. Focusing on the Titans character Ravager, the stories will feature pencils by Turkish artist Yildiray Cinar of Noble Causes fame (check out his work here).
And McKeever has also confirmed that he's reuniting with artist Mike Norton (Trinity, Green Arrow/Black Canary) to create a new Waiting Place story to be released in September.
The Waiting Place is the teen drama McKeever created and self-published for several years beginning in 1997. Telling the story of a group of coming-of-age characters in small-town Wisconsin, the series caught the eye of Marvel editors and paved the way for the writer's comics career. The Waiting Place is also where readers first saw McKeever together with Norton as they collaborated on the comic, and the creative team later introduced Gravity to the Marvel Universe in that character's five-issue origin mini-series.
McKeever has been writing Teen Titans since issue #50 but announced on March 18th that he would leave the series after issue #71 because of "creative differences," saying he wanted to "focus elsewhere."
However, readers will continue to see McKeever's work in both Teen Titans and the ongoing Titans series over the next two months, as the two titles crossover for the "Deathtrap" event just as Static joins the team. While the new regular creative team for Teen Titans has not been confirmed by DC Comics, Bryan Miller will be writing June's issue #72, the issue where McKeever's back-up stories will debut.
Newsarama talked to McKeever about his return to the Waiting Place characters, what we'll learn about Rose Wilson in the Ravager co-features, and whether the writer has anything else coming up.
Newsarama: What's this rumor about a new story about The Waiting Place? Is it true?
Sean McKeever: Yeah, I got in contact with IDW late last year, and we set up a deal to reprint all of The Waiting Place in one volume, so that will come out in September. Mike Norton's done a new cover for it, and it's a really awesome cover.
And as an extra-special treat, Mike and I are going to be putting together a new 20-page story for the collection.
Back in New York Comic Con, in February, I had an idea for a new story, but I was kind of struggling with the ending. And then I saw this commission that Mike did for somebody of Jeffry and Lora from The Waiting Place. And seeing Mike, today, drawing those characters just lit a fire under my butt to get the story going. So I finally came up with the whole story. I'm scripting it currently. And I'm really geeked to see Mike draw them with his ability now.
NRAMA: Is this an ending for the characters?
SM: It's a coda. I don't want to say too much about it, but I think fans will really like it.
NRAMA: How was it to return to these characters after all these years?
The Waiting Place collection, coming in September from IDWSM: Surprisingly effortless. They're still in there, up in my noggin somewhere. And they came right out when it was time to write them.
NRAMA: Let's talk about you leaving Teen Titans. I know you already told Newsarama that you left for "creative differences," although you were continuing to work with DC, but is there any clarification you want to give for your departure from the book?
SM: No. Except to say that I wish the new writer all the best. And I'm excited to see what he does.
NRAMA: You'll still be writing one of the Teen Titans characters as you tackle the new Ravager back-up stories that will run in Teen Titans beginning in June. What can you tell us about those stories?
SM: I can tell you that I'm pretty excited to be writing Ravager still. Anybody who read issue #57 of Teen Titans knows I had a blast writing her there. And I enjoyed writing her in Terror Titans. I think she's a complicated character, and I think she has a lot to still show people about her. And what's exciting about the Ravager back-ups – the "serial," as I'm calling it, because with 10 pages an issue, it is more like a serial style or like those short movie serials that used to come out way back in the day, before I was born – and what's great about these is that we're going to see things from Ravager's point of view. We're going to have a first-person narrative, so you'll actually get into Ravager's head, and I think there will be some revelations, maybe some aspects of her that you didn't realize, in this story.
NRAMA: When you call it a "serial" story, then I assume it's going to carry over from one issue to another? What's it going to be about?
SM: It's a 12-part story, so it's going to run for a year. And it's very much going to be a Ravager-suited story. You're going to see her in difficult situations with difficult morality doing terrible things to terrible people. And dealing with the adrenaline addiction that she's developed in Terror Titans.
And you'll also see all of this launched in Teen Titans #71, my last issue, which is going to be from Ravager's point of view, with her first-person narrative, as well.
NRAMA: Is it a challenge to write a story in 10-page increments?
SM: Honestly, I haven't started writing the story, but when I pieced together the entire thing as an 120-page story, it was really easy. You write long enough and you get a feel for how many pages a certain amount of story is. And putting it into 10-page chunks was actually an exciting challenge for me, and it wasn't much of a challenge because it felt right. It felt like there was a great amount of immediacy to it. I remember back when 52 was happening, I thought it would be great to have a weekly series where I would be able to write, say, a 10- or 12-page weekly story. I just really liked the idea of it. It makes you pick up the page and makes you pay attention to the pacing. You always want the ending of every chapter to really make people want to come back, even more-so than in a 22-page comic.
NRAMA: You're doing a new story for The Waiting Place, and you're doing 10-page back-up stories for Teen Titans. What else can your fans expect to see from you?
SM: I've got other things cooking, but everything's still in the pitch or pre-pitch stage right now, so it's too soon to say. But I have lots of irons in the fire.