With his most recent, seven-year exclusive contract at Marvel Comics coming to an end, superstar artist and Kick-Ass co-creator John Romita, Jr. says that his work-for-hire days are numbered–but not because he doesn’t enjoy it.
Rather, it’s a mountain of new creator-owned projects coming from names he just couldn’t imagine turning down that have him thinking it’s time to give monthly superhero comics a break for after thirty-seven years with the same publisher.
And while the projects are all a while off, he told ComicBook.com during an exclusive interview this afternoon (the full text of which will be up soon), he reckons he has about another year of work-for-hire coming up before projects he’s developing with a veritable Murderer’s Row of writers including Thrillbent’s Mark Waid, Sandman‘s Neil Gaiman and The Walking Dead‘s Robert Kirkman start to come to fruition.
“All of the creator-owned projects that I have lined up, with writers that I am absolutely enthralled to work with, are all about a year down the road before they’re prepared,” Romita told us. “Neil Gaiman, Mark Millar, Mark Waid and so on–so those guys won’t be ready until a year hence. Which means I can do one of two things–just go freelance and play around or I can just sign a one-year contract with somebody to do a storyline that I want, which is a good possibility because I have a couple of plots lined up that I’m really fascinated by.”
He added that while the project with Kirkman may or may not happen, they’re discussing something the writer had created and that it would end up being a freelance, work-for-hire gig at Skybound if it did. Other collaborators, including Jonathan Ross, were mentioned as potentially developing all-new properties with Romita that the creators would co-own, as he does with Millar and Kick-Ass.
Keep your eyes on this space for much more on the legendary artist’s plans for the future, which big-name superheroes he’d like to work on next and, of course, Kick-Ass 2, which will be hitting theaters a week from today.