For the past couple of years, CBR News has shone its spotlight a number of times on the Image comic series "Rex Mundi" and the creators Arvid Nelson and Eric J. The 30s-era detective story with a medieval twist has gained a loyal following with a total of twelve issues published so far. Whereas in the past we've brought you news of what was to come in the pages of the book, today we bring news of change. Earlier today artist Eric J sent out a note to members of the Rex Mundi mailing list announcing his departure from the title.
"Earlier tonight Arvid informed me that we would not be continuing to work on the book together," Eric J said in the newsletter. "I wish that I could say that I am surprised by this, but I'm not unfortunately. 'Rex Mundi' is our first foray into creating a comic, and, as will happen, we made some mistakes early on that have continued to hamper us. I think we both shared the opinion that our combined passion for this book would pull us through, but unfortunately the pressures that we've been under for the past five plus years seem to have proven to be more formidable than we are. I wish it were a simple matter to pick out one thing that was the problem, but it's a much more complex thing than that, with enough blame to spread around for all, so suffice it to say that there are differences and it seems that they are too deep, at this point, to mend. I know that sounds like the old 'creative differences' line that gets thrown out so much, but now I can see why it get used so often. It is very literally the only 'clean' and accurate way to express something that is not 'clean,' but rather very complex.
"For my part, as much as I love this book, and I do, I'd be lying if I said I'm not a little relieved, albeit admittedly very saddened, by this turn of events. The passion that Arvid and I have for this book, that has fueled it from the beginning, also has become our respective curses. I have put everything I've had to give into this book, often to the detriment of my personal life, and, in some ways, I feel a bit like a weight has been lifted from me. We'll see if my friends remember me. J
"Make no mistake, though, my love for this book is not diminished! Arvid has told me that he plans to continue the book with another artist, and I hope that he does so. I know where this story is going, and I very much want to see it finished, so, please, show Arvid some love and push him onward. I have no idea what direction he plans to go with the art, or what schedule he plans on following, those will all be things that he will have to inform you about from now on, but certainly you can let your voices be heard."
There will be no rest for Eric J as he's already working on "Revisionary" for Moonstone Books
Tuesday evening CBR News caught up with "Rex Mundi" writer Arvid Nelson, who responded to Eric J's earlier announcement.
"Yes, it's true. I do feel the parting is necessary for 'Rex Mundi's' future, but it is most definitely amicable," Nelson told CBR News. "Maybe akin to a husband and wife who get divorced to save their relationship. Eric and I have enormous respect for one another, and I think we're both excited to see what the other does from here on out."
As Eric J made clear in his announcement, "Rex Mundi" will continue and Nelson is working on finding a replacement artist.
"I have a few artists I'm looking at right now, one in particular very seriously," said Nelson. "That's one of the nice things about having done 'Rex Mundi' for so long; I know a lot of incredibly talented artists! It's premature to say anything more than this for the time being, but I really want people to know, and I know Eric feels the same way, that 'Rex Mundi' will continue."