So, another recently aggressive upstart independent comic publisher has gone away. Last time it was Speakeasy, this time it's Alias. When Speakeasy closed up shop in February, many speculated Alias was the next to go, with both companies storming on the scene at roughly the same time in 2005, and both facing many problems and questions about their publishing strategies. However, here we are in October, and Alias has kept some output, and isn't going out of business, they've simply announced they're switching to a Christian only publising line, dropping all their secular books from the lineup.
The point of note for me, centers around one of their secular titles, Lullaby.
Lullaby was a fantasy series, that was at least in part created by it's artist, Hector Sevilla. Now in the press release and follow up from Alias, it's mentioned that Lullaby is one of the secular titles owned by Mike Miller that will possibly be moving elsewhere, apparently without it's artist/creator, Hector Sevilla. Hector recently posted on his DeviantArt page that he would be taking a "break" from Lullaby, and not to ask why in a recent journal entry. Hector also did a variant cover for issue 3 of Super Real, and as the variant artist, did an interview as well, where I asked him about his role in Lullaby, weeks before the now official hiatus and change in publishing on the title. According to Hector, he was at least a partial creator of the series, so it seems a bit odd that Miller lists it as one of his properties (and that Hector won't speak of the situation further, and now appears to be working on a new title). Seems most likely that Miller and Alias set up controlling ownership in the title when agreeing to publish it, and have in some way irked it's creator by changing their publishing plans with it.
Now, I don't really want to speculate or stir up anything with these observations, but since I do have a unique perspective on it, thought I'd throw out what I know and leave it at that. I've met Hector, and consider him a friend, and the fact that he's from Mexico, with this being his first work, I could see where things could get unfortunate in terms of the business aspects of ownership (perceived or real) of the property. For that matter, I'm not clear on what he actually claims in terms of ownership, just that by my interview with him, and the question/s around that topic, I was left with the impression that it was at least partial. Let me also state, for what it's worth, that I've met and know Mike Miller, and he's been nothing but friendly and professional in my dealings with him.
Another Alias creator, with one of their "secular" titles, also with a Super Real connection (this time the issue 3 inside cover pinup), is Dave Alvarez and his title Yenny. Dave also just posted a note on his DeviantArt page on the announced Alias change HERE.
So, there you have it, for what it's worth.
I'm not surprised Alias has gone through a publishing change, but I am curious about some of the ramifications.
At the least this means if Lullaby continues, it will most liekly be without artist Hector Sevilla.
Hopefully things work out best for all involved.