Mark Bagley signs with DC!


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From Newsarama:


For the past few months the tide of comic book creators signing exclusive contracts with one of the “Big Two” and/or moving from one publisher to the other has stemmed, but it appears 2008 may feature one of the more noteworthy and perhaps surprising changing of camps in recent industry history.

Newsarama has learned that long-time Marvel penciler Mark Bagley, whose current exclusive contract with the publisher reportedly expires at the end of this year, will move to DC Comics to take on an undisclosed high-profile project likely sometime in 2008.

Bagley’s name has been synonymous with Marvel Comics since the literal start of his career, going back to 1986. At the time, the then aspiring 27-year old artist submitted an entry to Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter’s Marvel Try-Out Book, winning the penciling entry, which led to his first professional assignments with the publisher.

The artist first began to achieve his “fan-favorite” status as the original penciler on writer Fabian Nicieza’s original 1990’s New Warriors series, and has since enjoyed long regular runs on Marvel titles like Amazing Spider-Man (five years) and Kurt Busiek’s original Thunderbolts series (four years).

However, it was his teaming with writer Brian Bendis as the original and long-time creative team of Ultimate Spider-Man that Bagley is now best known for.

The pairing, which ended just this past summer, lasted seven years and 111 consecutive issues and is considered an all-time industry record (besting Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s original Fantastic Four run) by Marvel.

That record is even more notable considering the duo averaged nearly 15 issues a year during their run, with Bagley penciling up to 18 issues a year at its peek, and that all of this was accomplished in this era.

One of, if not the most prolific and ‘steady’ artists in today’s industry, although thoroughly contemporary in style, Bagley’s status as a “regular monthly” artist is almost a ‘throwback’ in a time when long consecutive runs by artists continue to become more and more rare.

Whatever DC project Bagley will pencil, the publisher will apparently gain an asset they can count on indefinitely for even more than the standard 22 pages month-in and month-out, which is a dynamic worth watching as DC is expected to continue publishing weekly-shipping series following the conclusion of the current Countdown to Final Crisis.

Both Mark Bagley and officials for DC Comics declined to comment on this story.

Look for more details when they become available...

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