Seriously though, Marz has worked on 71 issues straight. He single-handedly turned the franchise around. He took a character many had lost interest in and made her interesting. After many years and issues, the time has come for Ron to step aside and hand the reigns over to Tim Seeley.
We took this moment to ask Ron some questions about what the past seven years have been like and how does he feel about his run coming to an end.
Comic Vine: What went through your mind as you completed the final script to Witchblade after 71 issues and seven years? Is it easy to walk away from Sara after all this time?
Ron Marz: What went through my mind is, "I'd better start the next ARTIFACTS script right now!" That's really what it's like as a freelancer, you usually have to put one project to bed and start the next without even taking a breath in between. But in the time since then, I've had more of a chance to think about the end of my WITCHBLADE run, and it's definitely going to be an adjustment. I was very comfortable with Sara and her world, and I'll miss them. I think Stjepan [Sejic] and I definitely had more stories to tell, but I'm also content with the way we wrapped up our run.
CV: You stated early on that you intended to stay on until at least 150. How much of a plan did you have for the stories up until 150? Did anything change drastically along the way?
RM: Nothing was written in stone, and we certainly made adjustments as we went along. In terms of stories, I think it's best to know where you're going to start and have some idea of where you want to finish, but leave yourself open to letting the journey dictate itself. I think if you have too much of a specific plan, you beat some of the creativity out of the process.== TEASER ==
CV: The way you end Sara's story sets the stage for Tim Seeley to take over. Was it your idea to change this aspect of Sara's life or was it editorial's?
RM: It was really something that came about organically. We had talked about changing some of Sara's status quo, but it was in terms of opening up some other story avenues to pursue. When it became evident that #150 would be our last, and considering the conclusion of Artifacts, as well as the direction Tim wanted to pursue, everything dovetailed quite nicely.
[Be sure to read issue #150 to see what major change we're talking about.]
CV: You and Stjepan Sejic are continuing to work together on ARTIFACTS. Do you guys have a plan to commit to a certain number of issues again?
RM: No, we're just getting into it, so we really have no end in sight. We'll stick with it as long as we have stories to tell, and with Stjepan being a veritable idea machine, I don't think we'll run out of stories for quite a while.
CV: ARTIFACTS will involve the other Artifact bearers, are they plans for Sara and Jackie to pop in or do you plan to focus on the others for now?
RM: Sara and Jackie will definitely be part of Artifacts. They both appear in our first issue, which is #14. So they'll both have a presence, but the point-of-view character for the audience will be Tom Judge, who has been the bearer of the Rapture. But Sara and Jackie are the twin pillars of the Top Cow Universe in a lot of ways, so I want to include them whenever possible.
CV: I know it might be like choosing your favorite child but do you have a favorite moment or arc from your run?
RM: I'm still pretty partial to issue #92, which revealed the Witchblade's origin once and for all. We had more than a dozen amazing artists on that issue, everybody from Mike Choi to Marc Silvestri to George Perez. It was an important story, and it was drawn by the best of the best. That's what makes a memorable comic.
CV: Were there any stories you wish you ended differently or did everything turn out exactly as planned?
RM: You can always look back and find things you wish you'd done better, or even just differently. But you don't get any do-overs in comics. I'm content with what we did.
CV: Have you read Witchblade #151 yet? (I have). Will it be weird seeing someone else write a character you worked on for so long or have you accepted it since you knew this day was coming?
RM: Yeah, I read it in both script form, and then in the finished issue. And you're right, it's a little strange to see a character you've written for seven years now in someone else's hands. But the thing I actually liked about it is it's not my Witchblade, it's not quite my Sara. It's Tim's Witchblade, and he's telling his kind of story, which I think is absolutely the right thing to do. It's kind of the same way I felt leaving Green Lantern after so many years. Judd Winick came in and did his Kyle Rayner, not an imitation of my Kyle. That's the way it should be.
CV: Do you have a favorite of the other Aritfacts bearers? Can they replace Sara Pezzini in your heart?
RM: Obviously I'm very partial to Patience, the Magdalena, whom I'm still writing in a solo book. That's a character that I just click with. But beyond her, I'm growing very fond of Tom Judge. It's actually been a while since I've written a male lead character, so it's fun to stretch those muscles again.
CV: What's the one thing you'd want new readers to know about ARTIFACTS #14?
RM: I want them to know they don't need to know anything. Artifacts #13 brings the first big storyline to a very definitive conclusion. Issue #14 starts fresh, and everything the readers need to know will be contained within the story. Yes, it's issue #14, but it might as well say issue #1 on the cover. It's very much a ground-floor read, and Stjepan intend to settle in for a nice long run.
Be sure to pick up Ron's final issue of WITCHBLADE this Wednesday to see how it all ends.