Titans Swingin' Special Released as "Lost" Annual
At the 2003 Comic-Con International San Diego, DC Comics announced original Teen Titans writer Bob Haney would make a return to the DC property he helped put on the map with a brand new Elseworld's Teen Titans project. The Teen Titans Swingin' Elseworld special would feature art by Jay Stephens and Mike Allred. For reasons never quite made clear, DC has shelfed the book.
The Pulse reported: "Steve tells me Dan Didio and co. decided that the success of the new Titans series shouldn't be jeopardized by our 'weird' story, written by Teen Titans CREATOR Bob Haney. Apparently, the art (pencilled by myself, inked by Doc Allred, and coloured by Laura Allred, with a stunning cover by original Titans artist Nick Cardy) passed muster, but the bigwigs were just too uncomfortable with the story to let it run.
Recently, Newsarama asked Allred about the story:
NRAMA: Now, your name often comes up in connection with the unpublished Teen Titans project you did with DC. Have there been any developments regarding its publication?
MA: Well, I actually had a good phone conversation with (Dan) DiDio about three weeks ago, and it went very well. He was saying that they might be able to release it as a “lost annual.” So, I’m hopeful that that’s what’s going to happen. Fingers crossed.
It’s amazing to me that that book has sat dormant. It’s completely done – completely done. It’s penciled, inked, colored, lettered – there’s a cover by Nick Cardy! There’s no reason in the world this shouldn’t be out – it’s a one-shot! Let it get out there and let people have it!
I do comic books because I love comic books. It’s not just a paycheck. It’s an opportunity for expression and creation and the final performance in this process is for people to see it! And so, there’s this understanding with the publisher that you want to see this on the stand. And for Bob Haney, he’ll never have that. He’ll never see it on the stands, at least not as a mortal being.
It’s frustrating – maybe I have no tact about this. I’m just the inker on the book, for crying out loud! But it’s just not right that this isn’t out there and available to the public. Even if the publisher were to argue that it isn’t a standard story – well, I can’t object to that. It isn’t typical. It’s near insane! But it’s also brilliant in that way.
And the talent involved – the original Teen Titan creators, along with Jay Stephens, who is one of the great talents, who won an Emmy on his cartoon series…and I got to ink it, and Laura colored it, and our son even did some amazing coloring work on it with Laura, and like I said, Nick Cardy did a cover, a wonderful cover…there it is.
Dan told me he’s going to try to make this happen, and I’m hopeful that he can. So, there we are. I’m on the verge of getting people together and picketing with protest signs outside the DC building (laughs), but I’m trying to be cool about this, and reasonable about this. But it’s been…I don’t know how many years since we finished. And I’m just waiting to see it released.
(sighs) I don’t know. It’s one of the things I just don’t get. I hope one day DC does the right thing and puts this book out. It deserves to be seen.
Ad it will be - according to the publisher, the Special, now a "Lost Annual," will ship in January. The solicitation for the book now reads:
TEEN TITANS: THE LOST ANNUAL
Written by Bob Haney
Art by Jay Stephens & Mike Allred
Cover by Nick Cardy
Don’t miss the TEEN TITANS LOST ANNUAL, featuring the original Teen Titans: Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Speedy and Aqualad! Classic Teen Titans writer Bob Haney sends the Titans into space to rescue President John F. Kennedy in this story illustrated by Jay Stephens (The Land of Nod) & Mike Allred (Madman, X-Statix)! Meet new alien races, witness a startling betrayal, and more! It’s a secret space adventure that couldn’t be told…‘til now!
On sale January 9 • 64 pg, FC, $4.99 US
For more on the Special, check out the page at titanstower.com.