(UPDATE) Artist Swap! Birds of Prey, Suicide Squad, Animal Man, and Resurrection Man Play Musical Chairs

DC Comics has already played creative team hot potato with a number of their New 52 titles. Today it’s a round of musical chairs with some artists.

Animal Man’s Travel Foreman is moving to Birds of Prey with issue #9.

Birds of Prey’s Jesus Saiz is headed to Resurrection Man, which looks to be crossing over with Suicide Squad.

Ferndando Dagnino moves from Resurrection Man to Suicide Squad.

Steve Pugh, who drew Animal Man in the 90s, will join Jeff Lemire on the current ongoing.

Here’s Foreman’s take on the Birds. His tenure coincides with the Gotham-wide “Night of the Owls” storyline.

Birds of Prey art by Travel Foreman

Just yesterday I was wondering if it wouldn’t be particularly interesting to see Foreman and Swamp Thing‘s Yanick Paquette swap roles for an arc or issue of their respective titles. That was based on the strength of Foreman’s take on Swampy for the cover of the upcoming Animal Man Annual. Not that I think Paquette’s vision of the character is inferior. Not at all. It’s just different. Given the symbiotic relationship the books share, I thought it might be a compelling experiment.

Outgoing Jesus Saiz bids adieu with a cover for Birds of Prey #9

We often look at creative team shakeups like this as signs of bad blood or last ditch attempts to right a wayward ship. But this feels a little different, and I like to think the artists and books might both benefit from changing things up every now and then. Would I miss Foreman on Animal Man? Absolutely. Will I miss Saiz on Birds of Prey? Definitely. But I also don’t want to see any writers or artists grow bored. Musical chairs just might keep this party going long into the night (of Owls).

UPDATE: Here’s a look at Pugh’s original artwork from Animal Man #7, courtesy of Jeff Lemire’s blog.

Steve Pugh art from Animal Man #7

For more, head on over to DC’s Source Blog.

UPDATE: Former Animal Man artist Travel Foreman posted an explantaion for his leaving the book on the CBR forums:

I just want to chime in briefly, because everyone here has been so supportive of the book and because there’s so much behind the scenes stuff that goes on with these books… I read a lot of comics and I too get confused about whats going on in some books and ultimately feel like we’re getting a raw deal sometimes.

The change on Animal Man boils down to the reason I was on the book to begin with, which was that I needed to take on a job after my mother died (to deal with the financial end of someone being sick for a while and then passing) and Animal Man was the only thing DC was going to let me do. Which in any other time frame would have been perfect. But really the context of me dealing with the death of my mom and drawing the kind of content in Animal Man just burned me out sooner than I thought.

I had hoped to stay on the book until at least the spring so that the artist I wanted to replace me was free from his commitments, but I would have ultimately just dragged the book down if I did, because it was becoming harder and harder to concentrate on the work.

Steve was bending over backwards on his fill-ins to keep the book on schedule so you have to keep that in consideration. Really, he won’t skip a beat once he’s doing the book full time.

Thanks, everyone.


  1. No word yet on who’s taking over Animal Man?

    I’ll really miss Jesus Saiz on Birds of Prey, but I like Foreman too, so it’s cool.

  2. That bums me out with Foreman leaving Animal Man. He was the perfect fit in my opinion.

  3. NOOOO!!!!! I loved Foreman’s creepy style for Animal Man. Curious to see who replaces him.

  4. So is this the new status quo over at the New 52?

    Kinda like 52 Pick Up. Throw the creator’s names up in the air and see who lands on what title.

  5. Saiz was ok on Birds of Prey…i mean his work is good and does the job, but its kinda a bit too generic for my tastes. (to be fair, think a lot of that is the coloring) Very interested to see Foreman on the title now….gonna be interesting.

    • Agree that Saiz was “ok”. Love the design of Ev Crawford, so he gets high marks for that. But, often his panels came across as lifeless or lacking dynamism. I know that he does a lot of his work in Photoshop, which I also think tends to rob pencils of their vitality. Just my $0.02.

    • i love the book, but i can’t really remember a single panel or page.

  6. Oh, boy.

    Well, if Travel Foreman HAS to go, I think Steve Pugh is a good choice for Lemire’s Animal Man. For me, though, Foreman’s creepy pencils have been such a big part of the Animal Man experience that it’s hard to imagine the book without him.

    I think it will be good, but it definitely won’t be the same.

  7. Foreman leaving Animal Man: BOO!
    Foreman joining Birds of Prey: YEA!

    Net-net: it’s a slight negative, but only because I fear change.

  8. I’m gonna miss Travel Foreman on Animal Man. I’m not familiar with Steve Pugh’s work, but I hope he is able to maintain the quality we’ve seen from Mr. Foreman.

  9. I really hope Pugh doesn’t use that painted style he’s used recently in Animal Man.

  10. That’s just great. Right when I was about to complain about Foreman going to Birds of Prey (not a fan of his artwork at all), you end with the line: “Will I miss Saiz on Birds of Prey? Definitely. But I also don’t want to see any writers or artists grow bored.”

    You’re right. We don’t want that to happen. However, while of course I’m going to continue reading Birds, I don’t think Foreman’s right for this straight-forward, action-paced thriller. And there was nothing to indicate Saiz was getting bored with Birds. I’ve often wondered how much a particular artist change may cause readership to go down, and in turn cause a book to be canceled. You know of any examples which may qualify?

    • While I agree Foreman hasn’t done a lot of fast-paced action recently. In the first issue of the run there is a really cool fast-paced action scene. It’s short, but damn was it intense, very kinetic. I love when comic pages seem to almost turn themselves! …..Not to discount Saiz at all, I think he was doing a damn fine job on the title, now we just get to see him take on something new.

  11. This is a bit of a bummer to me. Suicide Squad, Resurrection Man & Birds of Prey and been three of my favorite books from the new 52 and I attribute this to the creative teams assembled.

  12. Unfortunately i don’t have enough money to follow Foreman to Birds, i’ve heard it’s a fun title in itself but i guess i missed the boat. I’ll probably read the Night of Owl tie ins though.

  13. Bummer, I really liked Travel Foreman’s art on Animal Man. I am unfamiliar with Steve Pugh.

  14. I love Saiz’s work on Birds of Prey, but Foreman’s artwork would probably work better with “The Night of the Owls”, judging at least from the tone that Synder has set up in Batman.

  15. I don’t understand how this makes sense on any level…

  16. This makes no sense, at least Animal Man has a subject matter that suits Foreman’s style, especially his ability for depicting the grotesque. I have no problem with Pugh, but I don’t see the point on putting Travel on what, let’s face it is a pretty generic superhero comic.

    He can’t be bored, I hoped he was just getting started to be honest.

    • Pugh actually had the closest run to what Lemire is working of off, having been Jamie Delano’s artist for the run of Animal Man that actually first used the concept of the red. As much as I like Foreman’s work here, I think Pugh is perfectly aligned to handle what Lemire’s doing.

    • It was more that I didnt understand why Foreman would be off the book than worrying about Pugh’s ability, but Foreman’s statement makes it quite clear so I am cool with this.

  17. B-b-b-b-but what about all the awesome creepy monsters? Foreman nailed that shit. Hopefully new dude has some monster drawing chops to show off.

  18. When I read the headline I was pretty pissed. I really loved Foreman’s work on Animal Man, and I didn’t think he’d be a good fit for Birds of Prey, but after seeing that page….Damn. It looks really amazing. He draws the new team very well. Also, Animal Man is going to be great and sell no matter what. I’m sure BoP’s numbers haven’t been what they hoped, I really like the title so hopefully this brings a few more people on board…..So I guess my anger has subsided and I simply can’t wait to see what Foreman does on BoP!

  19. Is anybody starting to feel like this constant shift of writers and artists at DC is getting fucking ridiculous?! Just pick a creative team and STICK WITH IT!!!

    This is starting to turn me off to DC!

  20. Looking good Socks!

  21. I like artist musical chairs better than writer musical chairs. While I’ll miss Foreman on Animal Man and Dagnino on Resurrection, I’m interested in seeing other artists’ renditions of these respective worlds.

  22. So foreman’s last issue of animal man has already happened and pugh is on board for issue 7 or is that a typo?

  23. Finding Travel Foreman will work on Birds of Prey just made my day.

  24. I’m amazed anyone has a problem with this.

    The days of long-run partnerships are dead and gone. Bendis and Bagley on USM were the only team to even come close in the last decade, and they were a rare exception. I don’t know if DC has gotten wise to this transition intentionally or not, but I for one embrace the new status quo.

    I agree that writer changes should happen less often in order to maintain some consistency, but a rotation of artists can only help to broaden the scope. What do we really get out of a long-run partnership anyway? Consistency? Comfort? Fuck that. Gimme some variety. I mean sure, it’s nice to look at a section in your long box and know that you’ve got the entire ____&____ run on ____ Man, but that’s part of the OCD in us all, and it’s ultimately unhealthy. Collecting back issues is as dead as long-run partnerships.

    Think about it; this opens things up for a much more eclectic reading experience. If you discover an artist that you really love, you can follow him to his next endeavor. On the flip side, if you love a title but can’t stomach the current artist, you’ll only have to deal with it for six issues. This rotation approach also helps to enrich the DCU, while at the same time making it feel liked a genuinely shared universe. We get to see all these different artists’ take on our favorite characters. I don’t see how that can be a bad thing.

    • Good points

    • Ever hear of the Peter Principle?

    • I see your point, and I don’t disagree, but a lot of what makes a book good for some readers is how the book looks. I was caught off guard at first by Foreman’s work in Animal Man, but after the initial shock I have really been enjoying it. Now I can’t anymore because they took him off the book. I’m not familiar with Pugh, and I’m sure he is going to do fine, but I no longer get to enjoy or experience what Foreman was doing on Animal Man and that stinks.

      I will still read the book because I love the story so far, but I wish this was just for an arc and then back to normal–like they have done on a number of books already–. I am all for variety, I just wish they would use it when it is needed. I can imagine getting burned out or tired of the same artist after a while, but at only 5 issues I don’t think the art in Animal Man was wearing on any of it’s fans.

      That said, Bring it on Pugh! I hope you can freak me out too!(rhyme unintended)

    • Well I just read the update, I’m glad the move was clarified by Foreman.

  25. I am going to miss Travel Foreman on Animal Man, and Fernando Dagnino on Ressurection Man. I liked Jesus on the Manhunter series and look forward to seeing what he does on Ressurection Man.

  26. This is actually pretty cool for me. I read almost all the books that are swapping (except Suicide Squad), so Foreman on Birds look pretty freakin’ cool, and Saiz is a great choice for Resurrection Man. Steve Pugh actually did a very tonally similar run on Animal Man back in the 90s (when Jamie Delano and Pugh first introduced the concept of the Red), so that fits for me.

    There’s not really a downside for me on this one — I think Foreman will have a lot of fun on Birds. That page up top looks a bit Sienkiewicz-y…

  27. Even with only that one image to judge, I am already liking Foreman’s pencils on Birds of Prey far better than I am on Animal Man, and Pugh on AM more than Foreman. Not to belittle Foreman though, a friend showed me a Thor/Loki thing he did last night that I thought was fantastic.

  28. Very happy to see Suicide Squad get a new artist. VERY HAPPY.

    • There’s nothing wrong with Dalloccio, a case in point is how much character he gets out of Deadshot when he’s in full armour and face mask, just using body language and the occasional tilt of the head. I dont mind him being replaced but I hardly think the title needed it. However if it gets the book more attention thats cool because its frickin awesome.

  29. Simple question, why?

  30. Why?

  31. Artists growing bored after 6 issues???

  32. Now that it has had time to settle in, I’m completely on board for this.

  33. Oh man so many people must feel like Jerks after reading that update now.

  34. Foreman will be missed on Animal Man but at least it’s still going to look great. I don’t blame artists for getting bored/burnt out on a single series after several issues. Particularly with DC’s tighter deadlines, it’s gotta turn into a major grind no matter how excited they are going into it. About 15 minutes for us was a month of their life. It makes the guys that stick with one series for several years seem that much more impressive.

  35. Travel, if you’re reading, I’m sorry about your mother. The best with the new gig.

    And that goes for all the artists.

  36. Gutted that Foreman is leaving Animal Man but totally support his reasons for leaving. Hopefully I’ll be able to follow him over to Birds of Prey. Best wishes Travel.

  37. I don’t know Travel Foreman, but his update is a solid class act. Plus his preview for BoP shows a pretty decent perspective on the feminine warrior.
    And frankly, I agree with decampo’s comment half way up: Pugh’s previous run on Animal Man makes this move totally logical. It’ll hopefully serve Lemire well – and he needs it on this one. IMO, his dialogue has been lame, almost sleepy; he’s reductive of both J. Delano and Morrison; the dream theater mimicking Gaiman is only half working. Is Buddy that slow to understand his daughter? I get using her vagueness as a device, but sheesh. Honestly, I don’t understand all the raves about this animal man…
    Regardless, all the best to Foreman on BoP and I’m looking forward to seeing his art.

  38. Hats off to Travel Foreman for his work on Animal Man. I felt like his work challenged me as a reader and sometimes my eyes didn’t like these grotesque images, and it was so unlike what I’m used to seeing in the comics that I read, which has been cool. I’m not an art critic, but I think what Foreman has done on this title has been awesome

  39. In hindsight…..Doing a panel of a guy’s face being ripped off while also dealing with the death of your Mother is not a good idea.

  40. Foreman mentions he originally wanted to continue with the book until the artist he wanted to replace him was available. I wonder who that is and if they will still be coming to the book.

  41. I think I am going to be sick

  42. I for one am extremely excited about this, particularly Foreman’s take on Birds of Prey. That series has been my biggest surprise of the new 52, and the artwork is fine, but Foreman’s is phenomenal. Love to see his scratchy style on a ‘bird’ themed book, I think it will work very well!

  43. Take care Travel, & thanks for that amazing effort. All the best.