Way back in November of 2007 I wrote a piece that outlined the despair I felt when looking at the sales figures for some of my favorite comics, many from DC’s Vertigo line.

Crazy talk, I was told! Vertigo books make up for it in trade sales!

If Rich Johnston’s new Lying in the Gutters column is to be believed – and I see no reason why he shouldn’t be this time – we’ve had our first casualty from my list of troubled books – The Exterminators has been canceled with issue #30.

We checked with DC Comics, who said, “We’re not officially confirming the end of the series at this time.” But then, artist and co-creator Tony Moore twittered his own confirmation late last night, saying:

“well, the cat’s out of the bag. Lying in The Gutters has reported the cancellation of my baby, The Exterminators. she’s had a good run. :..(“
I only discovered The Exterminators recently. I read it as a result of our Totebag challenge. I loved the dark tale of bug vs. man brought forth from Simon Oliver and Tony Moore.

I love making discoveries like this, it’s one of the best things about comics – there is so much great stuff out there just waiting to be found and read.

To be honest, I’m not totally surprised to read this announcement. The Exterminators wasn’t for everyone, apparently. We heard from many people who tried the book based on our recommendation and didn’t like it. Far more than any other book we’ve mentioned. That’s the way it goes sometimes, not every book is for every body.

Oh, well – I’m off to find a can to kick down a lonely road.


  1. Such a tragedy. I JUST made the switch to issue form on this. Missed already.

  2. Exterminators was one of my favorite monthly books but I could see why people didn’t swarm to it. I am very saddened by this news.

  3. The Totebag Challenge episode convinced me to go back and get volumes 2 & 3 of this series, and I am really enjoying it now. So this news sucks.

    Weird question: Has Crossing Midnight been canceled yet? Because I believe it’s numbers are worse than Exterminators, but it’s also only had one trade, so maybe they’re waiting to see how the next trade does…

  4. I feel like my face has just fallen off. This is sad indeed. Although, I kind of want to see another source. One podcast from over a month ago? I’m skeptical.

    Silver lining? Perhaps this means we’ll see new projects from Tony Moore.

  5. Noooooooo

    I just discovered this book!

    There were so many great mysteries that I need resolving. Oh well, I hope Simon Oliver can get another book.

  6. No! Issue 24 – “Buffet Of Darkness” – was my first issue, and I loved it. It was so disgusting, and fucking intelligent.
    Leland 222, people should have swarmed. That was funny.

  7. Clearly had they called it The X-TREMEinators we wouldn’t be having this conversation…

  8. That’s terrible. My condolences to all the loyal readers among us. Admittedly, I am Part of the Problem (never quite got around to making that purchase) but I want to see good books find an audience and succeed. Heaven knows I’ve watched enough of my favorite shows or books die on the vine.

  9. I just started picking this up. This is terrible news.

  10. ” I kind of want to see another source. One podcast from over a month ago? I’m skeptical.

    Well, considering it was series inker John Lucas giving the word, I’d have to believe the Staplepop.com podcast…

  11. Is there anyway to save the series? like Manhunter or something like that?

  12. NO! I just found this book and I love it! Why is it that the best things always are canceled?

  13. aw…it’s a book that works in single issues.

  14. Of Course there is a way to save the series, you get people to start buying the trades, the issues, you start e-mailing DC, if you have ever had even a momentary thought about reading this absolutely unique book then now is the time, and here is the place … if Spider-Girl can get threatened with cancellation like 5 times in it’s 10 year history of publication then surely we can bring ourselves to save a book like The Exterminators.

  15. “Well, considering it was series inker John Lucas giving the word, I’d have to believe the Staplepop.com podcast…”

    Well shut my mouth. I didn’t look into the podcast, so now all I have to say is…


  16. I heard ‘Crossing Midnight’ is cancelled from #20, can’t remember where I got that from, sorry.

    But its a damn shame about ‘The Exterminators’. It was a cracking story, suffered a bit from the curse of fill-in artists. I’d rather have Tony Moore on this than ‘Fear Agent’.

  17. Here’s a link for the Crossing Midnight news :-


    Still not 100% official I think.

  18. But, but…Vertigo were in my Top 11….

    I’m enjoying both these series.

    Army @ Love…not so much.

  19. Damn, that sucks. I balked at buying the trade with my birthday gift certificate, but I picked up three issues for $0.20 a piece to try it out and I really liked it.

    Now, this is a big deal for me because I’m so fucking phobic of bugs, you don’t even know. So, a book needs to be really good if it’s gonna make me cringe every time I look at a cover or a good amount of the pages.

    But I read the issues and they were fun, funny, and smart. It’s still the next trade I intend to buy. I was even planning on showing it to the new girl…

  20. Drag. I didn’t much care for the most recent story arc, but I thought the latest stand-alone issue was a complete return to form. I was really excited to see this book go back to what it had been for the first two trades. Darkly funny and kinda gross with an intriguing over riding story.

    That said, I’m not terribly surprised by this news though. At my local comic shop I was one of two guys that read this series. And I feel like, being in a college town, that this is the age group of folks who’d kind of be into this series. So if people here aren’t reading it…

  21. Dammit, after the totebag catch-up show I was totally gonna start buying this! Is it gonna get a proper ending, so a new reader like me can buy the trades knowing it’s gonna wrap up and not just finish in the middle of a story?

  22. I love(d) this series as well as American Virgin..yet another title getting the axe. Crossing Midnight is a great read too….pick it up before its gone too…
    Seems Vertigo is falling into the trap of trying a lot of new things and hoping for homeruns out of the gate a la Preacher…Fables….Sandman…etc. I hope this doesnt make them scared to keep trying new things…but also not to pull the plug too soon. Exterminators is another title like The Boys, which would be a smash from a smaller company like Boom! Devils Due, or even Image, etc. Would love to see them scarf up some of these titles….low or mid-level DC or Marvel Numbers would probably be great numbers for these smaller presses….!

  23. O….that sucks….I love this book. It has been spotty at times, but when its good, its among the best books being written.

    This is a true bummer for me…damn. I hope Simon gets to write a new book soon. He’s one talented MF.

    Damn, damn, damn,

    Oh and if you didn’t get my feelings…DAMN

  24. Yeah, even trade sales can’t save a series sometimes. Just like companies will have to continue a series a little bit past an arc to see if the trade sales warrant keeping it, Vertigo has to keep a book going that extra bit so they can get two or three Trades worth of sales to decide if it’s worth keeping since that’s typically how they raise most of Their sales. That’s why seeing a Vertigo book go past the first two trades isn’t enough, really getting to the fourth one is when you know it’s going to stay around, and even then it might not make it like is the case with The Exterminators here.

    I have a sad feeling CROSSING MIDNIGHT is coming next, it pretty much has had the exact numbers EXTERMINATORS did in both singles and trades…

  25. I have a sad feeling CROSSING MIDNIGHT is coming next, it pretty much has had the exact numbers EXTERMINATORS did in both singles and trades…

    And it’s even more of an esoteric property. So yeah, I’ve got to think it’s not long for this world either.

    Scalped will be the lowest selling book at DC.

    Fucking crime, that.

  26. This truly sucks. I can’t believe this. Vertigo has been bringing out more ongoings in the last 5 years then I can ever remember them doing before. Exterminators came out around when American Virgin, testament, and DMZ did. Since then they’ve launched Jack of Fables, Loveless, Scalped, and Crossing Midnight. I worry that they have overextended themselves and that more of these books will get the ax in coming months. Sales numbers say that Jack of Fables is somewhat safer than the rest, and DMZ has a little steam behind it. I don’t know aboutt he rest. Sadly, Crossing Midnight and Exterminators may be my favorite of Vertigo’s latest launches. I wish they could pull a Fear Agent / Rex Mundi and switch to Dark Horse, but somehow I think DC is a bit more tight-fisted with their intellectual property rights than Image was.