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News: Ruiz Out at Metron; Imprint Still a "Go"
posted June 23, 2004
June 23 -- Mario Ruiz has announced publicly his departure as Creative Director of Metron Press, throwing into some question the future of the American Bible Society's comic book imprint. Metron had released two books thus far: Testament, a book of bible adaptations by writer Jim Kreuger and several artists; and Samson: Judge of Israel, with art by Ruiz. In the works were several books from veteran comic book creators such as Bill Sienkiewicz, Christopher Priest and Dan Jolley. Ruiz cited fundamental differences in approach between the course he established for Metron, a combination of Bible-related books and books dealing with modern secular themes in a way that might entice a reader to investigate the roots of their religious emphasis, and servicing more directly the needs and desires of committed Christians, the strategy favored by American Bible Society.
In leaving the company, Ruiz suggested that American Bible Society was making a claim for ownership of his work, and despite officially eliminating his position had essentially hired mainstream comics industry veteran Brian Augustyn as his replacement. Ruiz also declared that his differences of opinion may have come about when those who brought him the line into ABS were fired from the company, leaving the imprint without the kind of corporate allies it might have enjoyed otherwise. Ruiz also stated publicly he believed that ABS overestimated the success most comic book series enjoyed. Augustyn quickly released a statement ensuring people that the line would continue, but not going into detail as to what books would be released. As of July 15, the once-active weekly Metron Press web site had not been updated since early May, and projects announced during the Ruiz era remained on the coming books page.