Q. has "the middleman" been cancelled?
A. why must we rush to use the “c” word? it’s so ugly. i prefer to think of “the middleman” as dormant - hibernating in a high-tech vat, or a sac filled with a translucent amniotic fluid that may, perhaps, glow...a show in transition...like a massive televisual pupa...changing, evolving, gaining strength.
Q. all right, cut the crap - will there be a second season or what?
A. whatever future “the middleman” has will depend entirely on sales of the dvd boxed set (coming this july from shout! factory!). if the dvd sells well, maybe there will be an opening to bring the characters back in some form or another...history has shown that this is a possibility (as in “serenity” and “family guy” - you know, hope springs eternal).
Q. how does that make you feel? are you pissed that your show’s cance-
Q. - i mean, “hibernating in a high tech vat?”
A. i feel just fine and dandy. “the middleman” was always a long shot. when i first wrote the pilot, a lot of people whose opinion i trust thought it was an impossible dream for it to be purchased by a television network, much less see the air as a television series. when the comic book was illustrated (beautifully, i might add) by les mcclaine, a lot of people whose opinion i trust argued that his lush visuals actually proved the impossibility of ever successfully producing the show on a television budget...and when i sold the pilot to abc family, a lot of people whose opinion i trust thought that the show would never survive the network development process with its weird, anarchically upbeat worldview intact. that we produced twelve quality episodes of the show - all of which i am proud - was the result of an alchemy of time, place and personnel that we may never be able to replicate. the simple fact that this show exists is a minor miracle for which i am eternally grateful. also, i need to find new people whose opinion i trust.
Q. oh, come on, javi abc family cancelled -
Q. - yes, cancelled - they CANCELLED your show, you delusional little man!
A. but -
Q. - surely you hate them! tell me you hate them!
A. why would i hate an organization that believed in my vision, put their own money and production company behind it, gave me a level of creative latitude the likes of which i have not seen in fifteen years in the business, provided me the opportunity to put to air twelve of the most highly idiosyncratic hours of television ever - even when the show’s lack of commercial success would have easily justified their yanking the series from their air at episode six - and furnished my first opportunity to run a series? why would i hate a company that loves “the middleman” so much that - even after having to make the difficult financial decision to put the show on hiatus - they went out of their way to find a dvd producer whose reputation for quality product insures that we will have the best possible chance at a lasting artistic legacy? why would i hate the group of talented individuals who are supporting the production of the new graphic novel “the doomsday armageddon apocalypse” (coming this july from viper comics!) so that our show has a proper finale? why would i hate them? why?
Q. because, man, they're the suits! ATTICA! ATTICA!
A. to me they were magnificent collaborators who protected my vision, kept it on the air as long as they could, and continue to fight to make sure the show is seen.
Q. really. so it’s a love fest between you and abc family?
A. a carnival of pro-mance that would make caligula blush.
A. you asked, i answered.
Q. so let’s talk about the graphic novel.
Q. i read somewhere that it’s just a graphic novel version of episode 12, “the palindrome reversal palindrome.”
A. as you may see, the graphic novel is called “the doomsday armageddon apocalypse” - see, different title, different story.
Q. is it a series finale?
A. it was intended to be our first season finale, but if it’s the last installment of this version of “the middleman,” it will be a satisfying ending that will answer many, if not all of the questions left hanging by the series.
Q. so the characters will look like matt keeslar and natalie morales - not like the original graphic novel characters?
A. indeed. this is a proper final episode to the season and maybe series. it is based on a series script written by myself and hans (“deep space nine,” “the dresden files”) beimler. artist armando m. zanker has come up with gorgeous character designs that evoke the series while still giving the thing its own artistic integrity - and best of all, les mcclaine, the original artist and designer of “the middleman” is providing the layouts - preserving the narrative workflow that served us so well in the original GN...so basically, we have the best of all worlds here!
Q. so, let’s say, i really want to know whether the middleman and lacey’s platonic and long-unconsummated romance was ever going to work out. will i find that out in the graphic novel?
Q. and the identity of the “other woman” loved by the middleman?
A. you better believe it!
Q. will we ever find out the middleman’s real name?
Q. what about roxy wasserman?
A. she has a major role in the thing.
Q. oooh! is she the other woman?
A. i’m not telling.
Q. what about the desk clerk in the underworld? the funny guy? is he in it?
A. he’s in it too.
Q. what about manservant neville? he was good in the parallel universe...is he evil in the regular universe? is tyler evil in the regular universe?
A. the answers to these questions are the exact plot of “the doomsday armageddon apocalypse!”
Q. will we see wendy’s mom?
Q. what about her father?
A. he vanished under mysterious and as yet unexplained circumstances...so no, we’re not addressing that - but if you want a hint as to the truth of wendy’s dad, just check out the last two pages of the original middleman graphic novel.
Q. what about the dvd - who is shout! factory?
A. only the premiere producers of pop-culturally relevant series dvds in the whole wide world! renowned for giving a number of great series that never found their audience on the air their due as boxed sets chock full of extras and supplementary material...they are the producers of amazing boxed sets for “freaks and geeks,” “undeclared” “my so-called life,” “MST3k” and “SCTV.”
Q. so what kind of features can we expect on the dvd?
A. we’re working on it right now...definitely commentaries from cast and crew...much of the online content...and a lot of other surprises, if you like to delve otaku-like into the arcana of a show such as this one, i promise that we will do all we can to make this dvd set a vast vacuum from which no free time will emerge!
Q. is it true that the surgeon general is a red dupe?
A. i'm afraid so.
Q. is the middleman going to be at comic-con?
A. you mean my mecca? my favorite event of the entire year? yeah, we’ll be there, with bells on - at the shout! factory booth, at the viper comics booth, at the abc family booth - believe me, they may have to change the name to “the middle-con.”
Q. well, this all sounds like a good-nado.
A. a tornado made of good?
Q. you better believe it!