Late Comic Books

Late books, you hate 'em, right? Like sandworms.  Just below the $4 price point, and stuntlike character events, and digital grousing, and endless events, nothing gets under readers' skins like late comics.  They are, at this point, a running gag, a foregone conclusion, and something to be reviled.  But as with anything, there's more to it than that. A lot of times, readers are quick to point fingers, and jump to conclusions, forgetting that behind the late books are the livelihoods of several people, at the very least.  Sure, it sucks that you can't get your book, but what about the other people?

Suppose that a writer is late with a script, for example.  In a mainstream book, there's a penciler, inker, colorist, and letterer, all losing income because they don't have the pages to work on. Yet they've carved out space in their schedule to do just that.  So they're just losing money.  I definitely know of one up and coming artist, working with a big name writer, whose script pages were coming in so late, he had to demand they put him on something else, because he wasn't making any money.  I imagine something like this happened with Leinil Yu when he was waiting for script for Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk for such a long time.

In other instances, the creators come down with some sort of illness.  It can definitely happen.  For a writer, it's hard to be creative and make a script good when you're fighting through something, whether short term or long term.  Mark Millar is well known for having Crohn's disease, and it's sidelined his work a bunch of times.  People forget about it, and make jokes (I'm sure I have), but what's he supposed to do?  Millar's losing money when he's not working, so it's not like there's no drawback for him, even outside of the illness.  Recently, Tony Harris explained on Word Balloon that Millar suffered the same sort of problem with War Heroes, and then it screwed up the whole schedule when it came to Tony finishing the artwork, and Millar getting sucked into the train of publicity for all the projects he's involved in.  At that point, it comes down to priorities.  What's more important? Is it an Image book, or a multi-million dollar film production?  What's going to benefit the creator more in the long term?  It's a tough answer, but an easy choice.

Kevin Smith was well known for his delays when he was writing comics in the early part of the decade.  He got behind because of his film commitments as well.  In that instance, I find it a bit tougher to forgive, just because, if you knew the schedule, and you knew it was going to be a challenge, don't take the work.  That's fine if you don't have time to write comics, but then, don't try to write comics.  Maybe the same could be said of Millar, but he comes from comics, so perhaps I give him some leeway.  If you come into comics from movies, and then you eschew the comics for the movies again, that just irks me. 

When it comes to scripting, the question must be asked: how hard is it anyway?  That question will vary from writer to writer obviously.  Some people will slave over the smallest bit of script, and others will knock it out in moments. That can vary great.  I know one guy who was writing two very high profile books at one point, and I asked him how much time he spends working in a given day, and he told me. Two hours.  Another yardstick is that Paul Cornell aims to write five pages of comic script per day.  I'm sure that some days that takes a lot longer than others, but that's doable, I think.  It's definitely possible to knock out a single issue script over a weekend for most writers.  It'll be tough, yes, but it can be done if you're behind. I remember last year, Bill Willingham set out to write a script a day over a month. I don't think he made it, but he did get something like 13 or so under his belt before he slipped.  While it's hard, it's not that hard.  I've written enough comic scripts at this point to know it's not a months long proposition.  While there is a certain element of "it'll take how long it takes," but at the same time, for many, it's a matter of professionalism.  You accepted the job, so step up and do it.  Make it as good as you can, and try to do better next month.

Over on the artist side of things, again, everybody is different.  We all know Frank Quitely can't do a monthly book.  In fact, most artists can't do a monthly book.  They can do maybe 10 issues a year.  Some are crazy.  Just this weekend, Francis Manapul told us he can do about 2 pages of Flash every day.  Tony Harris does pretty damn well for a guy who has to cast, shoot, layout and draw the page, in the style he does it.  He said he didn't want anyone to do the regular issues of Ex Machina, and wanted no fill-ins, no matter what.  And he was right.  The hardcovers I have of the series prove that out.  At this point, I really think it depends on the project. I'll wait for Quitely.  Others, it makes more sense to switch up the art team and keep the story going, such as with 52.  Can you imagine a fill-in issue on Watchmen?  No thank you.  On Avengers?  It's not so big a deal.

So what can you do?  You can vote with your dollars, which again, seems like the only real option readers have to voice their opinions.  If a book is absurdly late, don't buy it.  Unless you really want it.  In that case, you're telling the publisher and creators that having the book is more important to you than having it on time.  Not buying it reveals the opposite.  It's time to stop speculating about who's fault it might be, and err on the side of cutting some slack, just in case it's something no one can control.  It's not always a Playstation addiction. 

Of course, sometimes, it is.  There's this one guy who was famously late, and he stopped answering the phone. This prompted the editor to drive to his house, and bang on the door, where she found him playing video games, despite being months behind on deadline.  That happens too.

Comments

  1. Late books, for the most part have never bothered me. I feel I’ll read it when I read it and there are pleanty of other things to try while I wait. Also it can often mean saving money that month or even using that money to try something else I’ve heard great things about. 

    The only time I had a problem with a late book. (And by "Problem" I mean "Slight disappointment) was with the above mentioned Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine. I did really enjoy the series and wanted more after the first two issues in, but that wasn’t the disappointment. The disappointment came when there was a clear shift in tone. Now I have no idea what Lindelof was going for or what his end game was originally when he pitched the series. But after the four year gap between issue 2 and 3 there is a pretty clear shift in tone from pretty series dark book to, a bit more goofy and silly. Not a bad thing, people change in four years time and for him the story changed perhaps, I can only speculate, maybe what we got was what was always planned, I can’t say for sure but is sure feels like a tone change half way through the series and God, I would have loved to have seen what that book would have been uninterrupted. Oh well. It’s still a nice hardcover on my shelf.  

  2. skeets skeets says:

    im never that bothered by late books. when it’s something stand-alone like Ex Machina, I can wait… if it’s an issue of something in continuity that either holds up other stories or requires them to go on like the issue came out (Captain America Reborn) it’s a little annoying. Still though, if it’s a quality book, I can wait.

  3. Grandturk says:

    I’m more concerned with why a Monday holiday means I have to get my books on Thursday!  Are you kidding me?  In the days of "If it fits – it ships" and "We love logistics!"  Get my books to the store for Wednesday!

  4. Joseph4th Joseph4th says:

    Late books mean lost sales and you’d think they would do whatever they could get those sales numbers up. What I wonder about, is that now that pretty much most books are written with 6-8 issue story arcs, why don’t the publishers front-load them? By this I mean, not publish the first issue of the story arc until the last one is being printed. When they announce the way they were going to be doing Amazing Spider-man a few years ago, I thought that was exactly what they meant they were going to do. Since they were going to have different teams taking turns doing the stories, I thought for sure that they would have them working somewhat in tandem so that they had everything ready to go way ahead of time.

     

    I know it can’t be done for everything, it would be really difficult for the publisher to hold out on a 12-issue story like Watchmen until the 12th issue was done, but surely they could hold back until 4-6 of them were ready to go.  There is the initial financial obligation to get started, paying the team for several issues before the books even go to market, but the publishers gets a lot out of the deal. They get a much better handle on their schedule; they know that the book will come out on said date because they already have it ready to do. Their marketing can be much more solid and tied together with other books, events and other media like movie releases.

     

    Comics are pretty short when you compare them to novels and some people already have trouble remember where they left off a month later when the next issue comes out. 2 months later or more and a lot of people may not even remember they were even reading your book. This is one of the reasons I finally gave up. I am now one of those guys who waits for the trade.

     

    Just thinking outloud.

  5. Hazer75 Hazer75 says:

    I agree with Skeets.  Stand alone is not a big deal really, though it has caused me to drop books. 

     

    The delays for "in continuity" books are extremely frustrating. I.E. the Captain America Reborn thing.  This week we are only up to issue 5 of 6 in Morrison’s Return of Bruce Wayne series (which I believe was solicited as a bi-weekly series),  yet the slew of Bruce Wayne The Road Home books start coming out this same week.  I really hate that.  I wish these major publishers would REQUIRE these pivotal status quo changing miniseries to have more stuff in the can before going forward with the stories.  If that means fill in stories or one shots,  I’m all for that.

  6. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    They can’t "front-load" because of cash concerns mostly.  One issue funds the next.  Especially smaller books.  A bunch of people need to get paid, and they don’t want to fund 6 months of comics when they don’t even know if they’re selling at all.  They fund what they have pre-orders for.  Then people, as they do, get behind.

  7. RoiVampire RoiVampire says:

    I love me some late books son. Gots to have late books baby. It’s the only way to fly!

  8. Interesting insight into the realities of late books. I had no idea that Millar had Crohns Disease. A friend has that and i know how paralyzing it can be. Whats up with comic creators and video games? I hear a lot about that on twitter. Is it an epidemic?

    The thing about moving between comics and movies, is that its easy to start talking about love of the medium, and all that stuff, but at the end of the day its about money and taking care of your family. If comics paid as much as TV or Movies you’d have more loyalty. It seems to me that working in comics is as much labor of love as it is a job.  

    With the amount of detail in comic art especially backgrounds etc, that we the fans demand and expect, i wonder if we are in some part causing lateness. I mean we’re expecting guys to spend lots of time rendering the garbage in an alleyway and leaves on a tree, cause if they don’t, they’ll get torn apart online and their reputation will suffer.

    I dunno, seems amazing that anyone can crank a monthly book out.  

  9. You’re seeing the problems with lateness right now with the Return of Bruce Wayne stuff.

    The Road Home one-shots all have Bruce in the book already yet he hasn’t even returned in the main mini-series yet. I picked up ‘The Road Home: Batman and Robin’ because it sounded interesting and I like Fabian Nicieza. But what do I see on the last page? Bruce Wayne for all the eyes to see (well a rather badly drawn Wayne but you get my point)

    All of these things you mention Josh, other then sickness which I don’t slight anyone for, can be controlled. Anything that can really cause a lateness could’ve been prevented before anything horrible has happened. Millar is just a guy looking for money so he goes from project to project; not caring about the readers but more about the way he could make a ton of money by turning his work into film. Can’t blame a guy for wanting to get rich, but you know if you want to pitch film ideas then don’t dangle a carrot over us (the readers) by doing a comic of it first.

    Again unless it’s a sickness, or injury then you won’t find me feeling sympathetic for creators getting late on their work. It’s a job first in a business not creativity whether you guys want to like it or not. 

  10. gobo gobo says:

    Do you guys honestly thing publishers aren’t already doing everything in their power to keep books from being late.  I’m sure they hate them even more than us.

    @Hazer75 They had to change artists mid-stream on an issue because Cameron Stewart couldn’t make the deadline and did the right thing and told them. They got someone else to do it but obviously that’s going to start delaying things.

    Everyone always has the best intentions and does their best.  There are books made by real people with real problems though. It’s almost never about someone being a slacker.

  11. Hazer75 Hazer75 says:

    @gobo.  My biggest issue here is with these miniseries that hold up continuity.  if the regular books get behind thats okay, but (@Josh) ya can’t tell me they won’t preprint Return of Bruce Wayne because they don’t know if it will sell.  Of course it will.  Get these miniseries in the can before you screw up the system.

  12. gobo gobo says:

    @Hazer75 And I’m saying they (likely) had it scheduled with more than enough lead time to get it out on time. Then Cameron had to pull out for whatever reason which through everything off.  Since it’s not a surprise the "Return of Bruce Wayne" is going to end with the return of Bruce Wayne I think they made the right choice and printed everything else on schedule instead of holding up the entire Bat-line.

    It’s not as easy as just saying "preprint it" there are dozens of people involved and schedules to work out. I’m sure they were as in advance as they could work out before they got ahead. It’s not like they aren’t even more aware than we are about Morrison and others being known for being late.

  13. bansidhewail bansidhewail says:

    I’d much rather have something awesome later than something just okay right now.  For example, Bill Willingham was kicking fucking ass on Angel.  Those 5 issues he wrote and Brian Denham drew were the best that series has ever been.  Then "scheduling issues" lost us first the great artist and now the great writer.  The recent issues have been credited as "plotted by" Willingham and scripted by a couple of other people…the dialogue has gotten so bad it’s at times incomprehensible, and the characters are no longer sounding like themselves…why doesn’t IDW realize that it’s better to have something excellent than something mediocre, even if it takes longer?  As an Angel fan, I’ll stick with a book that really makes me feel like I’m still getting the experience I loved about the show, no matter whether it comes out irregularly or costs more or whatever other factors make people stop buying stuff…but if the book continues to suck as much as it has started to, I’m dropping it.

    Jericho Season 3 has put out 3 issues in 2 years…I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for more, and I don’t care how long it takes; it’s worth the wait.

  14. Hazer75 Hazer75 says:

    @gobo   yeah,  and thats why it is so infuriating that they know the speed these guys operate at, yet  these things STILL almost never get done on time.  these types of delays are only excused for people with artistic lines of work.  lucky for you Grant,  I love you unconditionally!

  15. @gobo: How can Stewart’s departure hurt the artists for #5 and #6?

    If anything it gave them a bit more time since they had an extra week or two with Jeanty rushing to finish. In fact they had more time because Irving and others had their issues late as well. 

  16. el355 says:

    This is a pretty interesting article.  I remember collecting comics back in the 90s and was on the Image band wagon.  After one too many late comics, I’ve decided to not collect any book from Image.  I figure if they couldn’t put a book out on a normal schedule (4 or 6 weeks) then they don’t deserve my money.  Powers was the first Image book that I started to collect after the whole “Pitt-fiasco”.  I did notice that I would try out new books or series outside of my comfort zone because I had extra money burning in my pocket that was going to be used on a book that I currently late.  It is bad on one hand and on the other you may find a new favorite book. 

     

    I get that "life" happens to everyone.  Just be honest with the fans why the book is late.  Fans will understand if a creator is sick or has a death in the family which is pushing back a comic release date.  But if he is just eating bon bons, watching Lost In Space reruns or trying to beat Zelda on the NES – then that creator deserve to be fired for serious misuse of their time!  HA!

  17. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    @el355 – you understand that Image Comics as it is now is a backend deal, right?  They don’t get paid anything until after the books are sold and published.  A majority of the books being printed by Image right now couldn’t support a single person as a full time job, much less a team.  If those books aren’t selling, they’ve got to take work elsewhere, and that will probably cause delays. I can’t fault an indie creator for that, ever.

  18. diebenny diebenny says:

    Great article Josh.  Lateness is a big deal and a good portion of us comic fans who don’t read every blog and comic’s website don’t always understand why books are late beyond our own "ME WANT NOW! CANT REMEMBER THEN!"

  19. redlibertyx redlibertyx says:

    All I want to know is can someone explain Mark Bagley? Apparently he’s ridiculously fast. Like as fast as Manapul apparently is or faster. Did he clone himself? Is that how it works? Does he run a small sweatshop with little Chinese people doing the art a la that Banksy couch gag that just aired on the Simpsons? THE WORLD MUST KNOW!

  20. Dan Dan says:

    I’m over the whole ‘late books suck’ thing – it is what it is.

  21. s1lentslayer s1lentslayer says:

    If it’s a few weeks or even a month or so I don’t really care. But if you’re talking many months then yeah it’s annoying. But what can you do except complain about it on message boards? :)

  22. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    You can not buy it.

  23. MisterJ says:

    The second to last paragraph needs to be required reading for all comics fans.

    @Grandturk-HELL YES!  Someone start an investigation.

    Maybe it is because I was just starting to buy comics in the early 90′s when it seemed that everything was late, but it has never been more than a minor annoyance to me.  

  24. gobo gobo says:

    @MisterJ Wait… read beyond the first few lines of an article? BLASPHEMY

  25. s1lentslayer s1lentslayer says:

    Stop making sense.

  26. Is the "do not buy it" really the best solution? I mean if you’re invested in a series and it starts shipping late, are you really going to stop buying a book to take a stand that publishers won’t notice? If some kid in Indiana decides to take a stand and not buy Return of Bruce Wayne #5 is DC really going to notice? The fan with the incomplete story gets hurt more than the publisher. 

    Maybe more books should be bi monthly or come out every 5 or 6 weeks instead of shipping late all the time? I mean that extra length of time will suck, BUT they can remain on schedule. 

  27. I am, primarily, an issue reader so late books do impact my reading. There are books where it dosent bother me (i don’t mind waiting when walking dead is late) but there are times I do not buy a book because it’s late (I’m looking at you supergod). Not worth getting mad about, I just decide to drop them

  28. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    @wally – read that 2nd to last paragraph again. If you choose to buy it, then you’re voting that you don’t care about the lateness. You want the book.  But make no mistake, it’s the only vote you can make.

  29. Bat4life Bat4life says:

    Late Comics? Mark Millar should know a thing or two on that?, (lol)

  30. MisterJ says:

    @Gobo-It is hard to resist the temptation to comment purely on the title of the article ;)

    Comics fans have to understand that there is only an ‘up/down’ vote on lateness.  If you buy the product, you support the lateness, if you resist purchasing you do not support the lateness.  

    Sure, you can buy it and then bitch about it being late, but that is completely ineffectual (except for making yourself feel better by venting) and there are better avenues to talk about comics other than bitching.

  31. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    @Bat4Life – please, for the love of god, just glance at the article before posting.

  32. gobo gobo says:

    @wally If you enough people don’t buy it, it sends a message. If only 1 person in Indiana doesn’t buy it then not enough people give a shit, and it’s a moot point.

    Guess what?  Not enough people care.  I know I don’t.

  33. stuclach stuclach says:

    Josh sounds like an economist (awesome).  Consumer sovereignty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_sovereignty) is a beautiful thing.  We don’t always take advantage of it like we should.  Vote with your money.  You have WAY more power as a consumer than you think you do.

    Personally, I don’t mind late books if they are high quality (Hellboy).  I’m generally a quality over quantity guy (except in the case of Transformers comics), so I have a relatively high tolerance for slow/late comics.  That certainly doesn’t mean I prefer them, just that I don’t automatically discount a book because it is late.

  34. stuclach stuclach says:

    We had a student in our Econ program catch Playstation-itis.  He nearly flunked out.  Luckily, we straightened him out and he is now in NYU’s Political Science Ph.D. program with a full ride.  He’s a good kid.

  35. deezer deezer says:

    It’s kinda weird, but I feel like I used to notice late books a lot more than I do now… part of it could be because if I don’t get them month after month they just kinda fade from my consciousness, but I feel like I should be at least noticing it. Oddly, though, I never really minded it all that much

  36. k5blazer k5blazer says:

    Illness are an unfortunate reality of life, but what bugs me is when there is no word on why a book is late. Still waiting for Jim Lee’s second Wildcats issue as well as All-Star Batman. Whatever the reason, they need to say something about it, they cancelled it, they are working ob it and changes needed to be done, or something. They need to own delays and that way maybe the reader can have some insight and understanding and then maybe not so quick to drop a book. But it starts with the ownership of the delay first.

  37. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    Who says they owe you anything? You think you’re entitled to that, which is really common among comic fans. The only thing they have an obligation to do is put out comics.  Anything beyond that is just gravy.  I don’t know why people think they’re owed a look at things behind the scenes. It would be nice maybe, but we’re not owed anything, certainly not an explanation. If I was sick, I don’t need everyone knowing that. It’s none of our business really.  They live and die by the product they do or don’t put on the shelves. That’s it.

  38. Andrew Andrew says:

    I don’t get it. I really don’t. Why are late comics such a big deal? Is anyone really waking up every morning and thinking "Golly! I’d really like to read the next chapter in The Return of Bruce Wayne!" before they even get out of bed? For those that complain about forgetting the ongoing story, what’s the limit to your memory?  If you can wait a day between issues, can’t you wait a week? If you can wait a week, can’t you wait a month? And if you can wait a month, is an extra month or 2 going to change your enjoyment of that product? Lots of us follow some series in trade, which tend to come out 2, maybe 3, times a year. Why not demand a trade’s worth of story every month, since that seems to be the crucial time to recall a story.

     As for the argument that a late issue of The Return of Bruce Wayne conflicts with other stories coming out, it really doesn’t. So bruce is in the oneshots that came out today…so what?  Did you miss the words "Return," "of," and "Bruce Wayne" in the title of the mini-series?  Did you think the twist would be that Bruce Wayne would not return?  We knew he would return before we turn the first page of the first beautiful caveman issue. It’s the how that is compelling for that particular mini series, but one’s enjoyment of any of this week’s oneshots should not be contingent on knowing how Bruce Wayne came back, just that he is back.

    Great article Josh. Thanks for taking the time to write an informed piece, even though you probably knew it wouldn’t be enough to stem the torrent of shrill complaints of the happy thing known as "the internet."

    Plus, no matter how late your books are, they are still more timely than Daredevil: Target, am I right? 

  39. BobDigi76 BobDigi76 says:

    I feel ya Josh.  The creators should want to let know readers what’s up but they’re certainly not obligated.  The only thing that gets damaged is their reputation & even that probably doesn’t way on them much b/c if they are a superstar people will come back when they finally publish something. Just like you said earlier the only solution is w/hold your dollars.

  40. tomdpimp tomdpimp says:

    I blame the editors.  They are in charge.  Flash Rebirth is the best example.  EVS should never been put on a series that required more than three issues.

     

     

  41. DJSims DJSims says:

    I think that I’ll have to play the Devil’s Advocate and say that both sides of this argument are justified in their stances. On one side, if a publisher says something is going to be put out in a certain timeframe and it isn’t, I think no matter what, that falls back on the people involved, whether it’s justified or not. I personally don’t mind late books all that much (may irritate me from time to time) but it’s a business and if you say that you’re going to have a product out by a certain time and do not deliver, then I think that fans are justified to their reactions whatever they may be.

    BUT..

    Like Josh said, there are times where it is justified and while the blame does belong to the company, sometimes it just has to be done. If a creator is sick and can’t work, then that’s all there is to it. If a creator needs to take another job because of pay? Then of course, he should go do it. But on the other side of that, any fans that are annoyed or disappointed because that creator NEEDED to make that decision are also validated in their disappointments because they are no losing a product that they want, even though the creator is completely justified in their decision.

    I think this whole debate is an extremely grey area, not black and white and people shouldn’t treat it as such . I think Josh is right when it comes down to voting with your wallet but you need to do it for yourself and not against the company. If a book is late or frustrates you, you should make the decision to drop the book because it’s not worth it to you. Some people on discussing whether dropping a late book will send a message to the Publisher and the answer is probably not but that’s really besides the point. You shouldn’t try to "stick it" to the publisher because you feel wrong, but just look at the story, the problems, and what you’re paying and say "OK, this just isn’t worth it for me." 

    There seems to be a sense of entitlement on both sides of the arguement. Publishers don’t owe us anything (don’t confuse lateness as some sort of broken promise) and in return we as consumers do not owe our money to goods that we choose to purchase.

    I wasn’t a huge fan the All Star Batman story but I loved the art. When it started to get really late, I simply had to ask myself, is the art really worth the minor annoyance I get with the lateness. To me, that was a no and I simply stopped purchasing the title with no ill will. 

  42. k5blazer k5blazer says:

    @Josh- I never said I was owed anything. My point is that for companies to want to continue to have support and continued purchases I think it’s just a good business move to let your supporter/customer base know if there is problem of a non-medical sort. It doesn’t have to be a full-on press conference, just a little something to acknowledge the delay so the people don’t feel ignored. A perfect example of that is when ifanboy said there would be a delay in the video show for a while while things were transitioning from Revsion3. That’s all that needed to be said, and I would guess it was done to be courteous of those who support you, it wasn’t expected or demanded, it was something that you guys felt needed to be said to address the delay. It was a great business move. All I’m saying is that the book producers could do likewise and diffuse if not avoid all of the heat associated with late books.

  43. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    @tomdpimp – Man, I hope you’re kidding, because the editors are the only guys making sure these things come out at all.

  44. MisterJ says:

    @k5blazer-What if the publishers take the ‘all publicity is good publicity’ stance.  Us, the fans/community talking about the books, even if it is bitching, is better than us not talking about the books.  Most of us end up buying the books anyway.  And for those of us that do not, I doubt that a little explanation is going to turn no’s into yes’s.  I doubt that it would even stop most of the internet bitching.

  45. AlexG AlexG says:

    I think some of the confusion may come in the whole notion of this as an ‘investment’. If you think that you are investing in something and that investment doesn’t perform, you’re upset. It’s proven that the majority of people will stay in losing investment hoping it goes up. I guess, in a way, the fans ARE investing in the industry because they are a pretty loyal bunch and come back each week rain or shine (I know I know, store OWNERS truly buy books, but whatever). Nevertheless, unless you are looking for an ROI that = 100% good times, comics are the wrong investment, cuz, well they aren’t an investment.

  46. great article josh, I try to vote with my dollars but somtimes the creative team is worth the wait and I will still buy that late book.

  47. NawidA NawidA says:

    Heh, Manapul can do two pages of Flash a day, but the book is always late.

  48. tomdpimp tomdpimp says:

    @Josh

    Exactly my point.  If the editor is doing the job right then book ships on time.  Kirby’s 1960s work should be the role model for all comics.  Think of how many books he drew and coplotted and how iconic they looked too.  Instead Rob Liefeld is more the role model.

  49. Liquidiq says:
    Its not the concept of late books its the concept of promised products.  When books are promised to be on time by the creative team working for either major and indie publishers that’s when I get frustrated.  We know scheduling problems come up and we know some creators are painfully slow so why don’t they put "mini-series" in the "can" before they are released or promised at cons.  If a creator has to have a paying job then their creator own project should wait.  They loose readers when they need the support the most.  Crossover fatigue mainly wasn’t purchase overload it was the main books not being produced in a timely manner. If it something huge and universe expansive pick artist’s and writer’s who can do a complete project that way other teams can build of the main story and flesh them out in the minis.  I would have so paid extra for J.G. Jones to finish Final Crisis.  AARRGGHH!!!
  50. Is there even really a problem here?

    Yeah sure it sucked waiting for Return of Bruce Wayne #5, but its coming out this week and the preview looks pretty dope.

    Calm down everyone, a delay is nothing to get worked up about.

  51. HomeTeam790 says:

    "Again unless it’s a sickness, or injury then you won’t find me feeling sympathetic for creators getting late on their work. It’s a job first in a business not creativity whether you guys want to like it or not. "

     I wholeheartedly agree with this.  I have zero tolerance for this and I do vote with my dollars, I don’t buy them, or the trade.  If you can’t do a serialized story, stick to doing graphic novels.  I cannot see how it is tolerated, i don’t get it.  Never have, never will.  I can understand when people like Howard Porter or Busiek suffer injuries, they can’t do their books, that’s forgiveable, but if you’re butt is sitting there playing videogames, that’s not, that’s just laziness, I’m glad one of those particular artists is out of the buisness, let’s give some press to guys who actually care about their product.

  52. BC1 BC1 says:

    @tomdpimp – You have to remember, though, that the books Kirby and others were putting out were lower in production quality than books today.  Yes, Kirby’s images are iconic, but they are high quality for the 1960′s.  Compare that to what a Manapul or Quitely is doing and there’s no comparison.  Also, Kirby literally worked himself to death because that’s the only way he could make enough money to support his family.  The guy would fall asleep at his drawing board to get enough pages done.  High profile artists today don’t have to go that route, thankfully.

  53. dkbrain dkbrain says:

    Great article. Mixed feelings. Late books do impact reader enjoyment. There is a loss of momentum. Good project managers should be able to deliver product on time regardless of industry. So, it’s a fixable problem. Still, it is only an annoyance in the big picture. A late book with a great story willalways get my OK

  54. icn1983 icn1983 says:

    I’ll take Kirby over almost every artist working today no questions asked. 

  55. powerdad powerdad says:

    I don’t notice lateness anymore.  I barely get to the small stack I buy nowadays.  I have an "embarrassingly" full short box of issues I’ve purchased which I still haven’t had a chance to read.

    So I honestly don’t know which comics in that box were a month late, and which were not.  I’m the late one on reading them. 

    Ultimate Wolverine v. Hulk is one of the only I did notice, because I was looking forward to seeing the conclusion and its delay was crazy long.