A touch of rant: comic book delays! Why? Whhhyyyyyyyy???

As I’ve mentioned on previous comic book related threads, I’ve come to really like Young Avengers (Marvel), and apparently many others do too - it’s 23rd in overall sales, the last time I looked.

And I was looking forward to issue 6, the one that would wrap up the title’s first major storyline, which would resolve the MOTHER of all cliffhangers from issue 5, coming out next week (having been delayed a week or two already). But what do I find? It’s delayed! Again! Until the 31st!

Pardon me while I let out a shriek that splits the heavens with its pain and anguish.


Okay, now that that’s done, an actual question: what causes these sorts of long delays? In this case, I know it most likely isn’t the popularity (or lack thereof) of the title. And how concerned should I, as a fan, be about how this will affect this particular title’s fanbase and sales?

goes off to grumble under his breath some more

A few measly weeks. Fah. Spoiled fanboy. Try being an Alan Moore fan. I’m STILL waiting for the rest of BIG NUMBERS, THE LOST GIRLS, and the ending of 1963!

In the vast majority of cases, issue delays are the fault of the artist working slow.

New Avengers number 8 is supposed to be out on Wednesday.

I wouldn’t hold your breath though.

Lost Girls may actually come out one of these days, Askia. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you.

More specifically, delays are more typically the result of an artist being overburdened by work, which can be laid at the feet of editors and of the artist’s eyes being bigger than his stomach. There’s a sense in which it’s accurate to say they’re “slow,” as they’re certainly slower than hoped, but in almost all cases it’s because they’ve worked themselves too hard, not because they’re goofing off. Comics artists don’t make enough money to goof off when they could earn another day’s worth of pay by just working another day.

Illness also often plays a part, especially in long delays. Comics creators get paid by the page, so when they start to get sick, they often don’t do anything about it so as lot to lose the page rate of a day’s work, and that’s a good way for illnesses to fester.

And finally, the companies just don’t care. There were absurd delays throughout the '90’s, and it’s part of what caused the mid-'90’s crash (although by no means the most important part). Nowadays, things are frequently delayed by a few weeks here and there, and most customers aren’t bothered. Some things get massively delayed (Ultimates v.1, for instance), and then people drop it, but one issue being late by a couple weeks? That’s not going to have any noticeable impact on the title’s sales.


The lovely CrossGen titles (The Crossovers, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) I was reading got imploded with the company, so I’ll probably never get to see them again, along with the unique and moderately entertaining WorldWatch, which the publisher cancelled.

You read CrossGen too, Candid?

They almost never missed a ship date until the beginning of thier implosion. It was pretty impressive until we found out that it only happened at the price of $150 million from Mark Alessi’s pocket.


Publishing man, here.

Ship delays almost always come from production delays. The actual product isn’t ready to go to press thereby causing delivery delays and infinite headaches at the printers (leading to further delays).

And stop whining. V for Vendetta had like an eight year delay about 3/4 of the way in. And Sonic Disrupters and Puma Blues just STOPPED in mid-story.

Yup - The Crossovers was pretty good, but the one I’ll really miss is Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang - it was excellent, and I hope it gets picked up by another company.

I can top that! There’s been something like a 20 year gap between Miracleman 23(?) and 24(?). :smiley:

Kinda puts the Planetary delays into perspective, that.

It already has, kinda. Disney now owns all of CG’s former intellectual property, which includes anything published in their CGUniverse – and that includes KKBB. Disney bought CG’s assets for access to Abadazad, which they’ll be putting out in an illustrated book (or more) in the future. They’re looking at reviving some of the other stuff too, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

The art team is currently working on Marvel’s Spellbinders with Mike Carey, and of course Tony Bedard is on Exiles.


What’s worse: the art and story are (apparently) done…as are the next two issues. Gaiman decided that Eclipse was cheating him and wouldn’t send anything until he was paid. Then Eclipse went bankrupt, Todd McFarlane Eclipse to get his mitts on MM which also (may have) bought some of the rights to the characters, lawsuits ensued, more lawsuits ensued and it turns out that the original rights to the characters may never have been purchased in the first place. We’ll never see them.

What I don’t get is why not just change the names? Miracleman was originally Marvelman, so make him Macroman or Mondoman or MagnificentMan, etc. I mean, currently the rights are so fouled up that no-one’ll ever sue (hell, if DC hasn’t sued over SUPREME POWERS (or SQUADRON SUPREME), Gaiman gets to finish telling the story he’s said he wants to, the fans finally get to read the conclusion and Todd McFarlane gets nothing and feels cheated. Perfect solution and we all win. :smiley:

Oh, believe me, I’m familiar with the Miracleman struggle. I wrote a paper for an intellectual property law seminar in law school on copyright issues and work-for-hire contracts in the comic book industry, and spent a good part of it discussing the McFarlane-Gaiman lawsuits and the odd publishing history of Miracleman. I’d just like to get some nice, new, affordable trade paperbacks of the Moore and Gaiman runs so far, and I’m still optimistic enough to think we’ll see those some day soon.