Comic Fodder

A Late Column About Delays

How fitting that the column in which I'm going to talk about the recent announcement of shipping delays is running late. It's been a crazy week and I've been busy as hell. Between working on an idea to pitch to Marvel and this screenplay Dave (the drunken one) and I have been tapped to write, plus the day job, this column and my own work... I feel like I'm spreading myself a bit to thin. When that happens there are three possible outcomes: 1) I rush to finish everything and quality suffers, 2) Nothing gets finished and everything runs late, or 3) I focus on one thing and the others fall behind. It's a situation I work hard to keep myself out of but sometimes everything happens at once and it's out of my control.

In case you haven't been following the story, Marvel Comics recently announced that the remaining issues of its mega-hit "Civil War" would be delayed a few months each. They also announced that because of these delays any of the other titles that tie-in to "Civil War" will experience delay's as well so as not to spoil any part of the main title. You have to understand, this means that not only will the main title be delayed, thus interrupting the flow of the story the drive keeping fans (mostly the new fans brought on by the media exposure this series has received) coming back every month for the new issues, but also, at least, four other flagship titles. That means Spiderman, Fantastic Four, New Avengers and Runaways/ Young Avengers fans will all have to wait for a few months before new books come out. The people who will be impacted the most by these delays are the retailers, the comic shop owners.

And the owners have been very vocal about this predicament.

In response, Marvel has sent out the big guns, Editor of "Civil War" Tom Brevoort and the co-creators Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, to patrol the Internet and restore peace to the land.... hasn't gone well.

Breevort on Newsarama

Brevoort on CBR

Millar and McNiven on CBR

As you can see, there are many sides to this problem. On the one hand the delay's mean that the series will be done by one creative team, giving the book a uniform look and insuring no hasty fill-in artist disrupts the creative flow between creators. On the other hand, the potential money lost is staggering and if only the hardcore fanboys come back in a few months to finish the story, the mainstream media blitz will have been for naught.

So what's the solution?

Here's my take...I think comic companies need to slow down. It's exciting when a new plan is formed and a brilliant marketing hook comes together but these things need to be shelved until several issues are in the can. Instead of rushing to make "Civil War" a summer event, why not give the creators some extra time and bring it out for the new Fall Season? If the companies would sit on these properties a bit longer to let some completed issues, build up they would leave their creative teams enough leeway to keep up the output even in the face of a delay caused by personal problems or some other uncontrollable act of Nature.

All right,...that's it for me. Sorry if this post rambled a I said, sometimes the quality suffers when too many things are going on at once...and right now I'm rushing to finish this so I can get out to see "Snakes on a Plane."

Hopefully Mac and Shannon (my editors) are out tonight and don't notice this column at all....

Hi guys.

All right...time for me to watch Sam Jackson get some motherf**king snakes of a motherf**king plane.