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February 20, 2008

Comments

Brian Disco Snell

Given that in the past 9 months DC has had to essentially STOP storylines in 3 separate Superman books AND Wonder Woman, and conclude them months later in annuals, I'm kind of surprised it took this long.

Of course, some of the blame must go to the editorial branch, for assigning their star books to either unproven artists, or artists who already had the reputation for being...ahem...slow. And also for not having back-up plans in place, either fill-in issues or alternate artists ready to leap in with an assist.

Of course, at Marvel, Quesada was both artist and editor, so who was going to bark at him for delaying OMD? Having no Spider-Man book on the stands for almost 2 whole months couldn't have been good for marvel's bottom line--or were they just building demand?!?!

stephen

they've lost me on superman because if this late book stuff it's a real and important problem. i'm glad to see dc trying to remedy it now if we can only get marvel to follow suit. i almost dropped mighty avengers because of this problem. part of being a pro is getting your work in on time like a pro.

Bill S.

But what if the problem doesn't happen to be the artist, but rather the writer? Is anything in place to correct those delays?

Mark Engblom

"Of course, some of the blame must go to the editorial branch, for assigning their star books to either unproven artists, or artists who already had the reputation for being...ahem...slow."

Oh, there's definitely plenty of blame to go around in the editorial department. I think modern editors have overcompensated from the old "autocratic S.O.B." editor model (as personnified by the late, great Julie Schwartz) to a more theraputic "friend of the creator" model...and, as such, find it difficult to crack the whip when it needs cracking...or shuffling creators when the work starts fallling behind or falling short on quality.

So, yeah...I also blame alot of the sliding work ethic on today's lax editorial style...which seems to be more interested in being the creator's pal than representing the interests of the publisher and their paying customers.

Mark Engblom

"part of being a pro is getting your work in on time like a pro."

So obvious, yet such an elusive concept to so many in the comics biz.

"But what if the problem doesn't happen to be the artist, but rather the writer? Is anything in place to correct those delays?"

I would hope they'd have writer-specific policies in place as well, though this hasn't been nearly the problem late artists have become. There are probably more options available to an editor when the writing is late...one of which is finishing it off on his own (since many editors have some writing experience...or should at least understand what makes for a good story).

Z Ryan

I wonder if this is because DC has had, reportedly, success with weekly titles by different artists. A schedule is a GOOD thing that buyers respond to.

I read somewhere that after Final Crisis DC is changing the way they publish comics... I wonder if these means something like expanding out of the direct market and making a monthly DC comics magazine or something like that.

Brian Disco Snell

I'd expect some of it was also the "superstar syndrome." "This guy's the hot new artist, he can sell books, we don't want to be mean to him or he'll go to the other company, etc." Ironic, because they can't move books for you if they never come out.

Re: the writers. I think in most of the instances we've been discussing it's pretty clearly been the artists holding things up, as both Busiek and Johns, for example, were ready to pick up the next storyline immediately after the late ones were postponed.

Wes C

Speaking as a graphic designer/illustrator; I can totally appreciate the amount of work and pressure that must go along with creating a monthly comic. That said I also understand the term "deadline". It's called a "deadline", not a "lifeline" for a simple reason, if you cross that line you're dead.

I can't imagine repeatedly telling my employers I'd have something ready for them and then not delivering, time after time...

I understand this, Mark you understand this and I'm sure everyone here gets it. Why, why why can't these hotshots understand it.

I'm sure when they were in school they had to deal with deadlines, why now when they are making money for their work do they drag their feet?


The older I've gotten the more I've come to appreciate artist who's work I don't personally like (style, anatomy, storytelling, etc.) but who were PROFESSIONALS: people who could be counted on to get the work out.

Sal Buscema, Don Perlin, Dick Dillon.

How many times did they turn in a late book?

I'd be willing to bet almost never.

Ok, I feel better now :)

John Trumbull

Bravo. Both to DC's policy and to your post.

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