Comics Creators

Visited the comic shop today...


I was looking forward to reading the latest issue of Secret Wars. Maybe it’s nostalgia but I’ve enjoyed this as much as anything else from Marvel since MM departed. Aside from the bewildering amount of No. 1 issues on the shelf I was informed that Secret Wars had been delayed. Again. For the umpteenth week apparently.

In the 80’s I cycled to the newsagent little over a mile from my front door once a month when I knew the new comics were arriving. Nothing, ever failed to be there. Month in and month out. Far more recently it’s become a ‘thing’ for comics to be late. This seems to be routinely blamed on either the artist of writer. It seems acceptable now.

If I was expected to turn in some work or a project and I kept coming up with excuses as to why I hadn’t been able to make it happen I would be roundly bounced out of my job.

Why is this acceptable now? I don’t suggest it’s life or death I’m just curious re the why?


It’s swings and roundabouts - in those good old days you probably also noticed there were quite a few sudden fill-in issues that appeared out of nowhere with different creative teams to the regular ones, inventory issues to fill the gap rather than let a month go by without an issue appearing.

Nowadays the mindset seems to be slightly more geared to overall consistency even if it means delays - perhaps with more of an eye to the eventual collected edition than editors had in the past.

Personally, I lean more towards doing things right and sucking up the delays, rather than rushing things out just to get them on time. I know that there are treasured books on my shelf that suffered massive delays when they first came out that are now long forgotten - whereas there are far fewer much-loved books that did whatever they needed to do to hit a shipping date, artistic consistency and quality be damned.

Of course, you do get some books that are great and appear like clockwork, which is obviously the best of both worlds. :slight_smile:


Marvel screwed up Secret Wars but on whole there are much fewer late books now than there were in the early 00s and the Image era of the early 90s.


I imagine Marvel is more angry about the delays to Secret Wars than anyone. It’s really screwed up the launch of their new books, and it’ll be a long mess to clean up.

How did it happen? Look at the quality of the artwork. Sure the artist bit off more than he could chew, but it’s a beautiful book and a pretty complex story. I think the creative team deserve some slack.


Yeah, I guess the artwork is a big part of it - but I’m presuming the story has evolved a little bit from the original concept too. It’s fairly unusual for an extra issue to be added to a big project like this at such a late stage, isn’t it? Whether that’s for editorial reasons or because Hickman thinks the story demands it, who knows.


I’d have to dig it it the long boxes to be sure but in the 80’ s I remember reading Byrnes FF, Bob Laytons Iron Man, claremonts X men as they shipped. Nothing ever failed to arrive. You are right in that there were odd one shot stories but it was uncommon and, to my young eyes, never particularly jarring.

Delays now seem almost anticipated with excuses around quality assurance trotted out like that makes it ok. I’m just bemused the big 2 accept this. I’d have thought their red lines would very much be around deadlines. I think Secret Wars is now almost a season late. Personally I think it’s very poor reflection on all concerned.


There weren’t delays but there were fill-ins, although Byrne and Claremont were very prolific so very rarely on their books (but there is one in their X-Men run).

I agree with Robert though that for the big two they are relatively rare nowadays compared to a decade of so back. DC really clamped down on it with the NU52 and Marvel seem to have mostly followed their lead. They also tend to be on books where the vision of the creative team is very strong so they don’t want to break them up like Hawkeye and Ms Marvel.

Without checking I would feel pretty confident saying that right now more Marvel books ship more frequently than monthly than are late.