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Ian Evans
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Posted: 26 July 2006 at 6:09am | IP Logged | 1  

Especially when another late issue is offered as a blatant and sympathy-laden, self-absorbed, vanity tribute to the dead son

********

There is something about this phrasing that makes me want to put the computer through the wall...I really find it hard to put into words how repugnant this is, so I won't try.  But it is.

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Pierce Askegren
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Posted: 26 July 2006 at 6:45am | IP Logged | 2  

CS -- "Even Detective Comics was bi-monthly (or maybe eight times a year) in the 1970s for this reason. Books even started bi-monthly and "earned" the right to come out more often, although this changed later in the decade. "

Historically, DC published some of its most popular titles on an 8x schedule -- essentially, bimonthly with two extra issues in the summer, when kids were out of school.  Many of these books had sister titles with similar content, such as SUPERMAN and ACTION, which ensured ongoing coverage. 

Up until DC took over their distribution, Marvel typically ran alternating bimonthlies -- say, two jungle comics that that were essentially the same but came out in alternate months, so as to maximize rack time.  (The later issues of TALES OF SUSPENSE and TALES TO ASTONISH used a rleated ploy -- alternating logo prominence for the features, partly to fool rack jobbers into thinking that a new issue hadn't come out yet and thus sneak another month of display.)  When DC took over Marvel's distribution in the late 1950s, they got to tell Marvel what kind of books to publish, how many, and how often.  Then, MILLIE might alternate with RAWHIDE KID, or whatever, and a book typically had to be cancelled to make room for a new one.

 

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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 July 2006 at 7:38am | IP Logged | 3  

..a book typically had to be cancelled to make room for a new one.

***

One of the reasons it was often less than wise to subscribe, back in the day. One could sign up for REAL SPACE ADVENTURE, receive three issues, and end up with the rest of the sub being filled out with THRILLING ROMANCE or COWBOY COMICS, depending on which had picked up the slot.

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Michael Kennedy
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Posted: 26 July 2006 at 7:53am | IP Logged | 4  

 John Byrne wrote:
One of the reasons it was often less than wise to subscribe, back in the day. One could sign up for REAL SPACE ADVENTURE, receive three issues, and end up with the rest of the sub being filled out with THRILLING ROMANCE or COWBOY COMICS, depending on which had picked up the slot.


That is the primary reason why I never subscribed to any comics... back when I was actually reading the new stuff. Titles seemed to vanish at the drop of a hat, without warning.

[Edited to Add:] Well, not without warning, but it wasn't always obvious that a title was nearing immenant cancellation. This was especially true when there would be other titles doing far worse in terms of sales, yet they weren't cancelled.




Edited by Michael Kennedy on 26 July 2006 at 7:55am
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Erin Anna Leach
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Posted: 26 July 2006 at 9:09am | IP Logged | 5  

I'm a fan of comics, who also works in comics, and I don't understand why some artist are late on their books. Even when I was a teenager, looking at my latest issue of a John Byrne comic, I understood that there was a deadline that had to be met. I use to sit there looking at JB's working thinking " Damn, this guy is good, and it's amazing that he does all this work in one month. " I knew even back then, that I would have to be that fast in order to make my dream come true.

Is the Spider-man comic of today, better than the one produced by Stan and Steve? I would have to say no, but also say that there are worse examples out there as well. That is not a good thing. If a publisher combines good story + good art using inkers + publishing the book on time = my dollars in their pockets. I think that formula was true back in the 60's as it is today. It's just that most fans don't know any better. So they base their opinions on what they think the production of a comic book is, or what someone else has told them it is. Both of course being wrong. I see the problem, and I have a few ideas on how to fix it. Ideas I've stated in this forum many times, it's just that the Powers That Are don't see it that way. Kind of sad actually, that comics are shooting themselves in the foot.  

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Patrick Clarke
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Posted: 26 July 2006 at 10:59am | IP Logged | 6  

JB said:

If an artist is "slow", there is a very, very simple, tried and true solution: schedule the book(s) only when completed.

This is not rocket science.

***

I totally agree with this.  It seems like the comic industry in general is peeing their pants to get product out, but forgets to see how long it will take to get the book out.

They put out a fully painted Iron Man book, and expect the painter to be on the same timeline as a 3 person team of pencil, ink, color.  Who believes the painter when he says he can do it.  And a potentially hot book goes tepid when it doesn't come out on time.

I know in my profession (games) we are always working under some crazy deadline...but a lot of that is self inflicted.  Some people can't say tell the truth for a deadline for fear of, I don't know. 

As far as books being more "complex", I tend to agree with the Neal Adams example (your own work too JB).  Classic, simple...AND COMPELLING!  I'm not knocking detail, but if it gets in the way of story, ditch it.

It's my main gripe in 3D now.  This ultra-detail movement is making me sick.  I recently did a 3D pinup for Ashley Wood's Popbot comic.  The comic fans loved it.  IDW loved it.  Ash loved it.  I posted it on the CGtalk board (where the 3D people hang out) and it was ripped for not having enough detail.  "Where's the dirt!  Why isn't his paint chipped!  There should be trash on the floor! DETAIL!!!"

Nobody understood Ash's vision, my interpretation of his pop-art style (and an homage to 3D's own beginnings)  It reminds me of the days of LENS FLARES!!!

If it gets in the way of the story, get rid of the detail.  Story is king, imagery just reinforces it, in my opinion.

- pjc

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Michael Casselman
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Posted: 26 July 2006 at 11:42am | IP Logged | 7  

Especially when another late issue is offered as a blatant and sympathy-laden, self-absorbed, vanity tribute to the dead son

********

There is something about this phrasing that makes me want to put the computer through the wall...I really find it hard to put into words how repugnant this is, so I won't try.  But it is.

+++++++++++++++++

Perhaps this may contain the wording that escapes you at this time: http://www.byrnerobotics.com/FAQ/listing.asp?ID=4&T1=Byr nisms%3A+opinions+and+observations+of+JB#124

But the point is taken re: phrasing of the above. Not meant to be taken as 'personal' (i.e. "I H8 you L0Eb ArgARH!!!11!") as the phrasing may read, but another 'lowering of the bar' when it comes to excusing late work in an industry that more-or-less created the phrase 'Dreaded Deadline Doom' and compensated with substitute work without diminshing expected output. Hell, 9/11 shut down the country, but titles by publishers based out of NYC still (to my best recollection) reached the stand in a timely manner.

And frankly, the title (by much lauded, high-profile, A-list, gotta-have-'em, 'quality' creators)  had been running late since near day one almost three years ago. Unless contractual bound (or hogtied, as the case may be), any sensible boss would terminate an employee that wasn't performing to standard. That said, if a company can't (or won't) specify (EDIT) and enforce (end EDIT)"monthly" as a condition of the creative output in the contract these creators sign, more's the pity.

If a person's personal life is causing such conflict or influences the ability to perform in the workplace of many other forms of employment, you either take an appropriate 'leave of absence' instead of bringing your 'baggage' into the workplace, or face the risk of being sacked for disrupting the office. Is every artist/writter/letterer/etc. given the corporate carte blanche to create a memorial issue of such magnitude?

Although the pages were donated to be auctioned for charity (a noble gesture), the personal life of the artist, writer, etc should not have such a detrimental effect on the output of what is considered a monthly periodical which is produced by a business. I 'think' Mr Byrne caught the jist of that part of my post (blunt as it may have been) in his response.

Have 'tributes' of such a overtly-personal (meaning: not a tribute for fellow creators) nature occured before, besides a simple "Dedicated to" or "In Memoriam" notice in the credits? The only one I can think of that might be considered similar is the DC Comics Presents/Julius Schwartz issues.



Edited by Michael Casselman on 26 July 2006 at 11:44am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 July 2006 at 12:38pm | IP Logged | 8  

I am tired of personal tragedies, natural disasters and other such upheavals being used as excuses for late books. In the fall of 1980 I quit UNCANNY X-MEN, started on FANTASTIC FOUR, got engaged, moved to Chicago, got married and, in a nutshell, turned my whole life upside down. In the process, I lost about two months from my schedule. Did any of my books ship late? No. Why? Because I was ahead of schedule to begin with.

(Even the most fastidious of artists and writers sometimes suffer a bit of Pollyanna syndrome, looking at their best day's output and assuming that to be their average day. But, realistically, it should not take more than a couple of those to instruct even the most lunkheaded student that all schedules should be based on the worst day's output!)

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Stephen McGrath
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Posted: 26 July 2006 at 12:48pm | IP Logged | 9  

I guess a question that always runs thru my head is why don't the publishers just wait til a run is in the can before they start releasing it.

I almost paused mid-sentence there thinking about ongoing series vs. mini's, but kept going cuz even most ongoing series are more like strings of mini's put together by different teams.  Those teams complete the work for their run, THEN the first issue of that run is shipped.  May not be the perfect solution, but if the talent can't be counted on for greater displays of professionalism, the publishers should take control to ensure a steady publishing schedule.

I seem to recall the artist of The Ultimates stating that he had built enough lead time so the 2nd volume wouldn't share the tardiness that the first one did.  Well, all was well til about the 10th or 11th issue...now we're being told the the 12th issue...wait for it...will be worth the wait!

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Deepak Ramani
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Posted: 26 July 2006 at 1:05pm | IP Logged | 10  

 Stephen McGrath wrote:
I guess a question that always runs thru my head is why don't the publishers just wait til a run is in the can before they start releasing it.

Maybe they will have cash flow problems, or maybe they just don't want to make the outlay needed to have an entire run (12 issues, let's say) complete before starting to recover any of that money.  Either strike me as perfectly reasonable stances by a publisher.


 QUOTE:
I seem to recall the artist of The Ultimates stating that he had built enough lead time so the 2nd volume wouldn't share the tardiness that the first one did.  Well, all was well til about the 10th or 11th issue...now we're being told the the 12th issue...wait for it...will be worth the wait!

Yes, that was indeed the plan.  However, Bryan Hitch claims that he is not to blame for the delay:

 Bryan Hitch wrote:
People can stop blaming me before they start on this one. I haven't got the script yet. If Ultimates 12 had been the last as planned we would have been done last week. That issue's now 38 pages and 13 will be whatever the fuck it turns out to be. I'm working on some other stuff until Mark, now recovered, get's his MCW stuff caught up and then does Ults 13 next month.

I have no idea what I would do if I were an editor.  As a reader, I really don't like late books.  However, I also really don't like unrelated fill-in issues either.  I still remember buying Fantastic Four 351 off the newsstand expecting the conclusion of Walt Simonson's Dr. Doom story and getting some horrible fill-in about alien intelligences testing the Fantastic Four.

For what it's worth, Tom Brevoort recently blogged about late books:

 Tom Brevoort wrote:
But let's take the flipside for a second: if a given creator can't get a book done in thirty days, what would you have us do? Because all of the evidence I have indicates that, while people say that they want he books more frequently, what they really want is the books more frequently by the same creators, and at the same level of quality. And that's just not going to happen in most cases. And in those cases where it's not possible, it's in the best interests of the project long term to hold the line, rather than rushing in a fill-in or bringing in half-a-dozen pencilers to hack out your crossover.

He goes on to mention that Secret War did not experience any fan penalty for being woefully late.  Anyway, Tom's views are probably the prevailing editorial view at both Marvel and DC these days.

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Paul Greer
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Posted: 26 July 2006 at 1:21pm | IP Logged | 11  

Maybe if they go back to the Marvel method the writers could script the books a little faster. It is a crying shame that an artist (who is known for working slow) is just waiting for a script to draw, months after the book was solicited for sale. My head is spinning trying to understand. I know the guy was sick, but he seems to be getting his other titles out on time. Maybe the editors need to stop piling so much work onto a limited amount of writers. I'm sure there are a few writers on this board alone that could do the job just as well, and on time.

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Ian Evans
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Posted: 26 July 2006 at 2:00pm | IP Logged | 12  

Michael:Especially when another late issue is offered as a blatant and sympathy-laden, self-absorbed, vanity tribute to the dead son

********

Me:There is something about this phrasing that makes me want to put the computer through the wall...I really find it hard to put into words how repugnant this is, so I won't try.  But it is.

+++++++++++++++

Michael:Perhaps this may contain the wording that escapes you at this time: http://www.byrnerobotics.com/FAQ/listing.asp?ID=4&T1=Byr nisms%3A+opinions+and+observations+of+JB#124

********

And this - the old, hoary chestnut introduced by the numbers - is just getting f***ing ridiculous.  I am not unsympathetic to the general thrust of this argument but the way you phrased your opinion was/is disgusting.  To me.  My wardrobe does not need checking.  I am not getting outraged on someone else's behalf, but on my own.   I participate on this forum regularly, and if views expressed on it are this repugnant to me, I feel honour bound to say so.   Otherwise my silence might be taken for tacit consent.  Most of the time that doesn't bother me; in this case it does. 

The pain from the death of a child is unimaginable to me; just contemplating it makes me genuinely tearful.  That you can write this "Especially when another late issue is offered as a blatant and sympathy-laden, self-absorbed, vanity tribute to the dead son" about such an event makes me angry enough to want to publicly disassociate myself from your words, however insignificant to others such a gesture might be.  That you did not do so in haste and then regret your words - that you then go on to justify yourself - well, I am again at a loss. 

And I know.  Blah blah internet high horse blah blah And I don't care.   

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