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Tuesday, November 14, 2006 

Lateness: This is what happens when too much is invested in "outsiders"

Shipping delays for issues is a problem that first arose with Marvel a few years ago, not just because they were relying on "hot writers", but because they were also resorting to artists with a slow pace. For awhile, DC seemed to avoid this problem, but now, it appears that they too are "catching up". The following blog, Comic Glutton, has a list of recent victims of the creeping crisis of delayed schedules.

Some of the data provided certainly gives clues that it's not just the artist's fault, but also the writer's fault too (previously, I might have assumed that to be the other way around, but I think the problem can and does lie in both quarters now).

On Geoff Johns' books, I'm sure there's still some things of his I can read without feeling too guilty, but even his book have been earning a reputation for lateness. I may have a good guess why. He has been getting busier, having gotten a larget role as an editor recently, and while Stan Lee may have pulled off the amazing feat of writing/editing 7-8 titles back in the Silver Age,* that doesn't mean lightning can strike twice in the same place for another writer as well.

On J. Michael Straczynski, I see that Squadron Supreme has been severely delayed. Which is fine with me. I lost interest in his writing a long time ago, and lost respect entirely ever since the hack job he did on Gwen Stacy two years ago in Amazing Spider-Man.

The third Justice League of America issue was also delayed, but, since Brad Meltzer is another writer I have no respect for, I don't care.

But even if the writers I cited above are not ones I'm crazy about, that doesn't mean that lateness is a good thing. It isn't. The problem can and will wreck sales on a lot of books, and only further ruin the reputation of the comics medium if it continues. And since all these overrated writers, who come from television and movies, are now proving as much a problem as slow artists can, that's one more reason why "hot writers" has got to cease.

* Of course, Jack Kirby, lest we forget, was as much a writer as he was an artist, and no doubt proved a great help on at least three titles he co-created with Lee in his time.

Update: almost forgot this topic too, which features more signs of lateness.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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