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Cbasfrench




On Byrnerobotics, there is a discussion about lateness with comic books and I thought it would be interesting to see what you guys think about it. The following is a message I posted on there, so feel free to add your thoughts.


    Quote:
    I was recently reading something on comicartfans.com about a commission piece by Jim Lee, notorious for being late. The commissioner said - I paraphrase - something to the effect that Lee had only done a couple of books throughout the entire past year but it was okay because he's such a good artist and he's worth the wait. My first reaction was "huh?". In what kind of world do we live in where "worth the wait" is the main argument to not get angry with an artist who is late?

    Coincidently, on another website - I apologize for not remembering which one it was - a poster mentioned that Lee went to form Image with those other guys because they weren't concerned with deadlines and allowed their creative teams to take as much time as possible to publish issues (paraphrasing once again here). The poster in question mentioned that he liked that approach. I had one of those WTF moments. What kind of mentality is that? Is the prospect of making lots of money from the sale of a book, by allowing it to be published sporadically and late, more important than meeting deadlines and delivering a product to fans, as promised months before.

    Regardless if you agree with JB's comments that a lot of artists today treat making comics as a hobby, the bottom line is that books should not be allowed to be late as they are in this day and age. As many of you have mentioned in previous posts, if this happened 20, 30, 40 years ago, they would have hired somebody else to finish the job, regardless of sales or how good the stories were. Too bad, the powers-that-be don't see it that way.




Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP
mjyoung





    Quote:
    I was recently reading something on comicartfans.com about a commission piece by Jim Lee, notorious for being late. The commissioner said - I paraphrase - something to the effect that Lee had only done a couple of books throughout the entire past year but it was okay because he's such a good artist and he's worth the wait. My first reaction was "huh?". In what kind of world do we live in where "worth the wait" is the main argument to not get angry with an artist who is late?


It's various factors. Most people don't care if an issue slips late. They can spend that time reading backissues (since they've been fans for years), picking up another comic, or even just saving that money for something else. I think complaints about delays come mostly from the older readers.


    Quote:
    Coincidently, on another website - I apologize for not remembering which one it was - a poster mentioned that Lee went to form Image with those other guys because they weren't concerned with deadlines and allowed their creative teams to take as much time as possible to publish issues (paraphrasing once again here). The poster in question mentioned that he liked that approach. I had one of those WTF moments. What kind of mentality is that? Is the prospect of making lots of money from the sale of a book, by allowing it to be published sporadically and late, more important than meeting deadlines and delivering a product to fans, as promised months before.


From the fans perspective, quality is more important than being on time.


    Quote:
    Regardless if you agree with JB's comments that a lot of artists today treat making comics as a hobby, the bottom line is that books should not be allowed to be late as they are in this day and age. As many of you have mentioned in previous posts, if this happened 20, 30, 40 years ago, they would have hired somebody else to finish the job, regardless of sales or how good the stories were. Too bad, the powers-that-be don't see it that way.


I think the problem with your viewpoint is that comics have changed radically since the previous decades. It's not just one factor that has resulted in delays, but multiple ones. You (group, not individual) continue to have the mindset that you have had in previous decades without taking into account certain changes. It's like the complaint of "Back in my day, we only had three channels. And they stopped at 10pm." So what?

Comics no longer have a shelf life of a few days, but can last for years as collections. Look at Watchmen still being a top seller after years. So this means that the collection will have more value for a company than a monthly comic. So this means that a publisher will accept a delay in a monthly comic since it means collections will sell better in the long term.

Superhero comics have changed dramatically. Instead of only 12 comics a month, Marvel now publishes around 80 or higher. I delay in 1968 meant a 10% reduction in profit for the month. Today, a delay results in 1/80th of a reduction in profit for a month. That's a huge difference, and that 1/80th reduction isn't going to be important.

There is a much stronger focus on quality these days. Drawing is much more complex. We expect backgrounds in our panels. We expect complex costumes. We expect each figure to be drawn well.

Fans are more likely to follow creators than just characters or titles.

Comics have also become much more a of a luxury item (for various reasons). Fans expect higher quality since they are paying more for the product.

I could go on.

Of course, I think there are compromises to be made. Have more realistic timeframes. Stop making every book a monthly. Keep fans as up to date as possible, including telling them the reason for ANY delay, progress on the title (page 15 of 22 done). Compile story arcs to be released monthly, with delays coming between arcs. If a main title is delayed, put out a separate miniseries in it's place. Assign multiple artists to a title.

I could go on.


Posted with Mozilla Firefox 3.0.10 on Windows XP
bstie1198





    Quote:
    On Byrnerobotics, there is a discussion about lateness with comic books and I thought it would be interesting to see what you guys think about it. The following is a message I posted on there, so feel free to add your thoughts.



    Quote:

      Quote:
      I was recently reading something on comicartfans.com about a commission piece by Jim Lee, notorious for being late. The commissioner said - I paraphrase - something to the effect that Lee had only done a couple of books throughout the entire past year but it was okay because he's such a good artist and he's worth the wait. My first reaction was "huh?". In what kind of world do we live in where "worth the wait" is the main argument to not get angry with an artist who is late?



      Quote:
      Coincidently, on another website - I apologize for not remembering which one it was - a poster mentioned that Lee went to form Image with those other guys because they weren't concerned with deadlines and allowed their creative teams to take as much time as possible to publish issues (paraphrasing once again here). The poster in question mentioned that he liked that approach. I had one of those WTF moments. What kind of mentality is that? Is the prospect of making lots of money from the sale of a book, by allowing it to be published sporadically and late, more important than meeting deadlines and delivering a product to fans, as promised months before.



      Quote:
      Regardless if you agree with JB's comments that a lot of artists today treat making comics as a hobby, the bottom line is that books should not be allowed to be late as they are in this day and age. As many of you have mentioned in previous posts, if this happened 20, 30, 40 years ago, they would have hired somebody else to finish the job, regardless of sales or how good the stories were. Too bad, the powers-that-be don't see it that way.



I'd rather wait for a product I'll enjoy than pay for a fill in / substitute that I won't enjoy. I buy enough comics every week that I can wait for the next issue of any particular title. I think that with some creators, publishers would be better to limit their contributions to limited series and/or collect the entire run before publishing, and it usually becomes obvious which creators need to have those restrictions placed on them.

There have been plenty of series that suffered from delays that I think were worth waiting for as opposed to getting fill-ins.

With the exception of being a Spider-Man completist, I follow creators, not characters. I'm willing to wait for those people to finish telling their story. Some of my favorite current series (RASL and Ex Machina in particular) have erratic shipping schedules, and that's fine with me. Sometimes delays are rediculous, but I'd still rather wait. I bought Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk to read a Damon Lindelof comic, not because I care about those characters. I would not have finished that miniseries if Marvel got another writer to finish it.

So I have to disagree with your position.


Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 on Windows Vista
Scottso25





    Quote:

      Quote:
      I was recently reading something on comicartfans.com about a commission piece by Jim Lee, notorious for being late. The commissioner said - I paraphrase - something to the effect that Lee had only done a couple of books throughout the entire past year but it was okay because he's such a good artist and he's worth the wait. My first reaction was "huh?". In what kind of world do we live in where "worth the wait" is the main argument to not get angry with an artist who is late?



    Quote:
    It's various factors. Most people don't care if an issue slips late. They can spend that time reading backissues (since they've been fans for years), picking up another comic, or even just saving that money for something else. I think complaints about delays come mostly from the older readers.



    Quote:

      Quote:
      Coincidently, on another website - I apologize for not remembering which one it was - a poster mentioned that Lee went to form Image with those other guys because they weren't concerned with deadlines and allowed their creative teams to take as much time as possible to publish issues (paraphrasing once again here). The poster in question mentioned that he liked that approach. I had one of those WTF moments. What kind of mentality is that? Is the prospect of making lots of money from the sale of a book, by allowing it to be published sporadically and late, more important than meeting deadlines and delivering a product to fans, as promised months before.



    Quote:
    From the fans perspective, quality is more important than being on time.



    Quote:

      Quote:
      Regardless if you agree with JB's comments that a lot of artists today treat making comics as a hobby, the bottom line is that books should not be allowed to be late as they are in this day and age. As many of you have mentioned in previous posts, if this happened 20, 30, 40 years ago, they would have hired somebody else to finish the job, regardless of sales or how good the stories were. Too bad, the powers-that-be don't see it that way.



    Quote:
    I think the problem with your viewpoint is that comics have changed radically since the previous decades. It's not just one factor that has resulted in delays, but multiple ones. You (group, not individual) continue to have the mindset that you have had in previous decades without taking into account certain changes. It's like the complaint of "Back in my day, we only had three channels. And they stopped at 10pm." So what?



    Quote:
    Comics no longer have a shelf life of a few days, but can last for years as collections. Look at Watchmen still being a top seller after years. So this means that the collection will have more value for a company than a monthly comic. So this means that a publisher will accept a delay in a monthly comic since it means collections will sell better in the long term.



    Quote:
    Superhero comics have changed dramatically. Instead of only 12 comics a month, Marvel now publishes around 80 or higher. I delay in 1968 meant a 10% reduction in profit for the month. Today, a delay results in 1/80th of a reduction in profit for a month. That's a huge difference, and that 1/80th reduction isn't going to be important.



    Quote:
    There is a much stronger focus on quality these days. Drawing is much more complex. We expect backgrounds in our panels. We expect complex costumes. We expect each figure to be drawn well.



    Quote:
    Fans are more likely to follow creators than just characters or titles.



    Quote:
    Comics have also become much more a of a luxury item (for various reasons). Fans expect higher quality since they are paying more for the product.



    Quote:
    I could go on.



    Quote:
    Of course, I think there are compromises to be made. Have more realistic timeframes. Stop making every book a monthly. Keep fans as up to date as possible, including telling them the reason for ANY delay, progress on the title (page 15 of 22 done). Compile story arcs to be released monthly, with delays coming between arcs. If a main title is delayed, put out a separate miniseries in it's place. Assign multiple artists to a title.



    Quote:
    I could go on.



I understand what you are saying and you make some really great points. I just find it frustrating that this is an industry that lets the artist control the deadline and the release.

I work in the VFX industry, and it would be absurd to tell a producer that a film needed to be delayed because the work was not ready yet. Instead, artists work around the clock and squeeze every ounce of energy to make the deadline.

Granted, your point is extremely valid since in film, the money made from an opening weekend is the most important tellers of success for a studio. Thus moving a film could severely hurt that and with comics, the money resides more in the collections. So yes, from a business prospect it makes sense, just annoying when a select handful of people can do things their way and at their own pace. But then again, that's life for you sometimes.




Posted with Mozilla Firefox 3.0.10 on MacOS X
Cbasfrench





    Quote:

      Quote:
      I was recently reading something on comicartfans.com about a commission piece by Jim Lee, notorious for being late. The commissioner said - I paraphrase - something to the effect that Lee had only done a couple of books throughout the entire past year but it was okay because he's such a good artist and he's worth the wait. My first reaction was "huh?". In what kind of world do we live in where "worth the wait" is the main argument to not get angry with an artist who is late?



    Quote:
    It's various factors. Most people don't care if an issue slips late. They can spend that time reading backissues (since they've been fans for years), picking up another comic, or even just saving that money for something else. I think complaints about delays come mostly from the older readers.


You sayin' I'm old!!?? I'm only thirty for Pete's sake. \:\)
It just bugs me when they advertise a certain limited series - for instance Civil War - and then it ends up being fairy late and being inconsistent timeline-wise with other books coming out around the same time.


    Quote:

      Quote:
      Coincidently, on another website - I apologize for not remembering which one it was - a poster mentioned that Lee went to form Image with those other guys because they weren't concerned with deadlines and allowed their creative teams to take as much time as possible to publish issues (paraphrasing once again here). The poster in question mentioned that he liked that approach. I had one of those WTF moments. What kind of mentality is that? Is the prospect of making lots of money from the sale of a book, by allowing it to be published sporadically and late, more important than meeting deadlines and delivering a product to fans, as promised months before.



    Quote:
    From the fans perspective, quality is more important than being on time.


There are plenty of fishes in the sea. If one really good artist ends up being considerable late - say a couple of months - why not get another really good artist to assist the first one with the art chores. There are plenty of Jim Lee wannabes in the world - taking his DC work as an example. I think both the quality of a book and that book being a time should be able to be achieved. Just give the artist more time before soliciting a series.


    Quote:

      Quote:
      Regardless if you agree with JB's comments that a lot of artists today treat making comics as a hobby, the bottom line is that books should not be allowed to be late as they are in this day and age. As many of you have mentioned in previous posts, if this happened 20, 30, 40 years ago, they would have hired somebody else to finish the job, regardless of sales or how good the stories were. Too bad, the powers-that-be don't see it that way.



    Quote:
    I think the problem with your viewpoint is that comics have changed radically since the previous decades. It's not just one factor that has resulted in delays, but multiple ones. You (group, not individual) continue to have the mindset that you have had in previous decades without taking into account certain changes. It's like the complaint of "Back in my day, we only had three channels. And they stopped at 10pm." So what?


Comics are essentially still produced the same way they were before. Dude writes it, passes it to the dude that pencils it, who in turn passes it to the dude that inks it, then color it, etc... Not everybody drawing today put in a million detail in every panel. It can be argued that, back in the day, artists did not draw a lot of background. That's fair enough, but they made up for that by working on two to three books per month, versus just one. So the total amount of work was just about the same, if not more.


    Quote:
    Comics no longer have a shelf life of a few days, but can last for years as collections. Look at Watchmen still being a top seller after years. So this means that the collection will have more value for a company than a monthly comic. So this means that a publisher will accept a delay in a monthly comic since it means collections will sell better in the long term.


But there is no guarantee that they will sell better. Forecasting revenue is never 100% guarantee, if you know what I mean. More times than enough it never works out as expected.


    Quote:
    Superhero comics have changed dramatically. Instead of only 12 comics a month, Marvel now publishes around 80 or higher. I delay in 1968 meant a 10% reduction in profit for the month. Today, a delay results in 1/80th of a reduction in profit for a month. That's a huge difference, and that 1/80th reduction isn't going to be important.


True. Marvel has to look at it from a business point of view but if you can sell 100k copies of a book per month but you can only publish the book six times a year, should you not look into making changes so you can publish it twelve times a year and get higher sale numbers, or even 75% of those sale numbers. Also, their revenue is split into quarters, so you also have to take that into consideration.


    Quote:
    There is a much stronger focus on quality these days. Drawing is much more complex. We expect backgrounds in our panels. We expect complex costumes. We expect each figure to be drawn well.


More details does not necessarily equate better quality. I disagree with you there. It's about storytelling. If an artist, without the use of any background, or dialogue, can tell a story, then he is ten, twenty, a hundred times better than any of those cross-hatch-lovers artists. Take a look at John Romita's 'Nuff Said Spider-Man issue that did not have a single piece of dialogue. JRJR is not known to be a very detailed background kind of guy anymore - mainly because he made the decision to change his style in order to meet deadlines - but his storytelling abilities are so good that you can pretty much figure out what is going on without reading the dialogue. I would take that over any artists who just uses lines after lines after lines to give dimension to his/her work.


    Quote:
    Fans are more likely to follow creators than just characters or titles.


Which, I think, is contributing to the downfall of comic books today. It shouldn't be about the creators, it should be about the character.


    Quote:
    Comics have also become much more a of a luxury item (for various reasons). Fans expect higher quality since they are paying more for the product.


I don't think you can compare quality versus costs. Comics were cheap back in the day, but everything was cheap then. Take into account the inflaction and all that other stuff and there is a reason for comics to be that expensive today. In other words, the cost of comics is relative to when they were published.


    Quote:
    I could go on.



    Quote:
    Of course, I think there are compromises to be made. Have more realistic timeframes. Stop making every book a monthly. Keep fans as up to date as possible, including telling them the reason for ANY delay, progress on the title (page 15 of 22 done). Compile story arcs to be released monthly, with delays coming between arcs. If a main title is delayed, put out a separate miniseries in it's place. Assign multiple artists to a title.


I agree with you on this.


    Quote:
    I could go on.





Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP
Stu The Disgruntled Greek

Moderator

Member Since: Tue Nov 05, 1996
Posts: 1,402



    Quote:
    On Byrnerobotics, there is a discussion about lateness with comic books and I thought it would be interesting to see what you guys think about it. The following is a message I posted on there, so feel free to add your thoughts.



    Quote:

      Quote:
      I was recently reading something on comicartfans.com about a commission piece by Jim Lee, notorious for being late. The commissioner said - I paraphrase - something to the effect that Lee had only done a couple of books throughout the entire past year but it was okay because he's such a good artist and he's worth the wait. My first reaction was "huh?". In what kind of world do we live in where "worth the wait" is the main argument to not get angry with an artist who is late?



      Quote:
      Coincidently, on another website - I apologize for not remembering which one it was - a poster mentioned that Lee went to form Image with those other guys because they weren't concerned with deadlines and allowed their creative teams to take as much time as possible to publish issues (paraphrasing once again here). The poster in question mentioned that he liked that approach. I had one of those WTF moments. What kind of mentality is that? Is the prospect of making lots of money from the sale of a book, by allowing it to be published sporadically and late, more important than meeting deadlines and delivering a product to fans, as promised months before.



      Quote:
      Regardless if you agree with JB's comments that a lot of artists today treat making comics as a hobby, the bottom line is that books should not be allowed to be late as they are in this day and age. As many of you have mentioned in previous posts, if this happened 20, 30, 40 years ago, they would have hired somebody else to finish the job, regardless of sales or how good the stories were. Too bad, the powers-that-be don't see it that way.



I think it all depends on the "storyline" in the title. If it is a long story of 3+ issues, than I would agree with letting the artist finish the entire run. I didn't like it in the early days (i.e. Gang Wars) that the art changed every issue. I can honestly say that no matter how strong 'Kravens Last Hunt' was, if McLeod\Zeck even missed one issue it would've had a blight on it that people would be talking about til today. 'Kravens Last Hunt was so awesome until parts 5 and 6 when the art just went downhill due to fill ins...'

By the end of that run however, the editor should be looking for a more consistent artist. If the artwork keeps getting behind, the editor in chief should be looking for a new editor.

The problem of overly late books (+3 weeks is overly late, 1 week is nothing) due to artists isn't that wide spread.

Jim Lee on All-Star is overly bad, but man alive it sure would look good when reading it all at once. I don't remember his BatMan or SuperMan runs to be that late?

The Disgruntled Greek


Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP
Cbasfrench





    Quote:

      Quote:
      On Byrnerobotics, there is a discussion about lateness with comic books and I thought it would be interesting to see what you guys think about it. The following is a message I posted on there, so feel free to add your thoughts.

      Quote:

        Quote:

          Quote:
          I was recently reading something on comicartfans.com about a commission piece by Jim Lee, notorious for being late. The commissioner said - I paraphrase - something to the effect that Lee had only done a couple of books throughout the entire past year but it was okay because he's such a good artist and he's worth the wait. My first reaction was "huh?". In what kind of world do we live in where "worth the wait" is the main argument to not get angry with an artist who is late?

          Quote:

            Quote:
            Coincidently, on another website - I apologize for not remembering which one it was - a poster mentioned that Lee went to form Image with those other guys because they weren't concerned with deadlines and allowed their creative teams to take as much time as possible to publish issues (paraphrasing once again here). The poster in question mentioned that he liked that approach. I had one of those WTF moments. What kind of mentality is that? Is the prospect of making lots of money from the sale of a book, by allowing it to be published sporadically and late, more important than meeting deadlines and delivering a product to fans, as promised months before.

            Quote:

              Quote:
              Regardless if you agree with JB's comments that a lot of artists today treat making comics as a hobby, the bottom line is that books should not be allowed to be late as they are in this day and age. As many of you have mentioned in previous posts, if this happened 20, 30, 40 years ago, they would have hired somebody else to finish the job, regardless of sales or how good the stories were. Too bad, the powers-that-be don't see it that way.




    Quote:
    I think it all depends on the "storyline" in the title. If it is a long story of 3+ issues, than I would agree with letting the artist finish the entire run. I didn't like it in the early days (i.e. Gang Wars) that the art changed every issue. I can honestly say that no matter how strong 'Kravens Last Hunt' was, if McLeod\Zeck even missed one issue it would've had a blight on it that people would be talking about til today. 'Kravens Last Hunt was so awesome until parts 5 and 6 when the art just went downhill due to fill ins...'



    Quote:
    By the end of that run however, the editor should be looking for a more consistent artist. If the artwork keeps getting behind, the editor in chief should be looking for a new editor.



    Quote:
    The problem of overly late books (+3 weeks is overly late, 1 week is nothing) due to artists isn't that wide spread.



    Quote:
    Jim Lee on All-Star is overly bad, but man alive it sure would look good when reading it all at once. I don't remember his BatMan or SuperMan runs to be that late?



    Quote:
    The Disgruntled Greek


I don't follow All-Star or any DC stuff at all, but from what I've read, it's a lot worse than his Batman and Superman runs. I've heard people arguing in his defense - when I brought up the fact that he attends all these conventions when he should be staying at home and finishing his books - that he needs to attend these events so he can make money, sell art, etc. Well, wouldn't he be making money if he finished his work? That argument doesn't make sense.




Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP
Cbasfrench





    Quote:

      Quote:
      On Byrnerobotics, there is a discussion about lateness with comic books and I thought it would be interesting to see what you guys think about it. The following is a message I posted on there, so feel free to add your thoughts.

      Quote:

        Quote:

          Quote:
          I was recently reading something on comicartfans.com about a commission piece by Jim Lee, notorious for being late. The commissioner said - I paraphrase - something to the effect that Lee had only done a couple of books throughout the entire past year but it was okay because he's such a good artist and he's worth the wait. My first reaction was "huh?". In what kind of world do we live in where "worth the wait" is the main argument to not get angry with an artist who is late?

          Quote:

            Quote:
            Coincidently, on another website - I apologize for not remembering which one it was - a poster mentioned that Lee went to form Image with those other guys because they weren't concerned with deadlines and allowed their creative teams to take as much time as possible to publish issues (paraphrasing once again here). The poster in question mentioned that he liked that approach. I had one of those WTF moments. What kind of mentality is that? Is the prospect of making lots of money from the sale of a book, by allowing it to be published sporadically and late, more important than meeting deadlines and delivering a product to fans, as promised months before.

            Quote:

              Quote:
              Regardless if you agree with JB's comments that a lot of artists today treat making comics as a hobby, the bottom line is that books should not be allowed to be late as they are in this day and age. As many of you have mentioned in previous posts, if this happened 20, 30, 40 years ago, they would have hired somebody else to finish the job, regardless of sales or how good the stories were. Too bad, the powers-that-be don't see it that way.




    Quote:
    I'd rather wait for a product I'll enjoy than pay for a fill in / substitute that I won't enjoy. I buy enough comics every week that I can wait for the next issue of any particular title. I think that with some creators, publishers would be better to limit their contributions to limited series and/or collect the entire run before publishing, and it usually becomes obvious which creators need to have those restrictions placed on them.


Something has to be done - I agree with that.


    Quote:
    There have been plenty of series that suffered from delays that I think were worth waiting for as opposed to getting fill-ins.


Possibly, but it still is annoying to have to wait that long. Every time it's over, I think to myself that it would have been better if they had waited another month or two before starting to solicit a certain book.


    Quote:
    With the exception of being a Spider-Man completist, I follow creators, not characters. I'm willing to wait for those people to finish telling their story. Some of my favorite current series (RASL and Ex Machina in particular) have erratic shipping schedules, and that's fine with me. Sometimes delays are rediculous, but I'd still rather wait. I bought Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk to read a Damon Lindelof comic, not because I care about those characters. I would not have finished that miniseries if Marvel got another writer to finish it.


That's a problem I have. I'm a Spider-Man fan. If some popular dude comes onboard and writes a run that I like, I'm not gonna go out of my way to follow said creators to his next project, just because of his name. It's the character I like; the writer, IMHO, though important, is not enough to get me to buy a certain book, if I don't like the character...no matter how great his writing abilities are.


    Quote:
    So I have to disagree with your position.





Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP
mjyoung





    Quote:

    I understand what you are saying and you make some really great points. I just find it frustrating that this is an industry that lets the artist control the deadline and the release.


Even in film you have situations where the actor or director has control over the release date. Of course, comparing comics to film aren't a great example.

Let's look at television. TV isn't on a weekly schedule, most only produce 22 episodes a year. Even then it's not 22 consecutive weeks, as we get skipped weeks or repeats shown. Television shows even have schedule breaks in filming between the producing the first and last episodes of a season. Then of course they get a few months off during the offseason.


    Quote:
    I work in the VFX industry, and it would be absurd to tell a producer that a film needed to be delayed because the work was not ready yet. Instead, artists work around the clock and squeeze every ounce of energy to make the deadline.


And as I'm sure you know, you are easily replaceable. Most of us are. I know I am.


    Quote:
    Granted, your point is extremely valid since in film, the money made from an opening weekend is the most important tellers of success for a studio. Thus moving a film could severely hurt that and with comics, the money resides more in the collections. So yes, from a business prospect it makes sense, just annoying when a select handful of people can do things their way and at their own pace. But then again, that's life for you sometimes.


That's another point. The fact that an issue gets released in the third week of April instead of the second week isn't going to have much effect. For movies, that result can be disastorous.


Posted with Mozilla Firefox 3.0.10 on Windows XP
Stu The Disgruntled Greek

Moderator

Member Since: Tue Nov 05, 1996
Posts: 1,402



    Quote:

      Quote:

        Quote:
        On Byrnerobotics, there is a discussion about lateness with comic books and I thought it would be interesting to see what you guys think about it. The following is a message I posted on there, so feel free to add your thoughts.

        Quote:

          Quote:

            Quote:
            I was recently reading something on comicartfans.com about a commission piece by Jim Lee, notorious for being late. The commissioner said - I paraphrase - something to the effect that Lee had only done a couple of books throughout the entire past year but it was okay because he's such a good artist and he's worth the wait. My first reaction was "huh?". In what kind of world do we live in where "worth the wait" is the main argument to not get angry with an artist who is late?

            Quote:

              Quote:
              Coincidently, on another website - I apologize for not remembering which one it was - a poster mentioned that Lee went to form Image with those other guys because they weren't concerned with deadlines and allowed their creative teams to take as much time as possible to publish issues (paraphrasing once again here). The poster in question mentioned that he liked that approach. I had one of those WTF moments. What kind of mentality is that? Is the prospect of making lots of money from the sale of a book, by allowing it to be published sporadically and late, more important than meeting deadlines and delivering a product to fans, as promised months before.

              Quote:

                Quote:
                Regardless if you agree with JB's comments that a lot of artists today treat making comics as a hobby, the bottom line is that books should not be allowed to be late as they are in this day and age. As many of you have mentioned in previous posts, if this happened 20, 30, 40 years ago, they would have hired somebody else to finish the job, regardless of sales or how good the stories were. Too bad, the powers-that-be don't see it that way.


      Quote:

        Quote:
        I think it all depends on the "storyline" in the title. If it is a long story of 3+ issues, than I would agree with letting the artist finish the entire run. I didn't like it in the early days (i.e. Gang Wars) that the art changed every issue. I can honestly say that no matter how strong 'Kravens Last Hunt' was, if McLeod\Zeck even missed one issue it would've had a blight on it that people would be talking about til today. 'Kravens Last Hunt was so awesome until parts 5 and 6 when the art just went downhill due to fill ins...'

        Quote:

          Quote:
          By the end of that run however, the editor should be looking for a more consistent artist. If the artwork keeps getting behind, the editor in chief should be looking for a new editor.

          Quote:

            Quote:
            The problem of overly late books (+3 weeks is overly late, 1 week is nothing) due to artists isn't that wide spread.

            Quote:

              Quote:
              Jim Lee on All-Star is overly bad, but man alive it sure would look good when reading it all at once. I don't remember his BatMan or SuperMan runs to be that late?

              Quote:

                Quote:
                The Disgruntled Greek



    Quote:
    I don't follow All-Star or any DC stuff at all, but from what I've read, it's a lot worse than his Batman and Superman runs. I've heard people arguing in his defense - when I brought up the fact that he attends all these conventions when he should be staying at home and finishing his books - that he needs to attend these events so he can make money, sell art, etc. Well, wouldn't he be making money if he finished his work? That argument doesn't make sense.


I watched Bruce Timm crank out about 100 head shot sketches of characters at the big entertainment con here in Calgary at 20$ bucks a shot... That is a pretty good 2 days. A weekend of sketching at a convention can pretty much make page rates look like a side job.

The Disgruntled Greek



Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP
bstie1198





    Quote:
    That's a problem I have. I'm a Spider-Man fan. If some popular dude comes onboard and writes a run that I like, I'm not gonna go out of my way to follow said creators to his next project, just because of his name. It's the character I like; the writer, IMHO, though important, is not enough to get me to buy a certain book, if I don't like the character...no matter how great his writing abilities are.


There are a few writers that I will buy whatever they put out. Most of them focus on creator owned work these days, so there aren't many established characters involved for me to already like / dislike. I don't think I would buy an artist's work if I don't care about the character.

I think that most comic fans these days follow creators more than characters, so that's the section of the fanbase that gets catered to...


Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 on Windows Vista
mjyoung





    Quote:
    There are plenty of fishes in the sea. If one really good artist ends up being considerable late - say a couple of months - why not get another really good artist to assist the first one with the art chores. There are plenty of Jim Lee wannabes in the world - taking his DC work as an example. I think both the quality of a book and that book being a time should be able to be achieved. Just give the artist more time before soliciting a series.


Because that other really good artist isn't just sitting at his desk waiting for a call. But as I've said, I think there are compromises to be made.


    Quote:
    Comics are essentially still produced the same way they were before. Dude writes it, passes it to the dude that pencils it, who in turn passes it to the dude that inks it, then color it, etc... Not everybody drawing today put in a million detail in every panel. It can be argued that, back in the day, artists did not draw a lot of background. That's fair enough, but they made up for that by working on two to three books per month, versus just one. So the total amount of work was just about the same, if not more.


That's just not the case. The job and responsibilities of the comic book artist are really different. Two huge difference is that they are better compensated for their work, and comics aren't a sweat shop anymore. I know people like to romanticize Jack Kirby (I had someone here tell me Kirby did 14 22 page books a month, but couldn't prove it) but his books today wouldn't sell as is.

There are just alot of differences besides the one I mentioned. Artists have to do character designs, something that artists in the 60s didn't do. They have to do interviews to promote their work. They have to make sure their covers are as appealing as possible. They have to talk to their writers. They also don't work 80 hour weeks.

One of the ideas in the 60s was that artists never erased any of their work. Today, with much more competition and a higher level of expectations, artists have to put their best work out there.


    Quote:

      Quote:
      Comics no longer have a shelf life of a few days, but can last for years as collections. Look at Watchmen still being a top seller after years. So this means that the collection will have more value for a company than a monthly comic. So this means that a publisher will accept a delay in a monthly comic since it means collections will sell better in the long term.



    Quote:
    But there is no guarantee that they will sell better. Forecasting revenue is never 100% guarantee, if you know what I mean. More times than enough it never works out as expected.


But you can make predictions, and have a good guess on how well something will sell. I have a lot more faith in Millar and McNiven on Wolverine than Reed and whoever on Ms. Marvel.

You can also look at trends. Marvel can see that tpbs with multiple artists don't sell as well as tpbs with a single, big name artist.


    Quote:

      Quote:
      Superhero comics have changed dramatically. Instead of only 12 comics a month, Marvel now publishes around 80 or higher. I delay in 1968 meant a 10% reduction in profit for the month. Today, a delay results in 1/80th of a reduction in profit for a month. That's a huge difference, and that 1/80th reduction isn't going to be important.



    Quote:
    True. Marvel has to look at it from a business point of view but if you can sell 100k copies of a book per month but you can only publish the book six times a year, should you not look into making changes so you can publish it twelve times a year and get higher sale numbers, or even 75% of those sale numbers. Also, their revenue is split into quarters, so you also have to take that into consideration.


I agree that Marvel should look into it. And they do, since you don't see Ms. Marvel getting delayed.

But let's look at Thor. JMS's Thor has the title selling at more than double what it did under Jurgens. We can see their schedules, assume JMS comes out bimonthly and Jurgens monthly. So even then it would be equal. Variable costs like the cost of the creators probably isn't doubled for JMS. Fixed costs are the same. JMS Thor is 30% more profitable at $3.99. We can assume that JMS Thor sells twice as much and probably more in collections. We can even put a monetary value on goodwill.


    Quote:

      Quote:
      There is a much stronger focus on quality these days. Drawing is much more complex. We expect backgrounds in our panels. We expect complex costumes. We expect each figure to be drawn well.



    Quote:
    More details does not necessarily equate better quality. I disagree with you there. It's about storytelling. If an artist, without the use of any background, or dialogue, can tell a story, then he is ten, twenty, a hundred times better than any of those cross-hatch-lovers artists. Take a look at John Romita's 'Nuff Said Spider-Man issue that did not have a single piece of dialogue. JRJR is not known to be a very detailed background kind of guy anymore - mainly because he made the decision to change his style in order to meet deadlines - but his storytelling abilities are so good that you can pretty much figure out what is going on without reading the dialogue. I would take that over any artists who just uses lines after lines after lines to give dimension to his/her work.


Look at the top artists. Jim Lee, McNiven, Van Scriver, Quietly, etc. Not alot of cartoonish artists like Kyle Baker on the list. I would say JRJR was a detailed artist.


    Quote:

      Quote:
      Fans are more likely to follow creators than just characters or titles.



    Quote:
    Which, I think, is contributing to the downfall of comic books today. It shouldn't be about the creators, it should be about the character.


According to you. I would personally argue that following characters is killing comics. People are only interested in reading about a character, and not necessarily about the quality of the story. Look at the people who continuously buy Amazing without enjoying it just to keep up their collection. With creators, you will follow because you enjoy their stories.


    Quote:

      Quote:
      Comics have also become much more a of a luxury item (for various reasons). Fans expect higher quality since they are paying more for the product.



    Quote:
    I don't think you can compare quality versus costs. Comics were cheap back in the day, but everything was cheap then. Take into account the inflaction and all that other stuff and there is a reason for comics to be that expensive today. In other words, the cost of comics is relative to when they were published.


Comics have increased in cost compared to other entertainment items. Let's remember that comics are competing against every other form of entertainment. And people tend to underestimate value. I'm sure if comics were magically $2 per issue, you would buy alot more. A movie ticket cost $1 in 1965, and the price of a comic was 12 cents. Today, a movie ticket is $7.18 and a comic is $3.99. So that's a ratio of 7.18 to 33.25.


Posted with Mozilla Firefox 3.0.10 on Windows XP
Cbasfrench





    Quote:

      Quote:
      There are plenty of fishes in the sea. If one really good artist ends up being considerable late - say a couple of months - why not get another really good artist to assist the first one with the art chores. There are plenty of Jim Lee wannabes in the world - taking his DC work as an example. I think both the quality of a book and that book being a time should be able to be achieved. Just give the artist more time before soliciting a series.



    Quote:
    Because that other really good artist isn't just sitting at his desk waiting for a call. But as I've said, I think there are compromises to be made.


But there is such a huge pool of artists out there. If the second guy is busy, I'm sure there is someone equally as good who can come in and help out...


    Quote:

      Quote:
      Comics are essentially still produced the same way they were before. Dude writes it, passes it to the dude that pencils it, who in turn passes it to the dude that inks it, then color it, etc... Not everybody drawing today put in a million detail in every panel. It can be argued that, back in the day, artists did not draw a lot of background. That's fair enough, but they made up for that by working on two to three books per month, versus just one. So the total amount of work was just about the same, if not more.



    Quote:
    That's just not the case. The job and responsibilities of the comic book artist are really different. Two huge difference is that they are better compensated for their work, and comics aren't a sweat shop anymore. I know people like to romanticize Jack Kirby (I had someone here tell me Kirby did 14 22 page books a month, but couldn't prove it) but his books today wouldn't sell as is.


I agree Kirby's books wouldn't sell as well today, because his style was so unique, especially toward the end of his career, that people would not be attracted to it.


    Quote:
    There are just alot of differences besides the one I mentioned. Artists have to do character designs, something that artists in the 60s didn't do. They have to do interviews to promote their work. They have to make sure their covers are as appealing as possible. They have to talk to their writers. They also don't work 80 hour weeks.


Guys in the 60s did do character designs...they practically invented the Marvel Universe. Now, the whole PR thing is probably a very important factor to take into consideration. Back in the day, there was no Internet to advertise anything and interviews with magazines or online comic sites did not exist. A lot of time, you couldn't even put faces to a book's creative team. It is so totally different. I'm not saying they should work 80 hours a week; they should, however, find a way to make it happen, on time, even if it means making sacrifice.


    Quote:
    One of the ideas in the 60s was that artists never erased any of their work. Today, with much more competition and a higher level of expectations, artists have to put their best work out there.


I don't disagree with that, but sometimes you have to make decisions and possibly sacrifice an extra building or cross-hatch lines, if it means you can deliver the product on time.


    Quote:

      Quote:

        Quote:
        Comics no longer have a shelf life of a few days, but can last for years as collections. Look at Watchmen still being a top seller after years. So this means that the collection will have more value for a company than a monthly comic. So this means that a publisher will accept a delay in a monthly comic since it means collections will sell better in the long term.

      Quote:

        Quote:
        But there is no guarantee that they will sell better. Forecasting revenue is never 100% guarantee, if you know what I mean. More times than enough it never works out as expected.



    Quote:
    But you can make predictions, and have a good guess on how well something will sell. I have a lot more faith in Millar and McNiven on Wolverine than Reed and whoever on Ms. Marvel.


Then again, the books sell well because of those that buy anything Millar writes, and also because McNiven is drawing them, but the lateness in their books absolutely kills me. I hate having to wait more than four weeks for the next issue of a book. No matter how many back issues I can buy in that time, it bugs the crap out of me.


    Quote:
    You can also look at trends. Marvel can see that tpbs with multiple artists don't sell as well as tpbs with a single, big name artist.



    Quote:

      Quote:

        Quote:
        Superhero comics have changed dramatically. Instead of only 12 comics a month, Marvel now publishes around 80 or higher. I delay in 1968 meant a 10% reduction in profit for the month. Today, a delay results in 1/80th of a reduction in profit for a month. That's a huge difference, and that 1/80th reduction isn't going to be important.

      Quote:

        Quote:
        True. Marvel has to look at it from a business point of view but if you can sell 100k copies of a book per month but you can only publish the book six times a year, should you not look into making changes so you can publish it twelve times a year and get higher sale numbers, or even 75% of those sale numbers. Also, their revenue is split into quarters, so you also have to take that into consideration.



    Quote:
    I agree that Marvel should look into it. And they do, since you don't see Ms. Marvel getting delayed.


The boring ones don't get delayed but the good ones do...crazy sh*t


    Quote:
    But let's look at Thor. JMS's Thor has the title selling at more than double what it did under Jurgens. We can see their schedules, assume JMS comes out bimonthly and Jurgens monthly. So even then it would be equal. Variable costs like the cost of the creators probably isn't doubled for JMS. Fixed costs are the same. JMS Thor is 30% more profitable at $3.99. We can assume that JMS Thor sells twice as much and probably more in collections. We can even put a monetary value on goodwill.



    Quote:

      Quote:

        Quote:
        There is a much stronger focus on quality these days. Drawing is much more complex. We expect backgrounds in our panels. We expect complex costumes. We expect each figure to be drawn well.

      Quote:

        Quote:
        More details does not necessarily equate better quality. I disagree with you there. It's about storytelling. If an artist, without the use of any background, or dialogue, can tell a story, then he is ten, twenty, a hundred times better than any of those cross-hatch-lovers artists. Take a look at John Romita's 'Nuff Said Spider-Man issue that did not have a single piece of dialogue. JRJR is not known to be a very detailed background kind of guy anymore - mainly because he made the decision to change his style in order to meet deadlines - but his storytelling abilities are so good that you can pretty much figure out what is going on without reading the dialogue. I would take that over any artists who just uses lines after lines after lines to give dimension to his/her work.



    Quote:
    Look at the top artists. Jim Lee, McNiven, Van Scriver, Quietly, etc. Not alot of cartoonish artists like Kyle Baker on the list. I would say JRJR was a detailed artist.


JRJR is almost in a special category of his own. His work is so unique and detailed in his own special way.


    Quote:

      Quote:

        Quote:
        Fans are more likely to follow creators than just characters or titles.

      Quote:

        Quote:
        Which, I think, is contributing to the downfall of comic books today. It shouldn't be about the creators, it should be about the character.



    Quote:
    According to you. I would personally argue that following characters is killing comics. People are only interested in reading about a character, and not necessarily about the quality of the story. Look at the people who continuously buy Amazing without enjoying it just to keep up their collection. With creators, you will follow because you enjoy their stories.


I'm interested in reading books that have a balance of the two. Good input from the writer (story-wise) but books that are about the character first, not what the writer wants the character to be. Too often, writers come onboard a title to do THEIR take on a certain character, not giving a damn about anything else that's come before, pretty much changing the character to fit their idea, instead of modifying their idea to fit the character.


    Quote:

      Quote:

        Quote:
        Comics have also become much more a of a luxury item (for various reasons). Fans expect higher quality since they are paying more for the product.

      Quote:

        Quote:
        I don't think you can compare quality versus costs. Comics were cheap back in the day, but everything was cheap then. Take into account the inflaction and all that other stuff and there is a reason for comics to be that expensive today. In other words, the cost of comics is relative to when they were published.



    Quote:
    Comics have increased in cost compared to other entertainment items. Let's remember that comics are competing against every other form of entertainment. And people tend to underestimate value. I'm sure if comics were magically $2 per issue, you would buy alot more. A movie ticket cost $1 in 1965, and the price of a comic was 12 cents. Today, a movie ticket is $7.18 and a comic is $3.99. So that's a ratio of 7.18 to 33.25.





Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP
durabill




Sort of a recent example where MArvel didn't wait for the creators to finish was Millar's and McNiven's Old Man Logan storyline. It was suppose to wrap up in Wolverine #72 and ended up shipping after Wolverine #73. It was shipped either the week or two weeks before.
The stories did not continue but I'm sure this may have happened before.
Does anyone remember any other titles this may have happened to.
Personally I would like the comics to ship on time. It's a job just like any other. I've never missed a deadline in my work and I don;t want to think what would happen if I did. Unless there are unforeseen circumstances comics should have no problem meeting a monthly schedule.
If you can't produce the work on time, don't take it.



    Quote:
    On Byrnerobotics, there is a discussion about lateness with comic books and I thought it would be interesting to see what you guys think about it. The following is a message I posted on there, so feel free to add your thoughts.



    Quote:

      Quote:
      I was recently reading something on comicartfans.com about a commission piece by Jim Lee, notorious for being late. The commissioner said - I paraphrase - something to the effect that Lee had only done a couple of books throughout the entire past year but it was okay because he's such a good artist and he's worth the wait. My first reaction was "huh?". In what kind of world do we live in where "worth the wait" is the main argument to not get angry with an artist who is late?



      Quote:
      Coincidently, on another website - I apologize for not remembering which one it was - a poster mentioned that Lee went to form Image with those other guys because they weren't concerned with deadlines and allowed their creative teams to take as much time as possible to publish issues (paraphrasing once again here). The poster in question mentioned that he liked that approach. I had one of those WTF moments. What kind of mentality is that? Is the prospect of making lots of money from the sale of a book, by allowing it to be published sporadically and late, more important than meeting deadlines and delivering a product to fans, as promised months before.



      Quote:
      Regardless if you agree with JB's comments that a lot of artists today treat making comics as a hobby, the bottom line is that books should not be allowed to be late as they are in this day and age. As many of you have mentioned in previous posts, if this happened 20, 30, 40 years ago, they would have hired somebody else to finish the job, regardless of sales or how good the stories were. Too bad, the powers-that-be don't see it that way.






Posted with Mozilla 1.7 on SunOS
Pengi




Monthly comics should come out monthly. Weekly comics should come out weekly. Bi-monthly comics should come out bi-monthly. Quarterly comics should come out quarterly. Annual comics should come out annually.

It's really not rocket science.


Posted with Mozilla Firefox 3.0.10 on Windows XP
Cbasfrench





    Quote:
    Sort of a recent example where MArvel didn't wait for the creators to finish was Millar's and McNiven's Old Man Logan storyline. It was suppose to wrap up in Wolverine #72 and ended up shipping after Wolverine #73. It was shipped either the week or two weeks before.
    The stories did not continue but I'm sure this may have happened before.
    Does anyone remember any other titles this may have happened to.
    Personally I would like the comics to ship on time. It's a job just like any other. I've never missed a deadline in my work and I don;t want to think what would happen if I did. Unless there are unforeseen circumstances comics should have no problem meeting a monthly schedule.
    If you can't produce the work on time, don't take it.


Very well said. I'm so tired of fans, or companies themselves, coming up with excuses for books being late. It just shouldn't happen. I too work (well, I should be working right now! \:\-P ) where meeting deadlines means politicians get more votes and I'm very aware of the repercussions of being late and not meeting deadlines. Perhaps Marvel should be harder on those guys that keep missing deadlines. Put a clause in their contract that they'll be penalized if they don't meet deadlines, and see how that plays out.


Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP
Cbasfrench





    Quote:
    Monthly comics should come out monthly. Weekly comics should come out weekly. Bi-monthly comics should come out bi-monthly. Quarterly comics should come out quarterly. Annual comics should come out annually.



    Quote:
    It's really not rocket science.


You're absolutely right.




Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP
Jamo


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,042



    Quote:
    On Byrnerobotics, there is a discussion about lateness with comic books and I thought it would be interesting to see what you guys think about it. The following is a message I posted on there, so feel free to add your thoughts.



    Quote:

      Quote:
      I was recently reading something on comicartfans.com about a commission piece by Jim Lee, notorious for being late. The commissioner said - I paraphrase - something to the effect that Lee had only done a couple of books throughout the entire past year but it was okay because he's such a good artist and he's worth the wait. My first reaction was "huh?". In what kind of world do we live in where "worth the wait" is the main argument to not get angry with an artist who is late?



      Quote:
      Coincidently, on another website - I apologize for not remembering which one it was - a poster mentioned that Lee went to form Image with those other guys because they weren't concerned with deadlines and allowed their creative teams to take as much time as possible to publish issues (paraphrasing once again here). The poster in question mentioned that he liked that approach. I had one of those WTF moments. What kind of mentality is that? Is the prospect of making lots of money from the sale of a book, by allowing it to be published sporadically and late, more important than meeting deadlines and delivering a product to fans, as promised months before.



      Quote:
      Regardless if you agree with JB's comments that a lot of artists today treat making comics as a hobby, the bottom line is that books should not be allowed to be late as they are in this day and age. As many of you have mentioned in previous posts, if this happened 20, 30, 40 years ago, they would have hired somebody else to finish the job, regardless of sales or how good the stories were. Too bad, the powers-that-be don't see it that way.



It shouldn't be tolerated.
Period.
How much of a head start do they get in the first place? I remember hearing that 6 months was minimum...
Yes, life happens, but I'm sorry, I would have horrible grades if I were going to school on these "hot creator" work ethics. Hell, every job I've had did not tolerate late work.
Three strikes, yer out!
Literally.
I remember people harping on Ed McGuinness for seeing all kinds of covers on different titles, but no Hulk comic. Then in a published interview, he said that "Yeah, you get a lot of cover work waiting on a script from JMS."
Marvel can brag all they want about having HULK and THOR sell out on their tri-monthly schedules, but imagine the profit and sales they could have on a MONTHLY schedule for those two.
I can give Jim Lee a break -- he runs Wildstorm, albeit from inside DC, but he's running it none the less. Loeb and JMS? Um...not so much. They were handed a title to write for a monthly comic and do nothing but delay them for TV scripts and outside interests.
Flat-out, editors need to grow a pair and start putting their foot down on this. What do you want to do -- write comics or do something else?




Ban "no text" posts!
Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 4.0; on Windows XP
Jamo


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,042



    Quote:

      Quote:
      I was recently reading something on comicartfans.com about a commission piece by Jim Lee, notorious for being late. The commissioner said - I paraphrase - something to the effect that Lee had only done a couple of books throughout the entire past year but it was okay because he's such a good artist and he's worth the wait. My first reaction was "huh?". In what kind of world do we live in where "worth the wait" is the main argument to not get angry with an artist who is late?



    Quote:
    It's various factors. Most people don't care if an issue slips late. They can spend that time reading backissues (since they've been fans for years), picking up another comic, or even just saving that money for something else. I think complaints about delays come mostly from the older readers.


Most people also have something to fall back on -- such as video games, which is something that Marvel is admitted to having trouble in competing with. They're having a hell of a time getting profits for a monthly schedule? Well, it really doesn't help the situation when they can't keep it either. Little Jimmy isn't going to make it a priority to run down to the comic store to pick up the several-month-delayed issue of THOR when he's got a Nintendo DS or Wii, etc. He may spend $60 on a game, but I guarentee that he'll get more entertainment value out of it than a randomly published comic.


    Quote:

      Quote:
      Coincidently, on another website - I apologize for not remembering which one it was - a poster mentioned that Lee went to form Image with those other guys because they weren't concerned with deadlines and allowed their creative teams to take as much time as possible to publish issues (paraphrasing once again here). The poster in question mentioned that he liked that approach. I had one of those WTF moments. What kind of mentality is that? Is the prospect of making lots of money from the sale of a book, by allowing it to be published sporadically and late, more important than meeting deadlines and delivering a product to fans, as promised months before.



    Quote:
    From the fans perspective, quality is more important than being on time.


So being on time with your work isn't considered quality now?


    Quote:

      Quote:
      Regardless if you agree with JB's comments that a lot of artists today treat making comics as a hobby, the bottom line is that books should not be allowed to be late as they are in this day and age. As many of you have mentioned in previous posts, if this happened 20, 30, 40 years ago, they would have hired somebody else to finish the job, regardless of sales or how good the stories were. Too bad, the powers-that-be don't see it that way.



    Quote:
    I think the problem with your viewpoint is that comics have changed radically since the previous decades. It's not just one factor that has resulted in delays, but multiple ones. You (group, not individual) continue to have the mindset that you have had in previous decades without taking into account certain changes. It's like the complaint of "Back in my day, we only had three channels. And they stopped at 10pm." So what?


And the problem I see with yours is that we should all live and let live, play in the field and pick flowers. Have the mindset that when the writer or artist decides that he should turn in his script, it shouldn't matter that it was six months late or not.


    Quote:
    Comics no longer have a shelf life of a few days, but can last for years as collections. Look at Watchmen still being a top seller after years. So this means that the collection will have more value for a company than a monthly comic. So this means that a publisher will accept a delay in a monthly comic since it means collections will sell better in the long term.


Collections are only as good as interest of the consumer. And when the consumer has no interest because of a random publishing schedule...
I've never read, nor will I probably ever read Watchmen. I don't care for it. Why do I need to buy it? I bought the "Kraven's Last Hunt" because it was cheaper to buy the TPB because the individual issues themselves were more expensive. (I bought mine in the early 90's at a $15.95 price tag.) I've seen the pricing for the first Red Hulk TPB -- why do I need to spend $20 for 5 issues when I own the original issues anyway? I'm not about to plunk down that kind of money for a cheap read.


    Quote:
    Superhero comics have changed dramatically. Instead of only 12 comics a month, Marvel now publishes around 80 or higher. I delay in 1968 meant a 10% reduction in profit for the month. Today, a delay results in 1/80th of a reduction in profit for a month. That's a huge difference, and that 1/80th reduction isn't going to be important.


Of course not, the company has grown since the 60's. But just because it's grown doesn't give the excuse to let such delays happen.


    Quote:
    There is a much stronger focus on quality these days. Drawing is much more complex. We expect backgrounds in our panels. We expect complex costumes. We expect each figure to be drawn well.


Then they're over-complicating and cluttering their work. I've seen some incredibly hand-drawn work from the most underrated artists and they've had no problems maintaining a monthly schedule.


    Quote:
    Fans are more likely to follow creators than just characters or titles.


True. But not always. I liked PAD on the Hulk, but that doesn't mean I like his work on X-Factor. I'm not a big X-Factor fan, why buy it? I really wanted to buy his Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man work, but never could afford it because I was enjoying other books that I didn't want to sacrifice for a big-named writer.


    Quote:
    Comics have also become much more a of a luxury item (for various reasons). Fans expect higher quality since they are paying more for the product.


I consider a lot of video games a luxery item. There are tons of games that I'd like to buy, but at $60 a game -- sorry. And this isn't even including the fact that I will not purchase a PS3 or Xbox 360 at their prices.


    Quote:
    I could go on.



    Quote:
    Of course, I think there are compromises to be made. Have more realistic timeframes. Stop making every book a monthly. Keep fans as up to date as possible, including telling them the reason for ANY delay, progress on the title (page 15 of 22 done). Compile story arcs to be released monthly, with delays coming between arcs. If a main title is delayed, put out a separate miniseries in it's place. Assign multiple artists to a title.



    Quote:
    I could go on.


Natch.






Ban "no text" posts!
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Dave Phelps




We're really talking about multiple things here. Some artists (and writers) can handle a monthly schedule. (I've certainly been spoiled by having JB be one of my favorite artists.) Some can't. Why they can't varies and I'm not going to automatically assume it's because they'd rather be playing Wii than working.

A story lasts a lot longer in "finished" form than periodical form, so I'd rather it be done by the original artist as intended even if it in the short term it ends up late. George Perez injured himself while drawing JLA/Avengers, which made the last issue late. Would it have been better to get someone else rather than wait for him to recover? I think not. And yes, he's one I'd call "worth the wait." (I don't have many artists I'd say that for.)

But it shouldn't be a question of "do you want it good or do you want it Tuesday." It comes down to planning. If you have an artist who can't do 22 pages a month, DON'T PUT HIM ON A MONTHLY BOOK. Or alternatively, plan ahead. Get the issues in house, then solicit, and then get another artist to fill-in while the "primary" one works on the next story. You do that, you don't have late books. And that's what we're really complaining about. Yeah, in some cases, I'm mainly getting a project for a particular creative team. In those cases, I don't necessarily want someone else filling in. OTOH, I buy, say, Detective for a monthly Batman fix. As long as the person providing it is of good quality, it doesn't have to be Hot Artist Guy.


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Nose Norton


Location: Plainville
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 6,594



    Quote:
    Sort of a recent example where MArvel didn't wait for the creators to finish was Millar's and McNiven's Old Man Logan storyline. It was suppose to wrap up in Wolverine #72 and ended up shipping after Wolverine #73. It was shipped either the week or two weeks before.
    The stories did not continue but I'm sure this may have happened before.
    Does anyone remember any other titles this may have happened to.
    Personally I would like the comics to ship on time. It's a job just like any other. I've never missed a deadline in my work and I don;t want to think what would happen if I did. Unless there are unforeseen circumstances comics should have no problem meeting a monthly schedule.
    If you can't produce the work on time, don't take it.


I assume you mean issue 72 was a fill-in between #71 and #73? If so, yes, that's happened often. Or, did #73 ship before #72? I've never heard of that before.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Spider-Man/Black Cat mini. Kevin Smith really pushed the boundaries on that one. And, while it was decent, it wasn't worth the year and a half wait.


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durabill




#73 (The start of a new storyline)actually shipped a week or two earlier than #72 (what was suppose to be the last chapter of OLd Man Logan).
I can't seem to recall that happening elsewhere as well.
Just wondering if anyone else can recall that happening to another title.

Durabill


    Quote:

      Quote:
      Sort of a recent example where MArvel didn't wait for the creators to finish was Millar's and McNiven's Old Man Logan storyline. It was suppose to wrap up in Wolverine #72 and ended up shipping after Wolverine #73. It was shipped either the week or two weeks before.
      The stories did not continue but I'm sure this may have happened before.
      Does anyone remember any other titles this may have happened to.
      Personally I would like the comics to ship on time. It's a job just like any other. I've never missed a deadline in my work and I don;t want to think what would happen if I did. Unless there are unforeseen circumstances comics should have no problem meeting a monthly schedule.
      If you can't produce the work on time, don't take it.



    Quote:
    I assume you mean issue 72 was a fill-in between #71 and #73? If so, yes, that's happened often. Or, did #73 ship before #72? I've never heard of that before.



    Quote:
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Spider-Man/Black Cat mini. Kevin Smith really pushed the boundaries on that one. And, while it was decent, it wasn't worth the year and a half wait.





Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 4.0; on Windows Vista
entzauberung






    Quote:

      Quote:
      I was recently reading something on comicartfans.com about a commission piece by Jim Lee, notorious for being late. The commissioner said - I paraphrase - something to the effect that Lee had only done a couple of books throughout the entire past year but it was okay because he's such a good artist and he's worth the wait. My first reaction was "huh?". In what kind of world do we live in where "worth the wait" is the main argument to not get angry with an artist who is late?



      Quote:
      Coincidently, on another website - I apologize for not remembering which one it was - a poster mentioned that Lee went to form Image with those other guys because they weren't concerned with deadlines and allowed their creative teams to take as much time as possible to publish issues (paraphrasing once again here). The poster in question mentioned that he liked that approach. I had one of those WTF moments. What kind of mentality is that? Is the prospect of making lots of money from the sale of a book, by allowing it to be published sporadically and late, more important than meeting deadlines and delivering a product to fans, as promised months before.



      Quote:
      Regardless if you agree with JB's comments that a lot of artists today treat making comics as a hobby, the bottom line is that books should not be allowed to be late as they are in this day and age. As many of you have mentioned in previous posts, if this happened 20, 30, 40 years ago, they would have hired somebody else to finish the job, regardless of sales or how good the stories were. Too bad, the powers-that-be don't see it that way.



I really don't agree with that last bit, and I don't wish the old days to come back. An example: in 1986, Steven Grant and Mike Zeck did the first Punisher mini, now considered a minor classic. Zeck was never a fast artist though, so when he fell behind the editor made Mike Vosburg do a last minute hack job on the final issue.

The result? Marvel now has a piece of comic that has been in continuous print in some form or another for, I dunno, fifteen years forever marred by a huge drop in art quality in the final chapter - just so it wouldn't miss a month in 1986.

(And yeah, back in the day a lot of lateness was covered up with fill-ins. See the DeFalco/Frenz run in the mid 80's).



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Smithville Thunderbolt




>but imagine the profit and sales they could have on a MONTHLY schedule for those two.

Brevoort actually addressed this directly on his blog recently:

"This is all territory I've cover numerous times in the past, but let's dance the dance one more time since you asked. The reason that the current run on THOR is one of your favorites right now is because of the work being done by JMS and Olivier and Marko. And for a variety of reasons, that work takes the time it takes. Now, editor Warren Simons has been running himself ragged producing other Thor-related specials and one-shots to fill the gaps, so that we haven't had a Thorless month in a good long while. But those books sell only a fraction of what the main THOR series does, and aren't received as warmly--and for exactly that same reason: they aren't being done by the guys whose work you readers as a whole are responding to. So, sure, it would be wonderful if we could suddenly have twelve issues of THOR by these guys every year, but it'd also be wonderful if I woke up this morning withthe power to fly (and only slightly less likely.) And just throwing bodies at the book is going to turn off as many if not more readers than the delays in shipping, and that doesn't help anyone except for those relatively few readers who just love THOR and don't care who's working on it. And in terms of the revenue, a THOR book that comes out 6 times a year and sells let's say 100,000 copies for the sake of argument is more profitable than a THOR book that comes out 12 times and sells 50,000 copies--it looks the same at first glance, but in the first example, you don't have as many printing or shipping costs, nor the A & E of producing the story and the artwork. And if you're filling the off-months with THOR projects that themselves sell 50,000 copies, you're actually ahead of the game for the year. I know this isn't remotely the answer you were hoping to hear, Arachkid, but this is the reality that we grapple with every single month in terms of achieving our sales goals. The short-term gain looks like it'd be substantial, but that isn't really the case anymore--and hasn't been since the days when it was the character that was selling the comics and the creators remained anonymous."



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Cbasfrench





    Quote:
    >but imagine the profit and sales they could have on a MONTHLY schedule for those two.



    Quote:
    Brevoort actually addressed this directly on his blog recently:


Yes, this particular article was how the discussion began on Byrnerobotics. The whole sales thing confuses me.


    Quote:
    "This is all territory I've cover numerous times in the past, but let's dance the dance one more time since you asked. The reason that the current run on THOR is one of your favorites right now is because of the work being done by JMS and Olivier and Marko. And for a variety of reasons, that work takes the time it takes. Now, editor Warren Simons has been running himself ragged producing other Thor-related specials and one-shots to fill the gaps, so that we haven't had a Thorless month in a good long while. But those books sell only a fraction of what the main THOR series does, and aren't received as warmly--and for exactly that same reason: they aren't being done by the guys whose work you readers as a whole are responding to. So, sure, it would be wonderful if we could suddenly have twelve issues of THOR by these guys every year, but it'd also be wonderful if I woke up this morning withthe power to fly (and only slightly less likely.) And just throwing bodies at the book is going to turn off as many if not more readers than the delays in shipping, and that doesn't help anyone except for those relatively few readers who just love THOR and don't care who's working on it. And in terms of the revenue, a THOR book that comes out 6 times a year and sells let's say 100,000 copies for the sake of argument is more profitable than a THOR book that comes out 12 times and sells 50,000 copies--it looks the same at first glance, but in the first example, you don't have as many printing or shipping costs, nor the A & E of producing the story and the artwork. And if you're filling the off-months with THOR projects that themselves sell 50,000 copies, you're actually ahead of the game for the year. I know this isn't remotely the answer you were hoping to hear, Arachkid, but this is the reality that we grapple with every single month in terms of achieving our sales goals. The short-term gain looks like it'd be substantial, but that isn't really the case anymore--and hasn't been since the days when it was the character that was selling the comics and the creators remained anonymous."





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Smithville Thunderbolt




>The whole sales thing confuses me.

What's confusing? It seems pretty straightforward to me--people now buy comics based on creators, not characters, and they have shown a willingness to wait in order to get stories by the creators they like. So it doesn't make sense for companies to either A) replace creators or B) put out fill-ins

As for me, I've never bought a book solely because of the creator.


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Pengi





    Quote:
    What's confusing? It seems pretty straightforward to me--people now buy comics based on creators, not characters


If this were entirely true then Powers would be a much better seller and Runaways would've been selling Astonishing X-Men numbers whilst Joss Whedon was writing it.

In the direct market it seems that most of the customers want the big brand names and the flavour of the month hired writers and artists.


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Pengi





    Quote:
    I really don't agree with that last bit, and I don't wish the old days to come back. An example: in 1986, Steven Grant and Mike Zeck did the first Punisher mini, now considered a minor classic. Zeck was never a fast artist though, so when he fell behind the editor made Mike Vosburg do a last minute hack job on the final issue.



    Quote:
    The result? Marvel now has a piece of comic that has been in continuous print in some form or another for, I dunno, fifteen years forever marred by a huge drop in art quality in the final chapter - just so it wouldn't miss a month in 1986.


Obviously a fill-in was not the desirable solution there. It was a limited series, so they could have waited until they had enough issues "in the can" before shipping #1 if they had enough foresight.

Let's not forget that Kraven's Last Hunt had art by Mike Zeck and that shipped 6 issues over a 2 month period.

The difference? Kraven's Last Hunt had proper scheduling. More impressive since it timed up with events in three ongoing series, rather than just being a self-contained mini-series (although frankly it would have been better served as one, but that's an entirely different subject).


    Quote:
    (And yeah, back in the day a lot of lateness was covered up with fill-ins. See the DeFalco/Frenz run in the mid 80's).


The "commuter" fill-in by Peter David is considered a classic. People aren't going to object to fill-ins so much if they're damn good fill-ins.


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Comp 

Moderator

Location: Owings Mills, MD
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 1,976




    Quote:
    On Byrnerobotics, there is a discussion about lateness with comic books and I thought it would be interesting to see what you guys think about it. The following is a message I posted on there, so feel free to add your thoughts.



    Quote:

      Quote:
      I was recently reading something on comicartfans.com about a commission piece by Jim Lee, notorious for being late. The commissioner said - I paraphrase - something to the effect that Lee had only done a couple of books throughout the entire past year but it was okay because he's such a good artist and he's worth the wait. My first reaction was "huh?". In what kind of world do we live in where "worth the wait" is the main argument to not get angry with an artist who is late?



      Quote:
      Coincidently, on another website - I apologize for not remembering which one it was - a poster mentioned that Lee went to form Image with those other guys because they weren't concerned with deadlines and allowed their creative teams to take as much time as possible to publish issues (paraphrasing once again here). The poster in question mentioned that he liked that approach. I had one of those WTF moments. What kind of mentality is that? Is the prospect of making lots of money from the sale of a book, by allowing it to be published sporadically and late, more important than meeting deadlines and delivering a product to fans, as promised months before.



      Quote:
      Regardless if you agree with JB's comments that a lot of artists today treat making comics as a hobby, the bottom line is that books should not be allowed to be late as they are in this day and age. As many of you have mentioned in previous posts, if this happened 20, 30, 40 years ago, they would have hired somebody else to finish the job, regardless of sales or how good the stories were. Too bad, the powers-that-be don't see it that way.



Interesting subject! In general, I agree with you, and it's really a common-sense issue. Comic books are generally a monthly medium, and if you can't keep up with that schedule, you shouldn't be on a monthly book. You can be on a bimonthly book. You can be on a quarterly. But the general rule of thumb for any industry is, don't hire someone to do a job they can't do.

Now, as with most things, John Byrne takes this to an extreme, with a general perception that timeliness is quality, which isn't the case. And also, the industry is different than it used to be. Most stories have a second life in trade form, and there's a perception that the artist can raise sales. I don't know if there's evidence to back that up, but the trade mentality isn't a mistake--it's a reality of the industry.

Delays don't usually bother me very much, but certainly there's no reason they should happen. There are plenty of talented artists who can do the job.

Neat subject! Ten points.

-Comp





My first novel, The Listeners, is in bookstores now! Check it out at www.harrisondemchick.com!
Posted with Mozilla Firefox 3.0.10 on Windows XP
entzauberung





    Quote:

      Quote:
      I really don't agree with that last bit, and I don't wish the old days to come back. An example: in 1986, Steven Grant and Mike Zeck did the first Punisher mini, now considered a minor classic. Zeck was never a fast artist though, so when he fell behind the editor made Mike Vosburg do a last minute hack job on the final issue.

      Quote:

        Quote:
        The result? Marvel now has a piece of comic that has been in continuous print in some form or another for, I dunno, fifteen years forever marred by a huge drop in art quality in the final chapter - just so it wouldn't miss a month in 1986.



    Quote:
    Obviously a fill-in was not the desirable solution there. It was a limited series, so they could have waited until they had enough issues "in the can" before shipping #1 if they had enough foresight.



    Quote:
    Let's not forget that Kraven's Last Hunt had art by Mike Zeck and that shipped 6 issues over a 2 month period.



    Quote:
    The difference? Kraven's Last Hunt had proper scheduling. More impressive since it timed up with events in three ongoing series, rather than just being a self-contained mini-series (although frankly it would have been better served as one, but that's an entirely different subject).



    Quote:

      Quote:
      (And yeah, back in the day a lot of lateness was covered up with fill-ins. See the DeFalco/Frenz run in the mid 80's).



    Quote:
    The "commuter" fill-in by Peter David is considered a classic. People aren't going to object to fill-ins so much if they're damn good fill-ins.


Absolutely (David did really strong fill-ins back then), but I don't see how it has anything to do with whether people miss deadlines or not. And I prefer using fill-ins as stopgap one-shots (now) compared to throwing them in the main title (then).



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Pengi





    Quote:
    Absolutely (David did really strong fill-ins back then), but I don't see how it has anything to do with whether people miss deadlines or not.


It's a good last resort way to get the product out if other deadlines are missed.


    Quote:
    And I prefer using fill-ins as stopgap one-shots (now) compared to throwing them in the main title (then).


Do people with subscriptions get the one-shots?


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