- Posted by Johanna on October 14, 2007 at 7:26 pm
- Category: Comic News
We’re talking about someone who solicited a collection of reprinted material in December 2004, only for it to arrive in November 2005. I don’t need to say this, but it shouldn’t take almost a year to put out a reprint book. In 2007, he’s managed to release only four items, two collections (neither of which I’ve bothered talking about) and two comics, only one of which contained new material. In short, he’s the indy comic fan’s Joe Madureira (anyone remember Battle Chasers?), only without the fanbase.
His intolerable delays make him more of a joke than he should be, because he’s quite talented. But no work can stand up to that level of delay. Readers’ expectations rise with every month a work doesn’t come out; after a certain point, they’re unmeetable.
So why am I bashing him now? Because of two pieces of information that passed my desk. First, the fate of the Burglar Bill miniseries. Grist put out three issues from his own Dancing Elephant press in 2003. When he moved to Image, he re-released those comics with an additional fourth issue in 2005. (Stupid me, I bought them twice.) The last two issues were offered in March and October of 2005, but they never arrived. Image has just formally announced their cancellation. Will we ever see the end? Who knows?
Also cancelled was Jack Staff #14, offered in September 2006. Great, I thought, Image is cleaning up their data, tying off loose ends, and acknowledging what everyone already knew. But that was followed by this astounding announcement:
Paul Grist’s acclaimed superhero series, JACK STAFF, goes monthly starting with January’s JACK STAFF SPECIAL #1.
“I’ve longed to put out JACK STAFF monthly for a long time,” Grist said. “Luckily, I wasn’t alone as Image’s Executive Director, Eric Stephenson, has wanted the same thing. We’ve been working together to make it happen for awhile now and I’m happy to say we already have three issues in the can with a fourth right on its heels.”
JACK STAFF SPECIAL #1 [32 pages, color, $3.50, due January 16] will catch up the uninitiated and provide the perfect jumping on point to February’s JACK STAFF #14.
My only answer is: bwa ha ha! I’ll believe it when I see it. If I’m going to continue reading Grist’s work, it’ll only be in the book format. That way, I don’t get frustrated waiting for him to meet his promises… and I usually get a discount.
By the way, that last bit, about catching up the reader? That’s another problem with Grist’s work. With such long delays, he often ends up including lots of exposition and catch-up material, which makes long-time readers even more frustrated, since they’re not learning much new about the story or characters. It’s repetitive to read, especially in collected form.
So best of luck, Paul. I’m curious to see if that fourth issue comes out in April.