Late Comic Hall of Shame

Dave Carter has posted a Late Shipping Hall of Shame to memorialize those comics whose lateness is legendary.

He covers all the biggies — Camelot 3000, Planetary, American Flagg — as well as more recent mistakes, like Civil War and Astonishing X-Men. The only thing I can think of he’s omitted is Watchmen. And I don’t know that it was really that late… I’m just tired of people dragging it out as a justification for why they’re not making their shipping dates. They’re not writing Watchmen! They’re writing forgettable monthly entertainment.

Anyway, any you would add?

21 Responses to “Late Comic Hall of Shame”

  1. James Schee Says:

    Does it have to just be “good” comics? I can remember the days when BattleChasers and Danger Girl were nearly a year late, because the creators were busy playing video games. (per a Wizard article)

    The current Green Lantern series has been late a LOT. Testament to this is that the Green Lantern Corps series started fairly far after it. (it even had a miniseries to kick it off) And it still has nearly as many issues as its parent title.

    All Star Superman has got to be in there.

    Of course everyone’s already taking bets on how delayed Final Crisis is going to be.

  2. Johanna Says:

    No, I think people just remember the good comics more. I’d forgotten that there was a title called Battle Chasers, let alone how late it was.

  3. James Schee Says:

    Hah I don’t really remember the title Battle Chasers that much myself. (something about big robots?) I just remember being amazed that creators actually admitted playing video games rather than working.

  4. ADD Says:

    Kevin Smith’s Daredevil.

    And the 1963 Annual, of course.

  5. david brothers Says:

    Yeah, the Watchmen excuse is a great one, ’cause it was basically a month late.

    In the scheme of things, a month late isn’t really that bad.

    The only reason why I remember Battle Chasers exists is because I like the story about Joe Mad discovering Final Fantasy and dropping his comic.

  6. Dave "The Knave" White Says:

    Gotta go with Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk – the current issue is what, two years late now? Can’t believe that didn’t make the list.

  7. Wayne Says:

    Battle Chasers was AWESOME!

  8. Johanna Says:

    Oh, yeah, I was liking UWvH, although it was just a big fight. But Hollywood came calling for its writer… which tends to be the case more often than not these days.

  9. Mike Says:

    What about “Ministry of Space”?

  10. Charles RB Says:

    I had the Battle Chasers trade. It was alright, but I wouldn’t have bothered if I’d just got #1 and had to wait for the rest that long.

    “I just remember being amazed that creators actually admitted playing video games rather than working.”


  11. Tim O'Shea Says:

    I stopped complaining publicly about late books years ago, because invariably the creators would start unloading a list of personal problems/family crisis situations with an implied air of “how dare you complain when I have this _________ problem in my life!”

    Don’t get me wrong, I understand family matters more than a stinking comic book, but at some point it seems like a creator is digging up long dead relatives to excuse lateness on a latest issue.

    Me, I’m still trying to fathom that rare superhero comic book reader Draper Carlson actually wrote: “Oh, yeah, I was liking UWvH, although it was just a big fight.” It’s the closest you’ve come to being a pure fan-girl in years, woman. :)

    And I don’t think it’s the creators are playing video games always, I think sometimes they are developing the far more lucrative games instead of getting their comic books done.

    Finally, I think some editors learned an important lesson with Kevin Smith. Don’t release an issue of the project until you have an entire arc or miniseries in the can.

  12. John Mundt, Esq. Says:

    I have to go with Frank Miller’s “Ronin” #6 from back in the day. The first five issues came out without much problem, but that last one was so late that I think an entire school year had passed!

  13. Johanna Says:

    Tim, you raise a good point. Freelancing is hard — in most cases, you don’t have other workers around you to set expectations or examples, and you set your own schedule, which means you need a lot of willpower.

    But as can be seen from these lists, there are also some people who seem to show up over and over, regardless of what challenges they might have faced.

    And yeah, UWvH was superheroes, but it didn’t try to be more than it was.

  14. Dave Says:

    Johanna, you’re absolutely correct on your Watchmen observation. Everytime I hear that excuse trotted out I just want to scream: “Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy!”

    How about: “I’ve read Watchmen. Watchmen is one of my favorite comics. Civil War, you’re no Watchmen.”

    Yeah, I feel better now….

    Kevin Smith has already been mentioned but don’t forget his Spider-Man/Black Cat project. And Mark Millar’s The Unfunnies is another – over 2 years between issues 2 and 3 for a 4-issue mini-series.

    Both of these were projects where I had pre-ordered and pre-paid through but the good folks who run that outfit were classy enough to honor my request to cancel my orders and credit my payment (no big deal since I spend about $150 with them).

    What’s more significant is that, while neither were very good (unless you enjoy funny animals making jokes about prison rape), I would have gone ahead and bought the complete series based on pure momentum had the issues come out on time. But the long gap between issues enabled me to come down to earth and get rational enough to DISPOSE OF THE ISSUES I HAD ALREADY ACCUIRED ON EBAY (!) months before either series were completed – and I never looked back.

    This happens for good series, too… Jack Staff is one that I will no longer buy in singles but the significant difference there is that when a TPB is solicited I’ll place an order. I used to really enjoy Palookaville and Optic Nerve, too – and in their defense, they usually come out in a timely manner after they’ve been solicited – but when that adds up to one issue a year, what’s the point? I’ll wait for the collection, even if that means one book every 5 or 6 years.

    To Johanna’s comment that free-lancing is hard – Yeah, I agree. I don’t know if I have what it takes to be self-employed and accountable to noone but myself. I was a lousy student in school for the same reason. Maybe creative endeavors of this type are not for everyone. And to Tim O’Shea’s observation about creator’s excuses – yes, we all have problems don’t we? The difference is, I still have to show up for work on a regular, predictable basis or I will find myself without work to show up for!

  15. Rob Spencer Says:

    Morrison’s Authority. Pretty sure it wasn’t supposed to be a 2-issue miniseries.

  16. Kevin Lighton Says:

    The Epic translation of Akira had a two year gap between issues 33 and 34.

  17. Jeff R. Says:

    Miracleman, of course. Even disregarding the potentially infinite wait on the rest of Gaiman’s run, the Moore/Totleben issues were coming out on a barely annual basis, thanks to the latter’s eye problems…

    Also, Hepcats.

  18. Johanna Says:

    Oh, yes, how could I have forgotten Hepcats?

  19. Sebastian Says:

    These are the late items on my current preorder list (and the months when they were originally solicited in Previews). Don’t know if they qualify for any “Hall of Shame”, but they’re all currently between 3 and 11 months late (except “Artesia”, which is 18 months late but was recently resolicited).

    Brit #6 [2007-11]
    Fell #10 [2007-08]
    PvP #40 [2007-11]
    Special Forces #2 [2007-08]
    Texas Strangers #3 [2007-03]

    Slave Labor
    Gargoyles #9 [2007-11]
    Gargoyles – Bad Guys #2 [2007-10]
    Wonderland #6 [2007-10]

    Artesia Besieged #3 [2006-08]
    Mouse Guard – Winter 1152 #4 [2007-11]

    Courtney Crumrin and the Prince of Nowhere [2007-08]
    Multiple Warheads #2 [2007-08]

    The Bomb #1 [2007-04]
    Myth-told Tales #1 [2007-11]
    Sinbad – Rogue of Mars #3 [2007-09]

  20. Brian Says:

    In Jeff Smith’s Bone, there was a year between the issue that became the last chapter of “Old Man’s Cave” and the issue that was the first of “Ghost Circles.” I can’t recall which specific issue numbers these were.

    The delay was due to Smith working with Nickelodeon for the proposed Bone animated movie (and wrestling it away from them when they wanted to add Britney Spears and Fone bone’s magic growing gloves). That return issue was double sized and included pin-ups, plus variant covers by Alex Ross, Frank Miller, and Charles Vess.

    Obviously, the delay didn’t kill the Bone series, but it might’ve been the case for a less popular (or lower quality) indie.

  21. dissenter Says:

    Offered without comment:




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