Oni Relaunches Wasteland With $1 Issue, Commitment to Monthly Schedule

This is the kind of relaunch notice I like to see. There have been lots of examples of comic series getting off-track with scheduling, and many of them send out “we’ll do better in future, we promise” notices, but few are willing to be so up-front about where they went wrong and how they’re doing things differently in future. The real proof is still to come, when we see whether they’re actually making their schedule or not, but such self-awareness makes me more likely to believe positive change is possible. Plus, they’re using a targeted price change to draw attention at a key jumping-on point.

Wasteland #33 cover

As announced by Oni (with more preview pages at the link):

To celebrate the return of Antony Johnston’s WASTELAND, and to kick the series into high gear with a new monthly schedule, WASTELAND #33 will be $1. WASTELAND #33 marks a great jumping on point for new readers with a brand new arc and a brand new artist in Justin Greenwood. So the question becomes: Why the long hiatus?

Writer Antony Johnston sums it up pretty simply, “We screwed up. It all started around issue #25, which was double-length and full color, and exhausted Chris Mitten. We should have given him a break after that, but we didn’t, and suddenly he was struggling to hit deadlines. For Chris, that’s pretty much unheard of.” To finish out the arc, Antony and Oni Press sought out new talent to give Chris a breather. “Remington Veteto, who came on to finish out the current arc, is a great young artist but simply wasn’t ready to deal with the schedule that we had established. It was around this point we realized just how much of a machine Chris had been for us,” said Johnston.

“That’s when it became clear that we needed to take steps to get back on track,” said series editor and Oni Press EIC James Lucas Jones. “We found the perfect artist for the following arc in Justin Greenwood, best known for RESURRECTION, and he started plugging away. Justin has actually been working on WASTELAND for almost a year now, gearing up for the new schedule. We can’t wait to get the series back to the fans and to gain new fans with the $1 issue.”

Wasteland #33 page 15

Wasteland #33 page 15, art by Justin Greenwood, click to enlarge

Original series artist and co-creator Chris Mitten is also returning, to take over covers. “Justin brings a great new vibe to the series,” said Chris. “I’m really excited to see the fan reaction to Justin’s take on this world, and to be involved with WASTELAND myself in this new way.”

Jones continued, “The good news is that we’ve learned our lesson. From issue #33 onwards we’re adopting a new and better schedule. Fans of WASTELAND can look forward to the timeliness and regularity displayed by titles like THE SIXTH GUN and SPONTANEOUS, neither of which missed a ship date in 2011. Justin has already drawn up to #37 before we even solicit the arc, and Antony is scripting #41 right now. So we’re all working much, much further ahead than we ever have before on WASTELAND.”

Johnston has already planned out the rest of the series, right up to the final issue #60, saying “I’ve always known how WASTELAND would end, but how long it took — and the journey from here to there — was open. Now that we’re more than halfway through the series, I can see the landscape ahead more clearly, and every step along the way is accounted for.”

WASTELAND #33 hits store shelves on January 18th with a brand new arc, brand new artist and covers, and a special retail price of $1. Jump on now to the series that Warren Ellis calls “The best post-apocalyptic comic being published today”!

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