In today’s post I will tackle something that has vexed modern comic book fans to no end -- receiving comics on a regular schedule.
|Busy-man, amazing artist and DC biggie|
Jim Lee runs notoriously late.
What do I mean by that?
When a comic says it will be monthly I expect it to come out monthly. Some comics are bimonthly and others are biweekly. DC Comics’ 52 was weekly. As comic book readers, we expect to have issues of the comics we read on a timely schedule so that we are able to remember the story and so that we are not forced to re-read an older issue because we’ve forgotten what happened in the last issue.
On Time Is Better Than Perfection
Now, while getting comic books out on time is important for the story, I believe that it is also important for sales as well, especially for a new writer or artist. Getting something out on time is often more important than making it perfect. If you wait to make everything perfect in each issue you will fall behind and lose fans. Losing fans is the death knell for titles. Once you lose fans you are unlikely to regain them unless something big happens in your book.
Lateness Diminishes Customer Satisfaction
The timeliness of comic book releases affects the individual budget of the average shopper. When I expect a certain issue each month and it does not come, I suffer because I live on a budget and can only get so many at once. Then, other titles have to wait another week or two, or even the current issues will have to wait. Even comic book shop owners are affected since it will effect their orders and can alienate customers.
Getting books out on time is important. Sometimes they might be a month late, others might be longer. But comic books need to get back on time if they want to succeed.
Thankfully, the industry as a whole has done well with timeliness. It’s really the new publishers and overtaxed writers and artists that must be diligent about maintaining a good schedule.
Kevin Winter is someone with an opinion about almost everything. A comic fan of several years, he can be seen around Empire's Comics Vault on Wednesdays, and generally spouting an opinion (if anyone wants to hear it or not)... also trying not to get on Ben's bad side.