Thursday, July 12, 2007

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Updates on a few late-shipping comics:

o At Bags and Boards, Tom McLean has news on Marvel Comics' Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk, by writer Damon Lindelof and artist Leinil Francis Yu.
"They have scripts all the way through issue four and I’m about to turn in issue five in about a week," says Lindelof. "Leinil [...] has been drawing New Avengers for (Brian Michael) Bendis, so as soon as he is done with that, and I think he has one more issue and then he’s done with that, he’s going to finish up [Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk]."
But, as we recall, it's a six-issue limited series, so don't get your hopes up. After all, we know the book's publishing history: Issue #1 came out on December 21, 2005. Issue #2 was released on February 22, 2006. Then Lindelof apparently grew too busy with the TV show Lost to keep dabbling in comics. Issue #3 was first solicited for April 2006, then pushed back multiple times, before being taken off the schedule altogether.

Speaking as an outsider, I would now expect Marvel to wait until all six issues are finished before resoliciting them for release, so as to minimize the probability of further delays. As a plethora of examples over the last several years shows (see Daredevil: Target, Daredevil: Father, The Ultimates, etc.), however, that sort of expectation is exceptionally naïve and unworkable and can only be held by those not privy to the realities of everyday publishing.

(On a sidenote, Lindelof seems to be suggesting that Yu's tenure on New Avengers may be coming to an end.)

o Not that things look any better at the competition, mind you. Remarkably, it's worth a proud announcement to artist Jim Lee on his studio weblog Gelatometti that the bafflingly titled All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder might actually manage to stick to not one but two release dates in a row. News on the Lee-penciled Wildcats, alas, which went on hiatus right after the first issue came out - a month late, mind you - in October 2006, are not so happy.
I know you Wildcats fans are DYING for an update... so am I! As soon as I have more script to draw, I will let you know the details. I am still committed to doing my run with Grant [Morrison, Wildcats writer] and I will be seeing him at [the San Diego Comic Convention] to figure how we can we can recover and get it back on track like [All Star Batman & Robin] is.
Note down two more cases in which the delays were obviously bound to happen since day one. And yet, the publisher decided to put out the respective first issues as soon as they were completed, instead of holding back the existing material and waiting for a realistic schedule to materialize.

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