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March 22 2008

Giant Size Astonishing X-Men and Runaways #30 Delayed Until May. The latest Diamond Distribution list includes more delays for both Giant Size Astonishing X-Men and Runaways.

Both GS Astonishing and Joss' final issue of Runaways have been delayed until 5/21:

Giant Size Astonishing X-Men #1 05/21/08
Runaways #30 05/21/08

On the one hand, I really want to know how these arcs end. On the other hand, I really don't mind stretching the runs out a little because when they are done, its over and I'll probably be sad.

Rather than actually ending the arcs, the rumor around here is that he'll just put them all in a room to sleep and The Cheese Man will bring the Runaways back to the future and save the earth from the giant bullet by catching it with an equally large hunk of swiss.

IMO, Joss needs to explore the medium a little further. We need a "Joss class" story with new characters. Don't get me wrong, I love it when Joss plays in someone else's sandbox but I think when it's his characters, we get to discover a new world versus reading about people and places we've already met.

With that said, I think the Astonishing run is an instant classic.
IMO, the delays with Astonishing are destroying the Joss' reputation with X-fans.

[ edited by Simon on 2008-03-22 19:12 ]
Maybe put something like that in a "spoiler bubble" or black text so you don't ruin the surprise for anyone else, FaithFan?
It's disappointing for me because I don't buy comics (well except for Buffy Season 8 #1 I just had too!) I wait for the Trades... and this news means that the trades with come out much later!
Its kinda of like not watching tv shows live and waiting for them to be released on DVD. Except single issues cost maybe $3 and tv shows are basically free.
Ever since I finally moved from the Philippines back to the US I was actually able to buy single issues because comic book stores are hard to find and kinda weird in southeast asia. Major book stores had plenty of trades though.
I think Joss should create an original concept for a comic book and write maybe 1-4 issues then hand it off to past collaborators and just let it run for a while without concentrating on it. Maybe leave some notes on characters' backgrounds and plot concepts. Plant a firm foundation. I'd be really interested in seeing if the comic would still stay true to Joss' intent after 30 issues.
I don't think Joss would really want to do that though because to him, I think it would be like giving up your baby to foster care.
Spoilers, dammit, spoilers.
I've invisiblised the spoilerish text.

the delays with Astonishing are destroying the Joss' reputation with X-fans

I would have thoughy X-fans would be pointing the finger of blame at Marvel and Cassaday rather than Joss.
In any case, the delays matter only in the present. Joss' stories will still be discussed and read for decades to come, and I really can't imagine anybody caring about the delays of a complete masterpiece, 30 years from now. The time it takes for Joss to write (or for John to draw, for that matter) is what it is. I wouldn't want them to change a thing.

Well, maybe a few bits in 'Dangerous', but that's about it.
At this point I'm so used to comic delays that I'm entirely unbothered. I mean, as an ardent Kevin Smith fan I've waited years for some of his comics to come out.
I would have thoughy X-fans would be pointing the finger of blame at Marvel and Cassaday rather than Joss.

After all the delays with Runaways, it's hard not to put the blame on Joss. The X-Office hasn't had any other problems with books being delayed. Every issue of Messiah Complex was on time and only one Endangered Species issue was delayed (but only for one week).

The other things is that the delays are also putting the other X-writers in a difficult spot, and X-fans are realizing that.

Uncanny writer Ed Brubaker felt the wrath of X-fans when he failed to show any reaction from Scott following Scott's father's death in Uncanny, but Brubaker explained he was unable to use Scott since Joss was using him in Astonishing. So you know Brubaker wants to deal with the outcome of GS Astonishing, because X-fans will criticize him if he doesn't, but he can't unless he does it in a cryptic way that fans also went crazy about. It's a no-win situation.
Do we know for certain if Joss finished the scripts or not ? Because the delay could be his fault, Cassaday's fault, or simply Marvel's scheduling decision to get a better grip on the market. You know, shifting the heavyweight books around to weaker months.
Not quite sure how I got there from the ComicList link, but at under "Top 5s" they have the Buffy S8 tradeback as #1 Graphic novel, and the Serenity PVC set as #1 Toy. (Oddly enough, if you click the tab for Toys, it is not in the top five, but if you click the link for all the Toys, it is the top entry again.)
This is where I praise Dark Horse for their brilliant job of getting Buffy Season 8 out on time every month. Great work, guys!
I would have thoughy X-fans would be pointing the finger of blame at Marvel and Cassaday rather than Joss.

If you want to read comics fans bitching about Joss just go here.
Have to say, though it happens all the time it's still kind of annoying and really does destroy the momentum of the story. The odd delay is fine, shit happens that can't be helped but AXM in particular has been plagued with them. Have to say also (without starting any holy wars ;) that it seems to me DC has far fewer problems with their schedule than Marvel.

The sense of entitlement thing is a pet peeve of mine BUT I also think there's a happy medium and that when we as fans commit to buying an ongoing story it's fair to expect it to be released within a reasonable time frame (there's no way, for instance, that i'd have bought the first two parts of 'Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk' - supposedly a six part mini-series - if I thought i'd still be waiting for the 3rd part over two years later. In that case I feel like Marvel has almost got money from me under false pretences).
More delays?

At this point, I wish I'd never started reading the series. Which is really rather sad.

I'm glad that Runaways hasn't appealed to me since the first run.

I'm not blaming Joss, or Cassaday - it's a wonderful story, and if it takes time to develop, that's fine. But there shouldn't be release dates set if they're never going to be lived up to. Maybe the whole system is flawed and it should stick to releasing completed arcs in the form of graphic novels.

Either way... bored now.
Paraphrasing Vi (been a good week for Felicia), "This is Nothing"...
I was just reminded of the delays between Fray #6 and and Fray#7.
working in the book world, I always get comments about book delays (if you think HP took too long, try the Eragon series!). My best response now is "at least you aren't reading Robert Jordan" because there has been crazy delays with his books. So, whenever there is a delay with a Joss product, I thank my lucky stars that I don't have to wait 3-4 more years for something. And I am always willing to wait for Joss, heck, I bet I would like Beckett more if they were waiting for Joss rather than Godot (it would make more sense too!)
I can't wait for both of these (there's a reason I'm an uber fan - all of the Joss series are on my pull list).

Delays are just part of the publishing world. Fans would complain if they were hung with a new rope.
Well, if the theories mentioned in spoilers are correct,
My best response now is "at least you aren't reading Robert Jordan" because there has been crazy delays with his books.

That'll happen after an author DIES.

Someone is finishing off his series for his estate, though.
This is from John Cassaday's wikipedia arcticle:

"Renowned as a perfectionist, Cassaday personally inks his own work manually, it is then often colored by Laura Martin. Despite the fact that he has one of the fastest page-completion rates in the industry, the titles he illustrates often run late due to the involvement of high-profile writers and the necessity of co-ordinating the timetables of all the creative professionals involved."

And yes this is wikipedia... but I've heard this from other sources and I think this was mentioned on Fresh Ink by Blair Butler.
Maybe it is Joss but it has to be said that according to Warren Ellis, Cassaday has had 'Planetary' #27 since last June and I still don't see that on the shelves so maybe he is very fast but just has too much on his plate ? Wasn't he directing a film as well for instance ?

Delays are just part of the publishing world. Fans would complain if they were hung with a new rope.

Well ... yeah ? They've been hung, I think that's cause for complaint ;).

Obviously comics aren't the same as books. Sequels to books come out when the author's finished writing and no-one expects any different, there's no schedule to adhere to (or not). Monthly comic books are meant to come out monthly, yes ? The author implicitly says "I'm going to tell the story in small chunks but the upside is, the chunks will arrive at regular times".

And as I say, somehow 'Batman' (along with a whole slew of other titles) comes out month after month without any major problems, why is this different ?
And as I say, somehow 'Batman' (along with a whole slew of other titles) comes out month after month without any major problems,

Well not All Star Batman.
The common ground being a big name writer. Maybe it's not Cassaday then ?

(yeah, i'm not saying no DC title is ever late or that only Joss is ever late - i've already mentioned 'Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk' at two years and counting - but many, many other people manage a monthly schedule just fine)
Personally, I don't care if it's Whedon, Cassady, Joe Quesada, or whomever that's causing these delays. All I know is, any excitement I had for the conclusion of AXM is slowly ebbing away. We all know the end result, and with the climax gone, there's not a lot of intrigue still ahead. It's unfortunate, but I feel like I'm now waiting on this issue for closure and little else.

On a bit of a side-note, I think part of the reason why Joss's books are hurt by long delays is his writing style. His kind of decompressed storytelling really works at its best when read as a complete arc. Individual issues may have their moments, but we really need the full story to appreciate it. Contrast that with Warren Ellis's habitually late Fell, and there's an immediate difference. Each issue of Fell is a total story, even though it's told in two thirds the length of a standard comic. While there's an overall cohesion, readers are never left feeling like they've gotten two bites of a meal.

That's not to say one style is better or worse than the other. It's just a byproduct of the way they do their thing.
The delays have hurt my enjoyment of Joss' Runaways, but I'm very happy with my decision years ago to not jump on the Astonishing X-Men bandwagon. I'll borrow it off a friend when it's all completed, maybe. I have little interest in the X-folks outside of films and cartoons, a little curious about the Ultimates line, but the original continuity Marvel Universe is intimidating and crazy.

Just outta curiosity from folks here who follow it, was the whole "Brand New Day" arc over on Spider-Man a gutsy move that's re-invigorated the title, or as poor a decision as the "Clone Saga" was perceived to be? (I say "perceived to be" because I didn't read Spider-Man at the time of Clone Saga. Only a little bit of the first run of Sensational Spider-Man when clone Ben Reilly--though it was shown at the time that he was the real one, until they reversed that due to fan outrage--was the main character, and then later a large chunk of J. Michael Straczynski's run on Amazing Spider-Man). Maybe it'll be undone, but...I dunno. Pissing on all that continuity, poor as some of it may've been.
We all know the end result

Luckily we don't ALL KNOW. I certainly don't. I can guess, but then it's still just a guess.

However, this last arc seems to have been going on forever and while I'll buy the last issue, I'm not hanging for it. Ditto Runaways - which really isn't anywhere near the greatest of the series under Brian K Vaughan anyway.
You guys know there were years between issues of Dark Knight Returns, right?

I guess I'm just used to this kind of thing. Schedules mean nothing to me in comics any more. I'm not bothered (except when I forget who the newer characters are, which has happened with this last AXM arc, but on the other hand I read all of Steve Ditko's wonderful Doctor Strange run this weekend and I forgot stuff while I was reading it.)
Incidentally, did any of you actually read Runaways #29? Seems pretty obvious to me why it's taking so long to come out!
I did read #29, daylight, but didn't catch any reference to why it might be taking so long. Are you talking about the art ? I remember a complicated spread or two, but if art quality is the reason...I dunno, I don't see how that would've delayed it, much as I like Michael Ryan's work. Is he penciling other books at the moment as well ?

I'm not usually bothered by schedules either...but then again, I haven't had to wait this long for multiple issues of a series in years. I've had good luck with the very few titles I've been reading monthly and have otherwise avoided the whole issue by just getting trade paperback collections. I don't always enjoy being forced to re-read previous issues just so I can fully enjoy the newest one. And they rarely include all the nuances in the recap at the beginning of the book, so yeah, the waits really can potentially hurt your enjoyment of the overall arc sometimes and that's justification for complaint enough for me.

If it's a script issue, the writer shouldn't be taking on so many titles/projects at once (seriously Joss, slow down. Runaways is almost finished, but for your own health and sanity, could ya pare it down to maybe just Buffy, Dollhouse, overseeing Angel and Serenity comics, the new Fray project and...yeah, is that enough to satisfy your creative urges ?)
You guys know there were years between issues of Dark Knight Returns, right?

Err, no, I didn't know that daylight, mainly because it's not true ;). DKR issues 1-4 were released from February to June of 1986 ('Strikes Again' had delays of a few months though).

It's completely beside the point anyway, just because it has happened doesn't mean it should (the opposite i'd say). Sure, anyone that reads comics regularly is used to delays but they're still annoying and unprofessional (whomever's at fault).

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