Don Alsafi of G-Mart Comics in Batavia, Illinois saw the Tim Davis comment (see 'Tim Davis of Alternate Reality on Late Image Books') on late books from Image and added in the Spawn books:
Unfortunately, there are a great many more late Image books than the 34-42 items that Tim Davis cites - thanks to Todd McFarlane Productions.
This week, Spawn #135 was released. It was solicited in Previews in April of 2003. When did they say it would be released? June 25th. And we just got it this week. A full year late!
And the sad thing is - it's not just one late item (like the Image Anniversary Hardcover, also rumored to be held up because of TMP). Every issue that comes out is a year late. Every month, they continue to do this. To illustrate, look at the current issue of Previews. When does it say that the currently solicited issue #149 will be out? 'On Sale 25 August, 2004.' Raise your hand, anyone who believes this.
Any other company, which is this late with a series has its orders canceled and re-solicited. Whether it's an action enacted by the publisher itself, or a decree from Diamond Comics, it's the responsible move that speaks to respect for the retailers and the hard work that maintaining an establishment in the current marketplace requires. How is any retailer supposed to know what sales will be like on a given title 14 months in the future?
The fact that one studio would have so little respect for its customers is disappointing, but - statistically speaking - not unbelievable. On the other hand, the fact that the other Image partners, as well as Diamond Comic Distributors, seem to condone this behavior through their inaction... is an incredibly disheartening sight.
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