Ilan Strasser of Fat Moose Comics and Games in Whippany, New Jersey saw the news that Civil War books were going to be delayed (see 'Civil War Delays Rile Retailers) and says that publishers should not solicit books until the work is in hand:
I've said for the last decade and a half that all publishers, but especially Marvel and DC, should not solicit a comic unless they have at least two-thirds, if not all of the, series in hand. If the title is planned as an ongoing series, the first issue should not be solicited until the first 10 are on hand ready for the printer.
Quite a large number of people have made millions off their books and related merchandising over the last 20 years. Literally thousands more would like to join their ranks and have the latest super-hit credited to them, as well as the dollars that would go with it. My opinion is if you can't be professional with your scheduled delivery dates, then don't join the ranks of the already arrogant. If you are already in the ranks, but don't care to work in such a way that your books come out when they are promised, then you can get the hell out too.
I don't care if your name is Kevin Smith, Frank Miller, Jim Lee, J. Michael Straczynski, Mark Millar, etc., etc., etc. -- do it right or don't bother me. The majority of creators treat the retailers with the same level of detached disrespect that the publishers and distributors have been throwing our way for years. All of them would be nothing without the retailers who struggle in the front lines day after day and year after year. In fact, without us, there would be no industry at all.
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