Kathleen Bottarini of Comic Book Box in Rohnert Park, California saw the news of Marvel's Civil War delays (See ''Civil War' Delays Rile Retailers') and wonders what happened to the editors of the books?

Whatever happened to the role of editors in comics?  Is it my imagination, or wasn't it the editors who kept artists and writers on schedule?  Who kept the 'big picture' on schedule?  Whatever happened to that? 


In this new day and age of professionalism in comics, where does that 'old standard' of timeliness come into play?  I am ticked off by Marvel's complete lack of respect for what timeliness means, and the trickle effect that this disrespect causes.  Okay, maybe Marvel Comics is fine with not producing their product.  I'd like to understand how not producing product benefits their business plan, or their bottom line, for that matter.  I wouldn't complain if it was just one or two titles, but it's rapidly becoming an exponentially rising problem. 


If Hollywood wants to write comics, get the script first.  I'm not an editor, but I know that much.  We need to learn from Kevin Smith, and not repeat the mistake.  Making movies, making television is the big money, not writing comics.  Press releases are lovely for getting awareness from outside markets, but how long can you expect to hold that attention if there's no product to sell them?  Keep away is a very dull game, unless you're the one doing the dangling.  If you're promising the product, buck up and make sure that it's ready when you promise it!  The Civil War debacle comes down to a failure to communicate. 


It seems reasonable to think of Civil War as a summer event book, which means that there should be some attention paid to deadlines, since it's also reasonable to assume that the impact of this series will have ramifications to the rest of the Marvel Universe.  Evidently, that is not that big a deal.  And, is it a surprise that Quesada, as Editor in Chief, does not pay the least bit of attention to deadlines?  He is NOT leading by example, or he would be bothered to complete Daredevil: Father. There needs to be accountability. 


If a publisher, such as Marvel, cannot meet their deadlines, then they need to take a page from DC Comics and offer the ability to return the leftover product after the conclusion of the series.  DC Comics is not without sin, but they reach out to the retail community--it's called 'good will.'  Marvel should give it a try, not just for the retailers, but also, more importantly, for the Marvel fans who support us both.

The opinions expressed in this Talk Back article are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.