Joe Krolik of Comics America in Winnipeg,
I briefly want to make a few important points:
1) The amount of notice given to the general public and retailers was not sufficient given that the editor knew going in that the creator(s) could not turn a book around in less than six weeks. It would have made more sense to anticipate this eventual problem and delay each and every issue by one week, which would have had a less cumulative impact over the course of the last eight months and would also have allowed for solicitation adjustments along the way. Water under the bridge perhaps, but food for future thought to avoid similar situations.
2) Mr. Brevoort made the point that the monthly schedule for the release of product is a holdover from the newsstand distribution model of 20 or 30 years ago. Not to be snarky, but in case no one noticed, modern direct market comic book retailers are for lack of a better description, largely newsstands, albeit for a more or less singular main line of product.
Therefore it is incumbent on publishers as a group to respect that fact and not mess with a unique business model that can bring return customers into an establishment week after week and month after month. There is no other business in their world like this, and it is to be treasured as such.
3) In a situation like this, I suspect that the convention circuit may have contributed a little to some time conflicts. This is solely my interpretation. Given the importance of the project, those involved should have forgone past and may still be able to forgo future convention appearances in favor of working on the project. Let the kudos and adulation come later once the job is complete. It'll be a heck of a lot more satisfying.
4) The momentum lost is a public relations nightmare for more than just the obvious reasons. We have a situation here where national headlines were made by this project, especially concerning Spider-Man.
Aside from building on the general good buzz surrounding all the other comic-related news and movies, this one singular focal point has caused many casual readers or former collectors to return to investigate what's going on, exposing them to all the goodies they've missed over 'x' years of being away. But most importantly, the majority of these people have children now.
Everyone's been complaining about how the industry needs to bring in younger readers, and here come this influx of returning fans with their kids. So what does the industry show them? It shows them that their former frustrations with collecting might have been justified, and we lose them again and possibly a good number of those young readers as well!
5) It is absolutely incumbent on everyone involved and particularly the people in control at Marvel to forget blame and finger pointing, and move heaven and earth to get the project back on track now. Perhaps we'll get a piece of good news as a result within the next week or so.
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.