Robot 6

DC Comics postpones Batwoman debut again

Sneak peek of Batwoman #1

Even as DC Comics previewed Batwoman #1 on Wednesday, word circulated online that the publisher has again canceled orders for the first two issues for resolicitation at a later date.

The move, revealed Tuesday in an email to retailers and confirmed by Comics on the Green and The Launchpad, marks the second delay in as many months. The highly anticipated series, by J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder, previously had been set to debut in February. But in January, the publisher rescheduled the first issue for April — a date that appears in sneak peek included in this week’s DC titles.

Although Batwoman, which spins out of Williams and Greg Rucka’s acclaimed run on Detective Comics, was widely expected to debut last summer, Williams explained in January that was never the case.

“February had been decided on the launch date by the company with reservations about that from me,” he wrote on his blog. “I felt that was a bit too soon in a realistic look at work progression. One of the reasons for this was that I had been seriously committed to making appearances around the world over this past year. I think maybe 3 months or more of work loss occurred during that time. I kept trying to point this out whenever discussions about schedule came up. When first discussing the launch date earlier last year we had originally wanted April 2011, and now ironically that is what we have. Only after solicits stating otherwise, causing some unnecessary frustrations.”

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45 Comments

I wonder if they’re gonna make him travel during this con season too. I’d be more than happy to not meet him if it means getting comics from him on a more regular schedule.

Agree with you Joe. Perhaps Williams should focus more on writing his scripts and less on traveling and promoting, since there are plenty of other outlets for promotion like Facebook, DC’s Source and Twitter.

Very disappointing news.

DC could fuck up a one-car funeral.

Slow artists should focus on their work intstead of making appearances. A Q&A with the fans on facebook, the source, or here in the DC forums is enough to keep interest alive for the book.

But I’m happy to see that DC’s waiting to have enough issues finished before they start shipping. I can put up with a delayed launch of a title rather than having a random issue showing up “whenever”.

It seems more like the fault of Williams on this delay than the last one.

castle grayskull

March 10, 2011 at 8:07 am

At least DC’s making sure they have enough issues completed before they launch. I hate delays, especially right after a series debuts.

Hopefully it won’t become the ” Spiderman Musical” of comic books. (That was a weird sentence to write)

I wonder why they didnt use single issue storys until they got on there feet and had amy reeder do the art with williams instead of shifting story arcs… oh welli suppose at the very least i can respect his professionalism by telling us the truth before hand

“I wonder why they didnt use single issue storys until they got on there feet and had amy reeder do the art with williams instead of shifting story arcs”

Because they’re stupid. And it’s hilarious to watch them circling the drain.

The best part is, after they completely kill any momentum they have and the book gets cancelled because everytime it gets delayed it loses just a few more people, they can blame it on the lead character being gay and a woman. Then they sit there an blame the industry for not supporting certain types of books.

Man, do I hate being right. Even with another artist helping this book is still late. Give the writing to someone else, fast, so I can get my JHW III fix!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“I wonder why they didnt use single issue storys until they got on there feet and had amy reeder do the art with williams instead of shifting story arcs”

“Because they’re stupid. And it’s hilarious to watch them circling the drain.”

—————-

It’s been my experience that there are two types of comix fans: those who are primarily interested in the characters, and those who are primarily interested in the artists.

To the person interested in the further adventures of his or her favorite character, it doesn’t matter who is drawing the book.

To the person who is interested in the artist, the person drawing the book is the only thing that’s important. And by adding in fill-in artists to keep the book on schedule, it may please the person interested in Batwoman as a character, but it removes all incentive for fans of JH Williams to purchase the book.

What I’m interested in is the collected edition, one that is created by a single artist, not by a committee of pencilers. The collected edition of “The Ultimates” that is sitting on my shelf would not be there if Marvel had hired other artists besides Bryan Hitch to fill in to keep it on schedule during it’s original run. That would nit have interested me. Publishers need to realize that when they do that they are destroying long-term value in the book in exchange for the short-term gain of maintaining a monthly schedule. Six months from now people will forget that “Batwoman” was late. But ten years from now the book has the potential of being a perennial backlist seller if the content is quality.

It sounds to me like Williams was pretty upfront with DC about when he could get this book done. It also sounds like the problem is with DC’s scheduling department who chose not to listen and began scheduling and marketing it anyway.

Matthew Southworth

March 10, 2011 at 9:15 am

To all the folks commenting about JH Williams needing to spend more time on the scripts and less on travel or that DC should just hire another writer to speed things up:

It takes very little time to write an issue of a comic–maybe a week, maybe less–but it takes a long time to draw one with the care and detail and level of polish Williams puts into his work. So if he’s responsible for any slowdown (and there’s no evidence that he is), you can blame it on the artwork, not the writing.

I think everyone will agree that the artwork on Batwoman has been/is/will be something really special, something well worth waiting for.

So stop being so negative and just wait for it to come out when it’s ready. It’s gonna be fantastic, so give the guy the room to do what he does best.

Matthew Southworth

March 10, 2011 at 9:18 am

Also, to Steely Dan:

I’m usually just interested in the artist or writer, with very little investment in the character, but strangely, there is a synthesis of Batwoman/Williams that I’m particularly excited about. I like Batwoman but wouldn’t be as interested were someone else drawing this–even someone whose work I love, like say Chris Sprouse; and I wouldn’t be as interested were Williams drawing an issue of Superman or something.

So I’m particularly excited about this book. I thought the Detective Comics story he and Greg Rucka did was groundbreaking, a really special, unique book, and I can’t wait for more.

Or to be more precise–I can, and I’m happy to do so.

Bit fuckin’ ridiculous at this point.

by nomeans am i bashing dc comics or jh williams, but i have at least 25 people, all girls waiting for this and you know how hard it is to get girls into comics an i had to tell them it was delayed .,.. i said single issues because the artist is working on the scripts with someone and it gives him time to spend on art for the long haul..how theyformatted the issue zero was perfect…. two worlds and we mostly know kat thru her batwoman persona.. i would like to see how her day to day is scheduled.. i mean.. iF THE ARTIST IS TRULY AN ARTIST IT SHOULD NOT MATTER WHO THEY HAVE ON A PROJECT.. AND NO OFFENSE I FOUND THE ULTIMATES IN THE WAKE OF THE AUTHORITY TO BE TEDIOUS… BUT BATWOMAN, I WILL WAIT BUT ITS THE NEW READERS WHO WERE EXPECTING IT THAT I CONCERNED ABOUT .. A TORY LINE IN THE FIRST ISSUE ISA STRETCH RIGHT OUT THE BAT AND SOONER OR LATER DC COMICS IS GOING TO MAKE A DECISION EVEN THOUGH IT WILL HURT THE BOOK WHICH IS WH I WANTED HER KEPT IN DETECTIVE COMICS FROM JUMP …SAME WITH LEX LUTHOR IN ACTION… SHE WOULD HAD MORE FREEDOM IN DETECTVE CAUSE HEN A FILL IN ARTIST CULD HAVE BEENUSED TO FLESH HER OUT MORE

THE SPLASH PAGE AT THE TOP IS BEAUTIFUL… ITS WORTH WAITING ON… I HOPE THEY HAVE PLENTY OF AMY REEDER BACK UP S READY

By the time it comes out, next decade, all momentum for that series will be lost. How disappointing. As a reader, I am interested in the Batwoman character, and I am waiting since 52 to read her adventures on a more regular basis. I am patient, but there is a limit. How many months have already passed since the end of Batwoman’s turn on TEC? That’s reminds me of a great, great book by my favorite author. The long wait made me lost interest, to the point that, if there is a second arc one day, I will wait for the trade. If I even buy it.

Sure, it sucks, but I rather have issue one being delayed than have the the series delayed during the middle of an arc.

I sometimes wonder if DC is just trying to kill the character off. Rucka’s gone, and now they just can’t seem to get her out to fans. as for Jones traveling…he needs to stop traveling and start drawing. This is getting ridiculous.

Well, bye-bye to this book. This is exactly the kind of “behaviour” that encourages people to wait for the trade. So this and Batman Europa is off my pull list.

Ok. Now I’m starting to get annoyed. Still, it’s the only superhero comic I’m remotely interested in and my wallet isn’t crying over these delays.

Oh, well. I know it will be worth the wait.

I just dropped David Finch’s Dark Knight because my money is better spent on comics that come out on time. Same goes for this. I can’t keep my enthusiasm for comics that can’t keep a schedule.

Have to note that the writing in that tiny sample of comic was uninspired. As great an artist as JH is, without Rucka this book will not be the same. Though I am one of those readers who will suffer subpart art for the sake of a good writer, but rarely the reverse.

Maybe DC and other publishers really need to explore shifting artists like JH to graphic novels.

American readers need to gain a more European mentality towards comics – Quality, over quantity.

Brian O'Sullivan

March 10, 2011 at 12:27 pm

This is a crying shame, but if they’re going to have delays, it’s probably better to do it now before the series properly starts rather than after the 2nd or 3rd issue. At this stage though, should they just release it on a bi-monthly basis to help the creative team meet a regular schedule? It could be bimonthly for Williams’ issues, monthly for Reeder’s issues, then back to bi monthly when Williams is back on. That way, it stays on a dependable schedule, and Williams has time to finish issues and have some semblance of a life.

That said, we’re all presuming that Mr W is the reason for the delay. There may be other reasons.

@Nathan Aaron

American readers can’t because the expectation and format is completely opposite to that way of thinking. European stuff is slower. It works great for the stories they want to tell but american stories are (or used to be) a bit of foot to the floor rush to page 22 to make you wait a month. That’s a tough thing to translate.

a lot of problems with comics today is quantity over quality .. thats why i said it should have started out as single issue stories until they established what the angle is .. its not going to be greg ruckas batwoman but jh williams .. something new .. the single issues would have worked until they got there foot out the door… jumping into a storyline for a new series has always been a mistake … imagine if image had done this in the beginning how different it might have been… at least with the single issues you can get away with a bi monthly schedule … whose approving the sollicits with no product.. i am however curious to see jh and the star wars guy handle kate…

this delay is costing DC and Retailer’s money. If you don’t understand that…..take an economics class.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, JHW3!!!! Just do your best, and meet reasonable deadlines.

A page a day is a reasonable deadline. 20 pages a month. The other 10 you can spend anyway you want.

Marvel/retailers sold whatever it was 25 issues of Ultimates over the 3-4 years. Instead of selling 35-40. We are talking about 1000′s of dollars for a store.

This is getting old.

Matthew Southworth

March 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm

@ Trey–

By what standard is “a page a day is a reasonable deadline”? You’re ignoring that different work represents different levels of complexity. Williams is doing highly complex layouts–which take a LOT of time to work out–and then on top of that he’s doing pretty serious greyscale work.

Someone using more straightforward layouts would be able to produce more quickly (I use much, much more conventional layouts myself but really envy Williams’ work), and the greytones take a lot of time. So in other words, the question of what is reasonable depends on a great many factors.

Art is not just an economic matter, it’s also a personal/expressive one. If Williams were to approach things purely from an economic standpoint, he could get plenty of work making art that took a lot less out of him. And there are media that pay far, far more than comic books, so he’d likely not work in comics at all.

So my own belief is that we should simply encourage creators who work hard to do something powerful and special.

For fuck’s sake…

I really didn’t think DC could be so utterly goddamn clueless here. I really didn’t. Guess I was very, very wrong.

I will wait as long as i have to in order for this book to come out, month after month with no delays. I know that Amy Reeder is working on her arc right now, so once the first issues come out, this will be smooth sailing and will most definately be worth the wait.

Urg!

I’m so close to losing my patience – I mean, I won’t drop the title, but good Lord…how much longer? The more time passes, the bigger the chance people will forget about Batwoman/Kate or they won’t really care anymore. And I don’t want that.

This sucks truck loads of crap…I don’t want to wait until so many years to read Batwoman.

I think he needs to put a lot longer than a week into his scripts, thats for sure! That preview thats just come out does not read well at all.

I miss Rucka!

@Trey – a page a day? He cant even do a page a week!! haha… its insane!

Its a comic for f**ks sake, just draw it already, and stop being such a prima donna!

I say bring back Jock, or someone who actually wants to draw her MONTHLY title – turn his into an extra mini series – and that way he can take another 5 years to finish it!

I just don’t understand why Batwoman has to WAIT for Williams.

If DC is intentionally trying to prevent a repeat of David Finch’s “The Dark Knight” debacle (when will that title officially be cancelled and the comic just be referenced as an attractive one-shot?), then I approve of this move. Better to have six issues/one story arc completed so they can be regularly scheduled — than have a Kevin Smith/Allan Heinberg/First Wave/Image United (Image Unseen?) situation develop.

This book looks amazing. I don’t care when it comes out I’m going to get it. There only mistake was teasing it so early. I’d rather have a consistent title per month. If that means they are going to take some extra time, so be it. I’ve got plenty of other stuff to read.

Isn’t this pretty old news? At least from Williams’ site I’ve known about this for a while.

No, the series debut was first delayed from February to April — that’s what was mentioned on Williams’ website back in January — and now from April to some date to be announced later.

It really amazes me, how people over react about this stuff, like a bunch of 12 year olds. DC puts out several dozen books a month. Yes, I like Batwoman, and am looking forward to reading it, but there’s plenty of other material to read in the meantime. Get over it, and get over yourselves, people.

I LOVE Batwoman and couldn’t get enough when it was in Detective Comics. C’mon DC! This should be your flagship product in terms of smart re-imagining of old characters & dynamics.

Come on already! I’ve really been looking forward to this book! Please! By the way, listen to Raging Bullets podcast. They are all about the DC U. Batman family fanatics, too. I’ll be curious to hear what Sean and Jim have to say about it!

@ Steely dan……6 months from now the book probably still won’t be out. Why on earth DC choose an artist who seems to me works with water colors for an ongoing book is beyond me. Should have waited for him to have the first 12 issues done before launch. I guess I’m one of the few fans who are more interested in the character than the artist. I have a thing for redheads and I like the fact that kate has an attachment to Montoya which could give us more Question. As for not remembering 6 months from now the delay….it’s been more than 6 months that Wonder Woman has been out and I remember that fiasco of a delay in it’s first year.

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