The delays behind [Batman Inc.] are a combination of slowness on Grant and Yanick’s part. Yanick does all of his work on a digital pad and his art process requires a whole lot of lead time that Grant Morrison just doesn’t give him. On the Saturday morning, Grant had just e-mailed Yanick 12 pages of script for issue #5 when Yanick’s deadline for the art is in 1 week…so yeah, expect some more delays for issue 5 unless they get a fill-in artist.
—ComicBookDaily.com’s David Diep, reporting from this past weekend’s Wizard World Toronto convention, on what he learned about the future of DC’s flagship Bat-book, Batman Incorporated—presumably straight from artist and con guest Yanick Paquette himself.
A look at the solicit as posted on DC’s website shows that the book is scheduled for release on April 20. But the company still has it running with a J.H. Williams III cover that was actually used on issue #3 when it finally came out two weeks ago, likely because that issue was originally supposed to come out in January and thus had an “iconic” cover as part of that month’s line-wide cover gimmick, which was obviously no longer in effect. Issue #5 is now slated to run with the cover you see above, also by Williams…who is himself the co-writer/co-artist of the even more delay-plagued Batwoman. On the other hand, the company just signed the prodigiously talented artist Chris Burnham, who made a splash as the co-artist of the climactic Batman & Robin #16 and was already on board to draw Batman Incorporated #4, 6, and 7, to an exclusive contract. So there’s still some joy in Gotham after all.
UPDATE: In the comments below, Paquette himself steps in to clarify, saying that to the best of his knowledge DC hasn’t delayed issue #5 yet, Morrison’s been rock-steady schedule-wise recently, the Williams cover above has always been planned for this issue, and he himself is the one to blame for the schedule hiccups if blame someone we must. He also points out I coulda emailed him to ask him about this stuff, which: fair enough. (In all fairness to me, though, I never said the book was officially delayed, or that the cover above had been created for any other issue.)
I’ll tell you what else… I’m actually seeing things in [work for hire] comics now that I was doing seven or eight years ago. Not just techniques, but actual ideas. I love me some Fraction, but seeing that Tony Stark wants to “change the world” by manufacturing a car that isn’t dependent on gasoline and runs on a possibly limitless energy source that only he can provide… where have I seen that before? Grant Morrison, of all people, had the confidence and the grace to name check me in a Wired magazine interview when it comes to whatever minor contribution I’ve made to the “corporate” angle in modern comics, but he seems to be the only one. And there are other little things I see here and there that I recognize as having done myself, ten years ago. Things that are so specific, I know where they came from, I know it’s not just coincidence. Now before certain people go crazy because I dared say that… no one should read this as me being at all bitter, because I actually think it’s fine. Let ‘em all pick at the bones of the carcasses I chased down and slaughtered in the field… I’m on to the next kill. I certainly did it with the creators that I dug when I was a newbie. It’s just weird to be on the other side of it. Any creators out there who don’t think we all share the same ideaspace are deluding themselves.