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On the Occasion of Stumptown # 4

Stumptown #4, the conclusion of “The Case of the Girl who Took her Shampoo but left her Mini,” is – as of this writing – due in store tomorrow, September 1st. Much, much delayed, for reasons that Matthew iterates in the backmatter of the issue. Fact is, I’ve no desire at all to beat this already-bloodied horse to further glue, except to add that, the next case will absolutely not be solicited until we have enough in the can to avoid this kind of thing in the future.

This is not – stress on not – to lay the blame for the delay at Matthew’s feet. Life happens, with rather apalling insistence, in fact, and one of the problems of working in the “Small Press” as opposed to the “Bigs” is that Real Life™ tends to be much more unforgiving on creators, believe it or not. If Stumptown was a DC book, for instance, or published by Marvel, mechanisms would have been brought to bear to address the schedule conflicts such as we’ve experienced. But it isn’t (whether it could be or not is another question entirely), and there aren’t, and Matthew and I (and James Lucas, and Jill Beaton, and all the rest manning the oars at Oni Press) bear the guilt and the responsibility.

All this having been said, I repeat: It Won’t Happen Again.

Truth is, I hate shipping late. I hate it with an almost unnatural passion. Looking back at my track record with Oni, I know many of you may find this hard to believe. But I swear it on my honor (something I actually try to maintain), I hate doing it, I loathe it, I think it’s a reprehensible way to treat an audience of, essentially, volunteers. I hated it when I worked at DC, and I hate it all the more now that I am working sans filet, as they say on the Continent. At the best, it reeks of a disrespect for the reader (something I, in all sincerity, have never held); at the worst, it speaks of rather dramatic arrogance on the part of the creator(s). Arrogant I may be, but I don’t think I’m that arrogant.

And even with all that, even with – believe or not – a concerted effort to avoid precisely this kind of problem as early as the conception of Stumptown, it happened anyway. My apologies, and Matthew’s, only go so far.

So we’re offering you this:

We will solicit nothing – not a damn thing – until we are satisfied the issues of the next arc, if not the entirety of the run, can and will be in stores as promised.

There is a downside. To whit: it may be some time before you see solicitation for Issue 5, the first part of the “The Case of the Baby in the Velvet Case.” The upside? When you do see that solicitation, you can be certain the issues will be delivered monthly for the duration of the story arc (barring those things that none of us can control, of course, like, you know, flash floods, Lady Gaga, etc.)

From the start, Matthew and I intended a rotating schedule of sorts with Stumptown. While it is an ongoing series, our intention was always to work in arcs of four issues each – complete cases – taking four months ‘on’ and then four months ‘off’ in between. The off months were planned to make sure we got ahead on the next arc, and thus didn’t…uhm…y’know, do the thing we did. The practical result is that you can start looking for Issue 5 to be solicited in early 2011. If we get on top of the schedule, we’ll solicit sooner. If we fall behind, we’ll solicit later.

And that’s enough about that.

In other news, summer is coming to a close here, as evidence by the kids becoming more and more manic. School starts next week, and with it, a return to something resembling a normal work schedule, as well. It’s going to be a busy Fall. I shall be updating as I am able.

On the appearance front:

Vancouver, on September 12th.

Jet City in Seattle on September 25th.

And there’s something going on in October in New York, I believe… the Appearance Page will be updated soon, as well.

Cheers!

13 Responses to On the Occasion of Stumptown # 4

  1. Rob

    Hate to be “that guy” but when do you think we can expect the collected editions [HC/TPB] of the first arc?

    Much thanks!

  2. Ken Liner

    As great as Stumptown #4 coming out this week, I’m a little bummed, as I get my books shipped monthly and won’t see it for another 4 weeks. ARGHHH!!!!

    For your NY appearance, as I won’t be going to Comicon, do you plan on doing any other appearances, as it is just before the release of The Last Run? (I can’t wait for the appearnce page to be updated ;-) )

  3. Mike

    It’s more aggravating because Stumptown was announced years ago, making me all the more eager to read it… but the policy you lay out here is absolutely the best one. I look forward to reading four issues month-to-month next year (and maybe a few more of your creator-owned comics, too?).

  4. Linus

    Great news, Greg! Just picked it up.

    Can’t wait for the next Q & C!

  5. Trip Bakun

    I’d also like to know if you will be making any appearances around PDX in October to promote The Last Run…

  6. Sam

    I’ve followed along with all your DC titles, and the Marvel stuff, and the novels, and Q&C, and Stumptown…

    And with Stumptown, I have to say, I’ve pretty much reached my fill of late shipping. When you first were talking about this title and when it would be coming, and I could be wrong, but I remember you saying that you were going to try and avoid the kind of delays that Q&C suffered from.

    I appreciate your apology above. And I trust that you do feel bad about the whole thing. I understand that Oni is a small company and that family and other obligations always come first and are always more important than comics.

    However, (sigh) I think that maybe you should have posted this apology a little earlier. I’ve followed your blog/live journal for a few years and I know you’ve gotten infrequent with your postings and that’s fine, but really? You had to post the apology for shipping late the night before the book comes out? Thereby reminding me to pick up the book that I had completely forgotten about because it ships so infrequently that I’ve had to cut ties with the characters and the story. Yeah, I would have gotten it anyway, it’s on my pull-list, but if you’re going to go this freaking far off the shipping schedule, how about some updates along the way instead of at five minutes to midnight? You did say on June 9th (per your own blog) that the book would be shipping late and that you would be updating us with when it would ship. Did you have to wait until the last minute?

    I’ll still buy the book and I’m not taking Stumptown off my pull-list. I’m just a little cranky about the whole thing. Just keep up the good writing and give your fans a few more timely updates about whatever you’re working on.

    Thanks for all the good reading,

    Sam

  7. What are you reading? | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment

    [...] the issues’ delays), I was worried this miniseries would be the only one. Online, Rucka has noted that they will solicit the book differently in future miniseries. This was confirmed by Cory [...]

  8. What are you reading? – Comic Book Resources | My Small Life

    [...] the issues’ delays), I was worried this miniseries would be the only one. Online, Rucka has noted that they will solicit the book differently in future miniseries. This was confirmed by Cory [...]

  9. Ash

    Greg,

    I have purchased all 4 issues and I have really enjoyed the 3 that I have read so far and I comend you and Matthew for you excellent story. I have followed your work for a long while now and I was sort of bummed when you left DC comics earlier this year. But I understand why you left. I don’t mind late books and I can say with some certainty that your books are worth the wait. I only wish you had more work coming out on a more regular basis. It is hard to live with only one Greg Rucka comic coming down the pipe. I look for forward to more Queen and Country and future volumes of Stumptown. Keep writing them and I will keep reading them. But don’t be discourged. Good things come to those who wait.

  10. mark coale

    Glad to see issue is coming out (or is out, dunno, since I get my books monthly now). With all the delays, I really only skimmed each issue and figured it would be best to put them in a pile and read once they are have come out.

    Sorry to see delays for next arc, but better late than never. (Is it wrong that I still hope to see Everest some day?)

  11. Ann H

    Greg – I’m the Executive Producer for Literary Death Match (a competitive reading series – check out the website) and we’re doing a show in partnership with ComicCon NYC on the eve of Oct 8. Wanna read? I can tell you more, but the short form is: 4 readers go head to head in 2 rounds, reading 7 minutes or less. Rowdy, fun, supportive audience; 3 judges: Literary Merit (John Reed); Performance (tbd), and Intangibles (Dan Piraro). Judges select one reader from each round to go to the finals. The two readers battle it out for the crown through some absurd, non-literary contest – like Laser Tag, or the Cash Advance Money Grab, or Stab-A-Hole-In-Nebraska. It’s fun. There’s free drinks. If not you, then who? No, seriously – if you don’t want to do it, let me know who might. Email me if you want more info . . . would LOVE to have you cause you’d be awesome.

  12. Mike

    Nah, it’s not wrong. I’m still hoping for Ennis and Dillon to do City Lights. It’s hard to let go of these announced projects that disappear for whatever reason.

  13. greg

    Sam -

    The irony in responding so late to your comments is that I’m responding so late to your comments about being late. And yes, I should’ve posted sooner, but – in all honesty – all I knew was pretty much what you guys knew: the book was late. I didn’t have an actual release date until roughly a week before the issue shipped. In future, I’ll try to be more on top of things. And I am grateful for you patience, and for sticking with Matthew and me on this.

    Ash –

    Work on the comic front has slowed, mostly due to my pursuing other projects, not excluding getting research in order for the new novel. Ideally, by the time I roll into 2011 I’ll have more work closer to release, and thus more that I’m willing to talk about. For the most part, I don’t like announcing projects too far in advance of their release to the public; I’ve burned myself more than once that way, and I’d like to think I’ve learned my lesson. And I’m not really certain how many people would give a rat’s ass that I’ve got something planned for a May 2012 release, you know? That’s a long way off ;)

    All that said, there is more coming. Albeit slowly.

    Mark -

    Hey! No, it’s not wrong. Given Mr. Morse’s schedule and my own, though, I’m not certain when – or even if – it’ll happen. I still need to finish the new Whiteout scripts, and then hope Lieber has forgiven me enough for making him wait that he’ll still draw them.

    Ann –

    Unfortunately, I’ve had to cancel attending the NY con, something I regret all the more with your offer. If you do it in 2011, please consider me! I’d love to participate!

    Mike -

    What you said. :D

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