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.