Oh man. Anyone who knows me knows how big a fan of Alan Moore I am. Some of my favourite comics of all time were written by him: Top Ten, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Watchmen, V for Vendetta.
His League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, in particular, was just unbelievably good. I loved the way he dropped numerous literary references throughout the two series and the story was just so compelling! What's not to like about Mr Hyde running headfirst into a bunch of the tripods from War of the Worlds, screaming for blood?
So I was absolutely psyched when I heard that he and series artist Kevin O'Neill, were going to come up with a THIRD volume. This wasn't going to be the same team as in the previous two series, and it was going to be a stand alone special edition hardcover book:
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier (Hardcover)
This was originally set to be released October last year. Then the date got pushed back to sometime in 2007. The release date changed to May 2007. But until now, there has been hardly any information as to when this book has even been completed, let alone whether it's going to be released!
If there's one thing I REALLY hate about the comics industry, it's the lateness of comics. Yes, I understand that comic book creators (writers, artists and the like) have their own personal lives and other things to do that might take precedence, but if you've promised your fans that something is going to be shipped on a certain date, then by all means, do your DAMNDEST to try and get it out, if not by that date, then sometime soonish!
Some comics are well worth the wait...see the Ultimates series and Civil War. But that doesn't mean they can be excused for shipping late in the first place. I still remember when I had to wait the LONGEST time for the latest issue of Danger Girl and Battle Chasers. The titles grew increasingly late and when they finally shipped, a lot of people had all but forgotten that those series existed.
The Ultimates series was very VERY late as well, and it was well worth the wait between issues, but still, I didn't like waiting! I can imagine how much DC would have lost in sales when fans got tired of waiting for issue #4 of All-Star Batman and Robin to be released.
Cmon guys, if you're committed to making comics, then try your darndest to get them out on time! There are some exceptions of course, like when Michael Turner was diagnosed with cancer. Of course, one couldn't expect him to keep drawing and releasing new issues of Fathom when he's fighting for his life!
But what's the excuse of Joe Madureira and J. Scott Campbell, who worked on Battle Chasers and Danger Girl respectively? Yes, that was YEARS ago, but there was never really a reason given for why their books shipped too late. Were they both too busy playing video games to the point where they neglected to do their pencilling duties? Did they even consider their fans who were growing impatient and wearisome waiting for their favourite comics to be released?
Joe Mad is going to be on Ultimates in the fourth series of the book. That's like a match made in hell for fans...a book that has been chronically late throughout it's entire run, paired up with a guy who's shown on too many times that he cannot meet deadlines. I hope that before Marvel announces the release date of the series, they've gotten Joe Mad to complete ALL the issues already. Yes, it'd be a spectacular series for sure, but I just don't think I can wait that long between issues anymore.
So...when will the Black Dossier be released. And will it be worth the wait? I certainly hope so.