Theres a lot of factor to the slowing down of the SF book.
One is being we are very very anal on the quality. For the first SF series, we have Arnold, Alvin, Andrew, Omar, Long, & Noi all ganging on 14 issues, with 4 inkers and more than 10 colorist doing coloring. We are kinda happy on the outcome in terms of scheduling, but there were quite a big inconsistency in the look and quality of the pages thru out the 14 issue run. A lot has change after issue 14. A few of the guys decide to go and pursue other career, and with our decision to restart SF with SFII we feel that we gotta just establish one team and one team only to do at least a 6 issue run. If you notice, the new credit page has constantly been only ALVIN LEE, M3TH, and ESPEN GRUNDETJERN. We are much happier on how the book is looking and how it is very consistent in style and coloring. But of coz, we are talking about 3 person VS like 20 people doing it before.
Then, Con season starts. We flew Alvin back from Thailand (YES, Alvin has moved to Thailand for about a year now. He is in search of Sagat…) to NY Con so that fans of the east coast can meet with the team. That costs 2 weeks in total of the production time to prep for that convention, and back and forth. And when Alvin went back to Thailand, he got a very terrible stomach fleu that he was hospitalized for a week. Thus, the delay of issue 4 for about a 3 week schedule.
It is always a juggle between going to cons and doing the books. A lot of you has been asking “Are you going to LA?” “Will UDON be at Philly?”. Honestly, we would LOVE to be at all the cons to meet all of you! However, that would mean no books will ever come out.
Why can’t we put more people on the SF book? Some might ask. The plain truth is that the SF comic is not making as much as it used to. The SF book is not going to keep everyone at UDON alive. As much as we LOVE the SF book, it is still a job. Exchange rate between CDN and US dollars has been at a 14 year low, thus the printing cost of our bookand our operation cost is at a 14 year high! Even sales has been consistant at around 20K copies, our book does not have any ad sales or anything else to sponsor the production and printing cost. We have to take on other things so that we can feed the rest of the crew.
And if you think Image or other publishing companies can help, then, you go and try. One of the reasons we go independent is to eliminate the middle man so that we can be afloat longer.
Indeed, I am not proud of how our publishing schedule has been. But at least holding the 4 issues (0-3) of SF II on hand, I never regret our decision to quality over quantity.
And never has the book become 4 months each. I know waiting for a good stuff is a painful process and it aways seems longer than it seem. Look at the actual on shelf dates -
SFII #0 = Oct 12
SFII #1 = Dec 7
SFII #2 = Jan 25
SFII #3 = April 3
There is a one month break between issue 2 and 3 in solicitations (becoz we have to factor in X-Mas delaying production). Right now, it is at a 1.5 to 2 month turn around.
Thanks for the support.