November 13, 2013 3:26pm PT by Graeme McMillan
Boom! Studios Reschedules Delayed 'Day Men'
When the first issue of Day Men, the new crime series from Boom! Studios editor-in-chief Matt Gagnon, co-writer Michael Alan Nelson and artist Brian Stelfreeze, was released in July, it was a success -- selling out almost immediately, with Universal Studios optioning the series for development as a movie within a month. But after there was nothing, with the second issue failing to appear as scheduled in August and remaining unreleased to date.
Come December 11, however, that will change -- and as way of apologizing to comic book retailers for the unexpected delay, Gagnon has written an open letter explaining a couple of special incentives to demonstrate Boom's support of the series.
Addressing the delay, Gagnon wrote that his philosophy of comics publishing was "great comics, on time," calling it "the irony of all ironies" that his own series didn't manage to live up to the second half of that motto. The delay, he explained, was down to the "insane amount of effort" Stelfreeze is putting into the artwork, something that he described as "a physically and emotionally draining process … He's truly going for broke."
"This isn't one of those vanity projects that comes out with one issue in hopes that the media rights are exploited and then unceremoniously walks off into the forest," Gagnon reassured. "Mike, Brian and I are 100% committed to Day Men and the stories we have to tell."
Boom! remains committed, as well. To promote the release of the second issue, the publisher will ship two exclusive variant cover editions of the issue to every retailer who had ordered the issue originally, as well as reward the 50 retailers who had ordered the highest amounts of the issue with an exclusive screen print (pictured) by Stelfreeze, artist David Kloc and designer Hannah Nance Partlow.
Day Men #2 will finally be released next month. The full letter from Gagnon is below.
Dear Retailers and Readers,
Please fasten your seat belts and prepare for landing. We're approaching our final destination. To put it another way, DAY MEN #2 will be in stores December 11th! You can insert your "It's a Christmas miracle!" jokes here. So ... when DAY MEN launched, it quickly amassed a wellspring of critical and commercial success. And for that, we need to thank all of our readers and the retail community for embracing the series. It's a unique book to produce, and one that sort of runs contrary to the monthly publishing schedule. So my feeling is this: If this series is going to be a little different, then it's only fair that we, as the publisher, be different in how we're approaching our support of retailers and readers. It's a two-way street. As you read on you'll see some of the incentives that we're offering for our awesome retail partners and readers.
It's funny, as editor-in-chief of BOOM! Studios for going on four years, and another two before that as managing editor, I've implemented an era of discipline and reliability for our shipping schedule. It's one of the hallmarks of our company -- something I personally take very seriously -- and one of the accomplishments I'm most proud of. Ask anyone at BOOM! and they'll tell you I'm borderline rigid about executing our production schedule flawlessly. To boil down my philosophy of publishing comics to its simplest components, it's about "great comics, on time." I believe in delivering the highest-quality stories and doing it on a schedule that fulfills on our solicitation promises to retailers. Look no further than POLARITY, SUICIDE RISK, SIX-GUN GORILLA, HIT, IMAGINE AGENTS, and so many more for that philosophy in practice.
So of course, it's the irony of all ironies that my own book is a different animal altogether.
One thing I can flat-out guarantee: This book isn't going away. This isn't one of those vanity projects that comes out with one issue in hopes that the media rights are exploited and then unceremoniously walks off into the forest. Mike, Brian and I are 100% committed to DAY MEN and the stories we have to tell. It's the only series I'm working on and the only series Bri is working on, period. Weeks after DAY MEN #1 came out, it was picked up by Universal for a feature film deal. This doesn't affect the publishing in any way. Literally nothing has changed in that regard. Retailers and fans have asked, so I wanted to address the question head on. We're as focused on the series now as we were on day one.
Brian is putting an insane amount of effort into DAY MEN. He's reaching for (and achieving) career-best work. This is a physically and emotionally draining process. He hasn't taken on a project of this scope and volume in a very long time, maybe ever. He's truly going for broke. We're aiming to make every issue of DAY MEN an event.
So here's how we're going to support our retail partners/readers and have their backs in this pursuit. These are special rewards we're offering on issue #2, and this is an approach we’ll take for each issue moving forward:
• EVERY retailer who orders DAY MEN #2 is going to receive two copies of a special George Pérez variant cover, free of charge. No strings. No order minimums. It's a gift -- a thank you. Whether you hide them away for posterity, gift them to your biggest DAY MEN fans, or sell them to underwrite the cost of your DAY MEN #2 stock, they're our gift to you. The cover is beautiful. And if you do the math (two copies multiplied by the number of DM stores ordering DAY MEN), it's clear to see how this is one of the rarer Pérez pieces around. It also has the distinction of being the only comic book cover George has drawn in 2013 and his first published BOOM! Studios work. It's no secret that George is (courageously) dealing with some eye troubles that, as of writing this, have forced him to undergo surgery to see. Naturally, that hasn’t stopped George. The legend can do with one working eye what us mere mortals could only dream of. Check out how great his take on DAY MEN is!
• Okay, I'm really excited about this one. The top 50 retailers who order the highest quantities of DAY MEN #2 will be dubbed the "50 Families." In DAY MEN, there are 50 families of vampires that secretly control the world. Well, in the retail community, we're going to sign up 50 retailers that not-so-secretly hold some serious influence in the industry! If you're anointed as one of the 50 Families, you're going to receive some special items that are exclusive to your network. For issue #2, it's going to be a three-color, handmade, 18" x 24" screenprint featuring Brian's art and created by LA-based artist David Kloc, with the name of your store elegantly inscribed on the print by artist/designer Hannah Nance Partlow. There's one other nice little touch to the print that I'll leave as a surprise. We'll also be listing these 50 stores in the comics to promote their operations. Future issues will have additional incentives for the 50 Families of retail.
For our fans, our loyal readers who are picking up the single issues, we're going to offer a little something special in issue #2. Check out the back matter of the issue for more info. I think you'll dig it. If you're a retailer looking to support DAY MEN and need some extra help, don't hesitate to reach out to email@example.com.
Those of you who know my story know that I come from a comic book retail background as a buyer. It's where I got my start in the industry; I have an immense amount of respect for the Direct Market retailer and their role in this medium. That background has informed my point of view as an editor-in-chief and a creator. And it's in part informed the BOOM! philosophy and operation itself. We're lucky to have a huge cross-section of people in the industry right now who are trying to push it forward. These are people that are supporting original stories, new ideas, and different ways of doing things. And there are some amazing retailers who are at the forefront.
It would be impossible to thank all the retailers I'd like in one sitting. But I do need to give a shout-out to a few retailers that went above and beyond for DAY MEN. These are organizations that dug deep and took a position on the book. Larry's Comics gave us a much-needed foothold in New England, where our story primarily takes place. I'm very thankful to have them as a supporter. Also, Marc Nathan of Cards, Comics, & Collectibles and Gary Dills of Laughing Ogre Comics went in on an exclusive cover. Those guys are huge boosters for the series and we're lucky to have them as part of the “We Are BOOM!” team.
Finally, thanks to all of our readers. I've can't even tell you how much your enthusiasm and dedication means to us. We're honored to have you on this journey, straight up. We'll be there with you when the sun rises on December 11th.
Lux in Tenebris,