I recently saw (though the official announcement came back in mid-November) that Mark Millar was creating another comic titled “Chrononauts.” The announcement said the plan is for a four-issue miniseries to start in March 2015 with at least two more miniseries to follow.
Why word it so strange by saying “the plan” instead of “the schedule”? Well, as most of you probably know, Millar doesn’t seem to keep a schedule.
But before I go into Millar’s timeliness, let me say this: I do like Millar’s writing. Earlier on this blog, I said “Wolverine: Old Man Logan” was a must read. Millar was an appropriate replacement for Warren Ellis on “The Authority,” where he created some marvelous villains. The final panel of “Wanted” is worth the read. Then there is “Kick-Ass.” Taking violence in comics to another level, Millar sends comics readers on a ride they wish they had the courage to do themselves. And this is just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to his bibliography.
(And, one more note before going into the scheduling issues: This blog doesn’t have a great track record, I know. It’s not as regular as I’d like it to be. [I’m wanting to be weekly. Might possibly be a New Year’s resolution.] But, there are two differences between this blog and Millar’s work: First, I don’t receive a paycheck for this, and, second, readers aren’t putting down hard-earned money for this blog.)
Now, Millar’s scheduling issues: As a reader, it totally sucks. I’ve quit buying Millar’s “monthly” books. I’ll gladly pick up a trade paperback. But going to the shelves 30 days later and not seeing a new issue is a real letdown. To be honest, I sometimes have problems remembering what happened in a previous issue of an on-time comic. Imagine waiting six months.
Obviously, his lack of a regular schedule hasn’t hurt him, because he still sells comics. If you’re willing to wait, that’s great. Also, selling the movie rights after one issue doesn’t hurt him either.
I do have to remember a couple of things, though. I don’t personally know Mark Millar or follow him on social media. So, I don’t know if there are personal reasons why he’s habitually late, but there is a track record that seems to back up the idea he just doesn’t follow a schedule. (Although, I did do a couple of Google searches seeing if anyone else has written about his timeliness, but it came up with nothing.) The other is that most of his work now is creator owned, meaning it’s his work to do with as he will. If he’s not selling up to his true potential, then that’s his choice. I just think there’s a little respect missing for the readers.
“Chrononauts” does look like a great book. Sean Murphy is doing the art. (If you haven’t checked it out, pick up Murphy’s “Punk Rock Jesus.”) On EW.com, Millar described the book as “Apollo 13 meets The Time Machine.” He went on to say, “It’s essentially a buddy story about two best friends who can jump around between 16th-century Persia, the American Civil War or New York in the ‘20s.”