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How do you feel about "fill in" issues?

Old 06-08-08, 09:29 PM
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How do you feel about "fill in" issues?

So you know how it goes, you're reading a title and really getting into the current creative team and the storyline, then BOOM, you open up the next issue only to find things to be slightly off. What's this? Who's writing this thing? What the hell happened to the art? Welcome to a fill in issue.

I'm not sure you really see it as much with modern comics. It seems like usually a book will be postponed or delayed instead of throwing together a fill in. I guess books had to stick to more strict monthly schedule back in the day. Although recently I remember when reading World War Hulk there was at least one fill in.

It recently happened to me while reading some old Iron Man from the early 80's. After a great run, I hit a brick wall of fill ins that just flat out killed the momentum of the title.

So do you mind the "fill in"? Would you rather they just delay shipping the book out?
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Old 06-08-08, 11:51 PM
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It depends on the creative team that's doing the fill-in. Recent issues of Superman have featured short fill-in stories by Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicienza, which is fine with me - they were good stories. The recent Detective Comics and Batman fill-ins by Royal McGraw and John Ostrander (surprisingly) weren't worth it. I think Ex Machina handles delays pretty well.

I don't think recent DC fill-ins have been collected in the trades - the Grant Morrison Batman trades are all Morrison, for example - so I don't think this is much of a problem for folks who just pick up the trades.

It used to be that a lot more books were published bimonthly rather than monthly.
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Old 06-09-08, 07:22 AM
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Fill ins were primarily inventory stories pulled from a drawer to help out with deadline problems. Marvel would sometimes throw in a framing sequence to help out, which made the fill in more palatable. I remember an issue of the Invaders where they're brining the original Union Jack & his daughter to the hospital. On the way Captain America recallsa past battle with some villain and we're treated to a reprint of a golden age Cap story. Not so bad.
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Old 06-09-08, 03:26 PM
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Agreed, it all depends on the creative team used for the fill-in. If they're just using whomever could quickly throw together a story because the regular artist/writer is super late, and/or it interferes with a multi-part story, then it's crap. If they knew the schedule constraints, and use it as a way for the regular team to get ahead of the schedule, and the fill-in team is decent... then I'm all for it.

I also dislike when they get just a fill-in artist, especially because those are almost always last-minute replacements, and even decent artists have to rush to meet the deadlines for those. It's very jarring in a tpb.
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Old 06-09-08, 04:56 PM
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My favorite fill-in was probably X-Force #8 which was some kind of Cable/Domino back-story that was filled-in by Mignola. I think around this time Liefeld was leaving for Image and they needed someone to replace him.

This gives you an idea of when the last time was that I regularly read monthlies.
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Old 06-27-08, 11:18 PM
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I miss stand alone stories so I wouldn't mind some fill in issues now and them. Used to be that 4 issue stories were special. Now they're the standard and single issue stories are special.
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Old 07-03-08, 04:52 PM
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I'm not a huge fan of fill-in issues myself - see the recent Thunderbolts fill-in issues from Christos Gage and the Action Comics fill-ins from Fabian Nicieza for examples of why.
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