Color me fascinated by this post by Rich Johnston over at Bleeding Cool in which he talks to Paul Jenkins and discovers that… well, I’ll let him tell you himself:
[R]eaders will soon learn that he hasn’t just written issue two. He wrote issue one as well, it just never made it to the solicitations in time.Jenkins explains that while Dave Finch is heavily involved in the storytelling of the series, the demands of writing were cutting into his drawing time. Finishing one issue of The Dark Knight, he’d then take a while writing the next issue, rewriting, dealing with editorial, getting the story signed off, before he could start work on the art, so the gap between drawing each issue was widening.
Jenkins sees Finch as a great storyteller, but hampered by the demands of schedule. “The monthly grinds, the nuts and bolts, the editorial, it all wears you down. This is a matter of logistics.” Working together, Dark Knight is still telling the “cool, big stories Dave wants to tell”, but now by the time Finch finishes another issue, there is a script waiting for him from Jenkins, written after long chats with Finch, then signed and approved by editorial, for Finch to move right onto.
So, essentially, Finch is plotting (or co-plotting, maybe?) and penciling the book, with Jenkins scripting (and, potentially, co-plotting?). I’m not a massive fan of Finch’s art, but this seems like a win-win for everyone here, especially DC, which looks like it’ll be able to get the second volume of the book done on something closer resembling schedule than the first. Johnston continues,
Jenkins tells me that Finch wants to change the perception of the book so that readers and retailers feel more at ease with the delivery schedule – and that this will be achieved once Finch can spend more time concentrating on the art. He wants a reputation something closer to what he achieved with Brian Bendis on Avengers. Jenkins tells me he knows Finch can deliver on time, but they need to prove it to readers and retailers alike as a long-term monthly team on The Dark Knight.
A question for retailers and smarter minds in the audience: Does #1 being mis-solicited with Finch as writer mean that it’ll be returnable?