The good news is that after the final push this week, the completed digital files for both Strangehaven #18 and the collected Strangehaven: Conspiracies (volume 3) trade paperback were delivered to my printers in Canada.
The bad news is that due its lateness, Strangehaven #18 will be delayed still further due the arcane mysteries of the distribution system, despite it all being finished. The late-shipping process seems to change each time I have to submit to it – I remember being forced to resolicit an item, being ‘fined’ for late shipping, the item in question being made ‘returnable’ and other methods which aim to discourage late shipping.
While I support these efforts that Diamond makes to streamline its distribution of comic products, it is a little frustrating that the book is delayed even further despite it being completed, which appears to be counter-productive.
You could ask the obvious question, “why solicit an item if it isn’t finished yet?” which has actually been my policy for several years now. But there are times when you hope to have certain items ready to coincide with certain events (e.g. conventions, and in this case, Strangehaven’s 10th anniversary) and due to the long lead time the distributors require (around five months for comics and even longer, up to a year for the book trade) planning ahead can’t always be avoided.
Anyhow, Strangehaven #18 has been scheduled to ship on 21 September. Strangehaven: Conspiracies is still awaiting a final fixed shipping date.