Wave 3 of Allegiance Arts Comics Delayed Until November

On Monday, Allegiance Arts announced that issue/episode 3 of all four of their comic book titles are being delayed until November. Originally slated to release in September, that’s a 2-month delay for those who can do the math.

Allegiance places the blame on a resurgence of COVID-19 over the summer, specifically noting that the current retail environment isn’t optimal for releasing the books.

Here’s the full statement from Allegiance Arts:

Our lineup of comics launched in May with the tremendous support of fans like you. Your enthusiasm helped us weather the early pandemic, and we established a footprint after an almost twenty-year absence of comics in mass-market. But with the resurgence of COVID this summer, we have decided to move Episode 3 to November as part of a relaunch when (we hope) retail life will be near-normal.

While this moves our September sale date, November is right around the corner. In the meantime, we are riding a wave of enthusiasm for our comics. Not only have fans showed their support, but sales indicate that many customers are discovering comics for the first time with Allegiance Arts, and others have rekindled their passion for this art form. Our catalog of titles is expanding, and the number of retailers carrying Allegiance Arts books is set to grow.

This brings up a couple of questions, the first centered around the retail situation as noted by Allegiance. Is the outlook for retail sales that much more negative than it was in a May, when the first wave of Allegiance books arrived on WalMart shelves? Certainly the situation varies by state or locality, but perhaps Allegiance is seeing some sales metrics/forecasts based on how well their second issues (screw it – I’m not saying “episodes”) sold in July.

For those who have followed the Allegiance Arts from the beginning, however, it begs the question whether the third issue of Red Rooster, Allegiance’s flagship title, is actually finished and ready to print. Before Allegiance Arts was ever founded, Red Rooster was crowdfunded as a graphic novel back in mid-2018. Backers of the project have yet to receive their books, while WalMart customers have been able to pick up Red Rooster piecemeal as two separate issues. This has angered a number of the original backers, who take issue with putting their trust, faith and cash behind the book, while WalMart patrons actually got “first dibs.”

It goes without saying that should the entire first Red Rooster story arc hit WalMart shelves before the backers receive their graphic novel versions of the book, that’s going to be viewed as yet another stab in the back. A two-month delay would give Allegiance Arts founders and Red Rooster creators Mitch and Elizabeth Breitweiser some extra breathing room to fulfill the Indiegogo campaign before releasing yet another issue on retail shelves.

This is, of course, mostly speculation. The fact remains that the third issues of Red Rooster, Bass Reeves, Norah’s Saga and The Futurists are now slated to release on retail shelves sometime in November. Sound off in the comments below if you still give a shit one way or another.

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