One of the nicest guys in comics, Stuart Immonen, also happens to be one of the most reliable.
I've long believed that one of the big problems facing this industry is the lack of accountability for pros who are consistently turning in their work late. Not only does it effect the income and livlihood of the folks working on the books with them but it's created some strange theory that the work takes longer because it's better.
Immonen, Bagley, Romita Jr, and Byrne are just a few creators who no one would ever accuse of being late. More often than not you'll see these individuals juggling multiple books and in most cases you'd be hard pressed to find any other artists out there who can match their overall quality.
In an interview with Weekly Crisis, Immonen had this to say.
"I've never blown a deadline, not by more than a day or two, anyway. In fact, through no fault of my own, I've been asked to turn in issues in as little as half the normal allotted time, and I've come through on those jobs, too. I'm not particularly good company during those times, but thankfully, it doesn't happen often.
I've helped other artists on jobs they couldn't finish in addition to my own assignments, and I'm often doing some other thing on the side. Even jobs I've thoroughly hated I've finished on time. I don't understand the people who can only manage three or four issues (or in some cases, a handful of pages) in a year in the name of quality. Is it really that much better? Don't they need to eat?
I'm far from being the most talented artist around; I try to make up for it by being consistent and reliable. I haven't had to actively search for work in twenty years, so I guess the strategy has paid off so far."
And still later during a Word Association game he gives this response to the word Photoreferencing:
It starts with editors who continue to give work to so called professionals that treat deadlines like they're optional but the real fault lies in the fans who continue to support creators like this. It's interesting that the very creators who seem to lack enough interest to do their jobs on time are the ones most beloved by self loathing comic book fans.
But maybe the tide is changing. And maybe more creators who actually do their jobs, like the Byrnes and the Romita Jrs and the Immonens will speak up more.