This has been going on in comics almost since the comic book miniseries took off. Camelot 3000, a series intended to be 12 monthly issues, started in December 1982 and ended in April 1985, with nine months between the last two issues.
And then there was invented "Buy the Deluxe hard-cover and Archive Binge the whole thing in one night", and there was much rejoicing.
Kevin Smith might as well be the trope namer. Various comics series of his have been met with ridiculous delays, with Spider-Man/Black Cat having a 40 month gap between issues 3 and 4 and Daredevil/Bullseye, having been started in 2002, remaining unfinished to this day (Ten Plus Years!). In addition, the second part of The Widening Gyre has yet to come out.
All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder started in 2005 and took until 2008 to reach issue ten. A new six-issue mini-series would be done by the team to wrap it up, but even that is running late.
Jim Lee once stated at a comic con that all the pages were complete, DC were just holding back the series in the face of the New 52 and Lee's prominent position in that reboot. Batman: Europa, which was also intended to feature art by Lee, was also held back.
Most annoying, Batman: Europa actually got solicited, DC put ads for it in all their comics and it seemed to be on track just a month before the scheduled release... and then it vanished.
To celebrate their 10th anniversary, Image created Image United, intended to be illustrated by all of Image's founders and written by Robert Kirkman. As of 2012, close to two years later, they're at issue 3, with the next two issues being about 60% complete. There were many, many jokes about this being very appropriate for the company's anniversary.
Circles originally began four issues per year. Now the rate of issue appearance is akin to Berserk's.
Happened to Ambush Bug: Year None, with a several month long gap between issue five and the finale. AB being the Meta Guy he is, this was thoroughly lampshaded in the issue itself, which was actually called issue 7 (with six being nonexistent) to further make fun of its lateness.
The print comic Battle Chasers was intended to be Joe Madureira's big break, and fans were extremely eager for it. Unfortunately, Joe also bragged in a magazine article about all the fun stuff he and his staff could do in their offices that were not in the slightest bit connected to getting a comic on shelves; the series was eventually abandoned altogether, along with the majority of Madureira's career. Battle Chasers has practically become a phrase meaning "comic that cannot meet its schedule" in the comics industry.
Due to scheduling conflicts, Dave Gibbons' reboot of Rogue Trooper ended up being told in groups of 3-4 six-page installments over 37 weeks.
Comics written by Allan Heinberg tended to be horribly delayed due to the fact that he works as a screenwriter for Hollywood, which often eats up a lot of his time.
This seemed to be a recurring thing with Grant Morrison. Both Batman & Robin and Return of Bruce Wayne faced numerous delays from the summer of 2010. It got to the point where neither series had an issue released in August. This had also led to comics taking place after Bruce's return (The Road Home one-shots) being released before the Return was complete.
Planetary by Warren Ellis and John Cassady released 27 issues in TEN YEARS. The script of the final issue was apparently written over two years before it was published. This was in large part due to both creators working on other titles for other companies at the same time; Ellis was by far the worst offender, as during Planetary's run, he worked on at least twenty other books.
It wasn't just work: at one point, a delay began because Ellis was ill. Cassaday, not unreasonably, took on another job to keep earning a crust. By the time Ellis was well, Cassaday was ill. By the time Cassaday was well again, Ellis was too busy with the other work he'd taken on to keep earning. Rinse and repeat.
Platinum Grit is a bimonthly comic, the first issue released in 1994. They gave up on bimonthly a while ago - issue twenty came out in 2009. Or you can just say it's twelve years behind schedule.
Fans of Sasmira have been waiting for the release of the second episode since 1997. And by the look of it they aren't done waiting yet.
In the now-canceled Star Wars Rebellion comic series, the very first arc was plagued by a number of schedule slips. Issue four was released in late July, ending on a cliffhanger going into the final issue of the story arc. The conclusion to the arc was released in December of that year.
Ultimate Wolverine Vs Hulk #3. Scheduled for April 2006. Published in March 2009.
The Ultimates. The first 13 issue volume took 26 months from start to finish, the second equally long volume (for which Marvel promised that they had learned their lesson about keeping it on schedule) took 25 months.
Heck. It's a foregone conclusion that anything Bryan Hitch is involved in art wise will be subject to this trope due to Hitch being (in)famous for taking his sweet sweet sweet time drawing! The end result is beyond amazing, but still.
The Astonishing X-Men ongoing series took full four years to complete a 25-issue storyline. As a result, Shadowcat being Put on a Bus was spoiled by Messiah Complex: since its events couldn't take place before it, Kitty was nowhere in sight. The series is notoriously hard to fit into Marvel continuity, as it appears to take place over at most a few weeks, but the second arc is set prior to House of M (Xavier and Magneto are hanging out on the ruined Genosha) and the final arc includes a dialogue reference to Civil War having happened! The series was first written by Joss Whedon and then Warren Ellis continued the trend. The reason is the same.
Occurred for nearly a decade with writer Kurt Busiek due to mercury poisoning; this mainly affected his work on Astro City, and eventually caused the title to go from a regular monthly schedule to periodic limited series. In 2013, however, a new monthly series debuted that hasn't missed a month yet.
''In summary, our tale makes clear That Patience is a virtue dear. So, gentle reader, know your place, And don't get on our ***ing case."
19 issues of The Red Star comic have been published since 2000, and the storyline is not finished by a long shot as of this writing. The latest three issues came out in roughly one-year intervals in 2006-2008, and who knows when the next one arrives.
Every single issue of CLiNT has been delayed due to the artistic team on Kick-Ass 2 having to prioritize The Avengers. It got so bad that in issue 10, it was announced the comic would be shifting from a monthly to six-weekly schedule.
Civil War. Issue #4 was pushed back a month and #5 wasn't released until two months after that. Apparently this was to give Steve McNiven more time to finish the artwork. That doesn't seem so bad, but remember, this was a Crisis Crossover. A number of tie-in issues (either other minis or regular titles) that were completed on-time were held back so as not to spoil developments in the main mini-series.
J. Michael Straczynski's run on Amazing Spider-Man also suffered from a few delays due to JMS' involvement in other projects (such as the TV series Jeremiah). In fact, during the period when Marvel had Spider-Man temporarily revert wearing the black costume to promote Spider-Man 3, he actually went through this in the companion books first, while the main storyline in Amazing that had him adopt the new look had yet to be even released since it was still wrapping up the Civil War tie-in that led to said story.
David Lapham managed to produce only 40 issues of Stray Bullets over the course of ten years. Towards the latter part of that time the slip had gotten so bad that the comic was coming out roughly annually or biannually. It has since been declared an Orphaned Series despite Lapham's insistence on eventually returning to finish it.
Geoff Johns, Richard Donner, and Adam Kubert's "Last Son" storyline in Action Comics. It was five parts and took nineteen months to finish. Part of the reason was Kubert needing to take some time off because of health issues. Because of the delays, by the time it was finished not only had Johns and Donner finished their second arc before their first but Johns had already switched to collaborating with artist Gary Frank. In fact, DC had a huge problem regarding this around 2007, especially in all of their Superman books. The promised conclusions to several storylines wound up being delayed for either a future issue or a giant-sized annual, causing stories to get wrapped up months later than intended.
Jay Faerber's Gemini is a five-issue miniseries that started in 2008 and followed a "whenever we feel like it" schedule, with its fourth issue published in November 2009. The fifth? Well, Faerber claims the fifth and final issue has been written for some time, and that it's still "in the works, theoretically."
Danger Girl became somewhat infamous for this near the end of the original series, with several months passing between issues. Artist J. Scott Campbell would later take it a step further, seemingly abandoning Wildsiderz, and really sequential art in general, after the second issue.
The third installment of Phonogram, "The Immaterial Girl", was pushed back to sometime in 2013 or 2014 after its initial announcement due to Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's growing workload with Marvel. They stated that it would be released once their workloads ease up. However, they've since began making the thematic Spiritual AntithesisThe Wicked + The Divine, and Gillen's afterword to WicDiv #5 strongly implied that he just didn't feel able to write Phonogram any more due to now seeing himself as a creator rather than primarily a fan. This was either misinterpretation or trolling, though, as The Immaterial Girl was published soon afterwards in 2015-6.
Not to extreme extents, but each issue of the first Story Arc of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) have had to be delayed from their original scheduled release date. The first issue due to demand for the comics far exceeding expectations, the second (with a bunch of other IDW comics) due to a union strike, and the last two due to customs inspections.note IDW comics are printed overseas.
Runaways suffered from several schedule slips during Joss Whedon's run on the series. This proved to be especially disastrous after Marvel decided to reboot the series with a new creative team who began working before Whedon had finished, and thus were unaware of some of the changes that Whedon made (like Xavin becoming female.) The resulting continuity issues in the new series may have been a factor in its cancellation little over a year later.
Marvel's Inhumanity crossover got hit hard with this. The event's centerpiece, the ongoing series Inhuman, was pushed from January 2014 to April 2014 after Matt Fraction left the project, causing a big gap where there were a bunch of tie-ins but no actual series carrying the bulk of the story.
S.H.I.E.L.D. by Jonathan Hickman and Dustin Weaver. The second volume started in 2011, and four issues were published, bi-monthy. But Hickman had been so busy as one of the architects of the Marvel Universe, he didn't have time to write #5. Then Weaver had medical issues that killed his productivity. In mid-2012, they decided to create #5 together, Marvel method. It was completed in 2013, but Marvel understandably decided to hold off on publishing until #6 was ready. Meanwhile, Hickman's role as linchpin of Marvel events was getting bigger, and he wasn't able to write #6 until he'd finished the Infinity crossover. As of January 2014, the script is complete, and Weaver is working on it. In October 2014, Weaver reported he'd completed the art. As of June 2017, nothing further has been heard.
Neal Adams' Continuity Comics line is best remembered for lateness. In some cases there was only one issue per year of a "bimonthly" comic.
Boris The Bear suffered greatly from its creator doing all the chores - writing, pencils, inking, lettering, production, solicitation, etc.
Matt Fraction and David Aja's run on Hawkeye suffered from repeated delays to the point that an additional artist, Annie Wu, was brought in to help with art duties, and some issues were published out of order. The last issue is still not out as of June 2015. Hell, Marvel solicited an omnibus for a May release, meaning the last issue would also be collected, but the issue missed another deadline, and thus the omnibus was also put on hold.
The Sandman: Overture was originally released starting October 30, 2013, with the plan for it being bi-monthly. However, the second issue was delayed until March 26, 2014, and the third issue was released only on July 30, 2014.
Darkwing Duck: The Definitively Dangerous Edition, an omnibus published by Joe Books consisting of a George Lucas Altered Version of the first sixteen issues of the short-lived Boom Studios Darkwing Duck comic book as well as some new material, was initially announced as being released January 21, 2015, but has been delayed until early February.
Joe Quesada's Daredevil: Father is a six issue miniseries that got hit with it twice: after the first issue (16 months) and before the last (10 months).
Secret Wars (2015) had an ambitious schedule of doing 8 issues between May 2015 and October 2015 to kick off the All-New, All-Different Marvel. Things went well until issue 4 dropped in July, then the mini-series gained a ninth issue and pushed itself all the way to January 2016. By this time, most of the ANAD titles have already released and the only thing we don't know is how it all ended. This had the misfortune of pushing back other titles as well with Silver Surfer's and Ultimate End's last issues being released in December, long after all of the other titles were done and over with.
Sergio AragonÚs Funnies had a 17-month gap between issues 7 (January 2012) and 8 (June 2013). This was due to Sergio Aragones needing an operation, which set everything back. Also for said health reasons, when it came back from the hiatus, the publisher switched the release schedule from monthly to bimonthly.
This is an ongoing issue with Doctor Who (Titan), particularly with the annual multi-Doctor miniseries that cross over the various monthly titles and are intended as centerpiece events. This might be due to the sheer number of titles under the banner (four monthly titles and many miniseries).
Four Doctors (2015) was supposed to be five issues released over five weeks, wrapping up shortly before the premiere of Series 9 on television — the ending even had Foreshadowing of a pivotal event in that season's finale — but the final issue arrived two weeks late. This also delayed the release of the collected edition by two months.
Supremacy of the Cybermen (2016) was another five-parter, but advertised as a biweekly release, possibly to avoid a repeat of the Four Doctors delay. Part One arrived on time July 6...and then Part Two was pushed back to August 10...then August 17...and a miniseries advertised as ending August 31 didn't finish until November 9. (To make matters worse, it was Writing for the Trade and had a Foregone Conclusion to boot.)
Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog has been suffering this since 2016, first with a three month delay in early 2016, followed by a seemingly similar length delay in 2017. The first reason is thought due to Archie's overhyping (and overshooting) it's Continuity Reboot of its original Archie titles and the second is rumored to be a Screwed by the Lawyers issue on Sega's part.
During the 1970s, this became endemic at Marvel Comics. When Jim Shooter took over as editor in chief in 1978, his first priority was making sure the books shipped on time. He introduced a dummy title "Marvel Fill-in", which basically made inventory strips that could be put out as the next issue of any given title if the regular creative team missed their deadlines. The system lasted throughout his tenure in the role, leading to a long period of the company completely averting this trope.
The Dark Matter imprint spins out of the 2017 Dark Knights: Metal event. It was originally planned to launch in September 2017 with Sideways and The Silencer, but slipped to December 2017, launching with The Immortal Men and Damage. Then every Dark Matter title was resolicited in February 2018's solicitations... The Immortal Men #1 was then moved further back to March.