As the comic industry continues to grapple with an evolving landscape thanks to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, nearly every day brings news of changes to the previously announced release schedule of planned comics. With Diamond distributors no longer accepting new product, publishers are having to make adjustments with IDW Publishing previously announcing some of the steps they're taking to help comic shops in this time including reducing their output. Among those comics they've decided to hold off on is the previously planned weekly April series, Star Wars Adventures: The Clone Wars – Battle Tales.
Speaking in a statement to Star Wars Splash Page: Comics in Review, IDW confirmed the news saying: "While the on-sale dates for our print products are impacted during this crisis, we’re planning on only releasing digital editions of the comics that will actually hit store shelves. As always, our digital-comics release dates will match the print-release dates going forward."
The five-issue anthology, like the proper Star Wars Adventures series, is set to have an all-ages tone geared more towards younger readers and was planned to have one issue released every week for the month of April. "Battle Tales" was written by Michael Moreci and features framing sequences by Derek Charm with a new artist set to draw each issue including Arianna Florean, Megan Levens, Valentina Pinto, Davide Tinto, and Philip Murphy. The covers of each issue will be crafted by Charm.
“The Clone Wars era is probably my favorite in all of Star Wars,” Moreci previously said in a statement about the series. “It has it all — big adventure, sweeping romance, Force mythology, Jedi powers, and, of course, the awesome clones. This event series is going to bring together all the best, evergreen parts of Star Wars and weave a story that longtime fans (like myself) and new, younger readers (like my own kids) will definitely love.”
“This era of Star Wars feels so expansive and open as far as storytelling possibilities, so I’m really excited to be able to spend a good amount of time in it,” Charm added. “I’m really looking forward to finally working with Michael Moreci, as well! We’ve sort of been orbiting each other in the monthly Star Wars Adventures book for a while, but this will be our first time working together. We’ve talked about some of the things he has planned for this series, and it’s going to be pretty great.”0comments
It's unclear when the new series will finally be released but IDW's previously announced plan for providing relief to retail partners, but perhaps those plans could reveal when the series will arrive. Among their plans IDW announced "60-day no-fee returnable terms for all items on Final Order Cutoff (FOC) corresponding to the weekly on-sale dates from March 18th to June 24th" and a total suspension of all May releases.
Furthermore they announced they would reduce their "overall publishing line for products originally scheduled through July" and instead announced "a focus on releasing our biggest projects in special editions to help drive traffic to stores through the summer." That in mind, it's possible this new Star Wars series won't see the light of day until July or later, or perhaps could be released completely before that time.