Ongoing series

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In comics, an ongoing series is a series that runs indefinitely.[1][2][3] This is in contrast to limited series (a series intended to end after a certain number of issues), a one shot (a comic book which is not a part of an ongoing series), a graphic novel, or a trade paperback. However, a series of graphic novels may be considered ongoing as well.[1][3][4] The term may also informally refer to a current or incomplete limited series with a predetermined number of issues.


An ongoing series is traditionally published on a fixed schedule, typically monthly or bimonthly but many factors can cause an issue to be published late.[1][3] In the past, the schedule was often maintained with the use of fill-in issues (usually by a different creative team, sometimes hurting quality), but increasingly the practice has been to simply delay publication.

An ongoing "might run for decades and hundreds of issues or be canceled after only a handful of issues".[2] When an ongoing series ceases to be published because the story has ended, it may be called "finished". If it ceases to be published because of low sales, editorial decisions, publisher bankruptcy, or other reasons, it is "cancelled".[5] An ending might be written for the last issues of a cancelled series, or the series may simply disappear without warning and never return.[6][7][8]

If a series ceases to be published, but may be published again, it is called "on hiatus". Many series are placed "on hiatus" but do not return even after several years.

For series that are creator owned, the copyright holder has the option of approaching other publishers to see if they would be open to resuming the title under their imprint. For instance, Usagi Yojimbo has had four consecutive publishers.


Examples of ongoing series[edit]

Examples of finite series[edit]

Examples of finished series[edit]

Examples of cancelled series[edit]

Examples of relaunched series[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Formats & Definitions". December 7, 2016. Retrieved 2021-04-02.
  2. ^ a b "Beinecke Cataloging Manual - Comics and Graphic Novels". Retrieved 2021-04-02.
  3. ^ a b c d Phoenix, Jack (2020). Maximizing the Impact of Comics in Your Library: Graphic Novels, Manga, and More. Santa Barbara, California. pp. 4–12. ISBN 978-1-4408-6886-3. OCLC 1141029685.
  4. ^ Plummer, Jessica (2017-08-24). "Trades, Runs, Variants, and More: A Guide to Comics Terminology". BOOK RIOT. Retrieved 2021-04-02.
  5. ^ a b Serchay, David S. (2008). The Librarian's Guide to Graphic Novels for Children and Tweens. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers. pp. 3–24. ISBN 978-1-55570-626-5. OCLC 212375709.
  6. ^ "10 DC Storylines Cancelled Before Their Ending (& Why)". CBR. 2021-01-02. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  7. ^ Sneddon, Laura (2013-04-29). "The End of I, Vampire and the Cancellation of Creativity". The Beat. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  8. ^ Barajas, Henry (2017-12-20). "Marvel cancels several ongoing comics, including Hawkeye and Gwenpool". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  9. ^ "The Comic Book Glossary: 30 Terms Every Fan and Collector Needs to Know". whatNerd. 2020-06-20. Retrieved 2021-04-02.
  10. ^ "Detective Comics recognized by Guinness World Records as longest-running comic book periodical". DC Comics. July 25, 2009. Archived from the original on April 22, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2012. DC Comics President and Publisher Paul Levitz accepted an award on behalf of DC from the Guinness World Records, recognizing Detective Comics as the longest-running comic book periodical in the United States of America.
  11. ^ Action Comics amassed more individual issues, 904 in total, despite launching a year after Detective due to 42 issues (#601–642) in 1988–89 that were published weekly, and because of Detective Comics' bimonthly run from 1973 to 1975. The American record-holder for most issues published is Dell Comics' Four Color series, which amassed more than 1,300 issues over a 23-year run.
  12. ^ Terror, Jude (July 20, 2018). "Tank Girl Gets First-Ever Ongoing Series, 'Rivers of London' Too, from Titan at the Retailer Lunch". Retrieved 2021-04-02.
  13. ^ Starkings, Abraham Riesman, Heidi MacDonald, Sarah Boxer, Jeet Heer, Fred Van Lente, Brian Cronin, Charles Hatfield, Christopher Spaide, Joshua Rivera, Klaus Janson, Mark Morales, Richard (2018-04-16). "The 100 Most Influential Pages in Comic Book History". Vulture. Retrieved 2021-04-02.
  14. ^ "Interview: Shannon Watters on Lumberjanes". 2014-10-17. Retrieved 2014-11-14.
  15. ^ Arvedon, Jon (September 17, 2020). "BOOM! Studios' Lumberjanes to End in December". CBR. Archived from the original on September 18, 2020. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  16. ^ Johnston, Rich (September 17, 2020). "Lumberjanes Comes To An End In December 2020". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on October 8, 2020. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  17. ^ Comics through time : a history of icons, idols, and ideas. M. Keith Booker. Santa Barbara, California. 2014. ISBN 978-0-313-39751-6. OCLC 896826610.CS1 maint: others (link)
  18. ^ "10 Best Comic Books/Graphic Novels Any D&D Player Should Read". CBR. 2020-06-03. Retrieved 2021-04-01.