I just wrote this in a conversation on Heidi's excellent blog, but that thread is getting a bit old, so I thought I'd repost it here. The whole thread is well worth reading.
This is educated guesswork, but here's how the comics market seems to break down in late 2007, to me:
Superhero readers are divided between those who prefer trade paperbacks and a still-strong contingent of readers who follow single issues month to month. From the continuing sales of singles, I assume that those readers are not bothered by the common net complaints of extended plot threads or lack of "enough content" per issue. They still like buying their comics every week and following continued stories as they come out.
Indy comics readers, in contrast, have largely abandoned the single-issue format. They prefer a larger chunk of work and are willing to pay for it. For most indy publishers, including (I'm hearing) Slave Labor, singles are no longer worth the expense to publish.
There are, of course, exceptions on both sides, particularly for long-established creators with an existing following. It's definitely true that if fans really want to read a new comic -- any new comic -- they'll follow it to the format it's published in.
And along those lines: I seem to be the only one, but the new LOVE & ROCKETS format mystifies me. I understand the impulse to try something that fits the material better, but this strikes me as combining the high price of a trade paperback with the short shelf-life (and lack of bookstore salability) of a single issue. Sam Henderson tried something similar a few years ago with, I recall, disastrous results. ACME NOVELTY LIBRARY works, but that's a real art object. And I say this as someone who will buy it -- I'd buy LOVE & ROCKETS if it was stencilled on the side of shipping containers.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Out this week: BATMAN: DEATH AND THE CITY, a collection of stories from Detective Comics. Includes the two-part story "SIEGE" by me and Andy Clarke, in which a mad bomber decides to bring down Wayne Tower. Robin must try to stop the bomber from the lower floors, while Bruce Wayne is trapped upstairs, unable to change to Batman, with a group of peace conference delegates.
This story was a lot of fun and Andy drew the hell out of it. You can see his Robin up above -- as good a shot as I've ever seen of that character. He didn't get to draw Batman until late in the story, but it was worth the wait.
The book also features several other stories written by Paul Dini and Royal McGraw, and drawn by Don Kramer and Wayne Faucher. $14.99 from DC Comics.
In other news, I promise a blog post soon that ISN'T just blatant self-promotion. Been busy!
Monday, November 12, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Out today: a self-contained one-shot by me and Robby Musso. Five reasons you should buy it:
• Robby draws the best Decepticons in the business.
• The opening sequence features two alien planes speeding clear across the world while having a nice, long conversation.
• Ramjet has a cone for a head.
• This story follows on my AVENGERS/TRANSFORMERS miniseries, but it stands completely on its own. No prior knowledge is necessary.
• It wasn't until I finished writing this book that I realized I'd written a variation on a classic Warner Brothers cartoon plot, adapted for the modern Transformers milieu.
From IDW Publishing - $3.99 US. For a preview, go here.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
For now, anyway. Join the NIGHTMARE FACTORY crew -- joined on this occasion by Fox Atomic e-i-c Eric Lieb, editor Heidi MacDonald, and master artist Ted McKeever -- for this panel discussion:
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2007 – NEW YORK, NY
MOCCA – MUSEUM OF COMIC & CARTOON ART — 6:30 p.m.
594 Broadway/Suite 401
(bet. Houston & Prince)
New York, NY 10003
Writers Stuart Moore and Joe Harris, artists Michael Gaydos and Ted McKeever, editor Heidi MacDonald and Fox Atomic Editor-in-Chief Eric Lieb come together for a discussion of Fox Atomic and The Nightmare Factory with moderator Calvin Reid, PW. -- FREE
The panelists have a pretty wide variety of experience, so we're planning to open up the discussion to a lot of different areas depending on audience interest. Come on out and ask us anything. (Straight answers are not guaranteed.)
Both of last week's events were a blast. The Comic Book Club show is hilarious -- well worth a visit, and fun to be part of. And the McNally Robinson Bookstore went all out for Halloween. We signed books, listened to five authors read scary stories, and drank complimentary beer (good beer, too!). Here's Heidi at the party: