- Posted by Johanna on May 1, 2006 at 7:44 am
- Category: Comic News
Newsarama interviews DC’s Bob Wayne (link no longer available) over comic sellouts and their latest big event. Here’s the quote I found significant:
We’re trying to encourage the weekly comic experience. We don’t want our readers to stop reading our periodicals and wait for trade paperbacks collecting a batch of issues. (Since we’re launching a 52-part weekly comic next month, it seems like a really good idea.) So it’s more important to us to go back to press on these issues than it would normally be if a comic sold out.
It’s not surprising that DC feels this way, since so much of their business is still periodicals, but I was surprised to see them make such a one-sided statement. After that, there’s lots of “it’s not anyone’s fault, really, that books are selling out, but if anyone underestimated, retailers did.” Oh, and one more mixed message:
I don’t think DC ever said or intended that the One Year Later titles were designed as a tool to bring in new readers who were unfamiliar with comics and/or our core characters.
Strange, then, that so many people had that impression. Wonder where it came from? And wouldn’t it make more sense for that to be the approach?
Over at Comicon, Marvel editor Andy Schmidt (link no longer available) seems to have a more sensible approach:
There are a couple of different sides to the debate. And there are good reasons for reading both the individuals and the collections. For example, at Marvel Comics, where I work, we build the comics to be read in 22-page installments. This means, that the structure of one of our stories normally dictates some kind of cliffhanger every 22 pages. For me, as a reader, part of the fun is having to wait 30 days to find out how my favorite heroes have gotten out of a death-trap. So, bottom line, the comics are intended to be read in the individual comic format.
That said, I enjoy a trade because it is durable and takes up less space than several individual comics. Trades are ideal for traveling and reference. I have to dig out a lot of old stories for my job and it’s much easier to grab three trades instead of 20 single issues…. Then there is packaging. The individual covers are meant to entice a potential buyer or reader into buying that one issue. The trade is designed to entice someone to invest a larger sum of money all in one shot. When most people drop 15 to 20 bucks, they want a good story as well as a nice looking package–something that displays nicely on a bookshelf. The truth is, the cover stock is better on a trade, it stands up straighter on a shelf and has a good looking square binding with the title written on the side. Trades just look better. I can’t argue with that.
And that’s why I enjoy reading them more. Unless you’re suggesting that readers buy both, why not allow the consumer choice and support both?