Devil’s Due Comics Admits They Don’t Have Much to Offer
Under a press release blandly titled “Devil’s Due Entertainment Becomes Devil’s Due Comics”, I found some surprising statements from founder Josh Blaylock.
The brand is changing its name “to reflect its new Publishing Platform for creator-owned titles. While most of the changes will remain invisible to the general public, other than a new logo, the company is focusing on alternative deal structures that appeal to what it sees as a growing culture of self-sufficient creators controlling their own properties through social media engagement and comicon weekend “road warrior” promotion.”
(I leave it to the more skilled than I to talk about that logo, but to me, it looks like something a high school whipped up over a weekend. Particularly when it comes to the lettering of the “Comics” part.)
“Currently the comic industry has a high class problem of too much quality,” said Blaylock. “Every week we’re overloaded with fantastic submissions, more than we could ever publish, let alone give the full attention we offer to all of our current titles. It’s a glut of goodness, and all one needs to do is view the Previews catalog to see it. While we’re structured to handle national distribution and even the highest volume of sales, there’s a whole world of new indie artists with small-but-growing voracious followings. These are creators hustling every weekend at comicons, on Kickstarter, and social media, who already have a lot of the aspects of comic production figured out. They do fairly well by nurturing a cult fanbase, but just need an infrastructure to rely on, an opportunity to get onto store shelves, and a brand behind them. That’s easy for us and hard for them. What takes up all of our time and resources are the granular aspects of marketing, the nurturing of the fans and constant engagement, which readers really want directly from the creators now anyway. What I’ve strived to create here is an arrangement that allows us to say “yes” to smaller titles while still being primed for the bigger hits in a way that is win-win for everyone. Part of that is by using new technology I developed, and some is just old fashioned contract tweaking. If someone needs their hand held at every step, or wants to turn in their pages and let the publisher do everything else the traditional way, this will probably not appeal to them. But for many rising stars with a “DIY” mentality, I believe this new deal structure is something that will appeal to many of them.”
Basically, you do all the work you’re already doing — we’ll take a cut for … a Previews listing, I guess. And shipping through Diamond. But putting out a press release that says “we aren’t going to give you our full attention” doesn’t make for a publisher I’d want to do a deal with. Then again, Blaylock’s most recent work is The Bitcoin Comic Handbook, which indicates to me he’s into iffy financial dealings.
Best of all, “the company is not accepting open solicitations from the public at this time”, which sounds like “hey, we’re going to be working with more people, but not you.”