Action Lab: Bad at Timing
I’m assuming that readers of this site generally agree with me that, in many respects, the collected edition is the preferred format. It’s easier to keep track of a story when it’s all in one place, and the price is generally equal (or cheaper) while the format is preferable for durability and ease of use.
But serialization is necessary in the current economic setup. Few publishers have enough banked resources to pay for a complete story in advance, so they put out the chunks to bring in income and gauge interest without a huge investment.
There’s an unspoken rule, though, that one lets the issues sell for a bit before bringing out the collection, since the book being available usually makes the issues dead stock. Which is why I found Action Lab’s list of releases this week (including their adult Danger Zone imprint) so strange. They put out, on the same day, the following:
Toyetica #8 and Toyetica volume 2, which reprints issues #5-8.
Gingerdead Man Meets Evil Bong #3 and Gingerdead Man Meets Evil Bong (trade paperback), which reprints the three-issue miniseries.
Subspecies #3 and Subspecies volume 1, which reprints the three-issue series.
(This isn’t the first time — I wrote about them doing something similar three years ago, although then, they were at least waiting a week between issue and collection.)
One example is sloppy. Multiple suggests that the company is so desperate for revenue that they can’t hold off on shipping product even one week. Or that they’re so busy they can’t keep up with a schedule. Planning a release schedule is a key part of having a publishing line, as opposed to just throwing anything that comes in out the door.
Then again, it is the last day of the month, so items may have needed to ship to avoid being considered overly late, which requires giving retailers the ability to adjust orders.