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 […]

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Don’t Call Your Readers Stupid About a Cover’s Purpose

A few months ago, I got an email from a creator. He had a book coming out in a month, and he wanted to start people talking about it, so he was providing preview images and an advance digital copy of the first issue. This is a very smart way to go about things, except… The book he was working on, with Gene Simmons to boot, was titled Dominatrix: Hellbent in Heels and the first issue looked like this. I […]

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Don’t Split Hairs Over Industry-Specific Terminology

I was confused when I saw a press release from Titan Comics about continuing their Hard Case Crime comics line with three new titles. One of them was described as the following: Presenting a new vision of the worldwide bestselling Millennium novels by Stieg Larsson, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is the first comic book adaptation of Lisbeth Salander’s harrowing story ever to appear in English. Wait a minute! DC Comics put out an official graphic novel adaptation in […]

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Don’t Be Childish About the End of a Publishing Relationship

Digital Manga seems to be having trouble, relying on Kickstarters to fund the publication of many of their books recently. Libre Publishing is the biggest Japanese publisher of boys’ love titles and a partner with Viz in the SuBLime yaoi English-language manga line. Previously, Digital Manga was bringing a number of Libre titles to English, but they are no longer working together as of the end of June. In letting fans know about this, Digital Manga’s press release about this […]

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You Are Not Owed Pre-Orders Because You’ve Been Around Before

Do most readers know who the Badger is? With help from Wikipedia and the GCD, I found out that the superhero was first published in 1983 by the short-lived Capital Comics company. Later, his series ran 66 issues from First Comics, ending in 1991, with revival attempts at Dark Horse (1994), Image (1997), and IDW (2007). This is a lot of publishers for a character I can tell you nothing about. According to the Wikipedia character bio, Norbert Sykes was […]

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Marvel Discovers Comics Are Periodicals and the Problem of Variant Covers

A couple of weeks ago, Marvel sent out a press release that had me shaking my head. It seems that putting out multiple variant covers and chasing that first-issue sales bump over and over doesn’t lead to healthy long-term sales, so they announced “Marvel’s Issue #2 Promotional Program”: we’re pleased to announce a new initiative that will provide extra promotion and marketing for the exciting issue #2’s of new series! In addition to heavy promotion and marketing for the first […]

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You Have to Tell People Honestly What They’re Buying

I was pondering whether these links were too old to talk about now, when retailer Mike Sterling posted a related item and made everything current again. (Thanks, Mike!) But first, some context. When you think about buying a comic, you probably assume that a reader is the customer. But in the comic store direct market, most all those pretty pieces of paper are sold non-returnably, so the actual customer of the publisher is the retailer/store owner. If something doesn’t sell, […]

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PR: What Not to Do: Forget to Tell Us What the Reprint Book Is About

I’m really glad we’re living in a golden age of comic reprints, with all kinds of terrific books and strips easily available. However, too many times, when announcing a new reprint project, publishers assume readers already know about the comic. I know those decision-makers are familiar with how great the project is, or presumably, they wouldn’t choose to republish it, but particularly when you’re reprinting something from more than five years ago, there’s a whole generation of potential customers that […]

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