Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

November 15, 2013

Go, Read: Brian Hibbs On The Fantagraphics Kickstarter

The retailing advocate Brian Hibbs talks about the Fantagraphics crowd-funder here. I find his criticisms more interesting than his primary solution, and I'm generally grateful to hear from a retailer because they have a longstanding relationship with that company.

Original graphic novels may in a few cases leave money on the table that could be made through serialization, it's true, but it's not like there's some demented genie out there that made all of these companies choose strategies that took them away from serialization through comics books published for the Direct Market. As I recall, it was the sheer terror of imminent business collapse as that part of the market became a white dwarf star that pushed a company like D+Q, say, away from launching Susceptible as a six-issue comic-book series.

So as hard as it is for me to imagine someone like First Second gaining a whole lot by reworking their line into serial comic books, I don't expect Hibbs to ever budge off the point, as it's one of those speculative things that has a dozen permutations that could be employed or skipped to build whatever argument you'd like to make. Couldn't sell Papercutter? Well, that's an anthology, and it's not like it's a new Dan Clowes comic, and so on... It's also an argument that benefits the way Hibbs has built a successful business, and it's a very comics thing to process nearly every issue according to your own view of how things work best. In the end, it's almost impossible to fully discredit a speculative argument. All that said, I imagine that we might indeed see a mini-revival in serialized art comics over the next 36 months, for a lot of different reasons including the fact that it's a way some projects like that can indeed maximize revenue.
posted 8:20 am PST | Permalink

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