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

December 14, 2012

Image Adjusts Re-Orders Policy On Saga Comic To Allow For Continuation Of Re-Orders On #s 7-8

imageI wasn't sent the letter that Robot 6 was sent from Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson adjusting a decision made earlier this week to back away from automatically reprinting heavy-selling comics later in the run like Saga, so I'm happy to send you over there to read it. I'm not sure I'd describe it as changing course, or at least that's not how I see it. It reads to me like they're backing away from the immediacy of the move, and apologizing for the frustration that came through the initial announcement -- a brusque tone some thought needlessly antagonistic -- but it also reads to me that they're keeping an eye on making some sort of move to reduce their risks here. What I'm guessing we'll see is some sort of modified version of that initial announcement: it may be left to the creator/creators, it may be restricted to certain titles, it may be a move of diminished severity. Saga really is a key book here, because it seems like orders should have stabilized by now and that's a big enough book people will pay attention.

Having said all that, I should probably point out that this is one of those things that doesn't seem like a big deal to me, and certainly doesn't fit our usual framework of something being "right" and something else being "wrong." It seems like Image is more or less just sorting out different strategies for how they want certain of their big serial books to be presented. I think as long as they're announcing in advance this is how something will work -- and that's something they're more than doing now, with the adjustment -- any kind of non-exploitative business decision is fine.

There's a good supplementary article here, where Rich Johnston rounded up statements from a bunch of Image creators. Milton Griepp's article here focuses on the issue in question being a natural candidate for extensive reprinting + the way Image is going to offer a heightened discount to the way they'll handle a reprint on that one, turning a negative into a potential positive.
posted 5:00 pm PST | Permalink

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