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March 19, 2009

What Effect Will The New Diamond Minimums Have On Publisher Jeff Mason's Alternative Comics?

According to Alternative Comics Publisher Jeff Mason, a decade-plus veteran of the alt-comics small press, the new Diamond minimums policy will have no effect on the material that he publishes. "I think Diamond's policy itself will not affect Alternative in any way," he told Comics Reporter on Wednesday. Mason cites specifics in his contractual relationship with the distributor. "We have a very specific supply agreement with Diamond that describes the terms of how our books are handled."

imageMason noted that while his company still publishes a few comic book format works, the majority of what Alternative does these days is in larger publication formats such as trade paperbacks. "Many of the cartoonists I work with have chosen larger format publications because we have realized a better track record of profitability with them," he explained. He further noted that the kind of publisher Alternative Comics has become over the years may be more effectively facilitated through an emphasis on these non-traditional comics formats. "Books are also much easier for me as an understaffed operation to publish, promote, advertise, market, edit, etc."

Even if the emphasis lies elsewhere company- and industry-wide, Mason firmly believes that the comic book format will remain a part of the alternative publishing landscape. He has a personal reason: a few of Alternative's cartoonists may be interested in the format. "[Magic Whistle cartoonist] Sam Henderson has indicated his desire for us to look at going back to comic book format, he misses getting books out in front of the public on a regular basis," Mason said. "He does work faster than I've been publishing him." He also pointed to future work from the Hickee collective as a likely candidate for that format. Others will work in formats close to if not exactly the traditional comic book "Rich Tommaso really loves the comic book format, but I have insisted on doing his stuff in over-sized format because his art is just so gorgeous to look at. We will be launching his Pulp one-man anthology soon."

classic comic book format Magic Whistle
posted 3:30 pm PST | Permalink

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