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

August 3, 2015

Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* Marvel's going to try again with their Hercules character. There's some speculation as to whether or not the character will have same-sex relationships. As I think he's depicted having relationships with men and women, it would be weird if he were suddenly fully hetero again.

* speaking of Marvel, they'll still have their policy of making more than 12 issues of their series in a year. They run a multi-million dollar publishing company and I don't, and I'm not even a prime consumer of that kind of material, but this strategy makes it difficult for me to read any issues at all. Almost no artist or art team can keep up, which means breaks in continuity. While an attentive can deal with different creative teams, given the fluidity of title it totally throws me off and I give up trying to buy the title I was previously buying. I also found that the cost of keeping up with one or series when I was expected to buy, say, 31 issues in a year as opposed to 24, made a difference in whether or not I desired to continue with series that made enough of an impression that the art teams hadn't confused me. That really seems like one of those slow beed for series of short-term gain kind strategies. Then again, if the numbers weren't working out in some way, they wouldn't be doing it. At that point moving away from that strategy becomes a "greater good" deal, and Marvel's publishing division is judged, many professionals tell me, by short-term numbers.

* congratulations to Yeti Press on four years of publication.

* listings can be fool's gold so much changes for most of the publisher, particularly those Fantagraphics-sized and smaller, between when a listing might be submitted and when it might actually find its way onto shelves. But it's a fine place to go for general reminders and some additional information if you don't take it as gospel. For instance, a May release for the Lucy Knisley wedding planning book makes perfect sense, and 304 pages sounds like a lot for Knisley and not so many for the general subject matter. Also, every March or so for the last several I've had a friend ask me what Dave Sim's Last Girlfriend is, and then when I tell them almost all make the same comment of "summer reading for me for sure. Looks like we'll get at least one more round of comments there.

* finally, Tom Hart alerted us through e-mail a couple of weeks ago that his Rosalie Lightning is going to be released by St. Martin's in January. It always seems like there's one book that comes out at that point of the year that dominates discussion through May or so, or at least contributes heavily to what we talk about when we talk about comics. I think there's an impulse from a very now-looking hardcore readership base that wants to jump into the new year. That could be the one for 2016, although every month is loaded now.
posted 5:35 pm PST | Permalink

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