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

October 12, 2015

Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* I'm still sorting out announcements from NYCC 2015, so expect links to that show this week and next.

* the must-read coming out of that show about publishing in general is Deb Aoki's two part interview with Kodansha executives.

* the big story of general interest from manga companies as presented through western comics media seems to be this western artists driven Attack On Titan anthology due this Fall. That is a humongous property right now, so just about anything they do with it will be of interest, and there are a lot of interesting cartoonists contributing work. It's weird in that I don't think of something that is that popular as ever needing a western comics on-ramp, although I'm likely overthinking things by a significant amount.

* one panel presentation at NYCC that got basic, PR-driven press is the Viz Panel, with an announcement of seven new series. It's kind of a thrilling when a big company like that announces an entire slate where none of the comics are in my specific wheelhouse. I'm also happy to see sports manga continue to work their way into translated editions. Sports prose like Talmage Powell's Cellar Team was a big part of my appetite for reading and for sports growing up.

* one thing I gleaned from checking out Aoki's twitter feed is that Yen Press spent at least a few moments of time at their NYCC 2015 panel reducing expectations for the completion of old series. It makes sense, if a series didn't pan out in the market the first time, that's a really tough thing for a company to decide to want to spend resources doing. It seems like there's a lot of pressure on these publishers to churn out new books across the lines, with the hits being trickier to find for all of that production.

image* all that said, I still want Fantagraphics to do a Cromartie High School Omnibus, though. Or Fantagraphics Underground. I think the change in publishing context would generate more readers, just enough to make that one work.

* this column is just going to be me ordering publishers to do things to please me --- the best kind of column.

* DC used the publicity platform to do a general push on their third Dark Knight series. It's interesting to watch the publicity on that one compared to the publicity for the new cycle of Star Wars movies, in that both follow efforts that directly followed the individual series that in some way weren't embraced by hardcore fans. That's about the only similarity, but the positioning seems much the same. I've had one retailer tell me that it scares him that DC is putting that much emphasis on a single title at a time when they have linewide issues.

* there's a Squirrel Girl/Howard The Duck crossover coming. That may sound weird to the olds and even to the sort-of olds but I don't think what kids Marvel has reading their comics see those characters as odd in any way.

* here's word from the convention of a new Star Wars series that moves us away from the time of the original series but still focuses on major characters as the other Marvel SW series have.

* finally, this sounds fun, although I'm never quite sure what to make of special issues for a comic that new. It seems like there's still basic groundwork to be done in terms of establishing those characters and that setting, but what I don't know about how mainstream comics work is likely everything making them successful.
posted 11:55 pm PST | Permalink

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