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

March 10, 2010

Kieron Gillen: “You Just Spend Your Entire Life In Low-Level Money Panic”

Kevin Melrose pulled a quote out of a Kieron Gillen interview at Comics Alliance that talks more openly than usual about the dire financial situation facing the vast, vast majority of comic book series out there, series that operate primarily through the Direct Market. It's almost impossible to extrapolate market correction from the success/failure of one series, but I think hearing about how close that particular creative team was from being able to do 48 issues rather than 13, the relative tiny number involved, makes you want ask a bunch of why questions.

The one thing that's confusing to me is that there are more diverse, upper-end, almost-boutique comics stores than ever before -- real have-to-visit stores for adult comics fans -- and there hasn't been a significant loss of the sturdy all-services, take-care-of-everyone comics stores, either. If there are 60 stores in 2010 that play roughly the same role 24 stores did in 1996, why isn't there a corresponding bump for select indy/alt titles on that kind of scale? I'm not suggesting there aren't answers, because there are a ton bandied about. One is that the quality of indy/alt comics simply isn't what it used to be. Another is that Marvel/DC sells more relatively modest-selling comics than ever, so if a store is looking for books to groom into minor by-store sensations they're as likely to afford that space to Agents of Atlas as they might have once given that space to Yummy Fur. But I would think by this time there'd be a few causes steamrolling in clarity.
posted 7:00 am PST | Permalink

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