Thursday, May 22, 2008

Direct-To-Trade: Vertigo Should Do This!

Brian Wood asks on his LiveJournal:

"Let's suppose a book like DMZ stopped coming out monthly and instead you got a 150-page original graphic novel every seven months or so, same production values as the trades, same everything as the trades. But obviously the cover price would have to go up...

So how much would you pay for it? What's the highest that price tag could be before you decide it's too expensive to buy it?"

Of course, this is the model that Vertigo should be doing. At the very most, have 2-3 strong-selling monthly floppies (if any), and everything else would be in graphic novel form right off the bat. Be easier to sell, get them right in the bookstores, easier to market, easier to promote.

6 issues for $20. Squarebound, decent paper, suitable for viewing upon your bookshelf.

This is indeed the wave of the future.

And should this model apply to regular ol' DC and Marvel comics as well?

I'm trying to be conservative about this. Let's just say Vertigo. For now.


  1. Do you want to be the one to tell retailers that they'll have less product to put on their shelves, less money to be made? :)

    I think some day we'll get to this model, but we're pretty far away from it at the moment.


  2. But in the end does holding on to strategies that don't particularly work well help them anyway? Do we pull the band-aid off quickly or slowly, hair-by-hair?

  3. Which reminds me, I just had lunch with somebody from Hollywood this afternoon, and he asked me point-blank: "Why does the comic book industry seem to be so behind the curve in comparison to other media?"

    And I answered, "Well, they were behind the curve for a while because they were so afraid of any sort of change. But they are reaching out now with stuff like webcomics and manga and European comics and bookshelf formats, because they know they have to change."

  4. I think it helps the retailers that do well with Vertigo singles, sure. That's money they rely on every week. Take it away and tell them to wait six months and then they can stock an expensive trade paperback and everything will be glorious?

    I'm convinced that's going to help much at the moment.


  5. Although I don't read DMZ, or work for a comic company for that matter, I like the sounds of this on paper. As a Manhattanite with little to no room for the collection I have, I've found that the best way I can continue reading comics right now is by purchasing trades, both hard- and softback. The wait is horrendous but the storage options are the easiest (A bookcase), as is future re-readability.

    However, by doing it this way you take away a viable revenue stream for DC. I don't know how much they charge for ads, but they lose those 10 pages of ads throughout the book. One way to combat this would be partnering with an online organization to purchase more Brian Wood trades, for example, from them. (But what if the site foes under you ask? That's a question for another day. I've taken up enough time as it is)

    Due to that loss of revenue, you might actually have to pay more than $20 for DC to re-coup its money.

  6. Anonymous3:48 PM

    I have a hard time remembering characters and storylines between trades. Eight months is a long time between arcs. Weekly TV series benefit greatly from the "water cooler" chats the day after they air. If everyone watched every single show on DVD, it'd be much harder for them to build hype.

    Certain books would probably benefit from being published as whole graphic novels, but a very good serial needs that monthly anticipation and release to keep its momentum.

  7. since this is what i essentially do with vertigo titles as it is i would welcome this choice with open arms.

    i would balk at hardbacks though. just do not see the need to spend some 5 extra bucks on something that will take up a bit more space on my limited shelves. but i would likely spend 5 - 10 more on these books, as long as content is not cut.

    though really, if we are talking about the future why are we talking about print at all. digital is the only way to go. the development of the kindle type devise that allows for images should be at the forefront on every comic publishers mind (obviously partnering with some tech company to produce it.) if not convince amazon to feature this in their next upgrade of their wonderful device.

  8. Something to consider as well is that without a monthly impetus to come into the store, why would someone bother...

  9. I think the retailers would hate this, but I think it's a great solution for fans.

    Retailers would probably have to stock more of the ancillary items like toys and figures to possibly make up the difference.

    Floppies just don't make sense anymore. Not enough bang for the buck.

  10. "I think it helps the retailers that do well with Vertigo singles, sure. That's money they rely on every week. Take it away and tell them to wait six months and then they can stock an expensive trade paperback and everything will be glorious?"

    Good point. But how many retailers are we talking about, what titles, and how do the monthly numbers look? Is DC content with Vertigo being more of "niche" publisher that caters to those retailers? If they are, that's perfectly fine. But if they have expectations for more, I cannot see -- outside of 2-3 core titles -- how the current publishing program is competitive enough.

    I mean, consider recent initiatives they had announced about having more of a heavy focus on acquiring and developing original graphic novels. It seems to mean that they are looking towards the bookstore market and competing not only with houses like Fantagraphics and Top Shelf but the major book publishers.

    I think the initiative for Vertigo to achieve more as an imprint is already in place, and that future will be largely in the bookstores as well as comic shops.

    If they can maintain a monthly "floppy" program as well, more power to them.

  11. "Good point. But how many retailers are we talking about, what titles, and how do the monthly numbers look?"

    Does it matter? Likely the retailers doing best with Vertigo monthlies are the Midtowns, the JHU's, the Mile High's, the Comic Reliefs, etc. What sane publisher wants to alienate them?

    "Is DC content with Vertigo being more of "niche" publisher that caters to those retailers?"

    Right now, Vertigo is both: a publisher that serves the direct market and the bookshelf market. This hypothetical solution would, in a large and brutal way, reduce its direct market presence.


  12. Honestly, my opinion as to what Vertigo should do is something in between the two. I would love to see Vertigo transition over into doing one or two magazines that would be equivalent to Shonen Jump in size. Between two magazines of this size you could still create the monthly revenue for/from retailers and from advertisers while, at the same time, having a product that would be more desirable in conventional bookstores. It would also allow/encourage people who were just following one title to sample other titles since they would be contained within the same magazine which would, I suspect, result in higher trade sales in the end for books that aren't finding their audience right now. I'd love to see a model like this across the board but I think that Vertigo's longevity, name recognition, and audience would make them the most likely to be an immediate success with this format. I also suspect that a magazine like this would be able to penetrate markets beyond the bookstore market that 'floppies' just can't at the moment (Hot Topics, Urban Outfitters, Record/Video/Game stores) and create higher ad revenue that would be able to keep the price-point reasonable.
    Obviously this is just armchair hypothesizing, but it's something that I've armchair hypothesized about w/r/t Vertigo for a while now.

  13. Clearly Val and Brian know more about the publishing business than I do, but I don't see how focusing energy on the bookstore market and maintaining an already-existing market for singles are mutually exclusive strategies. In the music industry, for example, the current idea seems to be to push as many formats as possible. The more products that can be made out of the same content, the better and whatnot.

  14. ...and I guess Brian sorta just said that. (See, this is why approved comments make discussion flow weird.)

  15. Since I mostly buy TPB's anyway, I'm all for this. I don't think this would ever completely become the way the industry works (just look at the insistance independant music has on keeping vinyl around despite the money pit it can become).

    However, I do see this becoming more prevalent in the industry. It'd save not only on space and $$, but honestly, also on fan annoyance. People probably wouldn't have given up on the latest "Astonishing X-Men" run (thanks Whedon) if it wasn't taking so friggin' long to finish. Whereas if you could get the whole story in one or two books a few months apart? Hells yeah...

    -costa k.

  16. I think I remember reading comments about this by... it might have been Bendis, might have been another successful writer who's done both indie and mainstream stuff. About a year or so ago. Anyhoo, they'd said doing original material graphic novels often wasn't financially viable for the writer and the artist - no regular paycheck, no certainty anyone's going to buy it when it does come out, etc. The kinds of things that are riskier when you're trying to support a family.

    Something like that. Could be misremembering, though.

  17. I, for one, would love to pay more money for exactly the same product as I'm getting now.

    Is there an upside for the reader in this? Because as it stands, I'm perfectly happy to have monthly readers subsidize my trade purchases, and willing to subsidize the trade purchases of others with my monthly single-issue buys. If DC/Vertigo feels its a good move to move to all-trade for the sake of its business, that's one thing, but I'd rather support more choice in the marketplace than less.

  18. Personally, all of the Vertigo titles I follow, I only buy the TPBs, so this would suit me fine...

  19. You always hear about how the monthlies aren't doing so good. Nextwave, part of the thing with it was that, in spite of how good it was some of the time (it had misses), I can remember Ellis saying (or someone saying Ellis said) that the sales just weren't strong enough to keep the artist on it.

    The thing about ad revenue's a good one to think about. Apart from a page or two at the back of the book advertising other trades or hardcovers, those formats are pretty much devoid of advertising. Some books could probably stay monthly and should. The X-books are the poster child for books people buy month-in, month-out, even if you have a bad-boy like Chuck Austen behind the wheel.

    Something niche like Vertigo would probably do better with just trades. Marvel and DC have people who could probably benefit from doing trade and hardcover work only (hello, Mr. Hitch! :D). They could drum up excitement with preview pages every so often, but the thing to wait for would be the trade.

  20. Well, here are DC's sales for March:

    We have several "core" titles: Fables at 24,000, then a few between 16,000-10,000, and then a number of titles under 7,000.

    Maybe those titles that sold under 7,000 would have been better off conceived and marketed and packaged as original graphic novels from the start. As it is, a bunch of them are now canceled.

    And outside the core Vertigo titles, I don't think the "big box" comic shops would be specifically "hit" if the under 7,000 in sales Vertigo books went straight to graphic novel format.

    I was thinking more of retailers like Rocketship. But would their patrons rather buy something like "Loveless" as an original trade -- marketed and packaged in a way to compete with Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, et al -- or the monthly floppy issues?

    As for the larger issue of the endurance of the "floppy" format in general...

    I was told that the floppies really didn't make a lot of money at this point, not in comparison to other interests of the publishers. They were looked upon as "IP farms," ways to keep things in copyright, ways to stir up interest in ancillary products. I used to hear that over and over and over again, hammered into my skull since 1996 when I worked at Acclaim/Valiant. Of course, since then, trade paperbacks and graphic novels have become even more successful, and manga and webcomics are now a piece of the pie as well.

    But whatever the case -- things are going to change. Eventually, the companies will need to tweak and revise and change their models. And it's not going to make everybody happy. But change is inevitable.

  21. I've been saying this to friends for months (usually after the latest issue of Scalped when I'm afraid it's going to get cancelled).

    I think the biggest problem is that DC has such a long turnaround from story to trade. When you're Superman or Batman, that's not a problem but when you're Exterminators or Scalped, you need that trade ASAP so you can pick up new readers.

    If only Vertigo books went to trade as quickly as The Walking Dead.

  22. I feel the discussion is more along the lines of Comic stores or Book stores. If it can be published as singular bound volumes it could be carried @ places such as Barnes and Noble, and Borders. As individual issues they are not currently carried in stores like these. Perhaps it is DCs way of using a kind of grass roots mentality that our fans will advertise for us, and sell our tpbs the second time around. I feel that there is a sense where as much as comic culture does want to be mainstream, it doesn't want to let go of the idea that unless you have been a fan for 50 years than you really don't know what the hell your talking about.

  23. I fully agree things are going to change. But smarter people than you or I have a lot of things to figure out before it can. This retailer issue is only one of them.


  24. As a consumer, if Vertigo went to that format for everything it would be fine. I only buy their releases (including DMZ) in collected editions. Can't say that I'd be thrilled about a substantial price increase to get them sooner, as I pay zero attention to Vertigo titles on the rack anyway.

    If I could avoid buying single issues altogether I would. I only buy what I do now on Wednesdays (mostly Marvel) because I lack the patience to wait 6+ months for the current story.

  25. brian wood said:
    "I fully agree things are going to change. But smarter people than you or I have a lot of things to figure out before it can. This retailer issue is only one of them."

    i am not sure i agree with the smarter part of this argument. yes, they might get paid for/make money from this type of thinking, but handing over to them collective intelligence is just plain wrong.

    they have much to gain or lose in any change and they will have their own $$$ interests color any decision they make.

    this to me does not equate intelligence at all, but self interest.

    but yes things are going to change, i just hope it is not too late.

  26. "i am not sure i agree with the smarter part of this argument. yes, they might get paid for/make money from this type of thinking, but handing over to them collective intelligence is just plain wrong."

    Smarter in that they presumably work for DC, know their own business better, have access to numbers we don't, etc. We can speculate and play armchair publisher all day, but they are the ones truly in the know.


  27. I had a great and lengthy comment here, and blogger errored it right out of existence.


    Anyway, I've been pondering new models akin to this myself, but with an eye on web-publishing.

    And yeah, Loveless would have benefited from a done-in-one, as do many other wonderful Azzarello stories.

  28. I already buy DMZ, Fables, Y, Ex Machina, Scalped in trade. I would love this, cause that way things like the Y ending wouldn't be spoiled for me (the final trade isn't out yet).

  29. I think from an aesthetic and storytelling standpoint they need to do this. I used to blab about this very thing in my now-defunct blog (shut that baby down yesterday due to lack of interest).

    I think what they need to do is move to a model more closely resembling regular book publishing, with the creators owning the stories outright. And as far as the superheroes go, I think they should just put out books, graphic novels, that are self-contained stories like regular novels or even novel series.

    Abandon the overarching company-wide continuity and just focus on telling the best darned stories they can with the characters. Wean people off this babyish need for everything to connect into some mega-narrative that never ends, never progresses, never really goes anywhere and never resolves itself. We know all these universe changes and character deaths are temporary and if you think about it in those terms, there's little or no jeopardy for these supposedly adventuresome characters. We know they're ultimately risking nothing no matter how much "danger" the writer puts them in.

    Unless the title's going to be cancelled. In which case the characters sometimes die a more or less permanent death, a la X-Statix.

    Free the writers and artists from that burden. Let them tell whatever story they want to tell complete with a beginning, middle and end. You know, like real stories. That's what Jack Kirby tried to do with his Fourth World and look how horrifically botched it's become.

    That's the funny thing about this, too. Jack Kirby was practically begging to do this kind of stuff almost 40 years ago now, and finally it's coming to pass. Unfortunately, not because the companies know this is the most artistically pleasing mode in which to work and the most dramatically successful but because of economic pressures.

    I mean it's only worked for novels for centuries. Why not comics?

  30. Of course I can see 423 reasons for not doing this in that post a few entries below this one.

    But I think ultimately with declining monthly sales the mainstream companies are looking at dwindling returns for the current model anyway. So why not float the direct-to-trade form?

    I think it's inevitable. But to ease the transition they can keep up with the monthlies for a while, printing them as they lose steam in the face of superior closed narratives that have a more immediate and dramatically satisfying impact.

    Especially when you consider the rising costs of monthlies. I mean, 3 bucks for something you read in 5 minutes versus 20 bucks for something it takes a few days to read? The trade just seems like a bargain in terms of reader satisfaction. Especially if they can lure in the better writers to work in this format.

    I mean, Los Bros Hernandez are already ditching the magazine form in favor of doing actual books. I'd pay 20 bucks yearly for a big meaty Love & Rockets, but I'd also pay that much for a truly magnificent Superman story by someone like Alan Moore or even Grant Morrison.

    Whereas the usual monthly offering by someone like Adam Beechen? I wouldn't pay .50 for that. It'd take about a minute to read, would be as generic as anything on that one aisle down at the supermarket and forgotten in approximately the same time it took to read. What a waste of money, ink and paper.

    Bring on the books!

  31. Umm... how is what you propose any different than what is done now? (Aside from a few months shaved from the production schedule.)

    I wait for the trade, because I don't see the point in buying it twice. It's not a MUST HAVE item for me.

    The magazines pay the cost of production. They help generate interest and reviews. And, most importantly, it allows DC to guage interest in a trade paperback reprinting. (The Direct Market allows is super-safe for publishers. You solicit a title, Diamond tells you how many copies were ordered, you adjust your numbers so you make a profit, print the comic and directly ship it to Diamond, never see it again.)

    What WOULD change is the need to write and draw 22-page-long chapters, once every 20 days. Could the book be produced faster, say in four months instead of six (plus however long it takes to print it)?

    Vertigo is making money on DMZ (otherwise it would be cancelled like Testament). There's no need to change that model, especially for ongoing series. (They probably will eventually change from paper magazines to electronic downloads.)

    What I would like to see:
    Have DC or Marvel print the comics in thick black-and-white magazines like the Japanese do. (See: Shonen Jump) Reprint the popular stories in trade collections, IN COLOR. Or publish thick color digests on cheap paper like the Disney comics in Europe. (I remember fondly the German Fantastic Four digest I have, some 300? pages of early John Byrne stories. I think it cost me $2/DM 6.)

  32. That's a good point, Joel -- with some books, the main selling point is their immediacy: "This is what's happening the the DC/Marvel Universe right now." Almost like news dispatches from another world.

    I don't really think that applies to Vertigo, though. But certainly the baseline quality has to be at a certain level before it's worth a reader dropping $20 on a book. (I think Vertigo has the baseline, actually -- DC & Marvel not so much.)

  33. In principle I think it would be interesting...but I've spent some time in publishing on the finance side and I'd be stunned if any company would want to give up the revenues associated with monthly advertising by doing this.

    They'd be giving up a steady stream of income not only from sales of monthlies but also from this advertising and there are no guarantees that sales of the graphic novels would increase enough, even at a higher price point, to make up for this.

    I suspect that it would also cut into creator's incomes (or at least delay their receiving some of that income) as well, depending on how their deals were structured.

    Or are you suggesting that advertising be run in the trades? All at the end of the book or scattered throughout like a monthly comic? Would you be willing to ay $20 if everything was interrupted by ads every few pages?

    I'm not sure that its a business model that would work, especially in companies used to different ones. New companies might be more open to it, I guess.

  34. I think they should structure the deals just like in the rest of the publishing industry, where the publishers are buying printing rights but the creators retain all other considerations and the ability to sell to other markets.

    Ownership of concepts and characters as well.

    The monthly advertising revenue is a pretty good balancing point, though. That's something I hadn't thought about at all.

    But don't the higher prices for trades and books take that into account to a certain extent? And if not, like I commented, they could keep the monthlies for the addicts and also for the ad revenues. But I think they're going to face a profit squeeze anyway. There has to be some sort of market reaction to asorbing as consumers higher and higher costs via ever-rising cover prices for the quality we're currently getting.

    Already DC and Marvel have prices THIS consumer right out of the monthly buying game, except for a few sport purchases here and there. Whereas I'm still buying trades and collected reprints of the older stuff. And I'd be more willing to buy a book by certain creators than to get on a monthly bandwagon when some giant "Crisis of Infinite Status Quo" crossover is just going to overturn the damn thing and send the bandmembers flying.

  35. If it got me more Crossing Midnight, I’m all for it.

    davextreme: Having trouble remembering details from earlier installments of trades? I have that problem with floppies. That’s why I buy trades in the second place. The first place is that the 5 to 10 minutes of entertainment I get out of a floppy just ain’t worth greenbacks. Anyway, go through the science fiction in your bookstore and check out the copyright dates on different books in the same series. Clearly there’s some sort of market that’s willing to wait a year or more for their next fix.

    Brendan: If you think of web publishing, Image put out a book on the current practices of the webcomic side of the business – How to Make Webcomics by Brad Guigar, Dave Kellett, Scott Kurtz, and Kris Straub (all heavies in the scene and full-time job income for at least Scott and Dave). Assuming you can find a copy. They need to go back for a second printing. Not bad for three months of sales.

    And speaking as someone who goes to a comic book store with more shelf space devoted to trades than comics, going to direct-to-trade for some titles makes sense to me. Got a title with borderline or worse floppy sales but decent trade sales? Kill the floppies and go straight to trades. Big corporations: diversify your income – or die. Either’s okay with me. I still got creator-owned webcomic trades to buy.

  36. Well manga sells just fine straight to graphic novel. I think they should shoot for quicker than seven months though. Four months at the most in between volumes... longer than that and people loose interest, imho.

  37. Sure. People can wait a whole year for the next Harry Potter book, the next Dan Brown novel, the next Ja,es Bond novel etc.
    It could work.

  38. >>Which reminds me, I just had lunch with somebody from Hollywood this afternoon, and he asked me point-blank: "Why does the comic book industry seem to be so behind the curve in comparison to other media?"<<

    The same reason Hollywood insists on theatrical releases as they're woefully unprofitable: they serve as an entry level event for the continuing marketing of the entity at hand.
    Did Disney make a lot of money off releasing Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest to theaters? Probably not.
    Did Disney make money off toys, DVDs, cable rights, etc?
    Of course.
    The monthly floppy serves as a loss-leader of sorts. It's presence reminds the audience that the title is still around and still publishing and that there will probably be a collected edition in the future.
    Long term advertising through awareness if you will.

  39. Anonymous4:30 AM

    Well, as for the retailers, it would just be like comic book shops in sweden are now. There are maybe two longboxes of issues, the entire store is filled with trades.

    Nothing but trades.

    I know a few people actually prescribe to single issues, I do to some, but most of the time sweden is trade only.

    I for one think the future is trades, the only thing I read in single issues are the ones where I either can't wait, or have the slightest doubt that they will never get collected.

  40. Anonymous4:42 AM

    Trust me to leave my first comment ever and then forget half of what I had to say.... ahem...

    How would people feel about a more magazine-like approach? Like Heavy Metal, 2000AD or Shonen Jump?

    That way we could have one thick magazine a month (or every two weeks) with the x-titles, one with the bats, or mix them up as the company saw fit. It would have a quality cover, cheaper insides, and it would encourage people to read things they might not normally pick up. I means seriously, there is usually only one comic that makes me buy magazines like that, but sometimes I find other gems hidden therein.

    It could even be... GASP black and white, just like the essentials. Then the TPB could come out in glorious colour.

    But then again, I tend to prefer Black and White comics a lot of the time.

  41. (Not sure if someone has already said this yet or not but...) you know why this is the wave of the future. Cause NOTHING happens in comics anymore. And it finally hit (and annoyed me) recently. I mean, come on, buy any DC or Marvel book (but especially Marvel) and NOTHING happens. Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas anyone? The latest Captain America issues. Just two hightlights. I completely blame Brian Michael Bendis for this. The whole decompression of comics is killing things! (And didn't he start this trend? I could be wrong...) That's why you NEED six issues of a book, to tell a story that used to fit in one, two tops. I've really started wondering why I'm paying $2.99 for a book that nothing happens in, just so I can read the same thing for the next four issues, until we get to the final issue where they tie everything up. AND I think this style works better in trade paperback form, cause you aren't bored out of your mind at the lack of content like you are with a floppy; cause you have it all right in front of you to read straight through. BUT with that said, I don't think trades are the wave of the future, I think people need to get back to writing comics with actual content. Rant over.

  42. Anonymous11:30 AM

    It's possible that the audience just isn't there for both formats.

    A number of these Vertigo titles sell okay in floppies, and sell okay in trades, and are then canceled. But if they were release as OGN's only, you'd pull all of those sells into one format.

    Not only that, but all the marketing dollars are pulled into once place. You don't have to market a monthly book and then a trade. You just market one book.

    And making the majority (if not all) Vergito books OGN's instead of floppies is not putting any store out of business. The floppies sales will disappear, but the OGN sales will double (in theory). And there's no way Marvel and DC proper are going to do this anytime in the near future, if ever, so the direct market has nothing to worry about.

    As far as the magazine thing, didn't Vertigo just do this? It was a sampler for like $5 or something? This would be a PERFECT partner for the OGN business model. Introduce readers to the books so they don't have to spend $20 to find out if it's any good.

  43. whoa, late to this party! but most of the people i know buy their comics like this already.

  44. Ahem... the english-language manga you see in bookstores originally appeared in serial anthology magazines in Japan. Popular series are then collected and issued in trade paperbacks.

    American imports of manga are less costly than American manga because the costs of production are fewer (all that is needed is translation).

    As for science fiction (and other types of fiction), many of those authors started in the field by writing short stories for the various magazines, or for themed anthology books. And do not forget that there is a BIG difference between an $8.99 mass market paperback (the format in which most new authors appear), and a $16.99 trade paperback.

    Another cost, which makes prose cheaper than graphic novels, is that there is only one creator. GNs require at least a writer and some type of artist (colorist, letterer, even if the writer writes and draws).

  45. I love trades! I love to read the whole arc/story at once. For me there is always a chance that I'll miss an issue or start to forget what is goin on (I am 39 after all) ...

    If "direct to trade" would give Vertigo published titles a better chance at survival (or just getting published) I'd be all for it!


  46. also consider:

    the monthlies give readers a relatively affordable chance to taste a story.

    and an opportunity for good (or indifferent or bad) word-of-mouth to build around a title in a continuous and cadenced way.

    this is maybe not such a big deal for established creators with strong followings. but for new properties and new can be really helpful.

  47. Anonymous5:29 PM

    Brian Wood:

    Let me turn the tables on you -

    Let's suppose I'm a publisher and you have an all new project you want to publish, this 150 page original graphic novel. Let's say for sale of argument that there's you, an art collaborator, a colorist and a letterer.

    What's the lowest price you'll go as a team to produce that book, say as an advance like book authors get for their book to live on while producing and waiting for the release?

  48. Anonymous2:56 AM


    John: "the monthlies give readers a relatively affordable chance to taste a story."

    It's even cheaper for the publisher to post a preview of the book online than it is to print. You can post it and give open rights permission to print that as preview / review materials, so that anyone can print up the first 12-16 pages of a book and decide whether they want the thing. Then readers can order it directly from the site or they can tell their retailer to order it through Diamond or what have you.

    Or, you can print those 12-16 pages as a preview in a catalog for each book you solicit and print X number of copies of said catalog and mail them out to the retailers and anyone else on the mailing lists you can develop.

  49. For monthly collectors and Comic-shop goers:

    Let's be honest! With a Paperback 6-month model every comic book would be better! Looks good on your shelf, , probably cheaper, choice between noble HC editions and essential paperback ones, no six month delays as in superman last son, no other writer/artists for single in-between issues to fill in the gaps, because the real writer is needed elsewhere or got sick or whantever...(don't get me wrong, some of them are really good, but still, when I buy new avengers #25, I didn't plan on reading a great hawk-eye walkabout story)

    this is the way to go not only for vertigo but for about 80% of all comics