Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Seasons & Mini's versus the On-going...

From a series of Posts I made at ifanboy.com.... 

"I can understand the corporate mentality of an on-going….and with the titles like Batman, Spiderman, etc., it makes sense. I would think that with great selling titles or titles with one author for several years (Green Lantern for example), it would make sense to keep an on-going numbering. However, with lesser selling titles/characters…..”Seasons” or “Mini’s” may be the way to go.


Marvel has already kind of done this with Punisher, since an on-going just can’t seem to hold numbers (regardless of the Creative Team). I think of how much better characters like Green Arrow, Hawkman, Deathstroke, etc. would be in DC’s New-52 if they were done in 6-issue Mini’s rather than on-goings with filler issues and “stretched” story arcs that put you to sleep.

 I would suggest keeping it a numbers game…..if a title sells over a certain number, keep it on-going…..if it dips below or never reaches the “number” than keep it to 10-12 issues and start again after with a new Creative Team."

"As a completest, I would be in favor of mini-series, or “Seasons”. If I drop an on-going title for content or financial reasons, I’m far less likely to ever collect it again unless it starts up at #1 or the character stars in a “mini/maxi” series. I would be happy to jump on board a title with a character I enjoy if I know it’s a complete story without filler issues and long, extended story arcs just for the sake of being an on-going, Creative Team changes, or waiting for some “Event”.

I think some characters are just built more for the mini- or “Seasons” with breaks for Creative Teams to prepare the next arcs, or come up with great stories for the characters to star in. A whole list of titles from DC & Marvel that can’t break the 30k-per month barrier come to mind. A character like Green Arrow (just one of many examples) would be far better off with mini-series or a 10-12 issue “Season”, rather than the horrid filler issues, bad story arcs, and shifting Creative Teams that are sending GA into the toilet, and shedding readers by the thousands every month.

The Big 2 are like our Government, holding to outdated modes of operation, stubbornly resisting change….and ultimately hurting their futures. Leave the Big Sellers to sell big, and make changes with the so-so sellers to help them be bigger."

"I love the idea of “Seasons” or “Mini/Maxi-series” when it comes to the Inde/Small Publisher Titles. As an avid collector of several titles from the aforementioned, I have greatly enjoyed the ease of “jumping on” to the Godzilla and Planet of the Apes franchises (because of their revolving mini’s- and often restarted on-goings).

I’m a big fan of StarkingsElephantmen & Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo series, but often find people shying away when I tell them how far along the series are, and all the backstory they would have to collect. I’m not a “salesman” by any stretch, but those titles (who have very loyal followers) might increase in sales if they followed a BPRD/S.King’s Tower format of on-going mini’s (giving new readers a chance to jump on). Chew was a book I was interested in, but by the time I had interest it was already too far along for me to start collecting…..Your Hoax Hunters is fine right now, but what if potential new readers shy away in the future when your issues are numbering in the thirties? Of course, The Walking Dead is the anomaly in this discussion….seemingly adding readers regardless of how issues are numbered.

Several of the titles from DC/Marvel that I’ve collected over the years have been re-launched/re-booted/etc. several times, and it’s never bothered me at all…..so I don’t think “Seasons” or on-going “Mini-Maxi” series will ever lose readers (looking at sales numbers over the last several years)…only add….so I only see this as a positive thing."

"Loyal followers will still have their LCS ordering their copy….and potential new readers will read about the new launches on the internet. New readers to comics won’t know/care about Publisher worries, only seeing the #1 on the shelf and saying, “Hey, how about I try this….it’s just started”. I’ve gone shopping with a few new readers (some of them women….sorry to break the stereotype), and all of them were generally unwilling to buy anything that didn’t have a #1 on it. The couple that did buy “older” numbered titles (by “older” I mean #3 or #4) did so because they could pick up the previous issues which were readily available (due to re-orders).

It’s great to say “I have #1 thru #100 of So&So!”……but it’s the same to say, “I have all 100 issues of So&So!”…..and in the end, what’s the difference? 20 mini-series or 100 on-going issues…..sales history would suggest (on average) that the 20 mini’s would have higher numbers from the 20 #1′s. Good for the publisher, Good for the creative teams, Good for the new reader wanting to jump on…."

"If you look at sales numbers from month-to-month, you’ll notice that readers “jump off” every month. I believe part of the reason that; excluding The Walking Dead, comic book sales don’t reflect the commercial success of movies is because the Comic Book Industry doesn’t take advantage of movie-goers interest. While TWDead has seen it’s sales numbers booming from interest in the TV series….The Avengers, Spiderman, Batman, Superman, etc. have/did not see great increases, if any at all.

Arrow; the new series from The CW, has had success in it’s first couple episodes and is extended for an entire season, but will DC try and capitalize on it’s success? Probably not. They would do well to immediately re-launch GREEN ARROW at #1, and/or rename it just ARROW….do a mini or two, etc….Change the concept around the character (just a tweak or two), and it might sell well. Will they? Remains to be seen.

Publishers like IDW, Boom!, Dynamite, etc. have no shame or worries when relaunching titles, starting mini’s, etc. to coincide with movie/tv releases…..G.I. Joe, Transformers, Planet of the Apes, Popeye, Godzilla, Judge Dredd, Green Hornet, Lone Ranger, etc…..and those publishers survive and do well with the concept of “revolving” launches and mini’s. Are the “Big 2″ too arrogant to try, or are “longtime” readers too stubborn to allow for this with the iconic characters?

Advertise it in the theaters before the movie starts…..”Like the movie? Read the NEW comic book starting ___” .....How hard is that? Common sense marketing to me."

"I would suggest that a “Season” be simply the completion of an extended arc (i.e. two or three arcs which interconnect/overlap), not by months of the year, but by issues. One "Season" may be 12 issues, the next season of that title may be 20, etc. Like a mini-series that may be 3, 4, 5, 6 issues…base it on the story arc rather than a publisher timeline.

TV Seasons run between two years, and are anywhere from 10, 13, 20, 24 episodes etc. The point is to have a definite beginning and ending, eliminate the “filler” issue, play off the timetable of movie/tv releases, & give “jumping on” points for potential new readers. Keep some continuity, but not so much as to confuse.

We; the avid comic book reader/collector, have become so “trained” to see the world of comics in such a narrow mindset that we are helping to destroy it. Time to evolve to see things like the younger generations….”right now” is what it’s all about, 10 or 20 years ago means “nothing”..."

 What do you think?  Leave a Comment....

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