While DC reps remained mum about the price and format of the Earth One OGNs, they announced last week — such elements being important clues to the intended audience of said projects — Amazon was not as tightlipped, and the listing for EARTH ONE: SUPERMAN by JMS and Shane Davis reveals that it will be 128 pages for $19.99. JOKER-sized, as Robot 6 points out.
Collected Editions also runs the numbers and with a discount, an OGN would run you less than six issues of a $3.99 comic. THE JOKER is selling for $13.50 on Amazon right now.
Evidently, DC sees real growth potential in OGNs, as IGN learned that several licensed comics would be moving to that format, namely the WARCRAFT series, which started out gangbusters but fell prey to standard attrition as time went on.
Blizzard’s fantasy and futuristic universes are about to get shaken up, courtesy of a comic book revamp by DC’s Wildstorm Comics. Today the publisher announced it intends to refocus its efforts on a series of original graphic novels, cancelling its current ongoing series endeavors for both franchises.
“While WildStorm and Blizzard loved the stories being told in the regular monthly comic-book series, we decided that the graphic novel would be a more suitable medium for the tales we wanted to tell next,” said Hank Kanalz, VP & General Manager of Wildstorm. “The larger format will give our artists and storytellers more room to explore Blizzard’s rich, varied worlds and flesh out the characters that inhabit these places.”
WELL NOW. The plot thickens. The WARCRAFT issue currently on sale will be the last pamphlet; details of the book relaunch are forthcoming.
A couple of things strike us about all of this. Licensed, manga-sized books have sold pretty well at other publishers so this is surely a viable format. However those were in B&W and manga-sized, a proven formula. A $20 hardcover is another matter. The net effect of all these moves is to spotlight an implied doubt over the continued viability of the floppy at DC — we’ve heard a few rumblings that more and more Vertigo projects will be going straight to the trade, as well, and looking at the numbers that Vertigo and Wildstorm periodicals are selling, it makes sense to try another format.
In a larger sense, DC has been in a tiring holding pattern ever since 10 Days That Shook The World™. Until the new publisher or publisher/president lineup is announced, everything is on hold. That’s one-third of the whole year without forward motion, which can’t be pleasant for a lot of people. BUT jungle drums are saying there will be a publisher announcement early in 2010–which could be in the nick of time.
Related: Marc-Oliver has a summary of Joe Q’s continued resistance to the OGN:
[F]rom the financial standpoint of a commercial artist, if I’m looking for a way to maximize my time versus how much money I make versus how much exposure I get—an OGN doesn’t make sense. […] I could do a year’s worth of work and put it out as one graphic novel, and I’ll be on the stands in perpetuity (if it’s good) but promoted for really only one month. […] And that’ll boost my career for that month. The book will come out and sell to fewer people because I’ve had to put something like a $40 price point on it. […] And let’s not forget, what if the OGN isn’t all that good?
Again, we can certainly understand how the numbers run this way at Marvel but…are there NO STORIES IN THE WORLD OF MARVEL that could best be told in one shot? Is that idea completely alien to everything about the way Marvel works?