§ Headline of the day! Cartoonist to Perform With Human Woman in Festival, Okay now, before you think this is a great day for cartoonists as they graduate from holding hands with a Cabbage Patch Kid, to maybe sitting side by side with an American Girl, to practicing small talk and saying “I’ll hit you with a text later, okay?” with a Real Doll, a cartoonist has made it to the final plateau…but, no, Human Woman is the name of an Icelandic band, and controversial, taboo busting cartoonist Hugleikur Dagsson will be collaborating with them. A seasonal sample of Dagsson’s art above.
§ Comixtalk presents its annual roundtable on webcomics, this time with Gary Tyrrell, Delos Woodruff, Shaenon Garrity, Fesworks, Derik A. Badman, Brigid Alverson, Larry “El Santo” Cruz, and Johanna Draper Carlson, Among other important topics, they really, really seriously talk about the impending death of the floppy.
You know, I remember when comics cost 12 cents, and floppies were the only format. (*Reaches for cane to beat some sense into the young’uns.*) That model worked because comics were a mass-market medium. Now comics cost $4 and can only be bought in special, inconveniently located stores. That’s fine if you’re marketing to the base, but you can’t bring in new readers if no one knows your product exists. That’s why I’m intrigued by Boom! Studios’ move back to the newsstand, which seems to be doing well. Put comics in front of the kids and they will buy them, especially if they are already familiar with the property (i.e. Toy Story, Wall-E, etc.). It’s not really an issue of technology, it’s distribution and marketing. I really think serendipity drives a lot of leisure purchases, especially where kids are concerned.
Cruz: I’m surprised it’s lasted in this format as long as it has. Paying close to $4 for what’s essentially something that’s Part 1 of a, say, 6 part story? Which you end up having to wait for the payoff over 8-10 months or so? That’s ridiculous. This is why everyone’s gravitating to the trade paperbacks: you get the entire story without the waiting period and its costs less. I think the death of the “floppy” comic is not only inevitable, but it’s also a good thing.
Some people have said it’s bringing new people in. Let me say something. In 1988 when we did Aliens and it sold a bazillion copies we were told that’s bringing new readers in. You can jump forward to when the Sin City film came out and we sold a bazillion copies of Sin City and they said that’s bringing new readers in. And then 300 which I’m told has generated more income than any graphic novel ever, where we sold hundreds of thousands at thirty bucks a pop. We’re told it’s books like that that bring new readers in. How long they last I can’t tell you. There are books that almost act as phenomena in the comic business and they bring readers in. Then it’s the job of the publishers and retailers to create material that continues to bring them in.
§ I found this both horribly pretentious and horribly pertinent. How is that possible.
§ The Inkwell Bookstore presents The Best Comics I Read in 2009, a list which is not bound by publishing dates. BONUS: links to places where you can read many of the selections.
§ Tim O’Shea gabs with James Turner, whose WARLORD IO became the poster child for books canceled untimely by Diamond because of their new minimums.
One thing about the whole affair that’s rather funny is that after Rex was canceled, I decided it would be wise to do a series that appealed to a larger audience. Something more mainstream, more accessible, and easier to read. I knew it was a tough challenge to launch a new series and I wanted to have the best chance possible of creating an ongoing work. I had two ideas in the works: Warlord of Io and Hell Lost. Warlord of Io, as a sci-fi comedy adventure, seemed to have longer legs and broader appeal than the more esoteric and possibly controversial Hell Lost, so that’s the one I went with. Of course it pancaked into the pavement before the first official issue came out. There’s a lesson in there somewhere but I haven’t figured it out yet. It may be that I just need to harness the astonishing power of boobs more.