Manga Blog interviews KURT HASSLER!
MB: How did your personal tastes affect your choices? KH: I like everything. The way I’m characterized online, I’m the manga guy, but I love comics in general. It’s funny, because Rich Johnson would come over to my house and see all the superhero stuff lining the bookcases and then go back and hear I’m the manga guy. People think the role of a buyer is to push their own likes and dislikes, and that’s not what we do. It’s to stock the shelves, to be a consumer advocate at some level. If I have a particular insight into one area of the market that is underrepresented, then maybe that was the edge I had over someone else.
Later Hassler talks about the plans for Yen press, the Hachette GN imprint he and Rich Johnson have launched.
Everybody wants us to come out and say “This is a done deal” and “These are the licenses we have.” A lot of publishers, their goal is to put out an announcement every couple of weeks. We are waiting until we have something pertinent to say. There are certainly venues for that sort of thing. Comicon is coming up. We’ll be there.
I went on, like an idiot to tell him I hated Scooby Doo and all modern cartoons, and Joe said “Me too kid. I’ve never understood why the networks keep ordering more episodes of it. What is there to it? A big dumb dog and some teenagers. Every show is the same Goddamn story! It doesn’t make sense to me but they can have it as long they want it.”
#1: V for Vendetta (Diamond – 30,600) vs. Fables Vol. 1 Legends in Exile (MacGuffin) These are both older titles that topped the sales charts due to marketing tie-ins. V for Vendetta, obviously bolstered by the release of the film, dominated Diamond’s sales charts, selling 1/3 more units than its closest competitor. Add to this the fact that DC offered a consignment program wherein a store could order as many copies as it would like and return them if unsold, paying only freight both ways. In fact, I wasn’t able to determine if the numbers listed by Diamond for February and March 2006 included those consignment copies or only copies ordered non-returnable since I would venture to guess that at least some stores took advantage of the opportunity to return unsold copies (MacGuffin was not one of these since we did very well with V for Vendetta and had no copies ordered on consignment to return).
But thanks to late books I have been trained to not expect a comic story that continues every 30 days. In the long run there’s no difference between waiting four or five months between issues and waiting six to twelve months for a trade. Even if I do have a hard time waiting, there’s always the internet – and I’m not just talking about piracy (confession: I did, for a time, download comic book torrents. However the quality of comics being produced on a monthly basis is so low that I couldn’t even bring myself to read these pirated comics half the time. I just went back to buying the trades of comics I liked, or from creators I trusted). You can follow the events of most mainstream titles on internet message boards, especially if you’re interested in a big event like Civil War or DC’s 52. There’s no need to drop three bucks on a pamphlet when you can get the basic details online, especially when – like with 52 – it’s total dick anyway.