My 2 cents on selling more comics

On Monday, The Beat published a Memorial Day post that included covers of four old war comics. I love that nostalgia stuff.

I was never a big fan of the war comic genre. I was too young when they were around and far too interested in superheroes at the time. But I’ve read Rick Veitch and Gary Erskine’s hilarious satire Army@Love. I’m eager to start on the second trade when I’m in the right mood.

Vertigo has two books wrapping up their run currently that I’m hoping are good: Unknown Soldier and Haunted Tank. And there’s even a Sgt. Rock mini at the moment under DC.

I’d really like to see DC/Vertigo package the two or three  titles into one big trade. Don’t even both with premium paper; use whatever binding and paper quality needed to keep the price under $15 (or so long as it’s less that $20 Canadian for two books, $25 for three). If one of the series happens to win an award or two, I’d consider a high quality hardcover edition that includes a few essays (skip the sketches and other nonsense) and maybe a reprint or two of the original series (maybe a controversial or well-known issue) to make it worth the premium price. But put that offer out there first. I’d be pissed if I bought the softcover and then saw a hardcover edition that I wanted.

I might even brand the book Combat Tales or some such for a few reasons. First, I’ve seen a few attempts at publishing the old-style anthology books like Marvel Comics Presents, Strange Adventures and whatnot. The thing is the days for that particular format are over. They don’t sell well partly because readers expect longer stories today, not eight out of a 24 page book. But the trades could successfully work with that packaging concept.

Second, Vertigo is perfectly positioned to act on this concept. They put out so many different types of books that aren’t interconnected like the Marvel or DC universes. The Vertigo stuff is great quality. And I bet it’s much more difficult to sell a high quantities of a one-off trade than one volume in a series. So keep selling the minis as stand-alones in the single issue format, but package them together under a series/umbrella name in trade format. Nothing is stopping you.

Lastly, I like big books. Trades that compile only six or five (sometimes as little as four) issues feel so rinky dink in my hands. Yes, there are some great stories told in four issues. All the more reason to compile more minis into one big trade.

Okay, that’s my rant for tonight.

Note: I’m also trying on different themes for the blog, so please be patient as I go through different versions.


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