Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What me worry?

Looks like the economy has tighten up enough to cancel Ralph Snart Adventures #2, at least the print version. A web comic version should be available at my website by the end of the month. I'll also have RSA #1 available as a download. RSA #3 is still in production as scheduled.

In a way it's a disappointment, but it's also a relief since dealing with Diamond (my comics distributor) has been such a pain in my ass. Each one of my solicitations over the last couple of years has been screwed up in some way by Diamond's brand managers (I've had four of them in that time). Three times this resulted in a delay in a book's release. What's also too bad is the ripple effect of the economic slowdown hurts not just publishers, but printers and retailers also. Sorry, guys.

I got a call from Brenner (my comics printer) today asking if I had any work for them. Now when printers like Brenner ask small players like me for work, times are tough. Too bad because if Diamond had accepted my solicitation for RSA #2, Diamond would have made money, Brenner would have made money and retailers would have made money. I wouldn't have made any money until after selling through maybe a year later. Now, since the issue will be released only on the Internet as a downloadable pdf web comic, I make money right from the get go. However, Diamond won't and neither will Brenner or retailers. Chew on that for a while.

The good news for followers of Snart, and those that don't mind web comics, is that each issue will only cost 99ยข instead of the $3.50 I was going to charge for the printed comic. So, in these tough times, fans will save! And besides having web comics of the new on-going series, I'll have web comics of the later issues of RSA volume 3 (which weren't printed in the huge RSA trade paperback from 2003-4).

At this time, I don't plan on offering web comics of any material currently still in print except RSA #1. This includes the Weird Melvin stuff and the RSA series of trade paperbacks. Once a book sells out, I'll offer it as a web comic rather than doing a second printing.


Blogger Brian Meredith said...

This is quite disappointing, on many levels. As a retailer, I sold through my order of RSA #1 and was anxiously awaiting RSA #2. As a fan, I was excited to see new Ralph Snart in print.

However, I'll gladly take a digital copy over no copy, any day...

1/19/2009 5:55 PM  
Blogger Marc Hansen said...

How many of those copies were from pull lists and how many actually made it to the store shelves?

I may be wrong in your case, but my take on the feedback I've gotten from retailers, is that the book sold through too quickly. Meaning; not enough copies were ordered! Kinda hard to grow readership if the book sells through within a week or so, especially a bi-annual comic. Hey, if it's not on the shelves, it may as well not exist. This was further backed up by all of the online orders I got starting about two weeks after it was received by stores. I got more online orders than reorders from Diamond! There's something wrong with that.

Also, speculators accounted for about 40% of the orders of the first iss.

You see now, how some of this stuff doesn't matter at all if I release as a digital book. No worries about whether or not a retailer orders wisely (or at all), etc.

1/26/2009 7:21 AM  

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