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Image announces The Walking Dead Weekly reprints

The Walking Dead Weekly #1

With the television adaptation debuting in just five days, Image Comics announced this morning that it will reprint every issue of The Walking Dead, releasing one a week for a year beginning in January.

Called, appropriately enough, The Walking Dead Weekly, the $2.99 reprints are obviously designed to appeal to fans who discover the comic through the new TV drama, which begins its six-episode first season Sunday night on AMC.

“I think it’ll drive people into comic book retail stores, and I think that’s cool,” creator Robert Kirkman tells Techland. “The other thing about The Walking Dead is that it’s been going for almost eight years at this point, and I’m continually trying to think of ways to get new readers on board, and I was thinking, with [people coming in from watching] this television show, buying thirteen trade paperbacks for x amount of dollars is kind of a pain, but buying one three dollar comic book every week for a year may seem like an easier pill to swallow, and a good way to get in on the ground floor, read it in its original format.”

Kirkman says he isn’t concerned the weekly reprints might eat into demand the series’ collected editions, which are perennial bestsellers. (The six-year-old first volume, for instance, was No. 6 on ICv2.com’s Top 300 graphic novels for September).

“I think there are a lot of different people buying comics books right now, and I think there’re a lot of people out there who really don’t prefer trade paperbacks,” Kirkman tells the Time magazine blog. “I’ve talked to a lot of people who tell me that they prefer reading comics in single-issue form. There are people out there who prefer to read comics in trade paperback form. I think it’s important to service all of those audiences. You know, it’s good to finally come back around and service those fans who really like single issues. If you were to go back and buy all of our single issues now, it would be extremely expensive and difficult, but this is a way that you can get the comic book in single issue form and not have to sell your house.”

On a related note, the Louisville, Kentucky, Courier-Journal has a longish profile of Lexington-based Kirkman, focusing on the Image series, the TV adaptation and comics in general.

Read the press release after the break.

THE DEAD WALK EACH WEEK IN 2011
Image Comics announces THE WALKING DEAD WEEKLY and new Omnibus

Are you excited about THE WALKING DEAD on AMC, but you’ve never had the chance to read the hit comic book series that inspired it? Starting in January 2011, Image Comics will be reprinting the single issues of the hit series — shipping one issue per week all year long!

“Keeping a series like this going year after year is all about creating good jumping-on-points for new readers,” says series creator and writer Robert Kirkman. “And what better way to jump on than with the very first issue? Making this series available in single issue form will make it easier for new fans to jump on board and for old fans to fill in any gaps in their collection.”

January will see the release of the following issues:

THE WALKING DEAD WEEKLY #1
January 5
Starting in this issue, Rick Grimes awakens to a world he’s not prepared for. This small town cop must now fight the forces of the undead while he searches for his missing wife and son. This is the issue that started it all!

THE WALKING DEAD WEEKLY #2
January 12
Rick Grime’s horrific adventure continues. Everything he knew is gone, and the search for his family begins. Rick sets out for Atlanta, the last known location of his wife and son.

THE WALKING DEAD WEEKLY #3
January 19
Now reunited with his family, Rick Grime’s focus shifts from survival to protection. It’s one thing to know that you have to watch your back every second of every day. It’s another thing entirely to have to worry about losing your family in the blink of an eye.

THE WALKING DEAD WEEKLY #4
January 26
It is decided that in order to survive… every person at the camp should have guns. As it is, they don’t have enough to go around and the only place to get more guns is the city, but it means certain death to go into the city. Is Rick crazy enough to risk his life for the good of the camp?

You will also be able to pick up THE WALKING DEAD OMNIBUS, VOL. 3 in January 2011. Collecting issues #49-72, the OMNIBUS is a deluxe oversized and slipcased hardcover. It’s perfect for long time fans, new readers and anyone needing a heavy object with which to fend off the walking dead. The omnibus is strictly limited to a print run of 3000.

THE WALKING DEAD WEEKLIES (#1: NOV100410; #2: NOV100411; #3: NOV100412; #4: NOV100413), each a 32-page black-and-white comic book for $2.99, will be in stores each Wednesday of January 2011. THE WALKING DEAD OMNIBUS, VOL. 3 (regular edition: NOV100442, $100; signed and numbered edition: NOV100443, $150), a 560-page oversized slipcased hardcover, will be in stores January 5, 2011.

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Comments

25 Comments

Conspicuously absent from this release/story is the price. How much are these weekly reprints going to be?

$2.99 — it’s in the press release and on the cover, but I’ve added it to the body of the post.

Conspicuously absent? Doesn’t it say it’s $2.99/per about five lines up from your post?

They should have gone for Runaway-style Digests. They’re the easiest way to get, *gasp* new comicbook readers in! Cheaper and an easier to read size, if the art is big enough. Would be more likely to be promoted by major booksellers and the like. Missed opportunity. Could boost Image in the monthly charts at least but they should be thinking long-run.

I don’t get it. The first issue as a sampler, sure I get that. Especially only of they charged a buck or two. But who’s going to walk into a story, and spend $3 a week for 6 weeks when they could just walk over to a TPB shelf and get the same content immediately for $8 cheaper.

Also, charging $3 is ridiculous. I’d understand it if they knocked it down to $2 (this is content Kirkman already made a profit on many times over), it would make it so much more appealing to retailers.

Plus, this seems very irresponsible as a publisher. Now you’re making comic book store owners choose between stocking a reprint series of your own work, or taking a chance on a new series you are launching at Image.

Don’t they make that choice already? TPBs and single issues get bought from the same bank account, no?

As for the $2.99 thing, it’s my understanding from the Image slimline days (Fell, Casanova) that retailers actually hate $1.99 books. Takes up the same space, delivers less profit.

Wah wah wah it’s not cheap enough, the price isn’t clearly stated enough in the article, the print size is too big. Jesus Christ.

They should have gone for Runaway-style Digests. They’re the easiest way to get, *gasp* new comicbook readers in! Cheaper and an easier to read size, if the art is big enough. Would be more likely to be promoted by major booksellers and the like. Missed opportunity. Could boost Image in the monthly charts at least but they should be thinking long-run.

Um, let’s see, Walking Dead is available in TPBs, cheap omnibus TPBs, big expensive hardcovers, single issues, digitally for single issues (day and date with the single issue’s release) and TPBs (via a Walking Dead app), and now in reprint single issues, but because they missed one format, you think they’re not thinking long-term?

Yes, but now the choice is triple: new issues, reprint issues, trade paperbacks. There’s a reason why Marvel and DC only do reprints of brand new books that sold out, and cheap introduction issues. DC doesn’t keep the Blackest Night books in print because they’ve already filled that niche with the trades.

Also, like I said, Kirkman already made his profit off these books. This is just extra. He could make the profit margin larger for the comic book stores, because he doesn’t need to make his money back on these.

I have to agree that it just doesn’t make sense. Putting aside the price, why would someone want to get a single issue and wait a week, when they can just grab the trade and read the whole first “arc” in one sitting are at the very least before the next issue the following week?

I am one of the people that only buys in single issue form and I haven’t read a single issue of this comic, but am thinking about it since I am really intrigued by the show. I am certainly not going to buy this single issue “weekly” and then wait a week, when I can just pick up the trade AND save money doing it.

“Yes, but now the choice is triple: new issues, reprint issues, trade paperbacks. There’s a reason why Marvel and DC only do reprints of brand new books that sold out, and cheap introduction issues. DC doesn’t keep the Blackest Night books in print because they’ve already filled that niche with the trades.”

Exactly right! How dare Kirkman flood the market with this garbage! He’s turning into Marvel Comics with their Avengers and X-men books!!! At least my lord and savior DC comics would never do such horrible things to the comic market. DC never floods the market with Blackest Night or Batman titles! God bless Geoff Johns and Grant Morrison! May Kirkman along with Bendis and Millar rot in hell for their transgressions against comicdom!

/sarcasm off

let’s see how this does before we call it a bad idea; i may actually buy these instead of the trades. i like the serial floppy format, and i get a discount on floppies at my LCS that i don’t get on trades. i realize that trades are cheaper (especially if i get them on the intarwebs), but this way i get a format i like and support my local shop.

it’s no different than the way Marvel and DC used to run reprints all the time.

“Exactly right! How dare Kirkman flood the market with this garbage! He’s turning into Marvel Comics with their Avengers and X-men books!!! At least my lord and savior DC comics would never do such horrible things to the comic market. DC never floods the market with Blackest Night or Batman titles! God bless Geoff Johns and Grant Morrison! May Kirkman along with Bendis and Millar rot in hell for their transgressions against comicdom!”

DC does flood the market with spin-offs and tie-ins, but not reprints. This is flooding the market. Focus on the trade. If you want to sell the single issues, come up with a clever jumping in point, and provide some sort of “Sampler” or “Saga” like the book the fills in the holes.

jhota nailed it. I know the trade-waiting crowd can’t believe it, but some folks actually prefer the serial floppy format. I’m one of them (which doesn’t mean I never trade-wait. Hello, Scalped!). This allows some of them to read the series in the format in which it was originally presented, and when (and if) it catches up to the regular issues, they can hop aboard the regular series.

Far from a burden on comic-shop owners, isn’t this a way for them to possibly grab some of the trade cash that flows to Amazon and other discounters online if they can get some folks interested buying this format and not the trades?

Instead of nitpicking Kirkman and Image to death, why don’t we let out a cheer that a publisher is actually making sure that a comic is INFINITELY available, in multiple formats and price points, to anyone who’s interested after seeing it adapted in another medium.

Makes sense, and has some precedent. Dave Sim ran his CEREBUS BI-WEEKLY series and it found enough of an audience to reprints something like 80 issues of the series, and for a while Jeff Smith ran a reprint series of BONE when he made the temporary switch over to Image from self-publishing that I think ran until all the pre-Image issues were reprinted. Obviously it’s not for everyone, and people who like bookshelf editions might not understand why someone would buy those when they can just pick up the cheaper books, but there might be a market for it.

Let’s be real here, people. The real problem is that I was JUST about to ebay all of my single Walking Dead issues. (I also have the entire story in the awesome Compendium and trade paperback volumes 9-12. Getting rid of redundancy in my collection.) Now people who see this might decide to just wait for the cheaper single-issue reprints.

That makes Kirkman a jerk.

Obviously it’s not for everyone, and people who like bookshelf editions might not understand why someone would buy those when they can just pick up the cheaper books, but there might be a market for it.

Exactly. If there’s a market for it, shop owners will order accordingly. If there’s not, it’ll die on the vine. What’s the harm in trying?

Heh, looks like I can’t read. Sorry about missing the price in the post.

I think this is an interesting idea, but ultimately not one that I’m interested in. $3 each week for a reprint seems like too much, especially when you could buy the collected editions for less than that ($10 or $15 per trade vs. $18 for six issues).

Don’t sweat it, Corey. I’m sure that the folks paying $300 for the first issue of Walking Dead are all about the collectibility of that first print. Post those auctions!

Steve, I see what you’re saying but I think with the upcoming show, this is a shrewd move that has the potential to drive new traffic to comic shops WEEKLY. That’s an ambitious goal, sure, but I think we’ll definitely see some new weekly comic readers off this. It reminds me of Marvel’s old X-Men Classics series which I feel made the X-Men comics of the day more accessible with their classic storyline reprints.

Yes, but that was a different time. There was no significant trade market, so this was the only way to really get these old stories, and the comic book world was large, with a large network of newstand distribution, could support a reprint only series. And X-Men Classic had new material in the form of back up stories that made it desirable to the crowd that already purchased the X-Books the first time around. And it was monthly.

Now, cash starved retailers have to choose between Walking Dead reprints (which they probably carry in trade, hardcover, and compendium forms already), and four other comics.

It’s just silly. I’ve already heard from one retailer who wisely loaded up on the dollar reprint of issue #1, will push those who want more to the trades, and will only order the Walking Dead Weekly for special orders. It just makes more sense.

this seems to me like a publicity stunt more than anything (and I don’t mean that in a bad way): the book is already available in just abt every format you could want, but this simply gets “fresh” issues onto the racks on a constant basis — increases visibility and keeps it going. Not sure it’s really a good idea though, given how retailers have to operate, and it’s hard to imagine that somebody who’d come back week after week to see what happens “next” wouldn’t just buy the trade, but from the publishers’ perspective it’s hard to see a downside.

@Joe G:

with my discount on floppies, it makes my price the same as the trade softcover. so i get a format i prefer for the same money? bonus.

had a talk with my LCS owner today, and he is only ordering the series for subscribers – he keeps all the softcover trades in stock, and the promo copy of issue #1. he (and his staff) are cautiously optimistic about this, even with the “sub-only” decision. if someone comes in and buys the floppies or the trades or the omnibi, it’s still a sale. and once they’re in the store, it’s a lot easier to sell them on other series they might like (Victorian Undead, BPRD, whatever). they may not make much on the floppies, but if it works to drive traffic at all? win.

How about a color reprint that be. Cool!

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