Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
No. But sweetheart, there’s only so much I’m willing to ask of people, only so much I think is fair. If someone is planning on buying the pamphlets/floppies/singles/comics anyway, I am willing to
begask them to preorder. I am not willing to ask that you buy a format that is not your preference — ESPECIALLY not when a company like Dark Horse puts out such gorgeous trades. I hereby absolve you of all guilt associated with your purchase, and most importantly, I thank you for your support and hope you enjoy the book.
– Kelly Sue DeConnick, raising the bar for class while answering the question, “If I picked [Ghost] up in TPB, would that help the title as much as picking it up in single issues?”
I should probably let that stand on its own, but I can’t help but note how remarkable that answer is. The market being what it is, there’s a ton of pressure on everyone to support favorite comics in every way imaginable. I don’t know how often this happens anymore, but there was a time not so long ago when readers would encourage each other to buy multiple copies of low-selling series to inflate sales. Marvel and DC Comics (and possibly some other publishers) still release collected versions on a schedule that encourages double-dipping by actively discouraging readers from waiting for that format. I’ve seen creators explain to their fans how waiting for the trade could mean the death of the comic they were waiting for.
I don’t mean to criticize any of those people. Again, it’s a tough, tough market, and as prevalent as the collected format is today, it’s still true that trade-waiting doesn’t do any favors for series that are on the bubble. It’s a problem that the industry has created for itself, but that doesn’t make it any less of a problem. I can’t fault anyone for doing what they can to succeed within that system. As DeConnick says, no, picking up a series in collected form doesn’t help as much as picking it up in single issues. That’s the sad reality.
But what makes her comment so classy is that she’s not willing to manipulate her supporters into doing more than their fair share. That’s completely counter-intuitive to how the marketing works today and it’s pretty amazing.