Robot 6

Comics A.M. | A half-century of ‘Archie,’ by circulation figures

Archie #107 (February 1960)

Archie #107 (February 1960)

Publishing | John Jackson Miller mines the circulation statements provided once a year to put together a 54-year sales history of Archie Comics’ flagship title Archie (the publisher is one of the few that still prints annual statements of ownership, allowing the numbers to be traced back, unbroken, to 1960). As he points out, Archie was a big newsstand title, selling almost 600,000 copies in the late 1960s, but it didn’t fare well when comics moved to the direct market — although Archie Comics has done well nonetheless with its digests, which far outsell its single-issue comics. [Comichron]

Publishing | Annie Koyama of Koyama Press talks with Dan Berry about how comics publishing works, and how she got into the field. [Make It Then Tell Everybody]

Batmanga #2

Batmanga #2

Manga | Editor Jim Chadwick talks about the digital-first release of Jiro Kuwata’s Batmanga. [13th Dimension]

Creators | Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O’Malley discusses his new graphic novel Seconds, which debuts this week: “In my mind, I’m still that young 23- or 24-year-old starting out. I spent the last decade toiling on pretty much one thing, and it suspends you in time to a degree.” [Wired]

Creators | Annie Murphy interviews Rick Geary about his research, his technique, and his use of Kickstarter to fund some of his books. [The Comics Journal]

Creators | Nate Powell talks about the thinking behind the cover of Book Two of March, which was revealed Monday. [Comic Riffs]

Through the Woods

Through the Woods

Creators | Zainab Akhtar talks to Emily Carroll, the queen of the creepy webcomic, who, amazingly, has only been making comics for four years. [Comics and Cola]

Creators | Gene Luen Yang discusses the shadowy identity of the Green Turtle, the Golden Age superhero that inspired his graphic novel The Shadow Hero, who may or may not have been Asian-American. [WBUR]

Creators | Lucy Knisley talks about her upcoming wedding and the graphic novel she’s making about it, Something New. [The Mary Sue]



If Archie comics make so much in digests, why aren’t the other companies following suit? Marvel and DC really don’t care about growing the readership . . . or their audience. There must be some small minded people running those companies.

The grocery counter displays cost money to get your comics into, and their customer base has traditionally skewed very young (parents in the line buy the books for kids). They tend to be better suited for young eyes and pages without a huge amount of text. When they reduced superhero comics in size for digests in the early 1980s (“Best of DC Digest”) they were pretty difficult to read. You either need work designed specifically for that size — in which case you lose the cost benefit of doing reprints — or you need work that’s already light on text. Kids’ comics tend to fit that bill better.

A long-term experiment would be interesting, though. After all, Marvel recently experimented with super hero novels — fiction.

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