PREVIEWS: "Mighty Thor," "Star Wars," & More Marvel Comics On Sale February 17, 2016
Every week new comics appear in stores worldwide, and soon a comic will explore how one of the stores came to be.
In the upcoming one-shot comic Number One, writer Gary Scott Beatty and artist Aaron Warner look behind the counter and into the world of comics retailing. Number One follows a budding comics fan named Steve as he transitions from reader to retailer. In a statement, Beatty said the stereotype of comic retailers is “distorted,” and he’s hoping to change that.
Comics| Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, expressed dismay about the backlash to DC Comics hiring sci-fi author, and outspoken gay-rights opponent, Orson Scott Card to write Adventures of Superman. Card is a board member of the organization, which works against the legalization of same-sex marriage. “This is completely un-American and it needs to be stopped,” Brown said. “Simply because we stand up for traditional marriage, some people feel like it’s OK to target us for intimidation and punishment.” NOM last year launched boycotts of Starbucks and General Mills because of their support of same-sex marriage initiatives. [The Huffington Post]
Retailing | Gabi Shepherd, owner of Olympic Cards and Comics in Lacey, Washington, talks about the importance of courting teenagers, who are often not welcome in other retail stores: “I have found that if I am going to make this the community center that I want to make it then the kids are a big part of that. It makes them feel good when they come in and someone knows who they are. It’s important. It’s respect.” [ThurstonTalk]
While flipping through Diamond’s Previews catalog, I’m often confronted with new material that sends me scouring the Internet for more information, and this month was no different. One of the many things that popped out at me was Indie Comics Magazine, a 64-page anthology with a striking cover. Researching it, I found the upcoming Issue 6 had a host of new creators with some great looking work and past issues have showcased Tim Vigil as well as Rich Koslowski. I’m a sucker for anthologies, so I pre-ordered it.
But then digging deeper into Indie Comics Magazine‘s website I found the business model: The creators pay for it. Creators paying to self-publish is nothing new, but seeing creators buying into a magazine — in effect, buying ad space — struck me as a unique system. The 64-page comic has eight spots for eight-page comics, with each slot costing $393.50. Creators then get an official published credit (almost a prerequisite for landing work in the comic industry), but also a share of any profits. Indie Comics Magazine has a minimum print run of 1,000, and the creators also receive any of those Diamond doesn’t order from them on behalf of retailers. Interesting.
Indie Comics Magazine is published by Xeric winner Gary Scott Beatty’s Aazurn Publishing. If he sells all eight spots then he receives a total of $3,148 to cover the Diamond listing, the printing and fulfillment of 1,000 copies of the Indie Comics Magazine issue and the cost of him promoting it via press release.
It’s an interesting and surprisingly upfront business model. If you’re a creator, would you consider this an opportunity? And if you’re a fan, have you read an issue of this anthology or would you give it a chance if you saw it in stores?