Monday, July 14, 2008


Now, this could go in my other blog thing, but I think it would make more sense to put it here, as to make myself look like one of the big boy comic bloggers.

Today, I speak of comic book format and distribution, and what is good, and what I would like to use.

Now, as you may or may not know, I want to make some comic books. And while it's all well and good to think about the actual comics themselves and try desperately to find some point in the wreckage I call stories, I also must think about how this comic will actually be published. There are many options available to one for comic publishing in this age, but there are certainly better ideas than others.

Let us first peer at what these different formats are, and if I'm missing something, oh well:

*The Floppy - The normal comic book you see on shelves (mostly comic shops). Around 30 pages in length, these were once the premier format, but have since fallen out of prominence, mostly due to price (caused by upping paper quality, among others) and the fact that you just can't find most of them on shelves on non-specialty stores. Still, unlike others, I still think it has its place.

*The Magazine - A little bit all over the place, the magazine features several, usually full-sized stories in one book. This could mean a massive phonebook like that Shonen Jump hullabaloo the kids actually read these days, or it could something smaller, like some of the Marvel reprint books they put out now (and the old stuff like the Rampaging Hulk). Generally printed in black and white to offset costs, they are a good way to get people interested in a variety of books, as they may buy the mag for one and end up liking the others. Surprisingly less costly than the floppies, and popular all over the place.

*The British Magazine - Not that much different from the normal magazine format, but instead of full stories, you usually get 6-page strips. And it's usually weekly. 2000 AD is like this.

*The Digest Magazine - Pretty much the same as the magazine format as well, but much smaller. You know those little Archie books you see in the supermarket? Anyway, this format is one of the most largely distributed among all comics. At one point, DC did it with comics like Legion of Superheroes (in the 80s, when it was one of the most popular comics around), and Marvel sometimes does it now with stuff like Runaways. Basically, its good for reprint material or maybe making it easier to convince mainstream markets to sell it.

*The Online Comic - Now, here's the new age thing to do, and there's many ways to go about it. You could post the actual comic on a website, maybe a page a day or something, for free. You could offer a downloadable file or files. You could make it free, you could charge for it. Of course, everyone calls it the wave of the future of comics, and it probably is.

So, I have several choices to go through when pursuing a foolish career in comic books. However, it is to be said that I'd be an idiot not to stay ahead of the game and go online. Like I said, wave of the future and all that. The only problem comes in with distribution - will it be on the website itself, or be downloadable? Charge or no? The latter is easy: I will make more friends offering it for free and making money off of other things (like trades, because everything online or no, people still sometimes like physical product). Not that I plan on making comics to make money, or even make money. The former requires a bit more thought, but I think CBR files or something along those lines make more sense, as they offer more freedom to the reader (zooming in and out to actually SEE things), and don't require me to develop some sort of sophisticated flash program to do the same (and when I say I'd develop it, I mean, someone else would develop it). I know the future!

But, back to the physical stuff, it still has its place. I could easily use it as an entry level product - get people who don't know about the site to pick up a book at the store, and then visit the site. It could work!

The format I'd like to pursue is the magazine, just because it might be cheaper, and it allows people to see my vast array of terrible ideas at work. One or two full-length series along with some shorter stories works well enough. Hell, I could use it to help promote my fellow comic guys by printing their stories in there, too! I'm a nice guy. A nice guy who wants full control, but a nice guy nonetheless.

In general, most comics are either moving online (as slowly as possible, but they'll all get there eventually) or just straight-up graphic novels, which get to go to book stores. I still want to pursue serial comics, so online (with printed supplements) is the way for me!

What, you were expecting actual commentary on comics format? Gimme a break. Why would you come here for that?

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home