Comics Creators

Comics - Everyone Else (NOT Marvel / DC)


As mentioned earlier the Joe Casey book ‘Sex’ is supposedly following that model (but the first OGN hasn’t come out yet). Love and Rockets has too, League of Gentlemen to a degree as well went from mini series to OGN.

It’s not financially unviable really, it’s how prose books work and have for years, which is why the Franco/Belgian market supports it. It’s more the element of the unknown and extra risk moving to that model.

Right now by all accounts with an Image book if you sell 5-6k you kind of break even. It gives an immediate indication of interest and trade sales are really all gravy as you’ve covered the creator costs. It’s hard to lose significant money.

With an OGN model you could work for a year and get nothing if nobody is interested.

Prose publishers and the European album guys are attuned to that risk and it’s part of their model. They know they have a guaranteed level of income from timeless classics, be it Harry Potter or Tintin and then hedge bets on the new stuff. Most new novels fail and sell nothing.

I can see it’s hard to make the jump from one to the other. For the likes of Top Shelf they know Alan Moore is going to sell a lot anyway, they did a first run of 75k copies on the LoeG OGNs and sold out first day. A new book from Jody LeHeup & Nathan Fox is another matter.


It sounds like Astro City is going to that model. DC obviously have deep enough pockets to support it (it’s still under the Vertigo banner, I assume), and it’s a proven property so they must have a fair idea of how many it will sell.


This is a really good point actually

Often I come away from a first issue now wth my mind far from made up, thinking I’m going to need to read another 2 or 3 issues to get a feel for what they are trying to do.


…and when comics were cheap, I might have done that.

It’s like a perfect storm of not making me want to read anything new these days :frowning:


Alternately, this is a good reason to tradewait.


With a lot of new Image stuff, I’m now in the habit of waiting for Comixology sales to try them (and they come around so regularly that you know there will be a chance to buy a new book much cheaper in the not-too-distant future).

Sometimes that is a good thing for a book: I have sometimes bought the first few issues of a series at a discount and liked them so much I continued with them and bought the rest at full price.

But I do wonder whether it’s also training people to not take a chance on new titles quite so readily, especially given that it often takes a few issues to really get a feel for a book these days. It’s much less of a risk to do that at 69p an issue than £2.49 (or whatever).


Image still suffers from the problem that some of the books they release never reach the finish line, or do so after verrrrrrrrrrry long delays. Anyone reading THEY’RE NOT LIKE US, SOUTHERN CROSS and THE DYING AND THE DEAD hasn’t seen a new issue since October; and SUN BAKERY was last released in July. As far as I know, none of the missing issues of these books has been cancelled or resolicited.


Slight edit to the above post; as of today’s release, Previews is listing the three missing issues of THE DYING AND THE DEAD as “will resolicit”.


If he doesn’t, the book loses the big part of its appeal.

I think the answer there is consumers are used to the model. For the US there’s a real attachment to the monthly flow, which probably reflects the direct market model used.

Quite, it’s beyond tasteless. I don’t think they have a rock bottom to hit.

Astro City fans are used to breaks and variable delivery timetables too! :wink:

This is the importance of communication with your fanbase / consumers. Sure, a creator can play the ‘like George RR Martin I’m not your bitch’ card, but one response to that is ‘screw you, I’m not buying your stuff’. It’s easier than ever to keep people updated and Busiek managed it way back when on Astro City when the internet was far more limited. I think a lot of people who read that issue of Astro City, it was the first in quite a while, also gave Busiek due credit for sticking a short ‘here’s what happened’ piece at the start of the letters page.



If ya wanna catch up on some image books, this humble bundle has alot of image trades:


Have updated to 33 solicits (for this thread)
plus PreviewsWorld Order Forms


Yes. This is one reason why the OGN model won’t work with the American market. By releasing the story in monthly installments, the creators get to amortize the costs of production over several months. The only other alternative is for the publishers to offer advances on OGNs, but after what happened to Kevin Eastman and Tundra, that ship has sailed.

Another is from the retail side, where the direct market retailers have to order these things in advance and don’t want to take chances on a bunch of $15 or $20+ books that may or may not sell and can’t be returned.


Yes the US system has basically developed over the years to one that places very little risk on the publisher, which is why I think there’s such a quantity of output. While it’s probably true there’s a lot out there that makes little or no money it’s quite hard to lose that much unless you are needlessly reckless.

You solicit and see advance sales before you print. It’s very easy to just pack it in instantly if the demand isn’t there with a minimal loss.

It could end up with great rewards but it’s very hard to persuade anyone in those circumstances to jump to an OGN model. It does exist in the English speaking market and there are people like Bryan Talbot or David Mazzuchelli that work just in that space now but they are established names.



Nancy Drew comes to Dynamite in June in a new series written by Kelly Thompson (Jem and the Holograms, Hawkeye), with art by Jenn St-Onge (Bingo Love, The Misfits), color by Triona Farrell (Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor), and letters by Ariana Maher (Ringside, 8House).

In the new series, Nancy Drew is seventeen and good at everything… especially solving crimes. But her totally-in-control-and-obviously-running-perfectly-smooth-(but-not-really) life hits a snag when a mysterious message drags her back to the hometown she left behind. There she’ll have to find out which of her friends are still her friends, which are enemies, and who exactly is trying to kill her…and (hopefully) stop them before they succeed. Nancy, the classic master teen mystery-cracker, will be shown in a way you’ve never seen before, by a creative team with a huge respect for the original tales, and what she could mean for a modern audience.


I’m guessing with Talbot working with Jonathan Cape he gets a decent advance


Advances are rather overstated in publishing, at best they are a loan you don’t need to pay back, if you don’t make that much in royalties you won’t get a second chance.

It’s quite similar really to an exclusive comics contract. You still need to deliver it’s just a little bit more security short term.


They’ll have to be really good to top Kate Beaton’s Nancy Drew comics:


Mark Buckingham is working on a bunch of Neil Gaiman comics that are not Miracleman, as part of Dark Horse’s ongoing series of short story adaptations:

“This will be quite a different experience to people’s previous encounters with these tales,” said Buckingham. “I knew I wanted this to read as a cohesive whole, rather than a set of short stories, so I have woven them together, into a single narrative.”

“The whole experience will be immersive, and unnerving,” the artist told Polygon, “as the reader inhabits the narrator, encountering the other storytellers directly, and looking them in the eye as they slowly pull us into the darkest places in their lives. It should make the whole book a compelling and unsettling experience.”

The four tales included in Likely Stories are “Looking for the Girl” (originally published in Penthouse) and “Foreign Parts,” both of which can be found in Gaiman’s short story collection Smoke and Mirrors; as well as “Closing Time” and “Feeders and Eaters,” which can be read in Gaiman’s later collection, Fragile Things.

It’s out in August, so it’s probably largely done already. I’ve enjoyed the few of these I’ve read, but they’re sometimes a bit pricey. This one is priced at $18 for 72 pages, but some of them are the same for 48 pages.