Saturday, October 23, 2010

Publisher of Image Comics, Eric Stephenson, On The Most Important Thing For Any Comic

Eric Stephenson, the publisher of Image Comics, was interviewed at Bleeding Cool recently, and was asked to comment on the sales and profitability of critically acclaimed titles, such as Phonogram and Age of Bronze. When confronted over how those creators weren't making much money from single issue sales, Stephenson came back with the above, all too true, quote and pointed out the success of Chew and how it maintained and grew its audience with a regular shipping schedule.  

As for the quote above, I know many a comic I've either grown bored of, lost interest in or just plain quit reading due to delays and irregular shipping schedules over the years.  I even dropped Phonogram in favour of just getting a trade at a later date because of the shipping schedule for it.  It is probably more important for an indie title than a mainstream, but even titles like SHIELD and Astonishing Spider-Man/Wolverine have been a challenge to maintain my interest with the bi-monthly shipping schedules.  I couldn't agree more with Stephenson on this one - the most important thing IS that the book actually comes out. 

In Pullquotes, we present a quote and related imagery, to provide a source of discussion and/or thought among our readers. Feel free to comment on the above image.

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Jeremy said...

A delayed comic is a potentially good comic. A bad comic is bad forever.

I rather it be done right then rushed out.

I-Van the CRIPPLER said...

the guys got a pont..i rem readin legion of 3 worlds the final crisis tie in. for some reason i found the whole premise but due to the delays by the time the last issue came out i cud have cared less.....

same thing is hapennin with SHIELD...i love the idea but havin to wait so long is actually sourin the whole thing for me..

Ken said...

I've completely lost interest in Return of Bruce Wayne and Batman & Robin because of the delays. A two week delay between B&R #5 and 6, that's ok. Two month delay on a already very Morrison-y story, I'd rather pick up Knight & Squire instead.

Otto Weininger said...

Disagree. Mediocrity is the reason why most titles ship on time. Hacks outnumber the solid talent, some who are perfectionists.

I would much rather a great title shipped late than one on time, regardless of the quality.

Therefore, shipping on time isn't the most important thing.

My interest isn't so shallow that it can't be sustained beyond the mandatory 30 day wait.

Space Jawa said...

Yeah, it's important that a comic be good and not be rushed out, but at the same time there's only so long that people will wait for something unless it's the 'best thing ever' or whatnot. If a comic isn't coming out regularly enough or keeps getting delayed, then people may not want to stick with it despite any amount of promise it holds.

Kirk Warren said...

For reference, most comics arent delayed to increase quality or give people more time to complete the work. The delays come from the writer and/or artist having other work for hire committments that pay far more money, such as Hollywood/television scripting/storyboarding or video game design and so on. They are hired on with the knowledge they prioritize those projects more and Marvel/DC take that into account beforehand.

With this interview, they were discussing Phonogram, among others, and how McKelvie/Gillen had other committments that pay more from their work for hire work, such as Marvel or other mediums, and that is why Phonogram had delays.

So, while it would be nice to believe it took 6 months for artist X to draw book Y just because he was working on it exclusively to make it better, it is rarely the case that the product is improved or comes out any different because of the extra time.

Dennis N said...

*cough* Image United *cough* *cough*

Ming said...

It's so annoying when a scheduled issue doesn't go to the stores as planned. I know there are factors like commitments to TV and movie projects, but really, they should at least finish on time.

btownlegend said...

Ultimate X was fun if I remember it well enough...

The Dangster said...

agreed. but its all negated once it's in trade form

Anonymous said...

In this day and age with literally hundreds of titles per month vying for our dollars I'd think the companies would have a strong mandate to get their books out on time.
For instance I like New Ultimates and Ultimate Avengers but am likely to drop them because of inconsistent shipping. I'm more likely to pick up Warlord of Mars and GI Joe A Real American Hero with the dollars from the Ultimate books. Just saying.

- Retcon Joe

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