Upcoming Gemstone titles and re-re-reprinting
deanmary at zoominternet.net
Tue Nov 7 07:06:03 CET 2006
If you go this link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?search-alias=stripbooks&field-keywords=&author=&select-author=field-author-like&title=&select-title=field-title&subject=&select-subject=field-subject&field-publisher=gemstone&field-isbn=&node=&field-binding=&field-age=&field-language=&field-dateop=before&field-datemod=0&field-dateyear=2009&chooser-sort=rank%21%2Bdaterank&mysubmitbutton1.x=52&mysubmitbutton1.y=12
you can see the titles Gemstone has listed they are publishing through August 1st.
At first glance, I noticed there were no "Shonen Jump" style titles listed. However, there very well may be some titles released in this format by August 2007. Amazon never listed the $2.95 titles, so I think there is a good chance that they also would not list or sell a Shonen Jump style title that is sold for a cheap price more as a magazine than a book. So hopefully we will get a few issues of such a title by or before August of next year.
In April the first "Spring Fever" volume is listed which I assume is one of the two new annuals that Gemstone is releasing.
May brings a $8.50 title that reprints Barks' classic Pygmy Indian story along with Rosa's "War of the Wendigo".
June brings two trade paperbacks. The first is the next Walt Disney Treasures Volume. The other is a collection of DuckTales stories first printed when Disney Comics had the North American license.
Finally, in July comes the $8.50 "Donald Duck: Case of the Missing Mummy"
I have to admit that at first glance I am not very impressed, and am in fact kind of worried at what seems to be a new direction for Gemstone.
First a more minor point, that being prices. Why are the two $8.50 titles priced that high? They both have the same page amount as the monthly prestige titles but have a higher price. Why is that necessary?
I very much understood Gemstone raising the price of the prestige titles to $7.50, especially since there had not been a price increase in about a decade. However by July, they are raising prices *again* this time to $7.99! Are paper prices going up *that* fast? From a PR point of view, wouldn't it have made more sense to just raise them to $7.99 to begin with? Why anger buyers with *two* price increase in 6 months when there had been no price increases for about 10 years? I just do not get that.
My overall biggest disappointment and concern is that Gemstone seems to be starting to focus primarily on re-re-reprinting stories. So far I have thought Gemstone has done a pretty good job concerning reprints. There have been some Barks, Rosa, and Van Horn reprints, but they have not dominated the titles. This seems to be changing though. Even titles like the next two annuals and the next Treasures TPB have more re-re-prints than before. Along with the two new TPBs including either all or mostly reprinted stories, how about a TPB that contains all *new* stories? Is there so little confidence that an all new TPB would just not sell?
We now only have two regular titles each month. With less titles each month, you would think re-re-reprints should be kept to a minimum. Yet that seems to be the opposite of what is happening. In the first 8 issues of Uncle Scrooge to be published in 2007, 4 of these issues have a Rosa reprint! Before there were not 4 Rosa reprints in U$ in a whole year, and that is when we had more titles each month! Of course that does not even count Vacation Parade 4, Pygmy/Wendigo and the next Walt Disney Treasures TPB which *all* feature Rosa reprints! Does Gemstone feel it cannot sell even two monthly titles without continually re-re-reprinting Barks and Rosa stories? If so, I would at least like them to come out and say so. If that is the case though, I do not see much of a future for Disney comics in North America. Also, what happens in say 3 or 4 years when they have reprinted all of Don's stories again in U$ or WDC&S or annuals? Do we then start over having them re-re-reprinted *again*? Should I "look forward" to seeing the Life and Times of Scrooge stories re-re-reprinted in U$ in 2009 or 2010?
I don't think the readers of any other line of comics have to deal with getting so many re-reprints all of the time. Try this example. Marvel Comics has printed a monthly comic book called "Fantastic Four" since the early 1960's. The first 100 or so issue were done by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and are considered classic stories. "FF" is still published monthly to this day. Imagine though if every second or third issue of "FF" had a Lee and Kirby reprint in it? Would not that be absurd? Aren't readers each month looking for *new* stories which they have not read before? I don't think any other comic publisher could get away with re-reprinting stories in their monthly titles like we have to deal with Disney comics!
Now lets take it one step further. Imagine Marvel using a Lee and Kirby "FF" re-reprint every few months if there were *hundreds* of "FF" stories that were already written and drawn but never printed yet! Imagine how fans would feel then! Yet that is just the case when it comes to Disney comics. We get re-reprints after re-reprints when there are *thousands* of stories that have never seen print in North America! Does that make any sense? Why in the world can't we have more new stories, especially considering that Gemstone does not even have to pay for them to be written or drawn??? I realize that Gemstone still has to color them and letter them, and sometimes have new dialogue written. However isn't that a *far* cry from having to pay for the new stories themselves?
Now is there is a place for reprinting these Lee and Kirby classic "FF" stories? Of course! However, the one place *not* to reprint them is the current monthly "FF" title! Marvel and DC both reprint their most classic stories in not just one but *two* formats! They both have a line of high priced archives. And they also both have low priced black and white versions where you get over 500 pages for about $16.00. Why can't Gemstone have a line or two that reprints classic stories, and at the same time leave their monthly titles for new to North America stories? Why do we have to get so many re-reprints with comparatively few new stories?
I would really like to hear what other members on this mailing list who buy Gemstone comics monthly have to think about this. And if there are people who *do* like seeing re-re-reprints much more than new stories, can you please explain why? Perhaps I am just not seeing this the right way and someone can help me look at it from a different view.
At this point though I am losing much of my enthusiasm for the future of Disney comics in North America and I *love* Disney comics, even more than it perhaps makes sense to do so! How exciting can it be though to get even *more* copies of stories I already have... Perhaps the new Shonen Jump style title will focus on new stories. Yet I have a bad feeling that Gemstone will take the "cheap" and "easy" way out and just fill lots of them with more re-re-reprints.
I realize that Gemstone wants to talk about their new titles and direction at their own place and time. Wherever and whenever that happens though, could Gemstone *please* address why they are to my way of thinking largely giving up on new stories?
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