Gemstone cancellations & new titles

deanmary deanmary at
Sat Oct 28 05:24:02 CEST 2006

Thanks for all the good points you made Olivier!  I will respond to some of them and give you some more of my ideas, for what they are worth.

In regards to the "Barks reprint dilemma", I have a few different thoughts.  You ask how could people new to Disney comics discover Barks if the are not in the regular comics.  Well, I have a sad thought about that.  Hopefully I am wrong, but I think the idea of many people discovering Barks in North America in North America is mostly wishful thinking.  I believe Gemstone has to concern itself most for the good it has (current Disney comic fans and collectors) than with what it has not (getting kids to read Disney comics, getting new readers, etc.)  Except for the Shonen Jump style book, I think they must have somewhat given up on the hunt for new and young Disney comic fans.  Why do I say this?  When Gemstone started, they said that U$ and WDC&S were aimed at the collector due to their high price.  They also seem to have said or imply that DD&F, MM&F, and the monthly pocket books were geared more towards getting younger and new readers.  Now of course that was not a hard and fast rule, and I am sure that they hoped *lots* of people would buy *all* of the titles.  However, it seems like they knew the two prestige titles were geared for the collectors market, and the two newsstand titles and the pocket book aimed for a more mainstream and young audience.  So which titles has Gemstone cancelled?  The two newsstand titles and the two pocket books.  It seems to me that Gemstone realizes (quite sadly) that the market that they do have *now* is the collector market and to focus on it.  Since most older Disney comic fans already have a good portion of Barks' stories, I really think there should be as little as possible reprints in the two prestige titles.  Why reprint Barks' stories to the readership most likely to have copies of them already?

Of course another way Gemstone could successfully reprint Barks' stories is what they did this year: they could print volumes devoted solely to Barks.  They published two different TPB volumes of "Carl Barks' Greatest DuckTales Stories".  Perhaps someone at Gemstone could tell us if they sold well?  I certainly hope they did!  This way Barks' stories can be reprinted for the people who have not read or own them yet, and at the same time people who have these stories already can pass on these volumes if they wish.  I myself bought both volumes even though I have all of these different stories a few times already.  I want to do everything I can to help support Gemstone and I imagine a number of other older Disney fans bought both volumes for the same reason! :)

Gemstone says that they may resume printing the two 32 page titles and the pocket books if either the price of paper falls or better marketing opportunities arrive.  I wonder if Gemstone could tell us how realistic such a chance is.  I have *no* knowledge whatsoever about the price of paper.  Is it *realistically* possible that the price of paper could fall significantly in the next few years?  I just do not have a clue, but perhaps some at Gemstone, or someone who does know something about the price of paper could tell us.  Also, does Gemstone foresee any better marketing opportunities arising in the next few years?

As for a new Barks Library, I sincerely hope one is in the works.  I also have the CBLiC album series, but would *love* to have a new, definitive volume like the EC Comics Library Gemstone is just starting. While the albums are nice, I would really love to have a "normal" size Barks library.   Ideally, I think it would make sense to have both softcover and hardcover volumes like they did with "Mickey and the Gang" so that they could reach the widest possible audience.  I will gladly buy them whichever way they choose to publish them though!

As for the Walt Disney Treasures volumes, I like the idea of timing them to come out the same time as the DVDs except for one problem: the DVDs come out only once a year! :(  I certainly hope that Walt Disney Treasures volumes come out on a monthly basis, or at the very least a bi-monthly or quarterly basis.  In regards to what their content should be, I would be happy for them to retain the compendium format *as long as* there was a similar series of volumes that covered certain creators.  Why settle for one TPB volume series if we could have two! :)

As for the Shonen Jump style volumes, I think the key is to get them to the bookstores in North America.  I know Gemstone wanted to get their pocket books in bookstores, but I do not think they succeeded in that.  Yes, you could get them at Barnes and Noble online and Amazon online, but did anyone in North America ever see them in a brick and mortar Barnes and Noble or Borders bookstore?  I never did.  So while it may be nice to have these titles at online stores, I think it is *crucial* to get them into actual bookstores.  If not, I do not see the Shone Jump style volumes succeeding anymore that the pocket books did.  Is there a new marketing plan to get the Shonen Jump style volumes into actual bookstores?   I really think the pocket books could have been successful if they had been placed in with the manga tiles in US bookstores.  I think the best remaining hope for getting new and younger Disney readers is this Shonen Jump style book.  They definitely will offer the most "bang for your buck"!

Unlike Olivier, I have not had much experience with black and white Disney comics.  Whether I grow to appreciate the black and white experience or not, the most important thing is for there to remain Disney comics here!  If it takes black and white titles to do that, that is terrific by me!

As before, thanks *very* much for all Gemstone has already done and will do in the future!  Also as before, I would love to hear the opinions of others on the mailing list on these subjects.  Finally as before, *please* be kind Gemstone and give us *whatever* news you can *whenever* you can!

Dean Rekich
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