Gemstone line expansions
john at lastkisscomics.com
Thu Nov 22 19:21:43 CET 2007
We've been having some interesting and well-reasoned discussions about
the possibilities of having a third prestige comic and more trade books.
I think I missed a posting or two so I ask everyone's patience if
someone else has already made the following remarks:
While I'd personally love to see as many Disney comics on the market as
possible, I see some problems with a third prestige title.
First of all, a third prestige title isn't likely to increase
readership. Instead, it's more likely to to be bought by current
Gemstone customers--who are already (let's be frank) paying a very hefty
per-page price for their comics. (Yes, I love those wonderful Gemstone
production values and want to see them continue, but they are costly.)
Second, if the customers are the same fans who are already buying
Gemstone books then a third series is likely to cause budget problem for
some of them. So, while they may buy a third title, it's likely that
some readers will stop buying every issue of the other two prestige
titles. I suspect that lower sales on any of the books would be
somewhere between very bad to disastrous for Gemstone.
Third, Gemstone has limited staff resources. If it has to choose between
a third monthly prestige comic and doing a few trade paperbacks a
year--I'd definitely go with the trades. The trades can go into
bookstores--a market we definitely need to be in. Sales from comic shop
customers have kept Disney comics alive. But we're not going to pick up
many additional sales in comic shops (where most of the readers are
still fixated on superheroes.)
Graphic novels (and trade paperbacks collecting comics) are the fastest
growing section of the bookstore trade. Gemstone should grab it's share
of that. Of course, it's critically important that only the best
material be collected. Barks collections, Rosa collections (Van Horn
collections) are all possibilities and might do well. But what I'd
really like to see is top-quality material (by a variety of creators)
all unified by some themes: Christmas, sports, wacky monsters, space
adventures, birthdays, etc.
For example, a book of Disney comics with a sports theme might be an
easer sell to a parent (with a child who's into sports) than a general
Disney comics book. Likewise, a birthday-themed book might make a nice
birthday present for a child. This sort of thing has worked for regular
children's books. (And lots of books for adults too!) I don't see why it
wouldn't work for Gemstone as well.
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