Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Lost and Found" or "Resurrection Men (and Women)"

A post from "The Blue Saint" got me to yapping about the resent string of unpublished comic housecleaning that's been going on at Marvel and DC lately and I thought I'd open it up into it's own entry.

The remark was "Do you want to know what from Marvel does has me excited, 15 Love. I would love to see an ongoing mainstream romance, untapped market there. The thing is Marvel ****ed themselves with price, $5 is too high. This and other experimental titles should be priced at $2 for about 20 pages of content, you to willing to risk something if you want to expand the market. Hell you could even re-purpose these and other stories by putting them in a magazine. With that you could even have it on sale outside the Direct Market."

I'm totally on board with you in regards to 15 LOVE. I was on board when the dang thing was first announced back in 2003 when Marvel launched their "Tsunami" imprint. I like Andi Watson quite a lot and enjoy Tommy Otsuka well enough and a tennis romance comic from a major American publisher sounded wonderfully risky. I know that sort of thing sells like hotcakes in Japan and I'd love if our comic market could sustain titles dedicated to cooking, fishing, card games, sports, and all the other subjects and genres foreign publishers can support.

Frankly, I assumed that when Tsunami fizzled, the book would never see the light of day.

Funny enough, a friend and I were just discussing 15 Love and other "lost" comics just the other day and BOOM Marvel surprises us with this announcement. While the price point may not seem like the sort of thing to bring in new readers, I don't think they're counting on the Direct Market to be the main audience with this. They're clearly going to make better business with the trade paperback, much in the way they've been able to sustain all the literary adaptations like Oz and the Jane Austen comics through their TBP business. They're just burning through the 6 already completed issues by bundling them together into 3 double-sized comics, much in the way DC has been clearing out their inventory lately by releasing lost/abandoned comics in giant-sized specials like BATMAN: ORPHANS and TEEN TITANS: COLD CASE which were both clearly meant to be minis, years ago. (in Orphans you can tell exactly where each issue was supposed to end)

It's fine with me, though, because at least we get to see these books, rather than let them lie in a drawer collecting dust for years. And maybe 15 Love will do the sort of business as a TBP to encourage Marvel and other publishers to give another look to publishing something as different as a tennis romance comic. (which happens to star a revamped Millie The Model)

I assume a lot of this is the result of both Marvel and DC recently having moved to new offices. That's always the fun part about moving, when you're packing everything up and discover all of this crap you forgot you had. Which then leads DC to pring a long-lost Bernie Wrightson Batman comic and finally complete the notorious Wolfman/Perez TITANS: GAMES graphic novel and Marvel gives us the Tsunami title that seemed forever lost.

Now where's that long-completed Alan Grant and Frank Quitely LOBO book?


  1. The thing is right now the Digest market is currently flooded and American produced stories don't do so well. Remember Minx? So sadly this has the markings of an inventory clearance more than anything else.

    Also I am not saying sell it to the Direct Market, god knows most comic fans would be repulsed by something like. This would be a great book to try expand the market with, bundle it a few other female aimed stories and make it into a magazine. Honestly a split superheroine/romance magazine seems like a good idea, hell if had it deal with some issue facing girls today you may even be able to get it into the schools. Plus I would love a serious American take on the Magical Girl concept.

  2. Total shame about Minx. It was a really quality line.

    And I've no doubt it's an inventory clearance but even still, I don't know if they'd bother to publish an 8 year old comic if they didn't think they could make some money off of it and, perhaps, the success of the Jane Austen and Oz comics suggests they could still reach demographics that have eluded them.

    Though I don't know how inviting all the panty shots in 15 LOVE will be to a young, female audience. Sort of just re-emphasizes the boy's clubbery of comics.

    I would be all over a serious American take on Magical Girl comics, though.

    Maybe I should dust off the Magical Girl characters I made up in high school.

  3. It would be nice if they could redraw some the panels to have them wearing skorts (just learned that word) instead. But at least they got rid of the jailbait photo cover, that and ones for Trouble just make me feel bad.

    I wonder if some of the other items from Jemas purge will be forth coming, that Tsunami Quest title always seemed interesting to me. I'll try to find the solicitation, currently making my through the Wayback Machine results for CBR.

  4. I vaguely remember mention of "Quest." And super-agreed on dumping the creepy photo covers. I felt bad enough buying TROUBLE just because of the CONTENT.

    It's interesting that that's getting a new hardcover release. What an odd thing to exist.