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  1. #1
    Extraordinary Member Trey Strain's Avatar
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    Default Recurring minis for DC

    This is an idea I developed on another message board. I think it might generate some discussion here.

    There are some titles that just won't sell an ongoing for DC, but they might do well enough as recurring minis -- say, in one four-issue story every year.


    They'd be published every two weeks, so that a story would be told in two months. This infrequency of publication would make them feel "special" and would help keep people excited about them. You won't get tired or jaded about anything you're seeing for only two months a year.

    Let's say the Martian Manhunter became a recurring mini. You could publish two issues in January and two in February, then take 10 months off. Then you'd do the same thing the following year.

    The eight-issue TPB could come out in, say, July of the second year. That would give the TPB plenty of time to sell through before the next Martian Manhunter floppies appear in the following January.

    Each story should be numbered 1-4, because a #1 will always sell better than a #5.

    Of course you don't want to rent new slots in the comics shops to sell these things, so six minis could share one space during the course of a year. Twenty-four recurring minis could be sold out of just four slots!

    Another reason I like this format is that you can use pencillers who do great work but are too slow to handle ongoings. A penciller can take about all the time he wants if he has to turn out only four issues and you give him plenty of lead time.

    Publishing minis this way, you could tap into a lot of talent that normally goes to waste. Besides good pencillers who are too slow to handle ongoings, you could use guys who have other jobs and just want to draw a few comics on the side.

    You could also use some older writers who have retired or have moved on to something else, but who still have an occasional story to tell.

    You could try any comic that won't stand up as an ongoing or is unlikely to.

    And with stories this short, if one of them sucks, then so what? A new one will be coming along very soon.

    I think DC could easily come up with a dozen recurring minis, and probably two dozen.

  2. #2
    Mighty Member Air Wave's Avatar
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    So you'd do six a year? I like this idea. You could just repeat series or replace underperforming ones. What else might you start with, besides Martian Manhunter?

  3. #3
    Extraordinary Member Trey Strain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air Wave View Post
    So you'd do six a year? I like this idea. You could just repeat series or replace underperforming ones. What else might you start with, besides Martian Manhunter?
    I'd do 12-24 a year. You could sell six of them out of just one bin in the comics shops.

    I wouldn't call them minis. I'd call the DC Specials or something like that.

    Some possibilities:

    The Justice Society in the Forties and Fifties.

    The street-level JSA members in a team title with Batman.

    The Legion of Super-Heroes in the future.

    The Charlton characters in a team title, minus Captain Atom because he's too powerful.

    Captain Atom.

    The Brave and the Bold as a teamup of Wonder Woman and Power Girl.

    Batgirl, Catwoman and the Huntress in a title.

    A recurring Elseworlds title.

    Metal Men.

    Hard Traveling Heroes starring Dick Grayson and Conor Hawke.

    A teamup of the Elongated Man and Plastic Man.

    A team title with all the Atoms.

    A sci-fi anthonlgy.

    A DC-Marvel co-production of Sgt. Rock and Sgt. Fury.

    You guys can probably think of plenty more.

  4. #4
    Fantastic Member Chubistian's Avatar
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    You have any writers who can tackle this minis in mind? I think it should be a middle point between new writers and high profile ones

    The first one I can think of is James Tynion IV, since he can make certain products really work, as the 6 issues Batman/TMNT crossover, from what I've read in reviews and the fact that a sequel is being released. Also, Tim Seeley and Gail Simone (I know she is a very different deal from the two writers I previously named) can work pretty well with less known character and they have a prestige that guaranteed a certain number of sales that means that those titles have a better chance at success than with a writer who has barely wrote a comic. Maybe you can start the first mini with a known writer and then jump from time to time with less known ones to give them a chance to shine.
    "The Batman is Gotham City. I will watch him. Study him. And when I know him and why he does not kill, I will know this city. And then Gotham will be MINE!"-BANE

    "We're monsters, buddy. Plain and simple. I don't dress it up with fancy names like mutant or post-human; men were born crueler than Apes and we were born crueler than men. It's just the natural order of things"-ULTIMATE SABRETOOTH

  5. #5
    Extraordinary Member Trey Strain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubistian View Post
    You have any writers who can tackle this minis in mind? I think it should be a middle point between new writers and high profile ones

    The first one I can think of is James Tynion IV, since he can make certain products really work, as the 6 issues Batman/TMNT crossover, from what I've read in reviews and the fact that a sequel is being released. Also, Tim Seeley and Gail Simone (I know she is a very different deal from the two writers I previously named) can work pretty well with less known character and they have a prestige that guaranteed a certain number of sales that means that those titles have a better chance at success than with a writer who has barely wrote a comic. Maybe you can start the first mini with a known writer and then jump from time to time with less known ones to give them a chance to shine.
    One writer that pops into my head is Steve Englehart.

  6. #6
    Extraordinary Member Trey Strain's Avatar
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    Something else you could use this for is tryouts. So instead of launching an ongoing, you could print two stories as minis, and if the sales were encouraging, you could then go to an ongoing.

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  8. #8
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    I think thats somethimg they should do with the Batfamily characters that don't have solo books.

  9. #9
    Mighty Member HandofPrometheus's Avatar
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    What about just making minis into trade paperbacks from the start instead of releasing 6 issues or so?

  10. #10
    Extraordinary Member Trey Strain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HandofPrometheus View Post
    What about just making minis into trade paperbacks from the start instead of releasing 6 issues or so?
    Well, if you plug this into my other idea about dropping the prices of the floppies to $1.99, then you'd stand a good chance of selling a lot of floppies of these titles.

  11. #11
    Relaunched, not rebooted! SJNeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aahz View Post
    I think thats somethimg they should do with the Batfamily characters that don't have solo books.
    Or just find them someplace in one of the 37 existing Bat-titles...
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  12. #12
    Relaunched, not rebooted! SJNeal's Avatar
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    I buy almost everything DC releases with the "mini series" label already; partially to spite Marvel.

    But yes, in general I like the OP's idea.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Strain View Post
    Something else you could use this for is tryouts. So instead of launching an ongoing, you could print two stories as minis, and if the sales were encouraging, you could then go to an ongoing.
    So pretty much what I have been screaming about doing at Dc & Marvel for years?

    Or just doing trades or an OGN at a price of $10 for 100 pages of story?

  14. #14
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    I like the idea of a yearly mini-series.

    It allows character development and rogue's gallery creation without having to worry about sustaining a series. This something many characters have needed for decades.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJNeal View Post
    Or just find them someplace in one of the 37 existing Bat-titles...
    I think characters, with such long runs (or actually more their fanbases), deserve at least a solo story once in a while.

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