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  1. #61
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Bringing the discussion back to mini-series and maxi-series, I think most modern writers would prefer 12 issues to tell a self contained story with separate acts, to a 4-6 issue story. It is actually quite difficult to pace out a story that almost demands act breaks after every issue, which this shorter form does.

    See for example the not so stealthy maxi-series Astonishing X-Men. It is right there on the title page which act we are in. The first act was both a six issue self contained story and the opening act of a longer story about a Charles Xavier construct that may or may not be the real thing. The second act has begun with a new direction in this tale, but the overall structure is apparently 12 issue, and this knowledge actually helps us situate ourselves in the story. Pretending this is an ongoing is IMO harming the narrative and making people jump to poor assumptions and conclusions like for example “Xavier is back!”.
    Last edited by JKtheMac; 01-06-2018 at 05:20 AM.

  2. #62
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Strain View Post
    Customers want to think they got a deal. Even if they pay a lot of money for something, that's what they want to think.

    If they pay $3.99 for a comic and the plot doesn't significantly advance, then they think they got hosed. Because they did.
    But the important distinction is how invested in the overall story are they to put up with an exposition issue or an issue of character exploration.

    Take Mighty Thor. The plot is occasionally put on hold to explore things that will be important down the line. A whole issue with War Thor fighting Mangog is there for a number of important reasons but it isn’t technically progressing the main narrative or a specific sub-plot. Instead it is setting up resonance and theme while displaying the villain’s competence. None of this is technically needed. Older comics would have made this a one page fight, but by expanding it to a whole issue Aaron is able to utilise the ideas raised and the resonance to the main plot more effectively.

  3. #63
    Extraordinary Member Trey Strain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKtheMac View Post
    But the important distinction is how invested in the overall story are they to put up with an exposition issue or an issue of character exploration.

    Take Mighty Thor. The plot is occasionally put on hold to explore things that will be important down the line. A whole issue with War Thor fighting Mangog is there for a number of important reasons but it isn’t technically progressing the main narrative or a specific sub-plot. Instead it is setting up resonance and theme while displaying the villain’s competence. None of this is technically needed. Older comics would have made this a one page fight, but by expanding it to a whole issue Aaron is able to utilise the ideas raised and the resonance to the main plot more effectively.
    You've pointed out the problem right there. Readers are expected to "put up with" issues where nothing happens. That's not the way to sell anything to anyone. YOU might be willing to put up with that, but it's a bad idea on its face.

    Without decompression, you can tell a good story in four issues that contains a subplot, resonance, the competence of the antagonist, and anything else you want to put in it. You can even use a supporting cast, which almost never happens now, regardless of how long the story is!

    Decompression may have been more defensible when comics cost 15 cents. Now people think, "What did I just spend $3.99 on?"

  4. #64
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Strain View Post
    You've pointed out the problem right there. Readers are expected to "put up with" issues where nothing happens. That's not the way to sell anything to anyone. YOU might be willing to put up with that, but it's a bad idea on its face.

    Without decompression, you can tell a good story in four issues that contains a subplot, resonance, the competence of the antagonist, and anything else you want to put in it. You can even use a supporting cast, which almost never happens now, regardless of how long the story is!

    Decompression may have been more defensible when comics cost 15 cents. Now people think, "What did I just spend $3.99 on?"
    But if you are bought into the story you will put up with it. It is actually worth that investment. It is actually rewarding in the longer term. So I don't mean put up in terms of tolerate something unpalatable, but I mean be prepared to invest in the story and place their trust in the writer that the issue will have a pay-off.

    To return to Coates on Black Panther, many did give up because the pay-off looked unlikely or directed in a way they were not willing to follow. I stuck with it even when I was uncertain and I feel that it is paying-off now. I very nearly didn't.
    Last edited by JKtheMac; 01-06-2018 at 05:50 AM.

  5. #65
    Extraordinary Member Trey Strain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKtheMac View Post
    But if you are bought into the story you will put up with it. It is actually worth that investment. It is actually rewarding in the longer term. So I don't mean put up in terms of tolerate something unpalatable, but I mean be prepared to invest in the story and place their trust in the writer that the issue will have a pay-off.

    To return to Coates on Black Panther, many did give up because the pay-off looked unlikely or directed in a way they were not willing to follow. I stuck with it even when I was uncertain and I feel that it is paying-off now. I very nearly didn't.
    I get it that you're happy with the way things are now. That's OK. You're entitled to be. But this thread is about solving a problem, and a lot of the people who are posting in it think there's a problem that needs to be solved. So they're going to put forth solutions, as I have. If you don't think there's a problem, then you won't be open to its solutions.

  6. #66
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Strain View Post
    I get it that you're happy with the way things are now. That's OK. You're entitled to be. But this thread is about solving a problem, and a lot of the people who are posting in it think there's a problem that needs to be solved. So they're going to put forth solutions, as I have. If you don't think there's a problem, then you won't be open to its solutions.
    Ah but very early on I stated there is no solution. The 'problem' is not decompression, the problem is the way the direct market is resistant to books with 'of X' on the cover, and resists OGNs.

    My native market, in Europe, doesn't have this problem. It is a Direct Market problem. I personally would kill the Direct Market but funnily enough that would change the landscape in ways many here don't want to see.
    Last edited by JKtheMac; 01-06-2018 at 07:03 AM.

  7. #67
    Extraordinary Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Strain View Post
    Customers want to think they got a deal. Even if they pay a lot of money for something, that's what they want to think.

    If they pay $3.99 for a comic and the plot doesn't significantly advance, then they think they got hosed. Because they did.
    Dude, no one pays 4 bucks for twenty pages of paper and thinks they "got a deal" no matter how dense the story is.
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  8. #68
    Extraordinary Member Mike_Murdock's Avatar
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    What if that paper are hundred dollar bills?
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  9. #69
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Thinking about this surely Marvel could have tested the waters with Phoenix Ressurection. Why didn't Marvel release that as a trade paperback instead of a mini. Surely its high profile and its connection to ongoing books would have resulted in the kind of sales trades don't usually achieve? Was the experiment too risky? Did they not even consider it?

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKtheMac View Post
    Ah but very early on I stated there is no solution. The 'problem' is not decompression, the problem is the way the direct market is resistant to books with 'of X' on the cover, and resists OGNs.

    My native market, in Europe, doesn't have this problem. It is a Direct Market problem. I personally would kill the Direct Market but funnily enough that would change the landscape in ways many here don't want to see.
    Well you got writers who are writing for TRADES.

    I will give you an example and it's from DC. CYBORG's last series. It took 18 issues to tell a story that started with issue 1. With issues that took time to introduce his damsel in distress girlfriend, a fake Static and a black female heroine that many found more interesting than Cyborg.

    I could have cut that storyline by half or 7 issues.


    I get it that you're happy with the way things are now. That's OK. You're entitled to be. But this thread is about solving a problem, and a lot of the people who are posting in it think there's a problem that needs to be solved. So they're going to put forth solutions, as I have. If you don't think there's a problem, then you won't be open to its solutions.
    Overseas it's easier to go with trades & OGN than floppies. Take Hellblazer-it reached 300 issues thanks to trades especially trade sales in UK.

    Also those owners overseas don't over order books. IN other words if Cyborg or POC books don't sell PERIOD at a store in Ireland-he won't order them. He won't order them and then cry to Bleeding Cool about sales. They are not going to order a ton books to get a one time sale of some variants.

    The Direct Market here gets away with murder.

  11. #71
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyvolt2000 View Post
    Well you got writers who are writing for TRADES.
    Nobody is disputing that but the OP isn’t about that or decompression. These are not directly related phenomena.

    The question is how can mini-series and OGNs actually be promoted in a way that isn’t rejected by the direct market. I agree wholeheartedly that trades and OGNs are much more accessible outside of the US, but the primary market for Marvel and DC is the local comic book store, and there everyone seems to turn their noses up at anything that isn’t an ongoing or a meaningful event.

    I return to Astonishing X-Men. Most people seem to think this is an ongoing because Marvel are reluctant to admit it is a maxi-series. There has been much more hype about the story and a lot of confusion as to its place in continuity precisely because people are reviewing it and commenting about it as an ongoing.

    The thing is it is not supposed to be read as an ongoing. It is supposed to be read as a story slightly outside of continuity and probably will not have major ramifications at least until it is finished, and yet people are complaining that Xavier is only back in the one book, wondering when it is set in relation to Blue and Gold, wondering what it means to Fantomex etc. None of this will be apparent for another five months but people expect it to be having an impact right now because of marketing decisions.
    Last edited by JKtheMac; 01-07-2018 at 10:37 AM.

  12. #72
    Extraordinary Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKtheMac View Post
    The question is how can mini-series and OGNs actually be promoted in a way that isn’t rejected by the direct market.
    I think the answer to that is you go outside the direct market.

    DC saw success with their Earth-1 series of OGN's. At least until they squandered that interest and goodwill with inconsistent release dates and a low product turnout. The line was advertised through comics, yes, but also previews for novels and books and sold in the sci-fi section of bookstores. Earth-1 pulled in a lot of people who wouldn't recognize a LCS if it slapped them, nor "lower" themselves to walking into one if they stumbled on it. It was a solid business model and it could've been much bigger than it ended up being if DC hadn't wasted that potential.

    I think the direct market has largely painted itself in a corner. I've long supported the industry breaking away from it and expanding their reach. So perhaps the solution to the problem with mini's is to sell them through another avenue.
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  13. #73
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    I think the answer to that is you go outside the direct market.

    DC saw success with their Earth-1 series of OGN's. At least until they squandered that interest and goodwill with inconsistent release dates and a low product turnout. The line was advertised through comics, yes, but also previews for novels and books and sold in the sci-fi section of bookstores. Earth-1 pulled in a lot of people who wouldn't recognize a LCS if it slapped them, nor "lower" themselves to walking into one if they stumbled on it. It was a solid business model and it could've been much bigger than it ended up being if DC hadn't wasted that potential.

    I think the direct market has largely painted itself in a corner. I've long supported the industry breaking away from it and expanding their reach. So perhaps the solution to the problem with mini's is to sell them through another avenue.
    Marvel have also seen some success with specific trades, but both companies still produce pointless minis that should just be trades. The reason they do this is because the Direct Market is totally geared up for the Wednesday Warrior. Hardly anyone pays any attention to trades in general, so producing a low selling mini is the only way to get the story publicity.

  14. #74
    Extraordinary Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKtheMac View Post
    Marvel have also seen some success with specific trades, but both companies still produce pointless minis that should just be trades. The reason they do this is because the Direct Market is totally geared up for the Wednesday Warrior. Hardly anyone pays any attention to trades in general, so producing a low selling mini is the only way to get the story publicity.
    I dunno about that, trade sales have seen a marked increase in sales over the last few years. Certainly they dont sell at the level the direct market does, but trade and digital sales have bounced up a whole lot higher than direct market/Diamond numbers have.

    Floppies seem to be a dying format. Digital and trades appear to be the future. We might not be there yet, but give it time and we may see those other formats equal or exceed the direct market's numbers. And of course there's stuff like the Scholastic deals too, which likely move a whole pile of books with each grade school book order.

    EDIT: Whoops, meant to reply to this part too:

    but both companies still produce pointless minis that should just be trades.
    That they do indeed. Honestly, we can say the same of their ongoings too. I appreciate it when they try to get creative and do something unusual, but come on. Slapstick should've been a mini. DC's Dial H for Hero (New52) should've been a mini.
    Last edited by Ascended; 01-07-2018 at 09:05 PM.
    Higher, Faster, Further....More.

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  15. #75

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    marvel should have more minis. So many ongoing series get canceled after one arc

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