Delenda Est Carthago

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!

28.2.05

Whither the anthology?

Woo-hoo! I finally got some links up, so check them out. Most are blogs dealing with comics, so be warned. Those comic book people who come here should already know about them. If your link is broken, let me know -- I probably typed something wrong. Links are fun.

Solo #3 came out last week, featuring the story and art of Paul Pope. I've never been a fan of Pope (one of the drawings in the book of Batman is, well, awful), but a lot of the blogiverse is, and that's fine. I bought the first issue of Solo, featuring art by Tim Sale, and like the idea of giving an artist a book to go nuts on. It makes me wonder about anthologies.

I wonder why comic-book companies don't do more anthologies. I know, I know -- no one buys them. Well, that makes sense. But if any retailers/people in the know come to this blog, I would ask them about this idea.

A big company (let's say Marvel, for the fun of it) decides to revive the anthology. Since they're charging no less than $2.25 for all the rest of their books, they price this sucker at, I don't know, a dollar (or even $1.50). They make it bigger than other comic books. Sure, they might take a bath for a while, since nobody buys anthologies, but what if they did this format:

The first story in the book is by big-name creators. Bendis and Finch, maybe. Claremont and Sienkiewicz. Millar and Hitch. It could be a story set within the Marvel U., but not a character that has his/her own book (the character could be in a team, but not have a solo book -- Bobby Drake, to pick a name at random). It could be a stand-alone story or a serial, but it wouldn't be a long one in each issue. If Marvel had the cajones, they could even allow the creators to tell stories completely unrelated to the Marvel U. -- without making it a MAX series or an Icon production or an Epic thing. Anyway, that's the hook.

The other stories could be by creators who aren't well known -- "indie" guys. Kirkman could do his Spider-Man/Moon Knight story without having to carry a title alone. Andrew Boyd and Ryan Yount (I'm sorry, I'm still loving Scurvy Dogs) could get some mainstream exposure. Again, Marvel could force these guys to do a story related to the Marvel U., or it could be something completely different. Remember Mahfood's Generation X story from a while back? That was freakin' hysterical, and Marvel published it (yes, it was back in the Jemas days, when they had stones)! It looked like an indie comic, but it starred the merry mutants of Generation X! A great comic book. Now, I don't know how much talent remuneration goes into the cover price of a comic, but I would guess you wouldn't have to pay these guys as much as Bendis and Finch -- they would do it for the exposure. Isn't that the way it works in other entertainment venues, not to mention the real world? Anyway, again, these could be one-shot stories or a short series -- it doesn't matter.

This would be a good idea, I think, for a few reasons. First, the superduper superhero geeks would say, "Ooh -- a Bendis and Finch short story about the Hulk! Me must buy!" Then they would get exposed to others' work and maybe end up buying, I don't know, the trade paperback of Scurvy Dogs (sorry, but you really should read it -- buy it here!) or something. Indie-type people could read it because it has indie-type talent on it. You could use forgotten characters from the Marvel U. (yeah, like there are any in today's geeked out Internet world, but I'm sure there are some) and give them some exposure (remember Jill Thompson's Dazzler story from X-Men Unlimited? -- excellent stuff) and if fan response is positive, then you could launch a new series with that character, instead of flinging them out there to die slow deaths (let's see -- Runaways, She-Hulk, Alpha Flight -- maybe that last one didn't deserve a series, but it might deserve a one-shot or a mini). DC did this with the Birds of Prey mini-series, and now the ongoing is up to issue #79 and still going strong. Marvel did this with Marvel Comics Presents, and from that we get Barry Windsor-Smith's classic Weapon X story (sure, it didn't answer many questions, but it looked really cool).

Anyway, that's my modest proposal (there's a lot of them out there these days). I'm sure it's not viable economically, but can anyone tell me why? I would love to know.

2 Comments:

Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Have you checked out Western Tales of Terror yet? Fun "horror" anthology from Hoarse and Buggy, I just posted a review on it.

15/3/05 7:55 AM  
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