I’m actually 16 days behind on my google feed-reader, so my knowledge of comics news is limited to what people are asking me at the store (for the record, that statue is atrocious, but unsurprising)… Except for the Tim Leong/Comics Foundry thing, because Tim E-mailed me. More on that later. The event that it’s tied to in the public consciousness, Twomorrows Publishing and all the shit that they’ve got going on… Again, it’s a little too deep to wade into in depth (They’re seriously selling their own promotional samplers?). But the big thing? About their sales being steady but unspectacular given their outreach efforts?
They’re publishing 6 regular magazines, three or four lines of books, and a huge assortment of standalone books. At what point are they canibalizing their own sales, their own marketting? The mass-market might have four magazines about high-end pen ownership (seriously), but they’re not generally published by the same people.
I’m a retailer, and I’m telling you I don’t really need Alter Ego, Back Issue, Draw!, Jack Kirby Collector, Rough Stuff, Write Now, Modern Masters (effectively a “mook”), and one book about apes or the Batcave or whatever every other month.
Add to that, that several of the magazines sprung out of features/columns in other magazines and, yeah, I’m willing to come out and say that Twomorrows is caught in a cycle of diluting their own readership with umpteenth variations of the same article. If Twomorrows really wants the sales that come with appealing to a mass-audience, they need to produce a product that appeals to a mass audience, instead of a litany of ever-narrowing niche magazines. Sure, sometimes you end up with a Comicology or some other noble failure, and some magazines are all about their format (the massive Kirby Collectors), but…? Draw, Write, Rough Stuff? All of that together is barely one monthly magazine. And economy of scale? I’d rather have one magazine that sold 3000 copies than 3 that sold 12-1500.
My 2 cents.