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Old 09-14-2009, 04:09 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixelpushing
yea this thread got me thinking a lot too, now i am pondering how much effort would or should be put into targeting an audience or basic marketability of product ?

I wonder about peoples basics thoughts on this, do people generally feel just put out a great product ? or try to reach a wider audience ? or anything else when putting this together.

I think great material is often not read just because many "average" folks dont get into it, and i didnt know if that should matter.

I am more or less fishing for thoughts with this more than anything else.
Cannot...get away...from thread...

Make no mistake, I was saying to put out the best product you can which, in my opinion, becomes the smartest product you can. It just so happens that smart anthologies are selling well (enough) now. We're at a weird time in comics where smart anthologies are winning awards and selling well. Flight, Kramers Ergot, Comic Book Tattoo, Mome - if your sole source of comics news is Newsarama and your sole source of comics is the comic shop you may not realize this but these books sell. They sell like mad. I know for a fact we're talking 50K+ for some these (and maybe all of them) and that's for $25 non-mainstream anthologies (and for Tattoo and the latest Kramers we're talking $30 and $125 (!) respectively).

So we're at a time and place where you can make a smart anthology, have it sell well, and get it nominated for major awards. It's a pretty nice place to be in.

Now, on the flip-side, name a by-the-numbers, lack of high-concept, mindless anthology that's not from Marvel or DC that anyone REALLY gives a shit about right now. Hell, even Marvel's doing their fucking AWESOME Strange Tales book and DC had the genius Solo.
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Old 09-14-2009, 04:20 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrod
Cannot...get away...from thread...

Make no mistake, I was saying to put out the best product you can which, in my opinion, becomes the smartest product you can. It just so happens that smart anthologies are selling well (enough) now. We're at a weird time in comics where smart anthologies are winning awards and selling well. Flight, Kramers Ergot, Comic Book Tattoo, Mome - if your sole source of comics news is Newsarama and your sole source of comics is the comic shop you may not realize this but these books sell. They sell like mad. I know for a fact we're talking 50K+ for some these (and maybe all of them) and that's for $25 non-mainstream anthologies (and for Tattoo and the latest Kramers we're talking $30 and $125 (!) respectively).

So we're at a time and place where you can make a smart anthology, have it sell well, and get it nominated for major awards. It's a pretty nice place to be in.

Now, on the flip-side, name a by-the-numbers, lack of high-concept, mindless anthology that's not from Marvel or DC that anyone REALLY gives a shit about right now. Hell, even Marvel's doing their fucking AWESOME Strange Tales book and DC had the genius Solo.
lol i cant leave it either and i have work to do, yea i have been out of touch with whats selling for awhile, and i did know you were saying put out a good product. I just thought you brought up a great point, and thanks for giving me more information on it, good to know.
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Old 09-14-2009, 04:42 PM   #63
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see, i thought that 'strange tales', granted it's been one issue, was so bereft of editorial vision that even pulphope couldn't make it something special. marvel will pump out the rest, it will go over lukewarm, and we won't see its like again for another 10 years. and that's not(mostly)the creator's involved fault, it's the nature of a rudderless beast.

everything else you said, yeah. with an addendum: the tori amos book was lousy. that's one of those star-fucker eisners that cheapen the whole thing, like 'invincible iron man' winning best new series.
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Old 09-14-2009, 04:51 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris stevens
see, i thought that 'strange tales', granted it's been one issue, was so bereft of editorial vision that even pulphope couldn't make it something special. marvel will pump out the rest, it will go over lukewarm, and we won't see its like again for another 10 years. and that's not(mostly)the creator's involved fault, it's the nature of a rudderless beast.

everything else you said, yeah. with an addendum: the tori amos book was lousy. that's one of those star-fucker eisners that cheapen the whole thing, like 'invincible iron man' winning best new series.
Regardless of the content, both books still manage to fall squarely in the "coffee-table" category of graphic novel anthologies. They're both smart, high-concept, and pretty - execution is debatable but I won't be debating it here...except for Strange Tales. I thought it was pretty awesome.

I don't know what Strange Tales trajectory will be, but Tattoo sold like condoms at a gangbang.

EDIT: I guess no-one really sells condoms at a gangbang. It's sort of BYOC, I'd imagine. So it sold like condoms at the convenience store next door to the motel where the gangbang's taking place.
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:10 PM   #65
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What do you guys think of the "The Best American Comics" books? Are those big sellers?

I enjoyed Lynda Barry's volume most...I think it's because I'm most in tune with her sensibilities tho.

But they've all been fun reads.
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:13 PM   #66
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let books keep falling into that category so squarely and all we'll be left to debate is how deep the bottom is.
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:24 PM   #67
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let books keep falling into that category so squarely and all we'll be left to debate is how deep the bottom is.
That debate will be over with the release of KRAMERS ERGOT 8: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:26 PM   #68
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just when i was ready to get mad at you, you bring a smile.

fucker.
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:29 PM   #69
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just when i was ready to get mad at you, you bring a smile.

fucker.
I felt you seething over the wires.
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:31 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris stevens
see, i thought that 'strange tales', granted it's been one issue, was so bereft of editorial vision that even pulphope couldn't make it something special. marvel will pump out the rest, it will go over lukewarm, and we won't see its like again for another 10 years. and that's not(mostly)the creator's involved fault, it's the nature of a rudderless beast.

everything else you said, yeah. with an addendum: the tori amos book was lousy. that's one of those star-fucker eisners that cheapen the whole thing, like 'invincible iron man' winning best new series.
I thought the tori amos book was wonderful.
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:38 PM   #71
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Respectfully, I'd rather not go down the Tattoo path - not in this thread, at least.

EDIT: As in, I know some people have strong feelings about the book and I'd rather remain neutral and I'm hosting this particular thread so...
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:39 PM   #72
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Old 09-15-2009, 01:19 PM   #73
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On crits. Chris, Lee, and I have been giving various levels of criticisms and ideas in your pitch threads. I find that there are three primary responses: confrontation, explanation, or ignoration.

I'll never forget my first harsh critique. Here's how harsh it was: I was on my very first high school poetry journal-thingee committee. I submitted a poem for publication and the editor, who probably didn't know I was in the room, read the poem to the group, paused, spit on it, ripped it in half, threw it on the ground, and stomped on it. Now here I am in the back of the room, a quiet sophomore trying to get involved for the first time, and I raised my hand and asked, "What should I do to improve my work?" Now, granted, I wanted to smash this douchebag, but there's some knowledge to be gained from even the most unhelpful people so I took a more measured response. And I did end up getting some good criticisms (and an apology). Confrontation, on the other hand, probably would have gotten me suspended. (EDIT: I will also say, in retrospect, that I was one of the worst poetry writers of all times, and I'm surprised the editor didn't shit on the page as well.)

Explanation - I hate explanation more than confrontation. "I appreciate what you're saying, but my story is about XYZ." Don't give a shit. Seriously. When I give a crit, it's because my perception of the story is ABC. Whatever you intended will rarely make me change my perception and, in the rare case that it does, it simply means you didn't explain yourself well enough to begin with. Not to say I'm the smartest guy in the world (far from it) but no matter how smart the pitch is, someone like me (who reads pitches) should be able to get your story in a paragraph. I will say extrapolation is OK, recognizing your pitch may not have been complete and expanding on several concepts, but explanation just comes off as, "Lookie here, lowly editor, I understand this pitch may be above your head so let me once again explain to you what I'm doing here and, hopefully, this time your pea-sized brain may get it."

Ignoration - "Oh well! Here's another pitch!" Do you know what takes time? Reading pitches and throwing out ideas. When an editor is willing to come in here and offer you a different look, run with it. Or, if you don't like his look, say, "That's pretty cool...I was also thinking maybe we can make [the main character a purple dinosaur]." Either way, it gets a conversation going, it gets ideas flowing, it gets good minds thinking on a single story and coming up with an elegant piece. You don't have to take an editors ideas 100%, but you should realize that he likes the idea enough to roll with it and he's offering you his services to help you develop a stronger concept. Look at ehobbs story - that one got in. And when Chris and I started offering him advice he took some, rejected others, and came back with a stronger story in the end. The story didn't even change much! Just the approach and feel of it.

Oh, and there's a fourth response, too - The Charlie Brown. God I hate Charlie Browns (except for one guy, he's the only Charlie Brown I love but I won't call him out by name in here. He knows who he is.). The folks who get a crit and their response is to say how much they suck and how they don't deserve to be published and how everyone is so much better than them. Fuck that noise, I'm not saying to be overly confident (because then you'll probably end up in the confrontation/explanation category) but be CONFIDENT at least. "I appreciate what you're saying and I know I can do better. Let me try again." Something! If you say that you suck my response will be, "Ok, he sucks." If you say you can do better I'll give you a second, third, fourth, etc chance provided you do get better every time.

Oh, Charlie Browns. We all have our Charlie Brown moments. I had a Charlie Brown year. But I always tried to keep it to myself, because no-one needs to see me at my weakest. That's a hard impression to shake.
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Old 09-15-2009, 03:37 PM   #74
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As an aside, I'm so tempted to play the role of Kanye West, jump into a thread and say, "Yo, _______, your pitch is pretty good and I'mma let you finish but SNAKES ON THE PLANE had the best pitch of all time! Of all time!"

And then just get the fuck out that thread and apologize later on Leno's unnecessary, "Death Of The 10PM Slot" show.
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:40 PM   #75
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That's a hard impression to shake.
Really, ANY of those impressions are hard to shake.

For a lot of the people pitching for this project, this is their first time in the spotlight where people with industry credibility are looking at their stuff, and it should be noted that you don't get opportunities to get feedback from an ex-D.C. editor, an Image writer, and the editor of an Eisner & Harvey-nominated book every day.

Realistically, none of them are going to remember your pitch a year from now, but they might remember how you responded to their critique and/or comments.

Don't blow your first chance at a first impression, guys.

- Richard
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