ninjas who fight zombies! on the high seas! with lasers!

Robby and I discuss marketing:

(16:42:33) robby: you’d probably like Street Angel: blinged out Aztec gods, basketball-playing ninjas, immortal Spanish conquistadors, the first Irish astronaut, a mad scientist who wants to recreate Pangea
(16:43:00) me: hmm
(16:43:22) robby: It should be in trade by now
(16:43:26) me: personally, i don’t think that i respond very well to just “concept” marketing
(16:43:44) me: i don’t usually care what’s being done so much as how
(16:44:08) me: for example, Fables is a pretty cool concept, but it could easily have been done very poorly
(16:44:20) me: but the art and characterization makes it worth reading
(16:44:36) me: Y: The Last Man is a great concept
(16:44:43) me: but again, same deal
(16:44:59) me: it’s probably been done before by a lot of shitty indie 80s creators
(16:45:24) me: what makes it work is the characterization and continuously-interesting plotting
(16:45:31) me: plus good visuals
(16:45:47) me: i admit, it’s harder to market something in that way
(16:46:20) me: it’s easier to differentiate a new series if you can describe it with a unique concept
(16:46:46) me: but that’s not going to sell me
(16:47:10) me: i’m tremendously more willing to buy something if I’ve seen preview pages for it
(16:47:22) me: so I can see how the artist works and the dialogue style
(16:47:51) me: this is why i have such a hard time with manga
(16:48:02) me: i really want to have the reed collective branch into manga
(16:48:12) me: but i’m looking at fifty one-paragraph solicits
(16:48:21) robby: right, and the concepts sound good
(16:48:28) robby: but the execution doesn’t appeal
[edit: really, it’s not that; it’s that all they give me is concept, and the execution is completely unknown until I buy the book.]
(16:48:47) me: “Fujuki moves into a new school! and she falls in love with this guy who’s actually a robot duck! follow their wacky adventures!”
(16:49:20) me: or sometimes the concept is something simple
(16:49:44) me: “Takahoshimitsusama moves to a new school and has trouble adjusting”
(16:49:56) me: but maybe the characterization in that series is brilliant
(16:50:22) me: some of the best stories, if you think about it, have really simple concepts
(16:50:54) me: so I’m really skeptical of “it’s full of ninjas who fight zombies! on the high seas! with lasers!”
(16:51:12) robby: yeah, I had a teacher this year that was always going on about how there are maybe 15 stories, 25 tops
(16:51:12) me: but give me a page with ten word balloons on it and I’m right there with you

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Leigh Walton talks comics and maybe other arts. (RSS)
He also works for the very excellent publisher Top Shelf Productions (which does not necessarily endorse the views and opinions, etc, herein).

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Header by me. Contains an interpolation of the final panel from All-Star Superman #1 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Speaking of which.

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