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Postby Technohat » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:24 am

Gryphon wrote:According to diamond, King aroo is being resolicited for october.


Now that's music to my ears! :D
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Postby bem1 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:23 am

I had given up on King Aroo vol. 2 ever coming to light. I still don't see an amazon fish, but maybe that has yet to be solicited. Thanks for the update.

As a postscript the local library has the 1st volume of Funky Winkerbean, which I'll be checking out today. It's a book I want to read, but not pay money for. I feel the same way about a lot of the gag a day strips. I'm disagreeing with one of our fellow commentators, but once I've read a book of Wizard of Id, or Beetle Bailey, I just don't see myself going back to it. Ironically I can not sit down and read Krazy Kat for hours or even straight through, but when I'm sitting or have a few minutes to spare, I pull Krazy Kat and read a few Sundays, with a personal preference for the last 9 or 10 years in color.
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Postby captcomic83 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:18 am

The October 2012 solicitations are going to SUCK: Another Dan DeCarlo Archie collection AND boring 1970s Marvel?

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Lightning Round

Postby Cnwl » Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:47 am

Hey, all --

Crazy-busy in these parts, but these on-the-fly thoughts ...

TECHNOHAT, GRYPH, & BEM: KING AROO Volume 2 is indeed starting to roll. (My text has been written for well over a year now.) Jack Kent Jr. managed to unearth all the strips and production is underway. Grand fun in Myopia awaits!

Lucky XIII: I like AMBLER. Of course, as a kid who grew up on the original, accept-no-sequels JONNY QUEST, I have always enjoyed seeing Doug Wildey stuff.

CAPTCOMIC: The good news about comics (and comics-related) solicitations? Just like a streetcar or subway train, there's always another one coming along! (And a KA-ZAR MASTERWORKS featuring artwork by John Buscema and putting-it-together Barry Smith holds a degree of attraction for me, I admit. Your mileage may vary!)

A QUESTION FOR ALL re: MODERN GAG-A-DAY STRIPS: Given the repetitive nature of and lack of ongoing story content/chartacter development in many of those strips, how many $49.99 hardcover collections of those strips would you be willing to buy? A dozen? Four? One? None? (By the way, Gordon Bess's RED EYE was one of the strips in my boyhood daily newspaper; I have a tremendous soft spot for that, and for T.K. Ryan's TUMBLEWEEDS!)

FINALLY: 2012 Eisner winners were announced last night. A hearty "Congratulations" to all the winners!
Best wishes --

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Postby captcomic83 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:23 pm

Cnwl: I am upset that IDW is IGNORING Red Circle in favor of running more bland Silver Age Archie collections!

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Postby Edward J Grug III » Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:24 pm

captcomic83 wrote:Cnwl: I am upset that IDW is IGNORING Red Circle in favor of running more bland Silver Age Archie collections!

J.A.P.


Tell it to IDW, LoAC is it's own entity.
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Re: Lightning Round

Postby Gryphon » Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:26 pm

Cnwl wrote:Hey, all --

Crazy-busy in these parts, but these on-the-fly thoughts ...

TECHNOHAT, GRYPH, & BEM: KING AROO Volume 2 is indeed starting to roll. (My text has been written for well over a year now.) Jack Kent Jr. managed to unearth all the strips and production is underway. Grand fun in Myopia awaits!

Lucky XIII: I like AMBLER. Of course, as a kid who grew up on the original, accept-no-sequels JONNY QUEST, I have always enjoyed seeing Doug Wildey stuff.

CAPTCOMIC: The good news about comics (and comics-related) solicitations? Just like a streetcar or subway train, there's always another one coming along! (And a KA-ZAR MASTERWORKS featuring artwork by John Buscema and putting-it-together Barry Smith holds a degree of attraction for me, I admit. Your mileage may vary!)

A QUESTION FOR ALL re: MODERN GAG-A-DAY STRIPS: Given the repetitive nature of and lack of ongoing story content/chartacter development in many of those strips, how many $49.99 hardcover collections of those strips would you be willing to buy? A dozen? Four? One? None? (By the way, Gordon Bess's RED EYE was one of the strips in my boyhood daily newspaper; I have a tremendous soft spot for that, and for T.K. Ryan's TUMBLEWEEDS!)

FINALLY: 2012 Eisner winners were announced last night. A hearty "Congratulations" to all the winners!



The only current gag a day strip I would buy a $49.99 collection fo would be pearls before swine which is one of the most innovative and amazing strips out there.
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My personal opinion...

Postby XIII » Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:29 pm

Why bother with modern gag-a-day strips when there are still so many great classic strips to rescue from oblivion?

http://forum.idwpublishing.com/viewtopi ... 627#266627

http://forum.idwpublishing.com/viewtopi ... 629#266629
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Re: Lightning Round

Postby WW Doctor » Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:53 pm

Cnwl wrote:TECHNOHAT, GRYPH, & BEM: KING AROO Volume 2 is indeed starting to roll. (My text has been written for well over a year now.) Jack Kent Jr. managed to unearth all the strips and production is underway. Grand fun in Myopia awaits!

A QUESTION FOR ALL re: MODERN GAG-A-DAY STRIPS: Given the repetitive nature of and lack of ongoing story content/chartacter development in many of those strips, how many $49.99 hardcover collections of those strips would you be willing to buy? A dozen? Four? One? None? (By the way, Gordon Bess's RED EYE was one of the strips in my boyhood daily newspaper; I have a tremendous soft spot for that, and for T.K. Ryan's TUMBLEWEEDS!)


Darn excited to hear about King Aroo, Volume Two! Really long wait, but King Aroo is one of those strips that are worth it!

Regarding the modern gag-a-day strips, if story content/character development were everything, why do GARFIELD and DILBERT collections continue to sell? Shouldn't those two reprint lines have died off long ago due to a lack of story and/or character development? What about ZITS, or MUTTS? Not much character development in either of those strips, and certainly no continuing stories. Yet those books continue to sell as well.

I do think you are doing such gag strips a disservice by simply dismissing them because of their lack of story and/or character development. Should they be looked at as lesser creations simply because their sole purpose was to put a smile on the readers face?

I'm almost certain that I'll be the only one here who has/will have any interest in the more modern-day gag strip material. Most of those who do post here are going to be much more interested in the classic strips that you (along with Fantagraphics, Classic Comics Press and Hermes) have been doing really well. And that's okay, one should buy what one likes to read.

I'm a bit unusual in that I can enjoy and understand the appeal of a strip like Alex Raymond's RIP KIRBY but also equally enjoy a simple gag-a-day strip like Jim Davis' GARFIELD. I do think that for most that post here, the appeal of a strip like GARFIELD or TUMBLEWEEDS is probably slim to none. That doesn't mean there isn't a market for a reprint of TUMBLEWEEDS. Obviously, there's a market for GARFIELD reprints. However, I would highly question whether a $50/list hardcover is the correct format for such a TUMBLEWEEDS (or any other modern day gag strip) reprint.

GARFIELD is published in $20 trade paperbacks, and if LOAC does ever look into publishing more modern day gag strips, I think that's the format that will need to be looked at. There's no way a GARFIELD reader, who might have an interest in a TUMBLEWEEDS reprint since Jim Davis was T.K. Ryan's assistant before starting GARFIELD, is likely to pay $50/list for a strip reprint, not when they are used to paying $20 for a GARFIELD reprint.

It's why I'm interested to see how FUNKY WINKERBEAN does. I did peruse the book at a local comic shop, and it looks really good. I'll probably end up getting the book, but I think it has a tough road ahead. At $45/list, it won't appeal to the reader that I think it needs to appeal to, the GARFIELD/DILBERT type reader who's used to paying $20-25 for a strip reprint. And I don't think the FUNKY reprint has much appeal to most of the readers of classic strips (like the vast majority of those who post here), who are much more used to paying the $40-50/list place that Kent State is asking for the FUNKY reprint.

Long story short, yes I would buy any modern-day strip reprints that LOAC might decide to do (I'd certainly buy a TUMBLEWEEDS reprint, as I've also got a soft spot for that strip as well!). But I do think if you do decide to jump into the gag strip reprint market, you will definitely need to re-think you reprint strategy and need to consider the trade paperback format for such strips in order to be competitive.
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Postby XIII » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:21 pm

Titan seems to be doing fine with their comprehensive hardcover reprints of that kind of strips...

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Postby metabaron » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:59 pm

We need Library of British Comics (LOBC) to print some of those classics like Garth or comprehensive Dan Dare or...
Anyway, glad at least I can read some of American classics like Rip Kirby and very glad you guys decided to continue.
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Re: My personal opinion...

Postby Technohat » Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:50 pm

TECHNOHAT, GRYPH, & BEM: KING AROO Volume 2 is indeed starting to roll. (My text has been written for well over a year now.) Jack Kent Jr. managed to unearth all the strips and production is underway. Grand fun in Myopia awaits!


Hurray! I can't wait. That's excellent news.

A QUESTION FOR ALL re: MODERN GAG-A-DAY STRIPS: Given the repetitive nature of and lack of ongoing story content/chartacter development in many of those strips, how many $49.99 hardcover collections of those strips would you be willing to buy? A dozen? Four? One? None? (By the way, Gordon Bess's RED EYE was one of the strips in my boyhood daily newspaper; I have a tremendous soft spot for that, and for T.K. Ryan's TUMBLEWEEDS!)


I think a lot of this depends on a number of factors such as:

1) How many pages would there be in each book? (The more pages the more perceived value.)

2) Which strips(s) are being reprinted? (Some strips are really good and deserve to be reprinted, some are so bad it's a wonder they even got syndicated in the first place. Also, what I like may not be the same as what someone else likes and vice versa. If it's a strip I like, I would be willing to buy most if not all the volumes produced.)

3) Is there a point where the series jumps the shark? (There are a number of strips that are still around mainly because they've been around forever and it's hard for newspapers to get rid of the old dinosaurs. Family Circus was a really good strip back in the day and I own a copy of both of the two books that IDW/LOAC have put out and would be willing to buy more if they are produced, but at some point, I'm not exactly sure when, the strip began to slowly go downhill until now it's become the unfunny poster child of the comics page. I'm willing to buy volumes as long as they are still funny and/or entertaining. Once they stop, I stop buying. )

4) How many volumes will there eventually be in the particular series? (This is also related to factor #1. People don't like it if a publisher skimps on the page count and keeps the price the same to stretch things out and make them buy extra volumes. Also, if there are going to be a large number of volumes, it's helpful to communicate that in advance. Also, by stating the number of volumes it helps to show the publisher is committed to the series. Nobody wants to commit to buying a series of books if the publisher isn't committed to finishing the series. Now, nobody expects a publisher to go broke reprinting a series if nobody is buying it, but if it sells well, we expect you to continue to produce volumes. )


5) Has the strip been reprinted before? If so, what format was it reprinted in? How much of the strip got reprinted?

6) Would you be doing a comprehensive chronological reprinting or a best-of collection? (Most people would prefer a comprehensive chronological reprinting, I know I do.)

7) Where will it be available for people to purchase? (Some publishers will make certain books available only on their own website or exclusively available from a particular retailer. Consumers HATE that. Not only does it make it harder for consumers to get your books, it also makes it harder to recommend them to other people. If they aren't available on Amazon, it's almost a lost cause in trying to recommend books to people.

8) Will older volumes be reprinted as they sell out? (Nobody wants to start buying strip collections if half the volumes are out of print and there are no intention to go back to press on them.)

9) How well are the strips reproduced? (Are the strips printed clearly or are they all smudged and blurry? Are the Sundays in color are are they all in black and white? Are the Sundays complete or are they missing the top panels?)

10) What kind of graphic style is the book series produced in? Will it be consistent from book to book? (The Peanuts books are a good example of a consistent graphic style for the presentation. Simple, but elegent.)

XIII wrote:Why bother with modern gag-a-day strips when there are still so many great classic strips to rescue from oblivion?


I'm not sure I understand the either/or mentality. Why can't we have great strip reprints of both the classics and the newer strips?
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Postby XIII » Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:18 pm

I was just expressing my personal priorities. I'll choose "classic" strips (even the more obscure, unheralded material) over modern gag-a-day any time, and LOAC, or any other specialized label, has only a limited amount of slots to fill in their schedule. My vote is clear, of course everyone else can and may have different priorities.
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Postby motiontoast » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:02 pm

When people say "modern gag-a-day comic strip", are you referring to Wizard of Id and Beetle Bailey? While those strips are definitely more modern than the LOAC tends to lean, they are still over fifty or sixty years old.

Or do you mean strips from the last 25 or so years? I think the popularity of Bloom County and the large Calvin and Hobbes and Far Side collections tell us that there is a market for hardback collections of gag-a-day strips.

And when I said that I would like to see more of these types of books I gave Robot Man as an example, but there are plenty of vintage gag-a-day comic strips that I would love to see, anything from Milt Gross for example.

I have been buying Dick Tracy, Little Orphan Annie and Walt and Skeezix because I love getting wrapped up in the characters and their lives. But I also have a love for straight up gag cartooning. I'd go back and read those book over and over for the terrible puns and funny drawings. I know I'm probably in the minority, but that's the way I like it.
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Sorry to Be Quick Again, But ...

Postby Cnwl » Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:01 am

... I'm headed out the door in 20 minutes (at 7:55AM), so ...

HI, KURTIS! I say "modern gag-a-day" as shorthand for "strips that launched/became popular in the latter half of the 20th Century." So by that definition BEETLE BAILEY and GARFIELD are modern gag-a-day strips, BRINGING UP FATHER and KATZENJAMMER KIDS are not.

XIII: We know Titan is _doing_ releases like the ones you cited on the 16th (HAGAR, etc.) -- we don't know how _well_ they're doing. Titan is also an enterprise of some size that sells on both sides of the Atlantic; which is not to say LOAC doesn't get some foreign sales, but those are bonus points for us, while they seem to be part of Titan's overall marketing strategy. So even if Titan _is_ doing well with those books, does it take both US and UK sales to make them profitable? None of us are there, none of us can know for sure ... (Thanks for putting your two cents in for the stuff you'd like to see, by the way. Much appreciated, even if I have to tell you RADIO PATROL isn't really on our radar at the moment. Sorry 'bout that!)

TECHNO: Excellent analysis of the types of factors that go into launching a series! As you can tell, it ain't as easy as, "Hey, let's do <Insert Strip Name Here>" and then we're off to the races ...

WW DOC: I'm definitely not dismissing gag-a-day strips -- I grew up reading RED EYE, BEETLE, NANCY, and PEANUTS in my hometown daily newspaper, and once I started reading the BOSTON GLOBE in school ... wowee! So I _think_ I'm with you and can enjoy both narratives like TRACY and gag-a-days like BONER'S ARK. What I was obliquely trying to point out last time is that narrative strips like TERRY or RIP KIRBY have the familiar "serial fiction" narrative in their favor that can help pull an audience through multiple book releases. Gag-a-days come with a degree or repetition that make it easier for audiences to "jump ship" after a book or two. GARFIELD and DILBERT sales are aided by the size of their publisher, which seems to have more financial muscle in the marketplace than does LOAC (I assume, based in part on how I see brick-&-mortar stores handling those products vs. how they handle ours). And the conclusion you reach is mighty close to my own (and I'm speaking only for myself here, not for Dean): modern gag-a-days will need a format different than the typical LOAC format in order to be viable in this marketplace (the old 50-, 60-, 75-cent Fawcett "pocket book" paperback format still holds a warm place in my heart: it was PERFECT for strips like MOMMA and TUMBLEWEEDS).

Finally: It's not like LOAC has been tone-deaf to gag-a-day comedy strips. We've done one AROO, one BUF, and one POLLY (each with a companion volume on the way), two FAMILY CIRCUSes, LITTLE KING/AMBASSADOR, two ARCHIEs, and Kurtis's excellent Chuck Jones/CRAWFORD compilation. That's a total of nine books, and while I'm not doing the exact math in my head, it's gotta represent about 15% of the total LOAC output to-date. Which isn't enough to suggest we change our name to "The Library of American Comedy," but _is_ enough to indicate we're not exactly shunning gag-a-day comedy, either, even if our choices so far have admittedly been outside the "modern gag-a-day" mainstream.

OK, I'm running late, so I gotta run! Many thanks for the terrific discussion, one and all!
Best wishes --

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