Augie, I agree with most of your assessment on the direct market. I have a small chain of comics stores by me that are atrocious when it comes to stocking anything not in the front of the catalog. Fortunately I am a half an hour from Boston, where there are high quality stores, that have a broad variety of books, and do a great job with large and small press.
I will have to agree with Brian Hibbs to a degree as well (been to his shop it's a winner, but in SF most are.) as I only knew Humanoids was returning. Maybe they would have been better off starting with bringing back Metabarons or Incal with some of the newer lesser known material. Maybe it wouldn't make a lick of difference. Bottom line, there is a ton of great material out there that is ignored by most of the direct market.
Thanks for your thoughts and discussion. As always, Augie did a great job getting the ball rolling. We are currently in the midst of a very interesting time for the comic industry. As with all entertainment-based industries it's in a very exciting time of change and everybody (customer, creator, publisher, retailer) is experimenting with finding the right way in which to continue expanding this wonderful business.
Each retailer rightfully has their ideal way of conducting their business. Same goes for the publishers. At the end of the day, we're all determined to both expand this business while, at the same time, bringing in some money to ensure that we will continue building and defining what people know and love about comics.
Our cancellations of BOUNCER and UNFABULOUS FIVE are purely financial... the orders did not justify that we produce them as monthly comics. But we are still completely committed to both books. We love them and hope to get them out to as many fans as possible. As such, we're going to soon release them digitally (streaming and for free) to anybody interested to garner interest in the eventual graphic novel collections. You can see pics of the iPad and internet tests HERE and HERE. There'll be more info once we officially launch both digital comic applications.
We're in this to build our little corner of the wonderful comics industry. Our relationship with both the retailer and customer is fundamental to our success. We thank all retailers that support us and hope to establish and build relationships with you as we continue our endeavor.
pmpknface: I think we've come up with something that'll make you happy. We're gonna to format some special collections in a format similar to Marvel's Omnibus/DC's Absolute. Same dimensions as traditional european album size... but collecting entire stories (3-6 albums worth of material). The first to be done this way will be Incal for a Winter 2010 release. Limited quantities... but a way to keep our longtime fans happy!
Also online versions of both the Bouncer #1 and Unfabulous Five #1 comics are now viewable online and via iPad. Here's the more official blurb on that:
We at Humanoids have just made available live streaming access to our comic books. We're super proud of our comics and the intuitive iPad interface we've developed and hope you will check it out and let us know what you think. These two issues are the first of many we will be offering to comic fans and iPad users.
Get free instant access to our first digital comics; now available to view on either your iPad or computer by clicking HERE (for "Bouncer") and HERE (for "Unfabulous Five"). Issues of the latest comic titles "Bouncer" and "Unfabulous 5" can be enjoyed for free anywhere you can connect to the internet.
"Bouncer" is a vicious comic set in the Wild West by Jodorowsky and Boucq about a one-armed gunslinger nicknamed Bouncer. "Unfabulous Five" is a hilarious adventure comic about a group of guys inspired by Mexican Wrestling to become the superhero protectors of their community.
Humanoids will also launch a separate application called iHumanoids in the Apps Store by the end of this summer. With iHumanoids, many of Humanoids' comic titles will be available for downloadable purchase. Once downloaded, you'll be able to read them wherever you would like, with or without being connected to the internet.