Mignolaversity interviews Scott Allie at NYCC:
I found this interesting. About the Hell on Earth titles, he said:
All the modern day stuff needs to be linear, one book a month. We were looking at a month where we were going to up to three BPRD books a month, plus trade paperbacks, and it's like, nah, it's too many, you're stretching the audience thin, comics are a lot of money. Y'know, we've gotta be mindful of that.
Which is true, and he brings up a very good point, but there is another thing that concerns me. Hell on Earth is split up into so many pieces right now. There's the main John Arcudi stuff, the little side horror stories, and then there's the Ashley Strode stuff. Putting all that on a monthly schedule really seems to be slamming on the breaks for the main plotline, and as a result, I think readers may come to resent the side stories because they interfere with this. It's a concern I've had since I first heard about the renumbering. I figured the book would probably change to one Hell on Earth title per month, but that means if a three-issue Ashley Storde story comes along, the other stuff is put on hold for three months. With only twelve issues coming out a year, those issues will have to be divided between these three camps.
There seems no easy solution for this either. The points Scott Allie mentions are really good points, and with Hellboy, Lobster Johnson and soon Abe Sapien, not to mention Baltimore in the mix it's a lot of books. In the first six months of next year there are already 6 issues of BPRD Hell on Earth, 6 issues of BPRD, 3 Hellboy in Hell, 3 Lobster Johnson, 2 for Sledgehammer '44 and 2 for Baltimore. That's 22 issues in 26 weeks. And that may not even be all that's coming. Personally, I'm thrilled about that, but not everyone is going to like it.
So I don't think it's realistic to add more Hell on Earth titles per month, but I do think there will be a drawback in terms of pacing. These detour stories, which will play a larger role in the future I'm sure, could push the patience of less committed readers. But all these pieces have been put on the table now. It's a little late to hastily put them back away.
I hope there may occasionally be a burst of speed with the series, where for certain arcs or plotlines, especially the side plotlines, the comic switches to bimonthly, then back to monthly again for the more important stuff. I'm just throwing that out there. It may actually be a terrible idea. To be honest, I haven't actually given it that much thought.
Of course, there're other options. These side stories could come out as plus-sized issues. A story that would normally come out as a two-parter could come out as a single double-length comic. Or they could come out as OGNs. Or appear in the pages of Dark Horse Presents. Or as Dark Horse Digital exclusives (That'd be cool for the Ashley Strode stuff, which seems to stand alone much better than other Hell on Earth stuff. Just sayin'). Or maybe there's something else I haven't thought of.
What does everyone else think of all this?