The Tails that Wag the Dogs: Part Two

Ever notice how many comic publishers company name start with A or B? Trying to get as close to the front as possible I suspect (can't imagine why Amaze Ink/SLG isn't listed as SLG/Amaze Ink later in the catalog). But back to our regularly scheduled post:

BOOM! Studios seems to have set itself up with some quality titles without straining the limits of their line. Carrying titles from Giffen and DeMatteis helps (particularly Stardust Kid) and I'm curious to see how War of the Worlds sells (particularly since they seem to have overshipped issue #1 to ensure a presence on the shelf). We'll give just about anything they publish at least a few copies of several issues to see what kind of legs they have. Here's hoping they can avoid getting bitten by the lateness bug (and can add bar codes to help my inventory tracking).

Now we come to Avatar. Here's a company that could probably develop itself into the next Dark Horse if it would just give up on the ridiculous variant covers (the Lady Death annual in the Mach Previews has 8 different covers). They've got a nice little horror niche and they've added a few licensed properties like Friday the 13th and Stargate that fit their line fairly well. Toss in the occasional Warren Ellis or Garth Ennis title and they have a solid base to work from. When titles are constantly late and solicited with an insane number of covers, though, it makes it difficult to throw much support behind them. We definitely don't carry everything they publish and several titles are on a single issue order, but every once in awhile a title like Black Gas does fairly well. The bigger problem is that their singles don't seem to translate very well into trade sales outside of the that Apparat collection.

Slave Labor is a company that we order based more on potential than anything. Their funny-more-than-scary line of pseudo-horror books haven't really found much of an audience here (outside of the Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and Squee trades), yet we still order more than a token issue of titles like Bear, Rex Libris & Pirate Club (even though I suspect we'll have much more success with the trades of those titles). Still, it's good to have at least a few copies of the singles for quality titles to use as samplers to sell the trades if nothing else.

Checker Book Publishing is another company that we support a bit more than sales may warrant, though exclusively in the form of trades (where the threshold is a bit lower). Their Supreme volumes have sold well (despite suffering from a less than high quality transfer), as has Max Allen Collins' Dick Tracy collection. Throw in the early work of Dr. Seuss and Winsor McKay and they've got a nice little base to work from and a developing niche republishing quality out of print comics (always something we can support).


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