Revisiting Our Format (and BEA)

I'm going to modify my approach to this blog since my current rate of postings leaves quite a bit to be desired. I tend to ramble on at length about topics, something I rather enjoy but which takes quite a bit of time. While I will continue to do so, I really only have time for that length of post about once a week (as I'm sure you've all gathered by now). Instead of doing a Quick Hits post each week, the blog will now feature that sort of short, stream of consciousness post on roughly a daily basis with a longer, more considered post once or so a week. We'll see how this works until I have even less time.

For today I'm going to mention two stories that came out of BookExpo but didn't get much (well, and really) mention until ICV2 ran stories on them. The first is the addition of Comics to Houghton Mifflin's Best American series (you know, Best American Mystery Stories, Best American Travel Writing etc). Coupled with Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, it makes for a nice step into comic literature, especially since it will be edited by Harvey Pekar. While it will sell here (I'm expecting roughly on par with McSweeney's #13), this isn't a book that is intended for the direct market at all. It should act as an excellent gateway book, however, especially since it will fit in nicely in those Best American displays that POP up at chain bookstores (wow, retail puns, I really am running low on intelligent thought).

The second story discussed a new graphic novel line from Osprey Publishing. I picked up an advance copy of Gamble for Victory -- Battle of Gettysburg at BEA and I'll have to dig it out of the stack of books I picked up there and have yet to sit down and read. It's written by Dan Abnett (of Abnett & Lanning, who wrote Legion before Waid's reboot and just finished up Majestic) and if I recall correctly is something of an amalgam of comic and historical reference. I do remember thinking it was a good idea and several people over at the Engine seem to agree (though quite a bit of that thread is an entertaining, if tangential, disagreement between Ellis and Colleen Doran regarding Boadiccea). I'm all for variety and had an elementary school history teacher in the other day asking about history comics in general and (non-Marvel) Civil War comics in particular so I certainly see a market for it. I do think it might be beneficial to publish them in a hardcover format as well, though, since there would certainly seem to be a market for them among school libraries (and in my experience, if there's one thing that librarians hate, it's the lack of durability that come with paperbacks).


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