One Run at Halo

Continuing our Halo kick, I heard the disturbing (to me) news this week that the Halo graphic novel was a one and done printing in the hardcover format. From all reports there was a sizeable overprint and reorders should still be available for at least a few more weeks (and there will likely be some available through bookstore distributors for awhile after that) but I can only draw two possible conclusions from this news. Either Marvel plans to go to a fairly quick paperback printing (as in the next 3-4 months) or else Marvel is unconcerned that this material could be unavailable for several months. Somehow I doubt Bungie would be very happy with the latter option so we'll likely see a trade paperback in the near future, which I think ignores the potential legs a hardcover edition of this materials has (although it's entirely possible that the costs of publishing this book as a hardcover are simply not worth another print run).

Maybe I'm simply being pessimistic (I've been told as much by a few readers of this blog) but I'm worried that a book with enormous crossover potential like Halo is going to be damaged long term by the traditional business approach Marvel employs, an approach that has been tailored to promote ongoing series in the direct market (much like Dark Horse hampered sales of the Serenity trade by allowing it to be out of print for months because they expected it to behave like a periodical). I may be completely off base and Halo will do much better as a paperback than as a hardcover graphic novel and it may lead to great sales on a continuing series, bringing in customers who will then transition to reading other ongoing series as well. Maybe I'm being pessimistic, but I doubt it.


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