Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Seven Soldiers of Poor, Poor Marketing Decisions

So this is what I see as I’m scanning the solicits for upcoming DC trade paperbacks:

SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY VOL. 1 TP
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: J.H. Williams III, Simone Bianchi, Cameron Stewart, Ryan Sook, Frazer Irving and Mick Gray
Collects SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY #0, SEVEN SOLDIERS: SHINING KNIGHT #1-2, SEVEN SOLDIERS: GUARDIAN #1-2, SEVEN SOLDIERS: ZATANNA #1-2 and SEVEN SOLDIERS: KLARION THE WITCH BOY #1

Wow. I just can’t understand who would’ve thought that was the best way to package this series of minis. Now, it's important to keep in mind that I’m writing this from the perspective of not just someone who’s currently reading and enjoying these books, but someone who was also looking forward to picking them up in tpb form for the bookshelf.

Why on earth would they combine parts of four separate miniseries into one volume? You’d think that one of the goals of the collection would be to appeal to people who didn’t pick up the floppies, but were curious enough to consider picking up at least the first volume. Well, what DC has now done is tell those possible consumers that they’re welcome to pick up the first volume, but they’ll have to commit to at least the first two if they want to get anything resembling a complete story. It’s just bad business.

I mean, I WANT these books, and I’m still not sure I’m going to buy vol. 1. DC isn’t just alienating potential new readers, but their established consumer base (me) as well.

And besides, weren’t readers assured before the Seven Soldiers books launched that you could pick up any of the separate minis and get a complete story? Weren’t we? Well, here’s a snippet from an interview with Grant Morrison:

“Morrison promised if readers were just interested in a few of the heroes showcased in this event, that all of the miniseries under the Seven Soldiers banner could be read independently. "If you choose to buy only Klarion: the Witch Boy, say or The Manhattan Guardian you'll still get a complete and satisfying four-issue mini-series which sets up the characters and establishes them for future adventures," said Morrison.”

Um, when did that plan change? I must have not read the follow-up interview where Morrison admitted that not only would readers be expected to buy every Seven Soldiers title to understand the story and get a resolution to the characters’ individual miniseries, but that such devotion to the line would be used as the main assumption in formatting the inevitable collection of said books. Again, bad move. We shouldn’t be expected to pick up a minimum of two tpbs in order to get a full four issue mini. It’s lame, and is a rare occasion of DC’s trade collections department dropping the ball.

Big time.

2 Comments:

Blogger Michileen Martin said...

I'm actually happy about the announcement, since I've been waiting to check out the whole story in tpb format.

I understand why you're frustrated, but I think you should consider how much folks who only wanted to read individual mini-series are getting screwed over, versus how much more heinously readers wanting to get the whole thing would've been screwed over if DC had reprinted all the mini-series separately. I want the whole story, but I don't want to buy SEVEN tpbs to do it. Not to mention, where would they put the prequel issue as well as the Seven Soldiers special that ends it all?

3:03 PM  
Blogger Jhunt said...

Yeah, it'd be a complicated group of books to collect, regardless of the approach. I have given a little thought to how I would've done it (not that anyone's asking).

Vol 1 - Prequel, Guardian, Shining Knight

Vol 2 - Klarion, Zatanna

Vol 3 - Mr. Miracle,Frankenstein

Vol 4 - Bulleteer, Conclusion issue, possibly a massive Grant Morrison interview to elucidate & inform

Four volumes with respectable page counts. That's more of what I was looking for.

Still, I just know I'm gonna end up buying these tpbs regardless of the volume breakdown. Stupid, sexy Morrison books!

3:26 PM  

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