JOHNSTON: Erik, recently some ne'er do well rumour monger
dared to suggest that you guys had the Street Fighter license.
That right? If so, when by who and from whom?
Waiting For Tommy XXVIII
By Richard Johnston
Fighter art purporting to be from UDON.
we do have the Street Fighter License. We are now working
on finalizing a publisher, that is why we have not been saying
much about it. But we have already been working on a lot of
marketing plans and pre-production stuff.
Okay then, as a participant, what do you make of this whole
nostalgia bandwagon? It's only a few months since Transformers,
were topping the charts, that's subsided now but sales are
still remarkably good compared to the rest of the chart. It's
clearly not just the quality of the books, but the desires
of the audience? How long can this last? Even if the books
are great, can you see a bust coming after the current boom?
Come on! We all know when Jim Lee comes back to comics, NOTHING
can beat him! As far as the nostalgia thing goes, on UDON's
end, we have a pretty good run on things working on BOTP,
Thundercats, Robotech, and some GI Joe & Voltron. A lot has
to do with the readership of comics nowadays wanting to see
those characters. Seeing the sales of those #1 issues topping
the chart, we know it is more about the licensed property
more than the quality of the art and writing. No one knows
what the story is going to be when they order the book. You
might see some preview art online or printed, but the characters
mostly are the selling point. Take Devil's Due for example,
no one knew who they were before G.I. Joe, but they still
manage to top the Diamond Chart. Of course, the product has
to be of a certain standard to last so long at the top, but
I believe it is the brand name that drives the sales, at least
in the beginning.
OF THE PLANETS #1/2 DF ULTRA LIMITED FOIL COVER
those books sales are slipping due to a lot of reasons.
Be it the hype wears off, or the quality goes down,
shipping schedule slipping, those are what drive the
sales down. But ultimately people's attention spans
are limited. Haven't you figured out that no hype would
last for more than 2 years? See, if something is great,
then people want it on a regular basis. You slip with
either schedule or quality, you fail and people leave
you. However, you give them the great stuff regularly
for too long, and then people get used to it and just
take it for granted.
Marketable properties are drying up, and I believe with
Voltron, pretty much the TV Cartoon nostalgia boom will
come to a wrap. Really, what else is still out there?
M.A.S.K, Silverhawks, Visionaries, Star Blazers... I
can think of a few but it is probably too risky now
that the flagship titles are flat lining.
be more interesting to see how these companies would do after
this starts going slow. One day, some day, these titles might
not be as profitable as they were in the beginning. How are
they going to keep themselves afloat is what I am interested
in seeing. I know some are going to expand for more licensed
titles, while some are going to put out their own creation.
Who is going to survive? Only time will tell!
More so, it would
be more interesting to see how the comic business will survive.
Seeing a lot of monies invested in these titles cutting out
from the ordinary market share, something has to be trimmed
in order for those to grow. Each customer, or even each retailer
does have a budget. So for them to pick up 3 new books means
they probably have to at least drop 2. Retailers are ordering
heavily on Transformers before because they know those will
sell and make them profit. But by ordering 10 extra copies
of TF, they would need to cut down at least 5 copies of something
else in case. I know some retailers that totally drop their
independent comic sales to cash in on the nostalgia craze.
Take within Dreamwave
itself as an example: while the TF sales go sky high, all
of their creator owned titles are going lower and lower. Short-term
money does rise, but has anyone asked the question that when
the hype is over, what it is there to fill the void? I am
hoping now that the craze is settling down, more retailers
will look at the new independent books and give them a try.
Is Street Fighter too late to benefit from the nostalgia boom
then? What's the point of paying for the license when much
of the appeal will have drained away?
Fighter is not related to the nostalgia boom. It is a totally
new genre on its own. It's video games stuff and if anything,
we might kick start a whole bunch of video game licensed books.
doing Street Fighter because we want to do it, and we have faith
that there are a lot of SF fans who wanted to see it done right.
SF to video games is like Star Wars to movies. It is a classic
that anyone who has played video games would know what it is.
That is the business aspect of picking this license.
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