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WAITING FOR TOMMY: BRYAN TALBOT
By Richard Johnston

RICH: But the comics industry seems to rely on familiarity with the same. Jim Lee only tops the industry sales when he does Batman - his own Divine Right series scraped along the bottom. Warren Ellis says he's felt the pressure to just do Batman or some such. Do you feel any similar pressure, despite your own feelings?

 

THE SANDMAN VOL. 1 TPB: PRELUDES AND NOCTURNES

BRYAN: Nope. I often get asked in interviews which superhero comics I'd like a crack at. I don't really want to do any established characters. I prefer to write my own stories.

RICH: It's argued that the comics industry is unable to support much of the art it produces. We've heard your difficulties for getting Alice In Sunderland published. Why do you believe publishers are unwilling to support such a work?

BRYAN: Most comic companies are pretty timid with the direct sale market as it is at the moment and unwilling to take chances on something as off-the-wall in comic book store terms as ALICE (even though it's potentially the most mass-market project I've worked on) and mainstream book publishers are still jittery about producing graphic novels at all, even though it's an expanding market. Two big name mainstream publishers turned it down, even though they were both very keen on it themselves, after meetings with their "sales people". One bunch of these suits wasn't sure it would sell sufficiently, while the other (of the "Art House Publisher") thought it was too commercial! I can't see the point of being a publisher if you can't go with your own intuition and publish what you like without it being okayed by your gaggle of market analysts. I'd been talking with one of these publishers for about 8 months when you ran the article on ALICE looking for a home. After that I had 8 publishers who immediately contacted me about it.

RICH: Well, it's not unknown for commerce to dictate art. How much does the former influence the latter in your own work, rather than a publisher's decision?

BRYAN: Not at all. I either think I have a good story idea or I don't. I only come up with these now and again - don't like doing something that I think is too close to something that's been done before, unless it's a rare commissioned thing, like the Teknophage/Shadowdeath miniseries.

Big publishers now seemed to be ruled by their money men. In the 50s when Allen and Unwin were approached by Tolkien, the publisher didn't think it would sell but loved it. He got onto his accountants to ask them exactly how much he could afford to lose by publishing it, to decide on the print run. That's a REAL publisher!

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 Continued Here...

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