FOR TOMMY: BRYAN TALBOT
Tale Of One Bad Rat is still a favourite perennial seller,
just behind Maus on the American libraries' favourite graphic
novels. Aside from Americans clear fascination with rodents,
how can the industry learn from its success?
Producing a book that can be enjoyed by a widespread mainstream
readership and not just one focussed on the relatively tiny
superhero comic market is something that, while being obvious,
seems to have taken comic publishers a long time to realise.
Some of them still haven't. Why aim for .01% of the population
when you can aim for 100%?
What percentage do you think the Luther books appeal to? Who
makes up that market in your opinion?
No idea - a lot less than BAD RAT though, which is non-genre
and can appeal to anybody who likes a good story.
How successful have you found comic shops at accessing that
market for your work?
Not very. Comic stores are a bit like stamp collector shops.
The public don't go into them, as they're seen as speciality
stores. They're purely for comic fans. Having their windows
filled with posters of musclemen and bimbos only serves to
put off non-comic readers.
they don't tend to restock when they sell out of a graphic
novel (WATCHMEN etc. excluded). Instead of thinking "Hey,
that sold out! Let's get some more!", they think "Great! We
sold the bloody thing!" It's rare for me to go into a comic
store these days and see a single one of my books on the shelves,
even though they are all in print and still selling in bookstores
and to libraries.
the big exception is Page 45 in Nottingham. Can I be indulgent
and use this space to clue in people who haven't heard of
Oh please do. I'm a fan of Page 45 myself - the only place
I could ever find Eddie Campbell's self published stuff ten
years after it came out. Lovely place. The floor is yours,
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