FOR TOMMY: JOSH BLAYLOCK
Isn't the process accelerated for franchise nostalgia properties
though? Aren't your sales way lower than what you initially
experienced - and in a very short time indeed?
JOSH: There's no doubt about that. Nostalgia wears
off quickly. We're not selling what we once were, but to our
credit, you don't get to issue 28 by riding a fad. TWENTY-EIGHT.
That's something I'm extremely proud of. It does become more
important to bring in bigger name creators for special events
as time goes on. With issue 22, the return of Serpentor, we
were already expecting high sell-through, but we added a Mike
Turner cover and ended up seeing a major boost in the long
term sales. We're planning an even bigger tie-in to be announced
ironic, that when people are hot for nostalgia, big name creators
don't really make a difference - people want the nostalgia
and that's that, and it doesn't seem to make a difference
Dreamwave was the first studio to split from Image, using
a big name licence as the impetus to form an independent company.
Devil's Due followed in that path, but has also gathered others,
such as Udon and Roaring to its cause. What lessons did DD
learn from DW?
JOSH: Don't grow too fast. We've grown fast, but I've
tried to keep a tight reign on things so they don't spiral
out of control. I'm not saying they're out of control. I just
know they had to cancel a lot of books a while back. On the
other side, they were an example of just how successful one
could be as a self publisher. That the advantages could outweigh
the disadvantages by far.
You seem to have grown by absorbing other studios into your
publication plans. With reports of Udon working on Thundercats,
and Roaring Studios picking up more fantasy titles, are is
still in a position to control the spiral from your co-studios?
And is there room for a little 88MPH?
JOSH: We're not out to scoop up everyone and their
mother's studio. Only if it makes the company stronger, and
feels right. I've also publicly stated that I felt Voltron
was the last "80's" property worth snagging, and want to move
on. 2004 is the year that people stop referring to us as "that
80's studio," and the same goes for G.I.Joe.
Talking of moving on, certain. members of Devil's Due have
been quite prominent of their criticism of ex-publisher Image
Comics. Friendly rivalry along the lines of Stan Lee's "Brand
Echhh' and 'Distinguished Competition' or does it run deeper?
JOSH: Hey, obviously there were problems, or we'd probably
still be there. Things are changing, though, but I don't know
if it's still the best option for a studio like us. We're
blowin' up, and takin' people along for the ride. We could
be BIGGER than Image in a year, who knows?
who really went off were freelance associates, or members
of studios affiliated with us, but not us directly. I wasn't
happy with the situation at the time, but I'm not looking
to blow up bridges and remove any chance of working together
in some fashion again. I have a good open dialogue with a
lot of people at Image, and there's no need to ruin that.
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